Okay, I have to go at this backwards, since I didn't know anything about 'it' until I was 16. I was 16 and my Dad and I were on a long drive together, just the two of us, and we were talking about all kinds of things. I told him about a really strange 'dream' I'd had years and years ago, and couldn't understand how it had remained so vivid for all these years.
I said I had walked down a dim hallway and at the end was a door, just a tiny bit open. There was lovely bright sunlight coming from the bit of open doorway. When I pushed it open, there was a green lawn/field in front of me. I saw a stream with a little bridge over it. On the other side of the bridge were all these people who obviously knew me as they called me by my family nick-name and greeted me warmly. I did not know any of these people.
HOWEVER, even at 16, all those years later, I could describe them with such detail and accuracy that my father recognized most of them, relatives who had passed on before I was even born, whom I'd never met and of whom we had no photographs.
Anyway, as I started to enter the 'place', there was a bright, bright, soft light. It was shaped as if you drew an oval around a person. The light came from nowhere and started to touch me. It wasn't pushing against me, yet there was no sense of being touched except by love. As I moved backwards out of the door, the light said to me, 'Not yet.' Then the door shut.
I felt a very sharp sense of regret and loss, but didn't know why or for what. It was as much as a child of age 3 can conceptualize those emotions. Anyway, when I finished telling my dad about the 'dream' he said to me 'That would have been when you died' and explained to me about the asthma attack. He also then told me he knew many of the people I described. He told me that I had been 'dead' for approximately 45 minutes from an asthma attack when I was age 3 and was returned to life by the prayers of the practitioner they had called. Being a typical teenager I just said 'Dead??!! Are you sure?' Even in the 1960's we didn't trust our parents to really know much about anything! He replied to me, 'I was a medic in the Army. I know dead when I see it.' He warned me not to ask my mother about it. No one talked about things like that back then, or until relatively recently: they would have locked you up. I really haven't talked about it, but it has remained very much a part of my experience. We never spoke of it again.
Date NDE Occurred: 1949
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
Not exactly sure what the question means. It was an asthma attack, and I guess that can be considered life-threatening?
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? No
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? I have absolutely NO memory of anything before or after what I have described above, and the whole experience there seemed to be at the same level of awareness.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
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. I was 3, I don't know for sure, but nothing seemed extraordinary at all.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Same answer as above.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain My experience was a hallway as opposed to a tunnel.
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 Okay, taking into account my age at the time, and even as I view it in retrospect, they were PEOPLE, not beings. I didn't know them, but they knew me and welcomed me using my family nickname. Many years later, I could describe them well enough that they were clearly identifiable as relatives, whom had passed on before I was born and of whom we had no photographs.
The experience included: Unearthly light
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes Adult-sized oval 'cloud' lit from within, or maybe it was the light itself. This is really hard to explain.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? Some unfamiliar and strange place Well, the dim hallway led to a door which was cracked open. Bright light was coming from the opening in the doorway and I pushed the door open. Inside was a green space, immediately in front of the door, a large lawn or closely mown field. A distance across the grass was a stream with a little bridge over it, and beyond the bridge were the people seemingly waiting for me.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? For most of it, nothing unusual. I was a kind of solitary kid who lived in the country, so was always wandering off exploring and having the whole community out searching for me. This seemed like just another interesting walk. I mean, kids did that in those days. You went outside to play, went to the fields and woods, and could be gone for several hours before anyone got concerned.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
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 Both questions 26 and 27 contain concepts that would not really be relevant to the experience of a 3 year old.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes The doorway was open when I went to it, but when I was 'pushed' out the door closed: a very definite barrier.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will I was 3. Children in those days weren't allowed to have 'will', where any difference with adults was concerned, but I did feel a sense of loss but didn't know for what, and regret to be leaving.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Unknown
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant My parents were Christian Scientists. The church has a well-verified record of healing.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes As explained above, after learning about what happened it led to a 50 year search to try to find the meaning and the feeling again, only to end up back where I started.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant I was raised in Christian Science, left it when I was 17 and explored many, many religions for 50 years, then finally returned to Christian Science as being the place I knew I'd experience the most spiritual growth.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience OK, again, as a three year old, I really didn't have any beliefs, but I picked consistent only because mostly nothing seemed too 'un-ordinary', except for the light.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes Over many decades, after I found out what happened, I went looking for something to explain it, and tried to find something that would make me feel that way again. So while my values remained fairly constant, my beliefs have shifted all over the map trying to find what it felt like I'd lost. Not sure if this is what you want? Oh, and I've ALWAYS looked at death as just stepping into another room because of that experience.
