I was 4 years old. As I recall it was in the summer or fall. I had been having difficulty breathing and in the evening I was taken to the emergency room by my mother and father. This wasn't unusual; I averaged a trip to the hospital at least once every two weeks. On one occasion I distinctly remember listening to a doctor advising my parents to stop caring for me and to let me die, telling that I was not worth taking care of due to the extremeness of my asthma and would be dead by the time I was age 9. Anyway, I was laying on an examination table, my parents were to the left of me. The door to the room was closed and I was in extreme pain. Every breath felt like burning razors were tearing through my lungs and throat. I don't remember the moment, I stopped breathing; only, all of the pain stopped and I found myself in a vast place. The air, if you could call it that, was filled with an unearthly white light. The place seemed to expand for all eternity. I do remember a being of light, God, standing near me. It was looming over me like a great tower of strength, yet radiating only warmth and love. Its first words sent a shock through me, 'Bobby, I'm sorry for the pain this meeting will cause you. When I created the Universe, I put rules and limitations in place. Every time you come here, it changes you, because this is your second time here. You will remember more than you're supposed to, and it will cause you more pain than you know. You will suffer as no one in your family ever has, and I can't change that.' As those words were spoken, if that's what you could call them, I caught glimpses of my life and felt pride, love, joy, and sadness, all pouring into me. Each images was of me, but from the standpoint of a being standing with me or looking on.I remember the conversation going on for an eternity, but in reality it only lasted a minute or two at the most. I remember a white light that seemed to pulsate and understanding that it was some kind of extension of God. It stored the moments of every moment and life. It allowed a mortal to experience them. If I was to label this, I would call it the Book of Fate, that contains all that has, is, and will be. Somehow I felt the light from that device and God merge to become one with me. I saw my life, all 128 years of it. I saw my mother die, and me being unable to do anything about it as I had moved away. I saw my sister struggling with depression and worse due to a rape she experienced in her mid 20's. I saw my father die a few years after my mother. I saw a home I'd built for my family, in a place halfway across the country,. This home was far away from my home. I also experienced the final moments of my mortal life. I was in a bed, I don't know where, my children and grandchildren were there with me. I remember thinking, 'It's finally done.' I remember feeling a horrible wave of sadness rip through me as I thought of my daughter who had died before me, and then I remember thinking of my wife. (Keep in mind I was 4 years old while experiencing the life experiences of an 128 year old man) I remembered the night we were married, the room was dimly lit and she was standing in front of me getting undressed. I remember seeing a strand of gray in her hair and then looking back on that moment, realizing how in that moment I had been reborn and everything was worth it. Then I realized I'd be able to see her and my daughter again, and gave into death for the final time. That wasn't the end though, I was shown the consequences of my life, thousands of people that I'd interacted with and felt what they felt about me, saw their life and how I had impacted them. Next I saw the consequences of my life and the influence of my actions. I saw people reading my books, teaching lessons to children that I had taught them. I remember waking up confused and trying to deal with everything. For a long time afterwards I struggled to deal with what I saw, every time my mom got sick, I wondered if it was time for her to die. I tried to always be strong, and in time eventually came to blame myself for my mother's oncoming death and sister's oncoming rape. I couldn't deal with the things I had experienced and it took nearly 29 years after this before I could begin to stop blaming myself and accept that I had nothing to do with those things. At the time of this writing, my sister was raped years ago, she got pregnant and then had a miscarriage. My mom had Alzheimer and stage 7 dementia, and is not expected to last another year. She entered the final stage about the same time I signed up with Teach For America and ended up half way across the country. My father is preparing for my mother's death and working on finding his final home, before it's his turn to die. As for me, I've been teaching for 14 years and have worked with nearly 10,000 children. I've also begun to write a book and the occasional article. I now live halfway across the country and have begun to consider dating.
Date NDE Occurred: Unknown
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function)
I had severe asthma and stopped breathing, this was actually the second time I had a near death experience, the first was when I was two, which I have only the vaguest of memories.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I saw my sister being raped 20 years before it occurred, my mother dying twenty-five + years before it occurred, (she's expected to pass within the next year.) I saw myself moving halfway across the country and now live in Oklahoma 30 years later.
