Here is my life's most important experience, first the events leading up to it, my parents' report of occurrences while I was away, my NDE, and finally how I feel about it.
Scene : 24/02/82, Sydney, Australia, 6;00 pm, I left my optical instrument repair firm to go home to Raymond Terrace (A town north of Newcastle, NSW.) My partner Mike was in the passenger seat, I was driving and a friend and part time employee, Steve, was in the back. Raining after 3 months Dry, I was driving along the Industrial Highway and slowing to stop at lights where exit road from BHP crosses highway; there, memory ends.
Reported by Mike (my ex partner): "As we approached the lights they changed to green; as we went into the crossing the car aquaplaned, speed 43 kph, we hit the large industrial power pole just after the intersection. Steve, who was laying on the mattress in the back of the panel van, became a missile. He was thrown forward into the back of Rene's head, driving her into the steering wheel."
Medical Info: Steve's spine was broken L4, he is a paraplegic. I suffered Fractures, Basal area, Frontal Lobe, Right eye socket, Right Zygoma, all depressed, 6 holes in dura. The steering wheel had broken, and spokes of steering wheel and indicator pierced the body in three places- through my throat up into roof of the mouth, and piercing my right upper and lower thorax. Mike suffered a small seat belt bruise.
My Mother Reported that: In the afternoon of 25/02/82 they were in the office of A Professor of Neurosurgery where the professor was reporting my death and that they should be grateful, as I would have been a vegetable had I survived. During this conversation a young frightened nurse came rushing into the office, blurting out "She is alive, she sat up and spoke!" The professor chastised her for interrupting them 3 times before taking her outside and lecturing her about "dead bodies" moving and making noises. The Nurse was emphatic, "She sat up and said "Don't give me any more Drugs!"" At this point my mother took the professor by one elbow, my father by his other, and marched them down the corridor to see. They found me in a back corridor where I had apparently been placed so the nurse could remove equipment prior to my transfer to the Morgue. I was in deep coma and breathing, I remained in coma for a further 10 days.
I don't know when in the above events my experience took place. I have no memory of the process of dying or leaving my body. I was moving head first through a dark m'lstrom of what looked like black boiling clouds, feeling that I was being beckoned to the sides, which frightened me. Ahead was a tiny dot of bright light which steadily grew and brightened as I drew nearer. I became aware that I must be dead and was concerned for Mum & Dad and my Sister, and somewhat upset with myself as I thought "They will soon get over it", like it was in passing just a fleeting thought as I rushed greedily forward towards this light.
I arrived in an explosion of glorious light into a room with insubstantial walls, standing before a man about in his 30's about 6 foot tall, reddish brown shoulder length hair and an incredibly neat, short beard & moustache. He wore a simple white robe, light seemed to emanate from Him and I felt He had great age and wisdom. He welcomed me with great Love, Tranquility, Peace (indescribable), no words. I felt " I can sit at your feet forever and be content", which struck me as a strange thing to think/say/feel. I became fascinated by the fabric of His robe, trying to figure out how light could be woven!
He stood beside me and directed me to look to my left, where I was replaying my life's less complimentary moments; I relived those moments and felt not only what I had done but also the hurt I had caused. Some of the things I would have never imagined could have caused pain. I was surprised that some things I may have worried about, like shoplifting a chocolate as a child, were not there whilst casual remarks which caused hurt unknown to me at the time were counted. When I became burdened with guilt I was directed to other events which gave joy to others. Though I felt unworthy, it seemed the balance was in my favor. I received great Love.
I was led further into the room, which became a hall and there coming towards me was my Grandfather. He looked younger than I remembered and was without his harelip or cleft palatet, but was undoubtedly my grandfather. We hugged, he spoke to me and welcomed me, I was moved to forgive him for dying when I was 14 and making me break my promise to become a Doctor and find a cure for his heart condition. Until that moment I had not realized I had been angry at him!
Granddad told me that Grandma was coming soon and he was looking forward to her arrival, I inquired why she was coming soon as she had been traveling from her home in Manchester, to NZ, To Miami for continual summer for a number of years! Granddad told me she had Cancer of the Bowel and was coming soon; Granddad seemed to have no grasp of time when I pressed for how soon. (Grandma was diagnosed 3 months later and died in August. I had upset my mother by telling her about it when I regained consciousness.) After Granddad and I had talked a while he took me further into the room which became a hall again and we approached a group of people whom I started to recognize.
The Person who first welcomed me came and placed his hand on my shoulder and turned me towards Him, He said " You must return, you have a task to perform.", I wanted to argue, I wanted to stay. I glanced back at Granddad and was propelled quickly towards the entrance, at the threshold where all became blackness, nothing, no awareness.
After: I awoke from my coma slowly over several days, remembering half dreamed memories of familiar voices and glimpses of faces. The clearest moments were several occasions where I would awake from deep sleep to find a nurse with a syringe and I refused any drugs, I have no idea why!
I had three lots of surgery to repair my face, skull, eye socket. Left hospital with Pain, double vision, anosmia, and damage to 8th cranial nerve which left me with nausea and disturbed balance. I was for two years angry at G-d, for sending me back in such torment, with a task to do without clues or instructions; only one thing a clear message I have no idea how to pass on, which is " It is time to live according to your Beliefs, whatever they may be, to put your House in order, for the End Times are upon us!" This can't be my task, there was no booming voice, or any way I know the message got there.
I am also unsure of the identity of the gatekeeper, no nametag, no introduction! It took me 5 years as a zombie, before I was able to rehabilitate myself. I have gainful employment, formed the Head Injury Society NZ. in 1987, and am paraded as the example of how well it is possible to recover from Acquired Brain Damage. I still don't know my task, still have pain, anosmia, diplopia, etc.
That's about it except to say that the memory of the NDE is more real than what I did yesterday.
More information about the author René:
René's Memories of Coma（http://www.waiting.com/rene.html ）
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.