I had two failed brain surgeries, one on 01/12/2013, and the other one year earlier on 01/25/2012. The night after the second surgery, the nurse inserted a needle into the intravenous line in my neck (I don't know why the line she used was connected to my neck vein instead of my hand) to inject something that she later said was an anti-inflammatory medication. My husband was in the room. He reported that I said, ‘I am dying,’ and then had a violent convulsion, and passed out. I remember seeing myself dead. The image I saw looked like a pencil sketch drawn by a child. Then another sketch appeared, right beside the first one. In this one, I saw myself starting to breathe again. I said, or thought, to myself, ‘I am not dead.’ My husband says I only passed out for a few seconds. The ‘pictures’ of me that I saw are as vivid in my memory now as they were that night. And something strange: I didn't feel scared, just sad, when I thought I was dying.
Date NDE Occurred: 01/25/2012
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? No Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
How do you consider the content of your experience? Neither pleasant NOR distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes Not an event, but I saw myself starting to breathe. It wasn't like, for instance, a drowned person starting to breathe after rescue breathing, gasping for breath. I just felt that I was coming back to life after having been dead and resuming my normal breathing.
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness? Normal consciousness and alertness
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Before the injection, which was before the experience.
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
I had no awareness of time's passage.
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 quite aware and alert before the experience. I was thinking about everyday activities, even about the emails that I should reply to, and about my grandson. At that point, I didn't feel pain because of the pain killers I had been given.
I hadn't been told yet that the second surgery had also failed. I was so alert that as the nurse bent over me to insert the needle into my neck vein, I felt a little surprised, wondering why she wasn't inserting it in the tube connected to the regular serum bottle that was connected to my hand. That’s what she did with the other medicines like antibiotics and pain relievers. But before I had a chance to ask about it, she inserted the needle.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I remember the nurse, a slim, tallish young black lady, kissing me for the third time that night and telling me I was beautiful. I was a little bit surprised, and after she left the room, I told my husband, ‘If I wasn't so old, I would have considered the kiss and the comment a little bit inappropriate!’ My husband laughed aloud. But I didn't hear anything between when I passed out and when I came to. My husband says that during that time, he asked the nurse what had happened and she answered she didn't know. I didn't hear any of that little exchange.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
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
Did you see, or feel surrounded by, a brilliant light? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? As I said, I didn't feel fear. I just felt sad that I was dying. Then, when I saw my ‘dead’ picture, I felt sure that I was dead and felt a sense of resignation.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? No
Did you have a feeling of joy? No
Did you feel a sense of harmony or unity with the universe? No
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others
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? Uncertain I saw my image in the distance, as if I were looking at a picture on the wall.
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? Moderately important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Muslim I am a non-practicing Muslim. However, I belive in God and prophetic insipirations through scientific facts.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Moderately important to me
What is your religion now? Muslim I was grown with islamic teachings (in their simplest forms.) Later On, I studies about religion from totemism to formal religions.
Did your experience include features consistent with your earthly beliefs? Content that was entirely consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience I am a realist (maybe too realist.) Although the first thing comes to my mind when I think about death, is that, I won't be with or see my loved ones when I die. But I also accept the fact that death is inevitable, that my survors will live their normal lives after a while. I think the sadness I felt during my experiece and a sense of accepting death as a fact of living, conforms to what I felt about death before that experiece. However, I can't say with certaity,if I also felt sorry that I lost my life.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
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? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
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? 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? Uncertain Maybe accepting death as a fact.
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Are probably meaningful and significant
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife probably does not exist
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife probably does not exist No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I did not fear death
Do you fear death after your experience? I slightly fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant after your experience? Are probably 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? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Uncertain I believe I felt sad for leaving my loved ones.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Unknown I wish the question was ‘my principles’ was/were. In that case, I would say they were greatly important to me before the experience and they are greatly important now.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Yes I am attached to my loved ones more than ever. I am more careful about my treatment of them. My acute awareness of the presence of death has made me be less strict about the shortcomings not only of others, but of my own shortcomings, too.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No
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 more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience The experiece is so vivid that, if I was an artist, I could reproduce those images I saw of myself, exactly as they looked.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The experience has increased my attachment to my loved ones. I am a little more careful about my treatment of others.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my husband about an hour later. I told the nurse, the surgeon, and the doctors who saw me after the surgery about what happened during the experience, and sent letters to the head of neurosurgery about it. But I didn't give the details about the pictures and my feelings. However, my present neurologist asked about the details and I told her about images 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 viewed it as a blessed kind of death, compared to what I had seen of people dying after long periods of pain and suffering. I hope that death will take me the way I experienced it that night, not by heart disease, cancer or similar infirmities.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real My view has not changed from the night it occurred up to this date.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? First, I thank you for giving me the chance to describe and explain this rare experience. I have a question: I couldn't answer some of the questions with just ‘yes,’ ‘no,’ or ‘uncertain.’ For instance, the question ‘Have your religious beliefs/spiritual practices changed specifically as a result of your experience?’
I believe there is some difference between ‘religious’ and ‘spiritual.’ Moreover, whereas the definition of ‘religious’ is relatively clear, spirituality, as I see it, is a somewhat vague notion. There were a couple of other questions, which were not easy for me to answer, for the same sort of reasons. Thanks again.
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.