Experience Description

My experience is filled with a lot of random contents. At least for the first few weeks of my hospital stay.

But, to get on about my NDE, I think about it a lot. Here is what I can recall. I do not remember being taken into the operating room or anything else, because I was in a coma. My experience just takes off. Literally - I remember feeling that there was a physical shift. Something was different; I couldn't see anything at first. Then all of the sudden, I could see doctors and nurses all scattering and yelling. I remember a nurse, jumping on top of the table, performing CPR. And I had this sense of floating or flying, above them all. Watching. I don't ever recall looking at myself and feeling anything at all. It was almost as if I was watching it all happen to someone else and I just happened to be there. I find it odd that I had no emotions at all. Void of anything. I was just a spectator. Not even curious as to what would happen next.

Then I felt that sense of flying again. That was what I did for a period of time. You know, when you have an experience like this, time seems to go on and on. Anyway, there I was, flying around, no thoughts or feelings. Until I had my first thought.

I was flying in the pitch-black dark. When I realized that I was in the dark, that void of emotion was filled with incredible dread. Unlike anything, I have ever felt before. I had another thought! And that was: 'Hell'. And then a question: 'Am I in hell? Or, am I on my way to hell?'

But, it didn't last long, I don't think. Because very far away from me, appeared a light. It wasn't there before and now it was. Oh and it seemed miles away. It was like being in a tube. I think that was because of the way the light was. Like being stuck in a well that had a lid or something that kept all of the light out, and the lid being removed. I started to fly towards it and the closer I got, the bigger and brighter it got. It wasn't like daytime light or really like any kind of light I have ever seen before. It was almost blurry at first. It was brighter than I could ever explain. Perhaps foggy is better to say than blurry. Yes, foggy is better.

As I became adjusted to the light, not that I was blinded by it but it was almost as if I had to get past it, to see what was beyond it.

When I got beyond the light, I realized that I was in the backyard of my grandparent's home. My three year old son was there playing. He had also been in the wreck. He suffered brain stem trauma and was in a coma, at another hospital nearby. I did not know this of course. The last time I had saw him, Emergency Medical Services were dragging his limp/lifeless body out of the back window.

He was there. He was playing with bricks. That made sense to me and still does, because my grandfather would use brick pavers in his landscaping projects. He had a pile of them next to his shed.

I was overjoyed to see him. He didn't seem to be bothered or excited that I was there. He just kept playing with the bricks. I just watched him. I remember that the longer that I watched him, I started to feel differently. There still continued to be no thoughts per se, but, my emotional levels changed. Euphoria is the best word I can use. And that feeling of joy and happiness just seemed to climb. I didn't have that feeling of flying anymore, as I was there watching my son. I remember looking at him and feeling as though, I was memorizing every detail about him. The yard and all of its contents just seemed to be a backdrop. I didn't feel interested in it at all, just my son.

That time with him, seemed to last for hours. I never spoke a word, nor did he in all that time. We never touched either.

Then I began to think again. My thoughts were all related to how I was feeling. I did know or I did think that I had died. I felt that it was wonderful, it was a feeling of such unexplainable joy. The notion of being dead was just a matter of fact. It was like - okay, I have died and this is AWESOME. My kid is here, I feel incredible!!! But, soon after I began to think that way, I started to fly again and I started to move away from my son. It was as if I was dangling a few feet in the air over him now, instead of beside him. The emotions were still the same however.

Then he looked up at me and asked me if I wanted to play? And without hesitation, I answered, 'Yes.' He reached out his hand and I took it. And as soon as I did, everything felt like it was moving backwards at an incredible rate of speed. I was sucked back into that dark hole and it was dark. I didn't feel afraid, I felt sad - I didn't want to come back. I wanted to stay in that place. I knew this had happened to me.

When I was able to speak, it was the first thing that was on my agenda, after I got my first drink of water in over a month. Even when I think about, or talk about it now, I still want to be in that place. My son lived. I, of course, lived. My friend died on impact in that wreck. I have spent fifteen years in pain. I have felt guilty and have done a lot of self-destruction to my family and myself. I have been angry, sad - you name it. Now it's just a matter of living each day as it comes. But, I can tell you that I do not fear death at all. When my children ask me questions about death or religion, religion, no longer consists of a Bible. My experience with death, now, that is something I know for certain, happened.

