I have never been able to recall the car accident. I recall all of a sudden being aware and knowing that I was dying. It was quiet and peaceful. I didn't feel any pain, just a quiet peaceful feeling. I felt like I was somewhere outside my body. I told myself 'Well I guess I am dying.' I wasn't emotional about it. Then I remembered my year old son. I didn't want to die. I began to pray. I told God I couldn't die because I had a baby to raise. I still wasn't really emotional. I was just explaining why I couldn't die yet. I only said it a couple of times. 'I have a baby. I can't die yet.' Then there was a voice from Heaven, the best way I can describe it, very beautiful and wonderful, and all he, God, said was 'Shea, you're not going to die.' It was the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. I cannot describe it. But I will know it when I hear it again. Then I felt more than peace. I felt absolutely wonderful. I saw my husband on a table wherever he was in the hospital. He was in the wreck with me. I guess that was a vision and I knew he was going to be fine. I was happy and feeling wonderful.All of a sudden, I felt kind of a rush and I was aware of my body, crying out in pain, I WAS in pain and trying to fight the medical people working on me. The next thing I knew, my dad was leaning over me, telling me I was in God's hands now. I could hardly breathe. I was on the way to surgery. I wanted to tell my dad I wasn't going to die. He heard my attempts to talk and put his ear next to my mouth. I said 'Jesus said I wouldn't die.' He backed away and looked at me. That's the last I recall. I was in ICU for a week where all I recall was pressing the pain button and someone would come and give me morphine. I was in the hospital another week before I left - probably a bit too soon, but I wanted to get back to my husband and child, so I stayed with my parents a couple of more weeks before going home.
Date NDE Occurred: 'March, 1975'
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Accident 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
My injuries in the car accident were such that the doctors told my family I wouldn't make it through surgery. I was knocked out, had a concussion, but that was the only head injury I had.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Entirely pleasant
The experience included: Out of body experience
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 felt like I had communed with God. At the time, I attended a Church of Christ, where I was baptized. We had 'communion' every week. The bread and wine 'represented' the body and blood of Christ. But this was different. It was like I was lifted beyond my normal level of consciousness and into a place I had never been and have not been there since.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? That would be when God spoke to me. When I realized I was dying, it was a different feeling than I have ever had. In a way, I felt more alive than ever. At least more aware, less distracted -yes, a higher level of consciousness. When God spoke - just one sentence - I felt very much alive. Then I felt very emotional over the incredible beauty of the voice and the fact that I would live to raise my baby and started becoming more euphoric than peaceful.
Were your thoughts speeded up? No
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? No
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. I can't say that it seemed much different.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I can't say that it seemed much different.
Did you seem to be aware of things going on elsewhere? No
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? Uncertain I felt a sense of a rush, so maybe. I didn't go from the voice and euphoria instantly. There was a bit of a rush.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I sensed their presence
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? Some unfamiliar and strange place I couldn't see anything around me, although it was not dark. I only felt a sense of quiet and peace. It was out of the quietness that God spoke to me.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I only felt emotional when I heard God's voice. It was so beautiful, and I was so in awe that I was beginning to feel euphoric and then it was suddenly over and I was well aware of my body, of the medical people attending me and the background noises. I could see peoples' faces and hear their voices and it was confusing.
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? No
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 Two weeks before the car accident, I was lying outside on the grass, looking up into the sky and questioning my faith, wondering if God was real.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? Yes I had to find a church I was comfortable with. That took me a long time. I have gone to many different churches and tried on many different doctrines, but, even being Roman Catholic, like I said, I am interested, find fascinating, the 'Infinite Way.'
What importance do you place on your religious/spiritual life after your experience? Greatly important to me
What is your religion now? Christian- Catholic I went from one Protestant church to the other most of my life. Became Catholic after I was hospitalized and diagnosed with mental illness. This was eight years ago. I am very content in the Catholic Church and don't feel the need to keep looking.
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 At the time, I was attending a Church of Christ, where I was baptized. They didn't believe in anything mystical or miraculous. Miracles were not for today. They believe God only speaks through the Bible today, and not through visions or modern day prophets. I can't say I agreed, but I didn't think much about it. I was actually at a point of doubt at the time. I was questioning the existence of God.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? Yes I realized God was bigger than the limits my church set on him. Even though I am now Roman Catholic, I believe quite a bit of Joel Goldsmith's 'Infinite Way.'
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 It's hard to describe. I had never heard such a voice. It was a simple sentence. The words were very clear and direct. It just made me feel - oh, I can't say - it was so personal. God said my name and told me I wouldn't die. It was just so beautiful. I can't believe that I have ever had doubts again, or gotten caught up in the day in and day out worries of life, but I have. How could I have heard that voice and ever settled into the stresses of life again? I guess it is because it was somewhere I can't be again unless I die.
I heard the voice of God, but when I was able to get my dad's attention before I went to surgery; I told him it was Jesus who said I wouldn't die.
Did you see deceased or religious spirits? I sensed their presence
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.)? Yes I heard the voice of God, but when I was able to get my dad's attention before I went to surgery, I told him it was Jesus who said I wouldn't die.
