In the dead of night, September 6, 1965, Hurricane Betsy had smashed into the Louisiana coastline and the eye of the storm was reported to hit my hometown straight-on. I was only ten years old and had heard many stories about the deaths due to Hurricane Audrey. It was clearly evident to me as a child that my parents were scared since they told us children that we were going to sleep in the same room.
With all the mattresses placed on the floor in my parents bedroom, we settled in for a violent, scary night. The electricity was out with no lights, no radio, and no TV. The wind kicked up and we started hearing the gusty noises outside.
My mother told us to try and sleep, but the house felt like a boulder was about to run through us like a bowling ball into pins. Some kind of projectiles started banging the back of the house; I think that it must have been playground equipment or trash cans. A tree fell through our kitchen window.
It has been a long time since then, but the next thing I remember is perfectly clear. My heart started to beat really fast, then it would stop, and then it would go out of rhythm. I believe that I started to die from pure fear. I was looking straight up at the ceiling and then all of a sudden, I heard a pop.
The next thing I recall, I was looking down at my body and the bodies of my parents. I knew that the storm was raging outside, but it didn't bother me. Then I felt some kind of presence. It wasn't human, but it wasn't not human. It was as if thoughts were in my head that wasn't me thinking them. I knew stuff without speaking. What I believe now is that I was being saved from the fear.
It happened once again in 1977. I developed a pulmonary embolism due to pneumonia. I was in the hospital and wasn't experiencing any pain. My parents had been called to my room. I knew that something was wrong when Father Marioneaux came with them, but still I really didn't think anything of it.
I remember feeling quite exhausted, even though I wanted to stay awake. I closed my eyes and suddenly my body started to slow down. It was as if everything was in slow motion. I knew I was going to die, but it didn't seem to matter. Like in 1965, I heard another pop, and now I was out of my body. But this time I started moving very fast through a tunnel. At first, the tunnel was very large and it sounded like a freight train. Something or someone was in there with me. I think I was frightened, but now I wonder if I am only frightened remembering it. The tunnel started to narrow like a funnel and I felt like I was headed for a destination. Then something most indescribable happened to me. I have never wanted to tell anyone because I was scared of being thought crazy. But what happened supersedes all my memory, and I can't get it out of my mind.
Please believe me when I say I am not religious. What I saw was emotion, light, and a being all rolled up into the same image. It was blue and white, and had the form of human. However, I don't think it was human. It felt male and female, goodness and happiness, love and joy, all at the same time. It talked to me, but with thought not words.
'Marilyn,' it said in a strange resonant voice, and yet I knew it was coming from my thoughts, 'The reason for pain is Love.'
Now, I know I should have spent more time with this Being, but all I could say to it was 'I have to go back. I have two children that need me.'
Popping back into my body was fast and easy, but the pain of life on earth hit me fast.
As I get older now, memories fade. But those two incidents replay in my head like a movie. Sometimes I wonder if they were dreams, but then dreams can't be replayed like they were real.
Date NDE Occurred: 7/23/77 1965
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Illness. Life threatening event, but not clinical death.
I am not certain whether you want to hear of all three events. The first was during a Hurricane/life threatening. The second was due to a pulmonary embolism/priest performed last rights. The third was not life threatening.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
The experience included: Out of body experience
Did you feel separated from your body? Yes Hurricane Betsy
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 I wish their were words to accurately describe. I was smarter.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? With the being.
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
I am not certain that time exists where I was.
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. It was a very long time a go. I don't remember my everyday then.
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
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere, as if by ESP? No
The experience included: Passing into or through a tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes I put it in the story.
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? A light clearly of mystical or other-worldly origin
Did you see an Unearthly light? Yes Bright blue with extra white at its core bringing images in my mind of a human, but not really human.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I don't remember during the experience, but immediately following I cried uncontrollably. It was a cry of joy.
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 definite conscious decision to return to life I wanted to see my children again.
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 Born into Catholic Religion. Not sure, now, what religion is for.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Not important to me
What is your religion now? No comment Religion is a man made concept; I'm not sure it occurs on the other side.
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 was young and didn't care about anybody's pain, not even mine.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain I am full of wonder about purpose.
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I heard a voice I could not identify. It was a voice, yet it was more like thoughts streaming into my head.
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? Uncertain I still feel like an individual.
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? Unknown
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? Yes Wow, I was young. So I am clouded as to what I experienced and what I now think of the experience. I have thought so many times about the message, 'The reason for pain is love.' Of the entire experience, it is the one true thing I know happened and believe with all my heart came from somewhere else.
Did you believe in an afterlife prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I greatly feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I slightly fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Greatly fearful in living my earthly life
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Greatly fearful in living my earthly life
Did you believe that our earthly lives Are meaningful and significant prior to your experience? Unknown
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? Yes I keep repeating what is in my story. It's just that pain, in any form, requires the help and love of another to transcend it. It's been so long since this happened.
Were you compassionate prior to your experience? Not compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes If I am looking at it now, and not thinking of the experience itself. I believe that pain is the lesson and love is the test. It's almost like we are in a school here on earth.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Unknown It was such a long time a go. I don't really know
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Actually, one thing is different. When I see someone in pain, and I help them, the gift is for me, not them.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes There are no English adjectives to describe the blue light. It was as though your heart would burst with kindness. I almost think that if we had those feelings all the time it would be unbearable.
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 two experiences are more vivid than any other life experiences. I only started to allow myself to talk about them when I read the book Sea Wolf by Jack London. He has a story of someone who falls off a boat and he descibes the same experience in that book and I thought maybe it was all real.
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 blue light. I would like to see it again.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes After 30 years, I had the courage to tell someone. It was because I had read Sea Wolf and realized that Jack London had the same experience or he could not have described it. I don't think the person believed me.
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 was worried I was crazy and upset that it may have been a dream. I want the light to visit everyone so I can be believed. I sometimes look up at night in my bed and beg the light being to come into my room. I guess it is a lot like praying, but not. I am scared that it was a dream.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was probably real. I have only one understanding right now. I hope it is real, for it makes sense as to why we exist. If everyone could see the blue being, we'd probably have a lot less problems. This seems simple, doesnt' it? Yet, I have no way to explain it.
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? No
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? Did you ever doubt yourself as to what you saw?