I remember standing next to the emergency room doctor who was screaming at several people while they shocked me over and over and over again. He wouldn't give up. I kept trying to tell him that I was okay and had never felt better. I wanted him to understand. But, the feeling that I had was that I understood everything (is as close as I can describe) and that this was much better. I slowly let go of all the pain and sorrow and yelling in that emergency room. I left that emergency room for a little while and I'm not sure what happened but I remember a very old man touching my hand and I was back in my body. I was on a ventilator when I woke up and then I developed pneumonia. After 2 or 3 days, the nurses made me get up and walk in the hallway. I saw the Doctor who had been screaming at everybody and wouldn't give up on me. I went up to him and thanked him for saving my life. All the blood drained out of his face and I think we both realized, at the same time, that we had never met when I was alive. I was unconscious when a man in a dream told me he would take care of him for me. I had this warm, cozy feeling that everything was alright and when I awoke I was so happy.
Date NDE Occurred: 1976
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Suicide attempt. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I had been raped and did not understand what I was going through, which was pretty close to PTSD. I decided I didn't want to live and I purchased two bottles of over the counter sleeping pills and took them. My boyfriend found me and took me to the hospital. About 1/2 hour later found me on a gurney in the hallway, not breathing and my lips had turned blue.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I could see what they were doing to me. I remember I had a safety pin holding my jeans together where the button should be and at one point it popped or like pinged across the room which I saw and heard.
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 normal
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? The whole time, I remember every detail; it is one of my strongest memories. I remember feeling like I understood everything and feeling really good, not an experience I've ever felt before.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No After I left the emergency room, for a brief moment, time changed in a way but I'm not sure how.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? No
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My eyesight seemed the same.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I heard the Doctor yelling and I saw them working on and shocking me, mostly from the viewpoint of standing next to the doctor and then from above.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain I know he wasn't alive and I hadn't ever met him before.
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No But an incredible presence, being
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Wonderful feeling like listening to great music: it’s hard to describe.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe Again I remember the feeling of understanding everything.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from my personal future But I remember thinking, after I returned and woke up, that I was going to have a daughter and did a few years later. She is 37 now and works in heart surgery.
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? Slightly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Do not know Did not attend church very much as a child. Only occasionally with other children at their churches.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Catholic I feel I am a spiritual person and would be closest to the Catholic faith but I do not currently attend church.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I had no idea of that kind of beauty.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I still understand something deep in my core that I cannot explain to you.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin He seemed very old much older than anyone I had or have ever seen before.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
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? Yes I understood everything while I was dead but alive I can only remember the feeling of understanding.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Uncertain He never told me who he was.
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God probably exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I did have the sense of knowing.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Uncertain It is kinda like it is too much to remember. Or when your trying to recall a name or something and you know you know it but it won't come to you.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I am fully aware that my soul left my body and this was not just hallucinations while my brain died. I watched and tried to communicate while they shocked my body probably 15 to 20 times.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
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 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? Uncertain At first I felt concern for the Doctor but it slowly became irrelevant.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Uncertain
Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life Moderate changes in my life. I still do not participate in organized religion not because I don't believe, it just has never been important to me. Spiritually, sometimes, I feel like I am searching for goodness. Badness and evil sometimes feels to me to be more about desperation and pain and bitterness and suffering and retribution: all forgivable. I know it's easier said than done, but I try every day to do something nice or good.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Words aren't enough to explain the feeling, is the best way to describe it.
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 It is very vivid in my memory and that has never changed.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain I always seem to know, about 6 months before someone close to me is going to die. I don't know how I know.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? All of it.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Several years ago I did tell a few family members. It's hard for most people to understand and I don't like people making judgments about it.
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 never talked about it for a long time.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I know it happened and have always felt that way. It's just socially not been something I felt I could talk about.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Again, when I was approximately 10, my grandfather came to me in a dream and told me he would take care of my cat and the warm cozy feeling was, in a small way, the same. He had died approximately 2 weeks prior to my cat dying. My son died in 2011, after his third tour in Afghanistan, and I have grieved very much for him. My worst thought was that I might never see him again because of time and I'm not sure how it works on the other side. One night a few years ago I had an awful dream that I was in a concentration camp like Auschwitz and my son was 10 years old and I couldn't find him and I felt like I would never know what happened to him. I woke up in a panic and I heard him say ‘Mom, I'm right here’ which made me feel better.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? These lyrics from a song remind me: ‘hunger only for a taste of justice, hunger only for a world of truths, all that you have is your soul.’
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