During the summer, I went as one of four chaperones for a youth group at our Presbyterian Church. The group, as well as chaperones, helped paint, and repair houses of people in need, in Tennessee. After a week of work, the youth and chaperones all went on a white water raft trip. There was an accident and the last raft of our group (there were several different companies and groups there) tipped and everyone in the raft (about 6 to7 people including the guide) fell into the water. The guide was very likeable, in fifteen years, he'd had no accidents and this accident was not his fault. It seemed to be the safest raft to go on and, as having had no experience with white water rafting, I decided that this would be the best one for me to go on, as well as believing our guide was the most likeable and the best. Going down the river, the current was so strong; I could not swim out of it. The safety vest saved me as I went down the river, I think. I would go down and then up, over and over again. I do not know about others' similar drowning experiences, but I was not afraid at all, as far as I recall. I might have been fearful, momentarily, when I saw that we were tipping and others were starting to fall into the water; and I thought that I was very probably going into the water. Down the river, I went. Up and down as I indicated. I had arrived late at the safety meeting before we went. No one should miss this, particularly if they have never done this before. However, I did. I had gone to the gift shop and just before leaving had seen and bought a rubber holder for my glasses. This saved my glasses and helped me see when I periodically went up and could see above the water as I am nearsighted. I did hear that, if necessary and in water, yell 'rope', not 'help'. This was because only newbies yell 'help'. Well going down the river and seeing no one, at first, I yelled 'rope', but after a time, seeing no one, I began to yell 'rope' and then 'help', alternately. Still no one came. The first gulps of water were somewhat unpleasant but gradually the gulps of water bothered me less and less. My swimming lessons helped in that I tried to float and that was good. The lessons also helped me towards the end of my experience. Just as I thought, one more time down, I would drown, a kayak rescuer shouted to me and I heard him. The moment prior to this, when I thought I would drown, I thought. 'I guess I am going to die'. I thought I had things to do yet, but thinking I would drown: I was looking forward to Heaven. Suddenly, nothing in this world meant anything to me. It was not that I cared, but rather, I no long believed I belonged to the earth. I was leaving it, but just then, the kayak man came along. He called to come to him and then indicated that I should swim to the shore, all of which I did. I had not realized it at all. I was no longer in the strong current. I could have swum out and saved myself, but then, I did not know this. Later, I found out that the head chaperone of our group who had been in the raft, also, was on land, safe at the time. He was going to jump in the water and try to save me. The kayak man told him that he could save me or him, but not both, so he did not. I always thought of him as heroic for that. Before the group had gone rafting, there had been many prayers for our safety. I, personally, was glad that it was me that went down the river, not only for the great realization and experience that I had. The youngest member of our group had not done so. I did not think that he would have survived it, but, then again, he might have, particularly considering the prayers. As an aside and funny thing was what the bus driver/owner told me when he took me down to the end of the white water rafting area. I could have continued on rafting, but did not. He said there was lemonade there for me to drink. I told him that I thought that I had had enough to drink for one day. He laughed.
Date NDE Occurred: 2005 about
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
A rafting accident.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Immediately before being rescued. In a way, it was.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Time seemed to go faster or slower than usual
Time did seem slower.
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. Vision about as usual.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. Hearing about as usual.
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
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? As above.
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? 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? No
God, Spiritual and Religion:
What importance did you place on your religious/spiritual life prior to your experience? Greatly important to me
What was your religion prior to your experience? Christian- Protestant Devout Christian.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Protestant Devout Christian.
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 As above.
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? Yes As above.
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Uncertain As above.
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? Uncertain As above.
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 As above.
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? No
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? An afterlife definitely exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists Uncertain As above.
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? Slightly 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 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? 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 Slight changes in my life.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Uncertain Slightly, maybe. I admire this one head chaperon more, as he was willing to risk his life to save mine.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No Only that the thoughts and feeling that I felt just prior to being rescued meant more to me than they ever could to anyone else, and no one can know what they meant to me.
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 It was very memorable.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes
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
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real It happened.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
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