During your experience, did you gain information about premortal existence? No
During your experience, did you gain information about universal connection or oneness? No
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 Yes, I knew it was God when he spoke to me, although I told my dad, when I was back to my normal consciousness, that it was Jesus.
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? 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 probably exists
Do you believe in an afterlife after your experience? An afterlife definitely exists No
Did you fear death prior to your experience? I moderately feared death
Do you fear death after your experience? I do not fear death
Were you fearful living your life prior to your experience? Moderately fearful in living my earthly life
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? Moderately compassionate toward others
During your experience, did you gain information about love? Yes The voice was Love. It was the source of Love. I guess, now that I am on question #38, that is the best way to describe it.
Were you compassionate after your experience? Greatly compassionate toward others
What life changes occurred in your life after your experience? Moderate changes in my life I was not happy with a church that limited God or excluded other people. I went on a church hunt and never found such a place. I was confirmed Catholic eight years ago. I do not think we are the only people going to heaven. I do like the miracle of the Eucharist, the bread and wine turning into flesh and blood. I believe people when they tell me things that don't make sense to others. I have had my share of doubts and fears since the experience, but I was young when it happened, and a lot has happened since then. I have gotten caught up in the world, although I have remained a Christian. I do believe I walked past an angel in Wal-Mart eight years ago. Seriously. I walked past the person again, just to see if I felt the same thing. It was familiar. Somewhat like the euphoric feeling, I felt during my near death experience. I didn't walk past a third time because it would have been a bit awkward. It happened on the day I was to be confirmed in the Catholic Church. Later, weeks later, I figured that maybe the person was an angel, possibly my miscarried child from years ago, just showing up on my special day. I had another occurrence where I felt a sense of otherworldly love rushing from someone the day before my daughter miscarried her child. I questioned why I would feel that rush of love, but then I knew, when my daughter told me she was losing the baby, that God sent me a bit of strength to help my daughter get through her loss. That was a couple of years ago. I don't look for experiences like this. Like I said, I have kids and grandkids and I am busy finishing the last thing on my to-do list most days. No life altering changes since that time God spoke to me. I wish I could say I became a sage or something.
Have your relationships changed specifically because of your experience? Uncertain Uncertain I was only 21 when this happened. I had a baby, got pregnant with another one when I wasn't supposed to for my health's sake. I went on the pill. I had health issues because of the car accident. I had more children; I had a husband, a family to raise. I sometimes wonder, though, if when we die, we become so much a part of God, so caught up in God that we don't recognize each other. That makes me sad. I am hoping that I will know everyone I love when I die.
After the NDE:
Was the experience difficult to express in words? No It wasn't difficult to explain, but I couldn't talk about it for a while, although I told my parents and my husband and close family. Outside of family, no one believed me when I began to talk about it. It was dismissed as an experience I had due to the drugs I was given. That was back in 1975. I didn't know of anyone else who had had such an experience. I quit talking about it. I never, ever thought it was drug related. I had had my time of experimenting with drugs. I was a teenager during the sixties. I had taken hallucinogenics and what happened to me in that hospital was not drug related.
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 My memories have faded. If we start talking about it, I remember some of it. But I never remembered the car accident. My communion with God was always my memory. It really happened, but I quit talking about it because I realized most people wouldn't believe me and would try to tell me it was the drugs I was given. I don't even know if I had been given anything for pain at the time of the experience. Probably so, but still, I know it wasn't a drug effect.
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? Uncertain Just those two experiences I described where I felt God's love in a similar way that I experienced it when I almost died. It was nowhere near the intensity, but enough to know it was otherworldly.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? God spoke to me. How many people can say they have heard the voice of God? People say 'God told me this and God told me that' and I know it is an impression they have on their heart. It is not the same as hearing God's voice. If a person says 'God told me such and such' - if he really did, they would be describing the voice, not talking about what he said.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I told my husband and family right away. They believed me. Later, a few weeks later, when I began to talk about it, the reaction was disbelief, so I didn't talk about it much after mentioning it a few times. It was years later, many years later, when I heard about NDE that I was like 'Well, yes, I know what that is.'
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 as real as anything could ever be. There was no question about it.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real Has God ever spoken to you? It's something you never forget. It's something you can never fully describe. It was so beautiful. After all these years, even not long after it happened, being able to recall the feeling was something I couldn't quite reach. Sometimes I want to hear God's voice again, but I know I would probably have to die to hear it again and I have too much to do right now.
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Yes But only barely, only enough to know that it was coming from the same place. I have mentioned those two occurrences - the angel in Wal-Mart and the time I felt an unearthly sense of Love, like a force, from someone.
Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience? I regret that I haven't been a better person because of my experience. I haven't been a 'bad' person in the sense that most people would consider bad. But I should have lived a better life, less doubt, more faith, after that extraordinary experience I had. Over the years, I have learned to be more compassionate and loving. I believe life itself has done that for me.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? I think there should be an 'over time' option as a response because some of my answers, rather than yes or no would have been 'eventually' or 'over time' because I think that some of my wanderlust, trying to find a church, may be related to the time I almost died.
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