As I sat in the car and turned on the ignition, my left leg went numb. The car did not start and I got out looking under the hood. As I stood by the side of the car, the numbness began to spread through my body; my heart began to pound in my ears. I called out for help and a woman went to find a security guard. By the time he arrived, my body was shaking uncontrollably and the pain around my chest tightened until I could not breathe. The blood was pounding in my head and it felt as though my brain would explode. At the same time, there was a feeling of being an observer at the event. I knew I was dying and I remember looking around and thinking 'this is it' and a feeling of sadness for the separation from my children. I felt so foolish to be dying in a parking lot outside a grocery store. There was no dignity to dying on the street.
I heard the security guard say, 'There she goes,' and my body fell to the ground. The ambulance pulled up and I could see them putting me in the back. I was seeing it from the same vantage point as standing by the car. As they pulled away, I began to dissolve and went off into energy fragments, which no longer had thought. I awoke at the hospital where the doctor accused me of faking a seizure to get attention.
Date NDE Occurred: July 10, 2000
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain It was a beautiful day. For once things were going very well in my life. I had a job, I was painting, my children were well and I was looking forward to the future after several years of hard struggle. I had a seizure during which my heart stopped. It was caused by an undiagnosed brain abscess.
The brain abscess could have killed me, but at the time the doctors had no idea what was going on. I was released and six days later returned to the emergency room with cerebral meningitis and partial paralysis. It took an operation and the removal of most of my teeth. I spent almost three months in bed. Went through long physical rehabilitation and now find I have no reason to live.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Disturbing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I saw my body on the gurney from the vantage point of standing by the car.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I was totally alert until sometime after my body separated from my consciousness.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Non-being is definitely an altered state.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
The experience included: Void
The experience included: Darkness
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Fear, acceptance, dissolution.
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe There was no continuation of me as a conscious being and any experiences of such would have been the result of whatever belief system was in place in the eternity between the heart stopping and the brain shutting down.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control There was no review, but there was no fear of judgment either.
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 was your religion prior to your experience? Liberal I had come to believe there is no personal god and more than likely no afterlife that continued with this consciousness. I do believe the universe recycles...in what for I have no idea.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I can see no reason for my return and have been plagued with thoughts of suicide. It all seems so senseless and I am beginning to lose interest in continuing to experience consciousness.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes After separating from my body there was a dissolution of consciousness in which I ceased to be. There was no reward or punishment, just non-being.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Not finding a reason for surviving it is the worst part. Not fearing judgment is the best.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes They did not want to hear that I found no tunnel, no light, no happy relatives and no redeeming reason for returning.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I wish I could say that some profound good had come of all this or that I had found a purpose for living, instead, it seems to have robbed me of my joy in existence.