I had been operated on for a gastric
problem and awoke from the anesthesia in the ICU. They told me I was
connected to a respirator and that I had bled a lot and had a cardiac arrest
during the operation. They had been able to revive me but I was still in
serious condition. Since I had the respirator in place, I had to turn my
head in order to cough and signaled to the nurse to bring me something to
write on. Shortly, they brought me a little notebook and I asked them
through writing and scribbling if I was still at risk for death. I needed
to know whether to talk to my notary. They told me that I was and if I
desired they would tell my husband what I wanted. I had a pair of IVs
connected to my veins. I later found out it was plasma, heparin, and pain
medication. From time to time I went to sleep and I was able to distinguish
PERFECTLY from when I was asleep and when not. Towards the middle of the
afternoon I heard that my heartbeat was erratic on the monitor and this
caused me to cough. I tried to sit up, but my wound hurt and I fell back on
the bed. The nurse took my head and turned it, yelling at me to be still
and not try to move. He tightened the cuff on the blood pressure monitor
that was around my arm and I heard him call to someone saying that I had no
pulse and that I had fainted.
More nurses came but I was unable
to see them, I could only see black, absolute darkness. I thought I had
blacked out but I didn't feel at all faint. Their voices seemed to travel
off and this sensation lasted for about 30 seconds. I suddenly recovered my
sight and I found myself in the middle of the room, but I saw everything
from above as if I were on the next floor and the floor was made of glass.
I seemed to have exceptionally sharp vision and could see my bed and three
other beds, the whole room, a partition and laboratory on the side, and
several wardrobes. The ICU seemed to be illuminated by the sun, but this
was incorrect because, on the contrary, I remember it being pretty dark. I
saw the doctor taking notes and two nurses checking all the tubes and
electrodes. And I saw my nude body on the bed while they spoke among
themselves. The curious thing was that I couldn't hear their voices, rather
I just knew what they were saying as if reading their minds and knowing what
they were going to say even before they did. I remember trying to look at
myself but I didn't have a body, yet I had the sensation of having one. I
was really taken by the fact that my legs didn't hurt. Let me explain: For
many years I had suffered from a severe lack of vein and artery function and
the pain and heaviness in my legs were chronic, no matter what position I
was in. I had learned to live with this pain but now I didn't feel it and I
wondered if my legs had gone to sleep. But I looked at myself and didn't
see any legs or arms or anything. This made me realize: "That's it. This
passage wasn't so traumatic. I'm on the other side," and I started worrying
who would take care of my blind husband and my brother who was
psychologically disabled. The thing is, I felt completely relaxed, with a
feeling of weightlessness that reminded me of the abrupt changes of feeling
experienced in a fast elevator. It was something like the moment before
orgasm, that instant that only lasts a fraction of a second and that we want
to prolong before climax (forgive me, it is the closest I can come to what
it feels like because there really are no words to describe it), except in
this case it was continuous, everlasting, the natural state of my being. It
was pure pleasure, without heat or cold, without pain, without itching,
without muscle tension, without heartbeat or larynx restricted breathing.
Everything was joyful, and I felt guilty because I had inconsiderately
abandoned the idea of returning to this life despite knowing my family was
completely dependent on me. I felt much sadness and solitude. There was
nobody to tell what was happening to me nor to tell me what was going on
although I ALREADY KNEW WHAT WAS HAPPENING. It's a mental state where we
just know...and that's all there is to say about it. But I felt as if going
through withdrawal symptoms which made me very sad, although this feeling
didn't last long.
Suddenly, it seemed like the light
surrounding everything got even brighter, if that's possible, until I could
no longer see the hospital equipment, nor the ICU, nor the partition, nor my
body or hear anything any human being said. Only light existed, without
limits or dullness or anything to contain it, without point of emission,
light upon light that didn't come from any source nor go to any place.
Light filled everything and everything was light, including me. I then felt
accompanied by others, as if I were the protagonist of the universe, as if
every living being had all at once decided I was their focus of love. I
thought: "I have asked myself my whole life what pure love is, and it turns
out that love is light." I wanted it never to end, and it occurred to me
that something so great couldn't have an end. But I thought I heard,
"Maria, Maria" continuously. This bothered me because it was my husband who
was calling me. Hearing his voice in my mind was bothersome. It
interrupted the marvelous trance state I was experiencing. I thought I saw
the face of my mother at my side, but without features. More than just her
face, it was a type of memory, of the security of her presence, of
certainty. It was a kind of faith that told me it was her. My mother died
when I was 4 years old. It felt like she caressed my head, combing my hair
with her fingers. I looked for her hands and, as with me, she didn't have
any. I knew that she also heard my name being called. I remember
thinking: "Don't let me go." And she stopped caressing me and said, "They
are calling you. You can't leave them now. Stay calm. We shall meet again
and they will also be here." I felt a push and I saw darkness once again.
I felt pain in my chest. I also felt the wound and my legs again, and I
coughed hard, very hard, and thought I was going to cough out my insides. I
again heard voices (this time real voices, spoken out loud, close to me)
asking for oxygen. They said to me, "breath, breath." I felt them insert
a catheter into my bladder, and the pain was so great I thought, "OK, I'm
back once again." Shortly, I raised my head up a bit and saw my feet. When
the nurse came I asked her what had happened and she said, "girl, you've got
9 lives like a cat."
