At the age of 5 I strayed away from home. Then I got caught in a thunderstorm and drenched. Soon after, I developed such a severe earache that I cried throughout a childrens' party. I remember having to lay my head down on a table on the afflicted side for comfort. I was taken home early where I swiftly fell ill with double pneumonia. I was told later that penicillin had had no effect on my illness.
As I lay in bed, I suddenly saw my deceased grandmother appear at the foot of the bed. She was nodding and smiling comfortingly. I remember feeling surprised to see her because, even at age 5, I knew that she had gone permanently to heaven. I am not sure of the time frame or order of events, but I remember floating up near the ceiling and looking down at a little figure lying motionless in bed. I saw my mother praying beside the bed. With surprise, I realised the figure was me. I was much smaller than I thought. I remember turning to see the dust on top of the curtain pelmet. I remember going into a dark tunnel and sensing dark figures also travelling down the tunnel. Now I believe they were other departing spirits.
I also remember seeing my life flash before me, going backwards. I saw my friend Alan and myself looking down a drain as we thought a dragon lived down there. I remember thinking I had forgotten all about this until it appeared like a film running before me.
Later, my mother told me all the people at our church had prayed for me. I think all the prayers helped me recover. I remained ill for another six months; as in my weakened state, I also caught chickenpox and measles when my sister brought the viruses home from school.
I never forgot the experience as it was so vivid. Afterwards, I tried to tell my mother about entering the dark tunnel but she thought I was talking about the one in our town running beneath a railway line.
As I grew up, I had many spiritual or psychic experiences. For instance: At age 8, I was in Church listening to the vicar praying. My eyes were closed and I felt a feeling like snow dropping gently into my mind. It was white, soft, and pure. I knew it was peace. At the same age, I had a vivid dream on three consecutive nights of a previous life as a young English man in Egypt in the 1920s. I was robbed by a guide and went to the man's home at night to question him. I remember standing at the door, hearing the strange eerie eastern music coming from inside and pausing before knocking. Each time I woke up but with the sense that if I had knocked at the door, it would have led to my being killed. At about the age of 10, I had a vision of being a knight in medieval times and riding slowly through a wooded area towards the sunset. I was overwhelmed by intense religious ecstasy. But most of my experiences come when I am asleep. Just hours before the birth of my third child, I woke to see a transparent women appear at the foot of my bed pointing to the French windows of the hospital room. She was urging me to look. I saw my baby son who had died 17 months before floating there with his unborn baby brother. To my intense distress, that baby also died within a few hours of his birth. One of the few things that kept me going was that both little boys had come to see me before having to leave.
I witnessed the crash of the British Midlands plane in December 1988 when asleep. My son, just a short time prior to that, had also dreamed of the Lockerbie plane disaster. Both dreams were great detail. I dreamed twice that I met my father soon after he died in an accident. I saw him first in a confused state in a convalescent home. Then secondly, he was laughing at something amusing that had happened to me. Later, I dreamed he was driving me in his car while taking me to another dimension. He was showing me his mother's old cottage. I instantly knew what he meant. He was showing me the home of the ancestors, such that he was preparing a home for my mother. My mother had a stroke three days later and died six months afterwards. She never properly recovered. I think the reason she didn't die straightaway was because my daughter had been praying for her. But even before my NDE, I had had similar experiences. My mother would say that there are fairies at the bottom of the garden. I wanted to say, but was too young to find the words, 'No. But there are angels beside the hollyhocks and golden rod on the left hand side of the garden towards the foot of it. They are why the bees go there.' I even remember being in the womb and turning against a background of bright red. I won't go on as it's not what you want, but I could write thousands of words on the subject. For some years afterwards I had a recurrent dream of flying.
Date NDE Occurred: autumn 1955
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness. Life threatening event, but not clinical death.
I fell very ill with double pneumonia and was told I was too sick to be moved to hospital.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Neither pleasant NOR distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes. I saw my mother praying beside my bed when I looked down at myself from the ceiling.
I clearly left my body and existed outside it
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than norma.l I think I must have been more alert as I still remember the details quite clearly 62 years later
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was floating by the ceiling looking down at myself in a coma on the bed. I'm told I was in a coma for 3 days.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning.
I can't be sure of the chronology of events but I think I have put them in order
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It was more vivid as I can still recall it today.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I don't think hearing came into it. The experience was more visual than anything.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes I was in a dark tunnel surrounded by other spirits moving along it. I don't think I was very far along and did not see any light. I was more curious than anything.
