All I remember is being up above where the nurses and doctors were working on my body, and looking down and watching. It was not 'me' anymore. I was floating up toward a bright light. I saw angels with wings! I never saw God, but I knew he was there. I just knew. I talked to him but I don't know how, since I had no life form that I knew of. I begged God to let me stay on earth. I had a daughter who was just seven months old, and I was enrolled in college and planning a future. I begged God, 'Please let me stay! I need to raise my daughter! She is named Maria, and that was my grandmother's name. She was German and went by Mary, but her given name was Maria. Really, until now, I haven't thought of 'Mary, Mother of God!' I fell down, back into my body and then woke up several days later. One thing strange to me was when my body was no longer 'me', but at that age I had never even thought of dying or heard any stories of near death experiences or anything like that.
Date NDE Occurred: July 1973
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Uncertain Illness. Surgery-related. CPR given Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function)
I'm not certain about that question. My illness after the surgery was approximately three days later.
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 watched them doing what I know now were compressions, and they were using a bag valve mask to try and get me to breathe. I really did not care what they were doing to that body because it was not me.
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 Oh yes, I knew where I was going and did not want to go. I knew in my mind without question, and I was not usually secure or sure of myself at age eighteen.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Not when I was in my body on the hospital bed. Then I was aware only of the hustle and bustle of them working on my body.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
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. The beauty of it all! It was perfect, and there were the most clear, bright colors I had ever seen.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I talked and knew what I was saying, but I am not sure how I was talking.
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
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 That was where I was heading. It was a beautiful, calming light that I had never seen before nor since.
The experience included: A landscape or city
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Peace, no fear, and a strong need to return.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Incredible peace or pleasantness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
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? No
Did scenes from your past come back to you? No
The experience included: Awareness of the future
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 I came to a definite conscious decision to 'return' to life for my daughter.
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- Catholic I was raised Catholic- as a child till age 15 - attended Church- 8 times a week- never were there any stories-knowledge of this
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? Christian- Catholic do not attend regular
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 I really only believed - if you were good-you went to heaven and if mnot hell- never thought about the experience- so I had no thoughts of it- except I think I would be my body and not a free spirit
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain I still question it and have some fear.
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
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 My baby was in my thoughts and that was the only reason I wanted to stay- and I saw my body- even tho it was no longer me and did matter
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Uncertain I knew where I was going- even tho nothing was said to me- it was nothing I had seen before or ever thought of- Like I said age 18- you do not think of or consider death- My Mom had just turned her 40's age and I thought that was so old
Did you believe in the existence of God prior to your experience? God probably exists┬
During your experience, did you gain information about the existence of God? Yes Just a prescence - lik eme - I saw no body form of me or God- But I did see angels- and I talked to him in my mind- without speech
Do you believe in the existence of God after your experience? God probably exists
Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:
During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? Yes I was with GOD and I really never considered or thought about being with God.
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? Uncertain I just knew I was leaving the world - I lived in and was at peace with that- calming
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 probably exists Yes I knew I was going to my everlasting life- it was calm and peaceful
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I did not fear death
Do you fear death after your experience? I moderately fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Not 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? Slightly compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Moderately compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life Even though I went through the experience, I still want to be sure. I have lost so many, and just want to be sure that I will see them again. I FEEL THERE IS AN AFTERLIFE. But not certain, for I have read so many scientific explanations of the experience. I did know until I read things. It was not talked about at all in 1973.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No No
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I have only shared it with a few people and I felt uncomfortable, I'm not sure why.
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 I had been sick and aware and talked to people who had come to see me - But after I fell back into my body- I was not aware of anything for what seemed like an eternity- I remeber-My Mom told me that a nun -told her under any circumstances was she to leave me and that was hard as I had 4 siblings at the time forMomto stay
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? Getting to go back. Sometimes I think to myself, 'Karen, you might have given up the only chance you will ever have to go to heaven'
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Years before, I shared it with my younger sister. We were older and she was questioning about life after death.
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 probably real I believed it to be true once I was completely aware and awake.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was probably real There are all these explanations, for example, the metabolic changes that cause you to hallucinate.
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? My baby was in my thoughts and that was the only reason I wanted to stay on earth. I saw my body, even though it was no longer me and didn't matter. I knew where I was going, even though nothing was said to me. It was nothing I had seen before or ever thought of. Like I said, at age eighteen, you do not think of or consider death. My mom had just turned forty and I thought that was so old.
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