I lost awareness of my body
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal At the time, I was legally blind, quite weak physically and had diminished senses due extreme asthma affecting my body's functions.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? During the experience, I could feel what God was feeling, see flashes of what would come and experienced the life of a 128-year-old man: my future self.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
In the space of a minute to two minutes, I experienced 128 years of life, and then a thousand years of other people's lives.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? Incredibly more vivid
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I was born legally blind, and at the age of four, I could only see about 12 inches in front of me before everything turned into a vast blur, during the experience, I could see everything perfectly.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I don't know if it changed at all.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
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 A white light, that seemed to permeate everything.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Weariness, agony, grief, longing, love, joy, belonging
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? incredible joy
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
The experience included: Special knowledge or purpose
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe I saw the thread that binds everything together and noticed patterns I hadn't even considered.
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
The experience included: Awareness of the future
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from the world's future I saw the consequences of my life and the effect they would have on the future of humanity.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Slightly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Other Christian My mother was Protestant, my father Catholic.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I focus on creating a relationship and not worship.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Other Christian I have more in common with the Christian Seeker movement, than any other aspect of Christianity; though, if I had to choose one traditional branch, it would be Catholicism.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I saw God; but God didn't care if I prayed, if I went to church, God only wanted a relationship and wanted me to be happy and know love.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I feel more in tune with existence and focus not so much on what I was doing, but what would be the consequence. It forced me to take a long view that lasted millennia.
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 A humanoid shape of pure, white light. I knew the moment I saw it, that it was God.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? No
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
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? Yes I saw my sister's rape, my mother's death, my father's death, me moving halfway across the country, the consequences of my life.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I experienced a connection to all things simultaneously and saw aspects of God's design.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God definitely exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes I met God and saw portions of his design. God definitely exists.
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? Yes I saw what humanity becomes, and my part in helping that to occur. All I'll say is that we don't go extinct, kill ourselves, or destroy ourselves. It still terrifies and feels me with joy, love and contentment. As a species, we're not remotely ready for that knowledge and I'll take it to my grave.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are possibly meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No I saw what humanity becomes, and my part in helping that to occur. All I'll say is that we don't go extinct, kill ourselves, or destroy ourselves. It still terrifies and feels me with joy, love and contentment. As a species, we're not remotely ready for that knowledge and I'll take it to my grave.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I remember just knowing that this wasn't the end of life, only a larger step; but what that means I can't say or really even begin to understand.
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? Greatly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Not fearful in living my earthly life
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? Yes
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes I saw all that I loved and cared for at the age of four, ending, and then I saw that despite the pain, it wouldn't be the end of everything, only a portion of a larger whole. It took nearly 30 years, before I could face that, and not blame myself for the things I saw happening.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes I remember God wanting us to be happy and not judging us. I remember seeing how love had given me the strength to endure and to grow.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Large changes in my life I used to be torn between trying to experience everything I could before the next trip to the hospital; afterwards, I was terrified of experiencing life due to somehow bringing to fruition the events I saw. I learned everything I could in the hopes of preventing those things, only when I'd labored to thwart what I saw and wholly failed, did I consider life to be worth living and start trying to find a partnership with God.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I used to keep everyone distant; I didn't want to get close to anyone after the NDE and watch them die. Once I started to come to terms with it, I focus more on inviting people into my life and cherishing the moment. It just took nearly 30 years to get there.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Explaining what God was like and the true depth of each image and feeling, is something I don't think anyone is truly capable of putting into words.
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 as accurately as other life events that occurred around the time of the experience. I've never been able to forget this event, and believe me, there have been many times when I wished that I could.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes After this, I could feel what others felt and experience fragments of their life.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Seeing the consequences of my life is the only thing that stopped me from committing suicide when I realized how much pain I had experienced knowing what would happen. After I stopped trying to fight what I saw, I started focusing more on living my life and felt more at peace than before.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it with a friend who seemed to take great solace from it and said that I was becoming the man I saw.
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 definitely real I knew it was real, and desperately wanted it not to be real.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real For nearly 20 years, I went from hating God to trying to come to terms with His design. After doing all that I could to thwart what I saw, and completely failing, I determined to find joy in my life and focus on the good, savoring each moment, well trying, anyways.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes Everything I saw, up to this point in my life, has come to pass, I tried with my heart and soul to stop those things, and it didn't matter.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? My experience nearly broke me as a person, it has, over the course of my life been something I did all that I could, to deny, prevent and finally am beginning to embrace.
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.