Thank you for your time.




Question - it is very unusual to encounter people in the NDE who are alive at the time of the NDE, as was the case with your son in the NDE. Did your son have any memories during the time he was unconscious after the car accident?

Best regards,

- Jeffrey Long, MD


Shawna's Response:

If he did, those memories would have been lost a long time ago. Or, if not lost at that time, he had no way of communicating to anyone.

He was three at the time of the wreck and is now a TBI (traumatic brain injury). His coma was onset of injury and lasted for some time. He experienced what they call 'lost time'. You may or may not know; everything learned up until the crash, was lost. He even had to be bottle fed, once he awoke. He suffered brain stem shearing and was not expected to live. All of his basics: speaking, crawling, feeding - he was like a newborn baby.

We were also taken to two different hospitals. I was sent to a trauma center and he was a few miles away at a children's hospital. My mother kept vigil with him, keeping with her, a pager so they could notify her about my status and friend kept vigil with me.

We were reunited three months later, when I was transferred to the rehab center. He had been there for a month already. They thought that if we could be closer and be able to see each other, that maybe we would heal faster.

The injuries that we sustained were massive. The emotional trauma was always greater. And when I think back on my NDE, I believe that he was there already, maybe in his transition period. Perhaps his soul was taken to a familiar, safe place. Maybe he was waiting for me? I don't know. But, when he asked me to play, and I took his hand, I felt as though he was giving me reason to come back to this world. I have always thought of it that way.

Now, he is almost eighteen years old. He remembers seeing ghosts. The memories that he has, were about a year and half after the wreck. He claims to have seen dead people around him. That is all he says about it. Even then, at five, he still had a hard time speaking. But, he was terrified to sleep alone.

Thank you for responding to my story.

I have never heard of anyone seeing people that were alive either. It is all very interesting. And it changes your life. You cannot make it out alive and not have a million questions. So many people just pass it off into a 'blind faith'. I don't know how they can.

I don't know if I told you in my original story but my friend died on impact in that wreck. We were hidden for eight hours before we were found. I was conscious the entire time. Only finally fading out as the Emergency Medical Services team used the Jaws of Life to get me out of the wreck. I spent those hours in the middle of the night, singing songs to my son, hoping that if he was alive, that the sound of my voice would comfort him. I sang those songs, screamed for help and laid there dying, with the dead body of my friend, laying on me.

I knew all along that she had passed. When I was in the coma, she was there with me. Even me knowing she was dead. And when I finally awoke, I would see her sometimes walking past my room. She would just stare at me and I her.

I believe that when you cross over, that something happens to you. Perhaps your brain becomes more fine-tuned? Something - I don't know - it stays with you. I think that we open doors that can never be closed again.

Thank you again.

- Shawna.

Background Information:

Gender: Female

Date NDE Occurred: 10-29-1995

NDE Elements:

At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident. Surgery-related I was in a car accident. The experience took place during one of my surgeries. Clinical death (cessation of breathing or heart function or brain function) At the time of the event, I was in surgery. They had tried to take me a few times before but I just was not strong enough. I had multiple breaks from my ribs down to my toes. I had multiple organ failures and so on. They were just trying to put me back together, enough to keep me alive I suppose. No one thought that I would live. They had to stop all of the internal bleeding. That was the mission. They had not been able to keep me stable enough, the few days prior to take me into surgery. The original accident was on 10-27-1995. I was also in a medicine induced coma at that time.

How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful

The experience included: Out of body experience

Did you feel separated from your body? Yes 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 During the flying time I suppose.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? During the flying time I suppose.

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 I knew that I was not in the world. And I did feel like I was very far away from the world as I know it to be.

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. I will say that my clarity was in top performance. I am not sure really. When I watched my son, I felt like I was seeing him differently. And that I could etch his face into my mind. I felt like I was doing that.

Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? Yes, and the facts have been checked out

Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Yes When I was in the darkness and saw the light, the darkness felt less like an infinite darkness and more like a tunnel.

Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes My son. He was alive during my experience. He was in my grandparent's back yard. The only communication was his question to me, if I wanted to play? And my response to him that I did. And touching, grabbing hold of each other's hands.

The experience included: Void

The experience included: Darkness

The experience included: 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 The light was incredibly bright. I don't recall feeling like I couldn't look into it. As I got closer, I could tell that there was something beyond it. So, there was like a foggy cast within the light and once I got past it, everything was crystal clear.

The experience included: A landscape or city

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No

The experience included: Strong emotional tone

What emotions did you feel during the experience? Fear, dread. Sadness at the end. But, during - joy, euphoria, a sense of peace and calm that I have never known.

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? Everything about the universe

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? Scenes from the world's future

Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a barrier that I was not permitted to cross; or was sent back against my will

God, Spiritual and Religion:

What was your religion prior to your experience? Moderate Christian

Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes It just didn't feel like there was such a place as heaven. My experience wasn't what I was taught it would be like. It made me believe more that we are all just energy and that once we leave our bodies, that we are freed from all of the worldly burdens. I continue to question, why our minds stay with us? But, who knows. Perhaps even that goes, I didn't get to stay there, and I was forced to come back.

What is your religion now? Liberal 'I have no answers. Know nothing to convince me in any direction. But, I do however, have a million questions.'

Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes It just didn't feel like there was such a place as heaven. My experience wasn't what I was taught it would be like. It made me believe more that we are all just energy and that once we leave our bodies, that we are freed from all of the worldly burdens. I continue to question, why our minds stay with us? But, who knows. Perhaps even that goes, I didn't get to stay there, and I was forced to come back.

Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin

Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I actually saw them

Concerning our Earthly lives other than Religion:

During your experience, did you gain special knowledge or information about your purpose? No

Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? No

After the NDE:

Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes What makes it difficult to express is the emotion that I felt during that transition. There are words but none of them seem to capture any of it.

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 seen my dead friend. Not in dreams. It doesn't feel like a dream when she comes or anyone else that I may see. My grandfather passed away in 2001 and he comes to. It is always like a visit. We talk about things that are happening in my time. Once he talked to me about 'heaven'. I have had times, where I am pretty sure that I see what I call 'shadow people'. But, that is a whole other issue. There have been times and at certain points in my life, these periods of time lasted for months, when I would dream about being taken over by dark forces and then being saved by a lighter force.

It does not feel good. It feels evil. For someone that doesn't believe in heaven or hell, it always feels like a fight for my soul. I have heard my friend laugh a few times. Toys have gone off on their own, my blinds have been pulled back as if someone is looking out of the window, they stay held for a few seconds and then are let go. I have woken up to a helium balloon being held right in front of my face and once I was awake, it floated back and secure to the vase it was tied to. I have felt something, like a weight on my bed as if someone is sitting down beside me. Sometimes I feel like there are people around me.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The time with my son. Being with him, I felt like I had just given birth to him. Seeing him and loving him so much. And the emotions about being where I was are the most significant.

Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes Right away. I don't think they were influenced really. It just makes them worry about 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 believe that I died. I believe that I was on my way to somewhere else. I think that seeing my son was a detour. That he was a reminder, a reason to continue to live. And that is why we were brought together.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I feel the same now.

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? Not with this experience but when I was ten years old, I was in a car wreck with my step-father. We were hit by a drunk driver. I was in the back seat of his car. He was a police officer and had picked me up from the skating rink that night. The date was July 27, 1984. He died on impact. The car rolled a few times and while it was rolling, time froze for a second - and I saw a white and gold colored light covering his entire body. Months later, I was at home in bed, and I was afraid of the closet in my room. The latch would never catch so it stayed cracked open a little. I woke up one night, because I heard a noise and when I looked at the closet, the light came out, floated to the foot of my bed and stayed there for a moment. All my fear was gone and I was never afraid of that closet again.