It was a humid summer's day and the sky was gray. It was like any regular day, except my twin sister was not with me. My two older sisters and I went to an inlet on the Missouri River to swim. The inlet had tree limbs and my sisters could touch the bottom with their feet. I was swimming from one side to the tree limbs on which my eldest sister was sitting. I was pulled under the water very quickly and could not see the surface of the water or reach the surface. My sister had been frantically searching for me in the water and had grabbed me by my hair and pulled me out of the water. I remember coughing and throwing up water while my sisters laughed at me. I also remember feeling angry about that hand and coming back here. I was confused about that light and intense love, so much so that I wondered why I had to be snatched from it to hear my sisters laugh at me. I did not get back into the water.
Date NDE Occurred: 8/31/80?
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Drowning. Life threatening event, but not clinical death.
I was swimming in the Missouri River when I was pulled under water by the under- current and was drowning.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Both pleasant AND distressing
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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 I was very alert to the fact that my hair was being grabbed and that I was being separated from complete love.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When I was grabbed by the hair by my sister
Were your thoughts speeded up? Faster than usual
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
Time was not measurable or even meaningful during my experience.
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 light during the experience was so bright it was very hard to see where it began and ended, in my everyday life my vision would have been able to conceive if the light was the sun or a lamp.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. When I went under the water, I could hear the water rushing around me, when I began going into the tunnel there was no noise, it was a deafening silence.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
The experience included: Tunnel
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes I felt as if there was a tugging in the tunnel, a drawing near something bigger than life itself.
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 There seemed to be no beginning or ending point to the light. It was warm, inviting, and loving...all knowing and complete.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Pure, unadulterated love and completeness.
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? 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? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Secular unaffiliated
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes My beliefs have evolved over the years, from wondering who the real God is, to knowing that the real God is within me and me, in God. I am more spiritual.
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Unaffiliated- Nothing in particular- Religious unaffiliated
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 knew there was a God and I was loved, but never felt it.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Uncertain Since this experience, I have come to understand that it brought about many changes. I learned to love without expectation. I slowly became aware of my actions and how, in the bigger picture everything affects everyone. That God is LOVE.
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
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? Yes I was no longer empty or alone. I felt a non-ending love and a part of it.
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 Pure love. God definitely exists
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? 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 Yes I felt complete and whole.
Did you fear death prior to your experience? Unknown
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Unknown
Were you fearful living your life after your experience? Slightly 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? Yes I experienced pure love through my entire soul, spirit and essence.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Since this experience, I have come to understand that it brought about many changes. I learned to love without expectation. I slowly became aware of my actions and how, in the bigger picture, everything affects everyone. That God is LOVE.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Yes More forgiving, and I appreciate all life, because we are all in God and God is in all.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes I could not tell my sisters, it's difficult to explain such love and connection in words that can be understood, feelings and the experience of it and the loss of it.
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 dreams that sometimes come true.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? Just one...Feeling such love again is my hope, it gives me a certain desire to return.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I shared it with my twin sister that same night, but she didn't believe 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 It was certainly not an experience that could be felt on earth; I felt that it was a gift.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I know the experience was real; I have had three NDEs, each one different in context and each one more revealing. All of which have made me a more loving, compassionate person.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? No
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.