During the surgery, I could feel the surgery happening. I could feel the strange feeling of scissors cutting flesh and organs. I could feel that the pain is deep and not quite understanding what was happening. I wanted to tell my husband that 'subconscious does not sleep under anesthesia; conscious can be put to sleep'. Though I was under anesthesia and my doctors did not believe me later when I told them, as they felt if I could feel the pain then they would have known. But, I suddenly felt the pain going away and felt as if I was flying at rocket speed inside a dark tunnel. I could not stop myself. I tried to stop and a voice told me this is death. I could not make out whether it was a male or a female voice. But the voice was guiding me through the tunnel. I started to resist saying 'I have a son; I can't leave him and go. He is sick. He needs me.' The voice started telling me that I have ‘nobody and nobody is mine. We are all alone in the journey. We do learn our lessons and move ahead. There are no attachments’. I insisted that I have a son. The voice asked me 'If you have a son, what is his name?' I could not answer as I had forgotten his name. I tried but could not recognize him and his name. The voice told me ‘he has his own journey and he will get what he has to’. I have nothing to do with his life. All this while, I was moving in a great speed, which I could not control at all. I tried to talk about other family members but could not say anything, as the speed was too much for me and I could not hold on at all. I could see far away a very faint light and knew if I reach there, I will never be able to come back. I was resisting. Suddenly I felt the voice telling me 'you are not dying' and we started to slow down. Then the voice told me I was not dying and would stay in this life. The voice told me so many things, which I could not remember, even though I tried hard to remember. I don't know when I came back to my senses, but I could not close my eyes for more than a two days, because I felt the moment I close my eyes I will die. My husband, mother and sister then tried their best to put me to sleep but I could not. They had to put their hand on my eyes to close them.
Date NDE Occurred: May, 2004
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes While under general anesthesia. Life threatening event, but not clinical death.
I was undergoing a hysterectomy due to severe pelvic infection. During the surgery, it was discovered that my appendix had burst and my entire system was being infected. My blood pressure was extremely low during the surgery and my situation became quite precarious.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I could feel the surgery happening. I could hear the sounds of metal and scissors cutting into the flesh. I could see my husband sitting in meditation pose.
I clearly left my body and existed outside it
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 I was more focused and my mind was not wandering into different thoughts. I was focusing on the situation then and now, but was also trying to focus on my family.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Around the middle of the experience, I felt that I could not control the speed and the voice started to communicate with me. I could feel everything down below but could not see as I was focusing on the tunnel to see where I was headed.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
It was at a great speed, which I could not control. I felt a strange vacuum and I was extremely light.
Were your senses more vivid than usual? More vivid than usual
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. My vision was clearer and I could feel the redundancy of controlling situations and things. I felt I couldn’t control anything.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. It was clear, deep and undisturbed. There were no other sounds.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes I was mid-way into the tunnel when I came back. I could see a faint light far away but could not go closer as I knew if I reach there, I would never be able to come back.
Did you see any beings in your experience? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Uncertain I could not recognize the voice.
The experience included: Darkness
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? Yes A faint yellowish bluish light
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I was anxious and worried for my son.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? I felt united or one with the world
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others I realized that nobody is actually mine. My son too was not mine, and that we can't control anything.
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
The experience included: Boundary
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes I could feel that, after a point we just move out of the realm we live in, and move far to another realm.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a definite conscious decision to return to life I did not want to go and was resisting. I wanted to get back to my life. But initially it was extremely difficult, but later I slowed down and came back.
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? Hindu I was following Buddhist practice- Reiki & Meditation
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I was not an atheist but did not quite understand it. So did not follow any path until before the surgery when I started believing in Buddhist practice and philosophy.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Hindu
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I have more faith and trust in self and others. I’m more patient and at peace than before.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I heard a voice I could not identify I could hear a voice communicating with me; but could not identify whether it was a male or a female voice.
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.)? Uncertain Since I could not see anyone, I only heard the voice. I don't know whose voice it was.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes Yes it does. We are part of the whole and it’s not the way we see God but all pervasive energy field around us within us and beyond us.
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? I was uncertain if God exists
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? No
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 Everyone has a purpose we need to learn and move on. We will get to know our lessons if we want to.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? Yes Purpose is to just learn and move on. There are no relationships.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? I was uncertain if an afterlife exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Uncertain Because the voice talked about our attachments in life, which means, actually, nothing in reality. The people are all coincidental and the situations are only to take the learning and move on. But it did not talk about future.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
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? No
During your experience, did you gain information about life's difficulties, challenges and hardships? Yes It is to just learn and move forward.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
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 Lots changed for me. I started trusting my own instincts. I started trusting my situation and myself. I became more at peace with myself and I see things as a part of a larger picture.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes I now see everyone as an important part in my journey.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I still can't explain it well, because it was more at a feeling level, which I can't give words and expressions.
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.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes I have become more aware and intuitive.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Every part of the experience was meaningful.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes With my friends, family and spiritual group
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 It was so real that I could not believe myself that I was living.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? It was quite forceful and initially painful, too.
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.