The experience included: Presence of unearthly beings
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 The light was 'alive' and seemed to have an individuality or personhood, but was still light and it glowed not really from within, but in its entirety. It spoke to my thought not to my ears, so maybe I shouldn't call it a voice, yet that's what it seemed like. All it said was 'Not yet'.
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 I was 3 - I didn't know anything about any of those people.
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? Unknown
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? Uncertain OK, again concepts unfamiliar to a 3 yr old, but what the light was, I knew that's what I wanted. It semed completely familiar, as if that's where I belonged. Even way better than granny's lap on the rocking chair.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes OK, well, considering my age, I didn't know those concepts, not even life and death really. let alone life after death. But *I* was quite alive though I was told later that I had been seemingly quite dead, and the people I saw there seemed quite normal an
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? 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? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes What the light was, I knew that's what I wanted. It semed completely familiar, as if that's where I belonged. Even way better than granny's lap on the rocking chair. (Sorry, I'm down to copy and paste now. This is really work!)
But the light *was* Lov
Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life Large changes in my life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes After I found out about what had happened, it kind of went a long way to explaining why my mom kept me on such a short leash compared to the other kids in the area. But that's probably not what you want.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Uncertain I'm not certain there really are words to adequately describe the feelings you have during an experience like that, and being so young when it happened. I was still pre-literate so feelings were, maybe, more central to my everyday experience and maybe more familiar? I'm not even sure what exactly I'm trying to say here, except that when it happened it all seemed so normal and natural except for the sense of love enveloping me from the light and the quite poignant sense of regret when I had to leave, which I didn't understand at all.
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 Again, as a three-year-old, I don't really have a lot of memories about much. But this experience remained so vivid that I think at 16, the first and really only time I talked about it, I could have described the pores on the people's faces. Once I talked about it and over the years, some of that vividness has muted but the basic experience, short as it was, will be with me forever.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain Gave messages at a Spiritualist Temple for a while did some readings for people after I was involved with Santa Ria for a while. I had some dreams, such as that my son was going to be hit by a car, which he was the next day. I had some out-of-body experiences (at least one validated). I found these things interesting for a while, but basically worthless, but that's another story.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Mine was seemingly so short, but everything after I opened the door became very meaningful, after I was old enough to understand the concepts and was told what had happened.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Experience was about 1949. I first shared it about 1962, and that's when I actually found out what happened. Reaction was atypical for the times as I was actually told what happened, but typical in the sense that I knew it was not something to be talked about. I haven't ever really talked about it in detail much, though I have mentioned it briefly when people were discussing death. Think maybe I've told the whole story to maybe 2 people in my life since the first discussion.
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 definately not real I had always believed it was just a really vivid dream as I was too young to remember being sick or any of the before and after details.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Well, it was so vivid, and being able to describe people I'd never seen who had passed on. My father was no airy-fairy kind of guy. He was very realistic, common sense-like and grounded. The whole 'stepping into another room' view of death that it gave me, which seems like a sensible way for things to work. The first two reasons made it seem credible then, when I was told the story, and the last reason kind of buttressed the belief.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes A couple of other asthma attacks, as a child took me part way down the hall, but I never got to the door again. More than two decades later, I had another long story. I had some kind of reaction to a barbiturate sleeping pill where after you take one you have short episodes of being awake and are kind of hypnotized into thinking that you've never been asleep so you take more, anyway that happened. I took the last sleeping pills, but then apparently took 23 other kinds of leftover pills I had lying around, stuff for everything from itchy skin to migraine. At one of the lucid periods I apparently saw the empty pill bottles and managed to call my brother, who came over. He could tell there was trouble as I passed out again while on the phone and dropped it and me. He couldn't get an answer at my door so he called the police and they broke into the house. The police did what they could and I was taken to a hospital in an ambulance. I remember 'seeing' myself in a small room with three doctors and they were using the paddles on my chest (I had the burns to verify that part). I was sitting 'up there' somewhere watching them and thinking, 'please just leave me alone. It's so peaceful like this.' Then they did. One doctor shrugged and they turned off the machine, turned, and walked away.
As they walked away, a voice said 'If you stay, your ex-husband will get to raise the kids'. That was not an option! I rejoined my body on the table so hard it rattled and the doctors turned around again, that's all I remember until I regained consciousness in a more normal way.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? Mostly I was mildly curious. Here was a new place to walk and it looked as if it might be interesting, so I just walked forward because it was the only way to go. Knowing that I was still me, and the other people there were still them, gave me a sense of death as nothing to be feared, but also nothing to be sought, as in the words of an old country song 'Wherever you go, there you are'.