I had gone swimming at a canal with my older sister, her boyfriend, and his brother. I was seven years old and we were all taking turns jumping off a concrete platform that had a ten-foot-wide waterfall. The waterfall produced an intensely strong underwater current. When I dove in, the current picked me up and swirled me around and around and around. As I swirled around, I couldn't help ingesting a whole lot of water. Suddenly I left my body! I found myself watching my body from just below the waterline. Even though I realized I must be drowning, I had no fear and no concern about it. As I watched from above, I saw what is described as ‘my life passing before my eyes.’ I had never heard this term before, but I saw every moment of my life, as if I were watching a movie. I was only seven, so there was no sin to account for, no lessons to learn, but I did see a complete life review. It couldn't have taken more than a few seconds. My sister noticed that I had not surfaced, and had her friend Sonny jump in and pull me out. They rolled me over and pushed down on my back to get the water out of my lungs. After a few minutes, I recovered. I feel certain that when I left my body, it was because I had been close to death. Although I did not see, feel or hear anyone around me during that time, I did not have a sense of being alone and I was not afraid at all. I had complete peace the whole time. Since then I have never feared death. I'm not looking forward to the process of dying, of course, but I do not fear being dead in the physical sense. Even when I am sad about losing people very close to me, I am at peace, knowing that they are okay and that I will see them again. That has really been a gift. It has prevented me from suffering the severe depression many people go through, feeling that they have lost their loved ones forever. Since my near death experience, I feel secure and comforted about the continuance of life. I know my deceased loved ones are not truly dead. They have merely entered the human spirit's next realm of existence.
Date NDE Occurred: 1969
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Drowning 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
I was drowning and was pulled out of the water just prior to the death of my physical body.
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? No I was not aware of anyone else. I didn't see the other people that were present at the scene. My sister and two friends were there, but I did not see them at all. I was aware only of my body swirling in the current and the ‘me’ that was hovering a few feet above.
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 There is no comparison. All earthly concerns vanished. Knowing that I was about to die physically was no big deal! I had complete peace.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? As I hovered above my body, I was completely dissociated from it. It really had no importance to me at all. I had no fear. There was just a complete sense of peace.
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
My life review covered all seven years of my life and it lasted only a few seconds in real time!
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. I had been concerned about going swimming there because my mother had forbidden us to ever go swimming because she was terrified that one of us would drown. Her dad had worked as a water rescuer and he would be called when someone had drowned. He had to go and recover the bodies. My mother grew up knowing exactly what Daddy was going to do when he got his diving gear. This created a deep emotional issue for her and we were never allowed to go swimming. And that's what we had done, slipped off and gone swimming. But, even in light of this issue, when I was in that other dimension, I was not concerned about what would happen if I were to die there in the water that day. There was no fear at all.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I heard all that was said during my ‘life review.’
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? I was at peace and had no fear. It was surreal even at that age. It was an amazing event, and yet at the same time, everything about it seemed so completely natural to me.
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
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about myself or others
The experience included: Life review
Did scenes from your past come back to you? My past flashed before me, out of my control
Did scenes from the future come to you? No
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- Protestant I was raised in church but really had no real knowledge except that I have, as long
as I can remember, always had an inner knowing that God is real and I've always believed that Jesus is my Savior.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I'm much more informed about spiritual truths. I have no use for man-made religion, it is just repetition. I believe it can hinder our relationship with God. There are many good teachers, but there is none better than God himself. I seek truth and I know it when I hear it. I have found that many churches actually hinder people's understanding of God. There are others that actively seek to know and serve God and his children. There are good and bad churches.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant
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 was too young to really have any real knowledge or concrete beliefs at the age
of 7 years old. I had never thought about life after death or death at all at
that age because I had not experienced the death of anyone close to me at that
age. So I had no opinion or experience with these issues.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes This experience gave me a comfort and an assurance that I would not have had if that had not happened. It did give me a perspective that formed the way I would live my life as I grew up.
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 This life was the only life I saw or reviewed or had any memory or awareness of.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No It was after that as I grew older that I had an inner knowing that we are all
one and a part of one another and all that we do in the flesh for good or for
bad will come back to us when we die and we will feel all we have done in our
own body and we wi
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:
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? Unknown
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Yes I just knew that if I did die in my physical body that my spirit, the me that was
watching from above would continue to live and I was totally at peace with the
fact that I was drowning.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I did not fear death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not 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 Not at the time of the experience but since then I have always had a deep love
for all of humanity and animals. I am very sensitive to the emotions of all
people even if I do not know them. I feel for all and would heal all that ails
humanity and animals if I could. I know that we are all one creation and if
we knew who we are and how much we are loved and valued bu our creator life here
on earth would be Heaven on earth. There would be no illness, pain, death, hatred or war. we would love and care for all others as much as we have ever loved anyone in our life.
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? No
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Slight changes in my life I've always had an inner knowing and trust that God existed, but I was too young to have given it much thought. After my experience, I had great comfort. I knew that God loved me and was always with me. I know now that no matter what this life brings, it will all work out, because God has it all under control. I trust that he will make everything work out for the good of all mankind.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes Yes
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 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 always had that ability as long as I can remember. I have an inner knowing of things in the real world that I should have no knowledge of. My family has a history of having extra sensory perception. I actually believe it is the voice of the Holy Spirit guiding me. When thoughts ‘pop into my mind,’ they are always correct. Those thoughts have actually saved my life on three separate occasions. If I had not heeded those ‘pop up’ thoughts, I would not be alive today. Only God could have had the knowledge about what was about to happen such that my life could be saved.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Just the fact that it happened has made all the difference in my life. I know without a doubt that I will never die and that even when I don't get it right, God still loves me and he will not destroy the life force that he created as ‘me.’ He has infinite love for me and all of his creations. He values us because we are of him. There is nobody in the universe that can change who we are. We have come into existence through God's eternal love.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my mother and I've shared it with many others. They usually just think I'm weird. If people have not experienced, or even heard of such events, they look upon what I tell them with doubt and scorn.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened? Experience was definitely real I never had any doubt that it had really happened. I knew it was real and I could recount every detail of it, then and today! It lasted less than one to two minutes, but it was long enough for me to leave my physical body. Prior to that event, I had no idea that was even possible! Now I have no doubt it happens to everyone who comes close to dying and especially those who do die. I know that everyone survives the death of the physical body.
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? Uncertain My other close calls have reminded me that there is no promise of tomorrow for any of us. We should be mindful of every single day and not ever take life for granted. Life is a gift and should be appreciated as the gift that it is.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I think it covers just about everything, but it repeats many questions. It does cover all of my experiences very well. Thanks for allowing me to share my own near death experience and for bringing comfort to others.
God bless and keep you always.
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.