I was 12
years old when I came down with a case of what I now know was spinal
meningitis. I remember one afternoon I
had an unusually tormenting headache that wouldn't go away. By the evening I had a fever that exceeded
101 degrees. The next day I was admitted to the hospital.
I was given a series of tests but nothing seemed to help.
I had been kept in a room that seemed icy cold. When a person has a fever, it's not uncommon for them to get chills. Nonetheless, the air conditioning made things worse. At first, I could tolerate it because I was in and out of consciousness but after a week had passed, I began to feel desperate to become warm again. The air conditioner wasn't keeping my fever down anyway. They were just waiting for me to die.
I got the idea that if I covered up with my terry cloth robe, that I could get warm. It worked. But something else happened too. I began to fall asleep, or so I thought. My eyes were closed, I could hear everything around me but, I felt myself slowly drifting away. I could hear my surroundings less, and less, and less until I couldn't hear them anymore at all...period. I was too young to realize that I was killing myself with the terry cloth robe. It felt too good and thinking that it would immediately spike my temperature was the last thing on my mind. However, I was aware that my spirit was departing from my body. Somehow I couldn't link the separation with death.
In an instant, I was in another place. Total darkness. I was on a path and without anyone telling me, I knew the way to where I was going. I was all alone yet eager to get to the place at the end of the road. I began walking briskly. As I got about 3 inches away from my final destination, I was standing before a window that was as big as a theater screen except, it led to another world that looked like earth must have looked in the Garden of Eden. I stood at the point where the path ended and the "window" began. I peeked around to see if I could see other children but I couldn't find any. I stared at the rolling hills that had perfectly cut green grass--greener than any grass I've ever seen here on earth. I wanted to roll up and down the hills but that meant I had to step inside the "window". I was afraid that there were other children hiding inside the "window" and would jump out to surprise me and scare me. In order to get to the hills, I also would have to cross a shallow stream of crystal clear water. That didn't bother me though. Somehow I knew that this was truly a place of paradise.
Eventually, I lifted a foot to step in, then put it back down. I repeated this kind of movement repeatedly. To my surprise, this man stepped out from behind me and stood in front of the window and without an introduction, I somehow knew who he was and realized that he had been following me all along. He said "Come on, you can come if you want to, but once you come, you can't go back."
When he started talking to me, a burst of peaceful energy shot thru me with every word he spoke. During the one sentence he spoke, by the time he had gotten the second word out, I had fallen to the ground limp and was paralyzed. I remember thinking that if he keeps talking he's going to kill me when in fact, I was already dead--it just hadn't truly registered yet. I knew where I was, and that I had left my body, but I thought I was still in control of going back when I wanted. I had planned to play on the hills, look around, then go back and tell it.
When this person gave me an ultimatum, I started thinking about how sad my mom and my sister would be. I didn't want them to be sad. He heard my thoughts. That's how we communicated. When he spoke I heard him mentally and if I thought something he'd respond to my thought.
The thought of my mom and sister evidently meant the answer "no" to him and I was immediately sent back just the way I came. Slowly I drifted backwards. I could hear my surroundings gradually become louder until I was totally back in my body.
However, there was one problem, I was as stiff as a board and could not move. I obviously had been gone longer that I should have been because my body was not functioning. My legs, my whole body hurt like someone had a million pins sticking in my body. My legs hurt the worst as my blood began to flow again.
As I got older, I found out that your blood begins to thicken after you die. I know that this is why I felt such intense pain in my body. It was like my blood was frozen and was being defrosted.
I laid there and cried until I could move my arms. The phone rang. It was my mother. My arms were the first thing that I could move. I pulled over to the right side of the bed with my left arm, the same way a person who's paralyzed from the waist down would. My mom asked me why I was crying and I told her my legs hurt.
Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience: No
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes
What was it about the experience that makes it hard to communicate? It's hard to explain to people that have never had the experience. They can't grasp the concept of what I'm saying.
At the time of the experience, was there an associated life threatening event? Yes
Describe: I had spinal meningitis that was not responding to any form of medication. As a last resort, I was kept in very cold air conditioned room and was not allowed any covering in an attempt to keep my fever from rising.
What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience? I was extremely conscious during the entire episode. I was alert enough to communicate when spoken to.
Was the experience dream like in any way? Not like a dream at all. I knew what was happening when I started drifting away but I was curious to see what would happen. I thought that I was in control of coming and going as I pleased. I had every intention to do some investigating then return to my body.
Did you experience a separation of consciousness from your body? No
Describe your appearance or form apart from your body: I felt better and had a lot of energy. Separate from my body, I felt totally healed. I looked exactly like I did before the separation took place. The only thing different was that I had unnatural energy.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Happy, free, and eager to look and roam.
Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises? No unusual sounds or noises. On the path there was total silence. Not even the sound of the wind.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure? Uncertain
Describe: The pathway was more like a path instead of a tunnel. I couldn't see beyond my hand but I knew that I wasn't enclosed in a tunnel. I felt like I was in an open field but with no wind.
Did you see a light? Yes
Describe: Instead of just light, I saw a new world that had daylight, grass, hills, water, flowers, clouds, and a sky just like earth except everything looked brand new.
Did you meet or see any other beings? Yes
Describe: A man came from behind me. He was Jesus Christ of Nazareth. I knew Him without and introduction. I instantly knew who He was. He gave me an option of coming over or going back...if I wanted to. It was like a telepathic conversation. There were no secret thoughts. If I thought something, not only heard it, but responded to it.
Did you experience a review of past events in your life? No
Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later? No response
Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions? Yes
Describe: A place that looked like a fairytale land. Everything looked so clean and pure. Colors were very bright and there was beautiful landscape before me.
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes
Describe: When I came back, it was obvious that I had been gone from my body. I could literally tell that my body was struggling to recover and that certain amount of time had taken place.
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? No
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Uncertain
Describe: I remember that there was a distinct boundary between the path and the window. It was very noticeable.
Did you become aware of future events? No
Were you involved in or aware of a decision to return to the body? Yes
Describe: Sadness that I couldn't go and visit. I wanted to see what it was like to play over there and realized that if I went, I would no longer have the option of returning to earth. The feeling of infinity was depressing.
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience? Uncertain
Describe: I had the gift of discerning and knowledge already but I was keener afterwards. I also have a sensitivity to the spirit world. I can see and feel when a presence is around. I also can tell when a person has any type of spirit guide living inside them. I find out a lot of things about people I love that I don't want to know.
Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience? Yes
Describe: I had a better understanding, as a child, of the difference between the Holy Trinity.
Has the experience affected your relationships? Daily life? Religious practices etc.? Career choices? It made me more aware of God.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes
Describe: Shock is what they usually feel. I can see that they struggle to comprehend what I'm saying.
What emotions did you experience following your experience? Sadness that I had to leave.
What was the best and worst part of your experience? The best part was seeing the opening to the new world and the saddest was learning that my plans of visiting then leaving at my will were revoked.
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience? Nothing else.
Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience? No
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? No
Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes
Explain: I still remember the experience in details if it happened yesterday. It's like it left an imprint on my brain or something.
Please offer any suggestions you have to improve the www.nderf.org questionnaire? No.