Hal E FDE (fear death experience)
Edited for clarity by Judy Shea 6/9/11
I was a passenger in an automobile which, due to the driver having a seizure behind the wheel, crashed head on into a tree on the side of the road. Both the driver and I were knocked unconscious; and according to reports, I must have regained consciousness after about 3-5 minutes - at the time the emergency vehicles arrived. I suffered from a broken nose, a dislocated hip, and later a concussion. The driver suffered fewer injuries and was able to walk away. However, the paramedics were concerned about possibly severe internal injuries that I might have, (it turned out that there were none,) and so I was airlifted to the nearest trauma center. While in the helicopter, I was administered pain medication (I want to say morphine but I cannot confirm that.) And sometime between when the paramedics arrived at the scene, and when I arrived at the hospital, something happened to me that I cannot explain.
During the entire process, I would describe my mental state as "near unconscious." I cannot recall seeing anything, but I had some vague idea of what was going on. Perhaps it came from some dim awareness of the sounds around me. In essence, I had the idea that I was in severe physical trouble (although I wasn't, in reality.) Although I could not form coherent thoughts, I remember being in tremendous fear. I was at this point sure beyond a doubt that I could be facing death. The fear that I was experiencing at the time is the most fear that I have ever felt in my entire life. I had been to church (a Christian church) a few times in my life, and I remember thinking, albeit highly incoherently, "Please forgive me for my sins." I might have done that once or twice. All of the sudden, I "felt" a voice. (I say "felt"instead of "heard," because at that time, my ability to "hear", or process sound was close to zero. ) The voice said the following: "You are forgiven, but it is not your time yet." Now, there are two things that stand out for me about this that I cannot explain. I understand that if I was in the mindset of "praying", then a spiritual response (the voice's answer) wouldn't be that surprising, given my state of mind and the possible drugs I was on. What I find hard to explain is that, in the midst of my utter fear and confusion, as soon as I felt those words, my fear disappeared completely, (although the pain did not.) How I could have comprehended those words so thoroughly, even though my mind was hardly functioning cognitively at all, I can't understand without considering a supernatural, or spiritual, explanation.
I can't seem to find a way to explain this from a scientific, or psychological, point of view. One moment, I was in more fear than I ever have been in my life; and the next moment (after those words) my fear was completely erased. And also I knew 100% that I was going to survive this ordeal. It doesn't make sense to me to try and explain this by saying it was due to the "power of suggestion." Mere suggestion doesn't usually have this effect on me. Generally, when I'm uncomfortable and worried about things in daily life, telling myself "It will be okay," - or someone else telling me - does not have this type of powerful effect on me. Those words from that voice completely reversed the emotional state that I was in. The other thing that I find hard to understand is the clarity with which I felt those words. I knew that I had sort of prayed once or twice (again, forming any real thought was next to impossible for me), but that response had a clarity about it that I later realized that my brain could not have produced, given its state. For example, if someone had asked me my name, or where I was from, I could not have told them. However, that message from the voice was extremely clear to me. The clarity to me of that voice is something I cannot understand or explain without bringing in the possibility that I may have been in touch with a being on a supernatural, or spiritual, plane. It truly did feel like an exogenous shock to my system.
And that's my story.
And to further drive home the point of how incapable of thought I was, I was completely unable to comprehend or answer any of the doctors' questions, even an hour after arriving at the hospital. The mystery to me is in having had this unexplainable (at least to me) moment of extreme clarity, and subsequent change in my emotional state, at a time when I was practically comatose and not capable of other sorts of mental functioning.
Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? No
At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event? Yes
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I heard the voice responding to my prayer.
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal every day consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness
If your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience was different from your normal every day consciousness and alertness, please explain: When I heard the voice responding to my prayer.
Did your vision differ in any way from your normal, everyday vision (in any aspect, such as clarity, field of vision, colors, brightness, depth perception degree of solidness/transparency of objects, etc.)? Uncertain.
My vision was not active at the time. If anything, I just had a sense of blackness.
Did your hearing differ in any way from your normal, everyday hearing (in any aspect, such as clarity, ability to recognize source of sound, pitch, loudness, etc.)?
Yes The voice that I heard was "felt", not heard through my ears.
Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? A total change from complete fear to normal, everyday happiness (including a sense of awe somewhere in between. I was sure, even at the time, that what I experienced - the voice - was not a product of my mind.)
Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure? No
Did you see a light? No
Did you meet or see any other beings? No
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
Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions? No
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? No
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? No
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No
Did you become aware of future events? No
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience? No
Have you shared this experience with others? No
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain. I had heard the term, maybe on television, but I didn't know anything about it at all. What compelled me to submit this experience to this website was the phrase "...it is not your time yet." When I learned that others coming close to death recall hearing these exact words, I thought that I might have experienced something like an NDE.
How did you view the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened: I first saw the experience as probably real. I was at first convinced of a supernatural explanation, probably because it was completely "real" to me. After thinking about it for a few years, and considering the drugs and my compromised mind-state, I began to reconsider the reality of the experience. But I never lost the sense of how clear and real that voice was to me. I could never accept any of the specific physical explanations suggested in my reading. I do realize that the brain has an unbelievable ability to view something as being "real," when it could be a hallucination or drug induced state. However, from the heart of my experience, I knew it was real. It was much stronger, clearer, and more organized than a hallucination.
Were there one or several parts of the experience especially meaningful or significant to you? Again, what really makes me wonder is feeling/hearing those particular words "...not your time yet." I had never heard of that phrase expressed in relationship to the death experience, and yet those are the exact words I heard.
How do you currently view the reality of your experience: Now I see the experience as probably real. I've done some leisurely reading concerning NDEs and the mind/brain problem, and while I am still not entirely convinced of either side of the argument, I would not be surprised if, in fact, what I experienced does fall into the realm of the supernatural.
Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience? No
Have your religious beliefs/practices 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 so far accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes