I had been having flu-like symptoms accompanied with some minor aches radiating out from the chest into both arms and up into the jaw. I gave the doctors two picture perfect EKG tests and the symptoms were written off as a nasty virus. After a couple of weeks of no improvement and another text book EKG it was decided to give me a cardiac stress test.
This involves walking on treadmill at various levels of difficulty while wired to an elaborate EKG machine. During the first stage of my test I felt a crushing pain in my chest. It was as if someone had placed a giant vice on my chest. I remember the doctor asking me if I was okay and beginning to fall, but I don't remember landing on the treadmill or floor.
After that my memories are bits and pieces of images and feelings. I remember going through a tunnel or tubular passage with a loud rushing noise in the background. I do not remember entering or exiting the tube.
The next thing I remember was being drawn toward a magnificent light of immeasurable brilliance. As I moved toward the light, my first wife (NDERF note: His first wife was deceased) intercepted me. She was happy to see me but concerned because it was not time for me to be there. I knew she was happy and contented in her present form. I don't remember her telling me any of that. I just knew it.
It was is if we made a right turn. The next thing I remember is sitting in a warm green pasture like setting with a brilliant blue sky. I can't clearly remember if there were grass, flowers or other plants there. I spoke with someone here. We talked for hours about why we are all here and my plans for this life is. At that time I knew it all, the whole meaning of life and what it is all about.
I cannot remember any of it except the last sentence. It is clear to me I am not supposed to. To this day, I still dream of the conversation in great detail. When I wake up, I still can't remember it. I do not know who or even what I spoke with. I can tell you I felt unconditional love and limitless wisdom.
As I said, the only thing I remember from that conversation is one sentence. I remember it as clear as if I just heard it. A deep male voice said, "Then it's decided, you're going back."
At the end of that sentence the medical personnel defibrillated me the second time. I was slammed back into my body and I felt the shock with a vengeance. It was as if somebody set off a small bomb in my chest. My eyes popped open and I saw the back of the head of the man who did it. I heard him say "conversion" which is the medical term for re-establishing a cardiac rhythm. That tells me it was the second shock. The doctor who administered the stress test said they shocked me twice. The first time I did not convert.
My eyes closed again. The next time they opened is was in cardiac care.
Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience: Uncertain
Explanation: During the resuscitation efforts several drugs were administered. I do not know what or how much.
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes
What was it about the experience that makes it hard to communicate? We do not share a common frame of reference. Much of it is impressions and non-verbal communication.
At the time of the experience, was there an associated life threatening event? Yes
Describe: A cardiac arrest.
What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience? The memories I can recall are very sharp and clear.
Was the experience dream like in any way? Only in not being able to remember all of it. What I do remember is clear with no dream like qualities.
Did you experience a separation of consciousness from your body? Uncertain
appearance or form apart from your body: During the events I
can remember, I never had the inclination to look at or consider any part of my
What emotions did you feel during the experience? An incredible sensation of absolute caring and love. The closest I can come to describing it would be the unconditional love of a mother for an infant child.
Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises? A white noise in the tunnel. It would be similar to an open squelch on a radio or the sound of the ocean surf without the pulsation of the waves.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure? Yes
Describe: I recall traveling at a very high speed through a dark tubular passage.
Did you see a light? Yes
Describe: A very bright, indescribably beautiful full spectrum light. As bright as the light was, it was not unpleasant or painful to look at.
Did you meet or see any other beings? Yes
Describe: I met my deceased first wife. I spoke with a superior entity about why we are here and what my mission in this life is. I have no memory of what this entity looked like. I think I may have known this entity prior to my heart attack but I'm not sure.
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? Uncertain
Describe: Only my view of the doctor administering the second defibrillation.
Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions? Yes
Describe: The region with the light and the "green field" as described above.
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes
Describe: I spent several hours talking in the green field. The resuscitation effort took less then five minutes.
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? Yes
Describe: I learned there is plan reason we are all here. I know there is far more to life than any of us are aware of. However, we may not be capable of understanding it while in our current form.
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No
Did you become aware of future events? Uncertain
Describe: On rare occasions I get very strong feelings as to what life path I should take. In every case I've followed that feeling, and it has turned out very well.
Were you involved in or aware of a decision to return to the body? Yes
Describe: I am certain the choice to stay or go was with me.
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience? Uncertain
Describe: See number 18.
Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience? Yes
Describe: The experience closed the pain and anger I felt at losing my first wife. I have made my peace with the powers that run this life.
I have a much more balanced life. I used to believe the pursuit of financial wealth and status was the only meaning of life. Since my NDE, I found I no longer wanted to follow that path. My doctor told me to "change jobs or die" only this time he said I may stay dead. All this aside, I went back to work, mainly because I felt I had to keep earning the "big money." It didn't work out. Not for health reasons, but because it simply wasn't important to me anymore. By the end of October I was seriously considering resigning.
In November, some scaffolding collapse at on job on a military installation gave me fall that should have killed me. Other than a couple of scrapes and knocking the wind out of me I came out of it unscathed. While I was laying there trying to get my breath back I heard my doctor's voice like somebody ran a tape recorder next to my ear, "Change jobs or die." I never went back to that job.
My belief structure changed dramatically. I found concrete proof that much of what was drilled into my head from the pulpit simply wasn't true. The priests, ministers, pastors and other men and women of the cloth don't have the slightest idea of what life and death is really all about.
There is a master plan and each and every one of us has a part in it. I am certain that each part of that plan is just as important as the next. Belief that position and status make your roll more important than the lady who takes your money at the convenience store is nothing but egotistical nonsense. I know, I used to think that way too.
Has the experience affected your relationships? Daily life? Religious practices etc.? Career choices? See number 21.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes
Describe: My wife believes it. However, my experience sharply contradicts her religious beliefs and discussing it makes her uncomfortable.
Of the few outside my family who know I had an experience, most treat the subject as if I've been eating my chemistry set for lunch. As a result, I don't bring it up very often.
One exception is a reporter I work with on occasion. She had an NDE during her teen years and we talked at length about our experiences. The other exception, surprisingly enough, is my doctor.
What emotions did you experience following your experience? A mix of relief and confusion. Most of my beliefs had just been shot down.
What was the best and worst part of your experience? Seeing my first wife and resolving those feelings was the best part. The worst part is not being able to remember that conversation.
Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes
Describe: In addition to number 21, I now lead a more laid back life style. I spend more time with my family.
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
NDERF Note: It is very rare to have a cardiac arrest associated with a cardiac stress test. Any reader who knows anyone having a cardiac stress test should be aware it is generally reasonably safe, and discuss any concerns with their physician.