I was donating blood for the first time at the age of 18. I was very excited about this because my mother was a lifelong blood donor and it seemed like a grown up thing to do, so it was like a rite of passage into adulthood for me.During the donation process, I was given a rubber ball to squeeze. What I didn't know was that I was to squeeze it a few times during the process. Instead, I squeezed it rapidly to speed things up. After donations, we were led to the snack table to get juice and crackers. I began to feel woozy and proceeded to lay my head down on my arms to rest (or so I thought, my friend later told me I never put my head down but slipped out of the chair and on to the floor). I believed at the time that I had laid my head down and was taking a brief nap. Immediately, I was having the best dream EVER. I was in a vast open field, where there were people all around. I couldn't see them but sensed their presence in my periphery. The sky was the most vivid blue I had ever seen and the grass was the most amazing color of green and appeared to be alive. It was swaying, although there was no breeze. The clouds in the sky were the softest, puffiest white down. The colors were almost indescribable. I felt the strongest sense of love, as if someone had taken a warm blanket and swaddled me in love. I looked ahead and saw two people running towards me, waving frantically hello, like they couldn't wait to reach me. I was running towards them with the purest sense of joy. As they got closer, I recognized them as my maternal grandparents, both of whom passed away before I was 4 years of age. I have very few memories of them in life. When we reached each other, we embraced and jumped up and down, laughing and twirling around with excitement. There was so much joy. There were no words, but the feeling of love and joy in the purest form was intoxicating.I remember hearing someone calling my name. At first, it was very faint but became louder and more persistent. I remember thinking that I wanted to 'sleep' longer, that I wasn't ready for this dream to end but the voice calling my name was getting louder and more insistent and at the same time, I was physically being pulled farther away from my grandparents each time my name was called. They were smiling and waving goodbye while sending beams of love to me. I hated to wake up. I heard my name called one more time and felt really cold when I opened my eyes and saw a nurse standing over me as I was laying on a hospital gurney. They told me I had 'passed out' which I believed. Since I had never passed out before, I suspected it was more. When I would find out that, someone I knew had passed out I would always ask if they remembered anything and never once did anyone have a memory of a dream. I don't know how long it was after that I read NDE accounts that the descriptions were all similar to my experience EXCEPT I saw no tunnel or white light. The vivid colors and the feelings were all the same. It was 10 years before I told anyone my experience. For one, because putting it into words cheapened it somehow and couldn't do it justice and I didn't want to be considered crazy.
Date NDE Occurred: 1988
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Not sure. I believed I passed out but I have never met anyone who has 'passed out' and had an experience like mine Other Not sure. I believed I passed out but I have never met anyone who has 'passed out' and had an experience like mine
I donated blood but I don't know what happened to cause the experience.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes I could hear my named being called.
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 My senses were heightened; colors and feelings were vivid. No verbal communication was necessary.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? From the beginning until I heard my name called.
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
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. Everything was very crisp and clear.
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 recall hearing anything but my name being called.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
The experience included: Presence of deceased persons
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes Maternal Grandparents.
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? No
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm Again, a vast field of vibrant green, with intensely blue sky overhead.
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Love, joy, excitement
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
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
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will More that I was pulled back.
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Not important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Secular unaffiliated Was not raised in a religious household. I went to Sunday school as a small child, I suspect to give my Mother a break from me for one morning a week!
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Uncertain Constantly working that out.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Other or several faiths Spiritual, not religious.
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
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I have a definite belief system which I did not have at the time.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them
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? 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? I am uncertain if God exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No
Did you believe that our earthly lives are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
During your experience, did you gain information about the meaning of life? No
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 No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not 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? 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? No
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes It was everywhere
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life For years I believed that this was a common experience that people have when they pass-out, faint or black out. It has taken a long time to realize what a gift it was. I would say if anything, the love or joy I have felt since then has paled so much in comparison to what I felt during that experience that I have been disappointed.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Uncertain I was young and excited about life at the time. I don't recall that changing.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes Words can't accurately describe it because we have nothing in our experience to compare it to.
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
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Yes
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes 10 years later. I told someone who lost a child to cancer about it, as a way of sharing. She believed in the afterlife so I think she was comforted to hear it.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain I don't recall having any knowledge or interest in NDE at the time.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was probably not real I was convinced it had to be a dream but couldn't shake the feeling it was more than that.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Being older and reading other NDEs I KNOW what I experienced was real.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
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