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes. I didn't know the spirits in the tunnel. I think they were also dead or dying. Prior to entering the tunnel, I had seen my deceased grandmother appear at the foot of my bed. She was smiling and nodding reassuringly.
The experience included: Darkness
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm. The dark tunnel was a different realm. But for some years afterward,s I had vivid dreams of places I thought were heaven. I dreamt of my little friend, Alan, and I toiling up a cliff-path to visit a place full of fields of bright flowers. Another time, of walking for miles across summer fields smelling of new mown hay at sunset
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Surprise. I looked much smaller and paler than I thought.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control. At some point my life rewound back in time and I remember playing with Alan.
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant. I was only 5 but I was taken to church on Sundays
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain Yes, they deepened. When I was christened as a baby, I still remember the strong sensation of the cross being traced on my forehead by the vicar. Despite being about 3 months old, I was aware of what was happening. I continued to go to church with my parents from then on, so I assume I heard of God, Jesus and angels but don't recall it. I did recognise the feeling of the angels by the hollyhocks and golden rod. I would stand there for a long time absorbing it to the point where my mother asked me what I was looking at. I have a very strong empathy with children and the animal world.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Other faiths- New age
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience. At age 5, I knew we went to heaven when we died, but I did not know we left our bodies and were able to float above them and then travel to another place. I did not know that we travelled down a tunnel to get there. I did not know we could meet deceased relatives or that we could see our lives as a film being unwound.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain. I was 5 at the time and quite a serious-minded child. I was already aware of angels in the garden. Everything seemed alive to me, even the table and chairs. I was aware of the beautiful scent of the flowers, especially carnations. I was already aware how fascinating the world was; from the intense blue of the sky to the bright orange of the marigolds. I still remembered more than 65 years later. So I would have to say that my beliefs developed rather than changed.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)? No
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God definitely exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists. I knew the tunnel was not earthly and it led to another place
Did you fear death prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you fear death after your experience? I moderately fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Unknown
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are meaningful and significant
Did you gain information about how to live our lives? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Unknown. I now often seem to understand in a flash what people are thinking or feeling and why they do or say things.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain. Only uncertain because of my youth. I have tried to be a kinder, more helpful person than I might otherwise have been.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Not difficult now, but then at age 5 it was.
How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience? I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience. I never forgot the experience, as nothing like it had happened before and floating out of my body and looking down at it was amazing.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have described some of the experiences earlier. But I went on to learn how to read tarot cards and then astrology, which I have practiced professionally. My much older sister and cousin had explained astrology to me when I was 5 before the NDE. As soon as I heard of it, I knew it was true. Similarly, when I was 14, I had reincarnation explained to me and again, I knew it was true. I had not connected earlier dreams of past lives to an actual philosophy at that time. I also study the I Ching. My family did not encourage me in any of the above.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Floating out of my body and dreaming of flying for years afterwards was very meaningful because I know now we can live when not inside the body.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I tried to explain to my mother soon after but she misunderstood. From time to time, I have raised it with various friends but felt by their lack of reaction they did not believe me.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? No
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real. I thought it was extremely interesting and thought about it a lot.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real. At the age of 5, I was not capable of imagining the experience and had no prior information of such an event. I know it happened.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes. Soon after the death of the elder of my two sons at 3 months old, I dreamed I saw him floating in the garden and received a message telepathically from him saying how he had not wanted to leave us. Then he visited me again with my about-to-be-born next son, who died the same day. A few times, I have also been aware of both living and departed people visiting me. I can't see them but I can feel them quite strongly, to the point on one occasion of feeling quite scared. This is when I am awake. I have seen figures that I think must be ghosts. For example, in an old house while waiting for the owner, I saw a transparent figure move along the landing and come down the stairs. This was confirmed by the owner whose governess had also seen it years before. I have had vivid dreams about departed pets.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Because I left my body, I feel that opened-up something that allowed me to leave my body while asleep later. Once I travelled to the Lebanon while at the height of the fighting there. I also found myself floating above a trawler in the North Sea, but this was while meditating during yoga. As mentioned, I have dreamed of meeting deceased relatives and pets.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I have read that many people become more psychic after a NDE, but you do not ask if they were at all psychic before it. I have tried to explain some of the experiences I had prior to the NDE which I suppose could be explained as psychic.