What was the most surprising? When they took me into the operating room to
do the surgery they tied my hair badly in a pony tail with a piece of
gauze. In the ICU I felt the knots in my hair, they pulled, I touched them
and felt the snarls of my hair that no comb could ever fix in years. After
my "return" I remember that the doctor asked the nurse, "Who undid the
gauze from this girl's hair?" She answered, "Nobody. It probably fell on
the floor." The doctor continued to chide saying, "And her hair combed
itself, right? Move the bed and look for that gauze. I don't want any crap
on the floor in here. This is an ICU." They moved the bed and all the
apparatus and there wasn't a nurse or maintenance person who didn't ask
another who had combed my hair. The gauze was never found, nor did anyone
comb my hair apparently (it would have been difficult without moving the bed
because the headboard was fixed to a wall with a skylight above). The fact
was that my hair fell free and untangled toward the back, upon the pillow.
From time to time I have run into one of them in the hospital hallway and
they ask who had combed my hair, as if I was an accomplice to the act. How
could I explain to them that it had been my mother...
Was the kind of experience
difficult to express in words?
Yes The sensations, my ability to see clearly.
At the time of this
experience, was there an associated life threatening event?
Yes The "beep" of the monitor was no longer audible and a nurse said to a
doctor, "She's gone. It would have been hard for her not to go. What could
we expect." And they took me off the respirator.
At what time during the experience
were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness?
When I saw myself from above.
How did your highest level
of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal
every day consciousness and alertness?
More consciousness and alertness than normal
If your highest level of
consciousness and alertness during the experience was different from your
normal every day consciousness and alertness, please explain:
I have already explained this. I seemed to have a far greater field of
vision. I could see several rooms with their partitions. It seemed to me
everything was very illuminated and nothing cast shadows. The voices I
heard formed in my mind before I heard them. It was like hearing the ideas
before they were translated into spoken language and formed into sentences.
I also had the feeling of knowing everything. It was like if I wanted to be
unaware but I couldn't because I already knew everything.
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.)?
Yes I seemed to have a much greater field of vision. I could see several
rooms with their partitions. Everything seemed very illuminated and nothing
cast a shadow.
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 voices I heard
formed an instant beforehand in my mind. It was like hearing the ideas
before they were translated into spoken language and formed into sentences.
Did you experience a
separation of your consciousness from your body?
What emotions did you feel
during the experience?
The loss of pain and I didn't feel my breathing nor my heartbeats, nor
normal muscle tension.
Did you pass into or
through a tunnel or enclosure?
Yes Not a tunnel, but I did see darkness for about half a minute more or
Did you see a light?
Yes Light that at first allowed me to see myself and the medical team and
afterwards it grew and engulfed everything.
Did you meet or see any
Yes My mother. I have already described this.
Did you experience a review
of past events in your life?
Did you observe or hear
anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be
Yes During the experience it seemed my hair was being combed and when I
woke up someone had combed it, but no "mortal" admitted doing it nor saw
anyone do it. Not only that, but someone would have had to move the bed and
table to do it..
Did you see or visit any
beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions?
Did you have any sense of
altered space or time?
Yes, I lost the notion of time and space because there were no physical
limits to show that both these dimensions exist. There was only the desire
for eternal existence.
Did you have a sense of knowing
special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose?
Yes Here we are limited. The body is a prison and the real world is a
nest of germs and filth, of smells and volatile substances that now make me
nauseous, but it didn't used to be that way before my experience. I have an
excessive obsession for cleanliness, especially for clean bodies. Over
there, everything was sterile, unpolluted.
Did you reach a boundary or limiting
physical structure? No
Did you become aware of future events?
Did you have any psychic,
paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have
prior to the experience?
Have you shared this experience with
others? Yes A few
months afterwards. I told a friend, but just part of the experience. She
believed me, but I felt if I had told her everything she wouldn't have
believed me. So I didn't tell her more.
Did you have any knowledge of near
death experience (NDE) prior to your experience?
How did you view the reality of your
experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened:
Experience was definitely real I was conscious from the moment I began to
feel physical pain once again and to smell things. I didn't wait longer
because I was still in the hospital and knew for certain the difference
between being asleep, being awake, or being passed out.
Were there one or several parts of the
experience especially meaningful or significant to you?
The change of dimension, the sensation of emotions, cleanliness and pleasure
that in this life would be impossible to find.
How do you currently view the reality
of your experience:
Experience was definitely real Exactly the same as when I
experienced it, although I have reflected on it and have arrived at the
conclusion that this life is a kind of test. That this isn't really life
but rather what comes afterwards is.
Have your relationships changed
specifically as a result of your experience?
Yes My conceptions about family and marriage have completely changed, as
well as the emotions of relationships. Of course, I now see the whole world
as much more egoistic.
Have your religious
beliefs/practices changed specifically as a result of your experience?
No I was educated as a Catholic although I was never really a
practicing Catholic. I haven't seen anything that shows me there is a
superior being. There is a superior energy, but I still haven't seen a
Following the experience, have you had
any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced
any part of the experience?
Is there anything else you would like
to add concerning the experience? What
has shocked me the most is to find there are other people who have
experienced the same thing. This erases once and for all the suspicion that
I dreamed it.
Did the questions asked and
information you provided so far accurately and comprehensively describe your
There are sensations I have tried to describe and compare with earthly
experiences but there's just no way to do it.
Are there any other questions we could
ask to help you communicate your experience?
Yes. Ask what the experiencer would compare the sensations with. Perhaps
by presenting various points of view the experience can be explained in such
a way that those who haven't had an NDE can understand it better.