I had been in the ocean with my father and it was very rough. He had a hold of me and then a huge wave hit us and separated us, we had swam out very far as I was a strong swimmer for my age and not afraid in the least. At first, I didn't panic and tried to get to the surface but the waves kept me under. The pain in my lungs came first from holding my breath, then when I couldn't any longer I started gulping water and sucking it up my nose, the pain was a terrible burning. Then my ears were making a whooshing sound and felt like they would with the worst earache I ever had. The next thing I recall is a total silence and being in a white bubble that totally encased me. The pain was gone completely and I could breathe freely. The bubble was filled with what I can only describe as thousands of tiny stars like a fine stardust that was the most beautiful sight I had ever seen or have ever seen to this day. I felt totally safe and warm, it was the most protected I had ever felt.All of a sudden, I felt a strong jerk, as my father had found me and yanked me to the surface. I felt the pain in my lungs, ears and eyes again as he swam me in to shore. The lifeguard pounded on my back and I threw up water and coughed a lot. I was very upset to be out of the bubble and wanted to return right away. My mother told me I was very angry with my father, I remember feeling left behind. After an hour, my father insisted to everyone that he had to get me back out in the ocean or I would be afraid always, I wasn't at all and gladly went in hoping to feel that total security again. My father kept a strong hold on me and after when we were leaving the beach I heard my parents say that after being under so long (later as I got older I was told it was at least five minutes or so) they feared the worst. I tried many times to tell them what happened but they told me I imagined it and not to tell anyone or I would be laughed at. I didn't say anything for years but when I did later, I was met with a rolling of eyes or silence. To this day when I relate what happened, I cry tears of joy and still can feel the warmth of the bubble and sometimes in the shower, I see the stardust. Death does not scare me at all because I KNOW it is going home again.
Date NDE Occurred: August 1959
At the time of your experience, was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Near-drowning. 'Life threatening event, but not clinical death'
Couldn't find my way to the surface to breathe. My eyes and nose were stinging badly from breathing in salt water. My lungs hurt and I had to suck in lots of water.
How do you consider the content of your experience? Wonderful
Did you feel separated from your body? No
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 As above.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? When the pain lifted and I felt the warmth and could breathe freely.
Were your thoughts speeded up? Incredibly fast
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
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 think I saw the stardust brighter, it sparkled. After this incident going to see fireworks didn't seem as exciting to me, not as bright, didn't light up the sky as much.
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I remember how totally silent it was.
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? Uncertain Definitely not entering a tunnel but in a protective bubble.
Did you see any beings in your experience? I actually saw them
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? No
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? Uncertain It was bright in the bubble but more from stardust. It was light in the bubble compared to the water outside it.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? No
The experience included: Strong emotional tone
What emotions did you feel during the experience? First panic, then comfort, warmth, pain free and safe.
Did you have a feeling of peace or pleasantness? Relief or calmness
Did you have a feeling of joy? Happiness
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? Conservative/fundamentalist Attended Lutheran Sunday school occasionally.
Have your religious practices changed since your experience? No
What is your religion now? Liberal Later baptized Methodist but do not attend church. More spiritual than religious.
Did you have a change in your values and beliefs because of your experience? No
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? No
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 on occasion had feelings of caution for others, felt I had to warn them of impending danger.
Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you? The feeling of being so safe and out of harm's way, free to just be.
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes It was about four years after that I felt someone I knew should not take a plane trip, she cancelled after I kept after her and the plane had to turn back because of engine trouble. I seem to be able to read people's ulterior motives and am usually right.
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 probably real I was confused because it felt so real to me but I was being told it was my imagination.
What do you believe about the reality of your experience now? Experience was definitely real I just know with my whole being that it was real, I cry when I think or talk of 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? I am so thankful for the experience.
Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience? No, I think you covered it well.
© 2014 NDERF, Jody Long & Jeffrey Long, MD. All Rights Reserved.