NDE Accounts

My Spiritual Enlightenment

It was 1969. I was 32 years old, married and the mother of five children, the youngest being 5 and the oldest 14. All the children had had the flu several weeks prior, and while I always caught everything from them, this time I thought I was going to be lucky. I seemed to be beyond the incubation period. I had worked very hard that day cleaning the house, and when I went to pick up my husband from work, I suddenly noticed an unusually extreme tiredness. He dropped me off at home and went to get a hair cut. I had planned to take the children swimming that evening at an indoor pool and was going to show them how to dive, however, with the way I suddenly felt, I decided I better lay down or I would never have the stamina for our swimming excursion.

I lay down on the sofa in the living room thinking a little rest would take care of me just fine. Four hours later I had the most incredible experience in my life. Shortly after laying down, I began to not feel good. It started with waves of nausea, and I figured I had not escaped the flu bug after all. The nausea was terrible but was followed in a short time by hard piercing knife-like pains in my stomach. Next came a migraine-like headache which I never had before or since in my lifetime. Then teeth chattering, spine wrenching, body shaking chills such as I had never experienced before or since. All of this occurred in continuous waves and got progressively stronger and more ferocious as time passed. Swimming, of course, was now out of the question. So was dinner!

My husband fixed dinner for the children when he came home from his hair cut, and instructed the children to be quiet and go to their rooms or outside to play for awhile. He sat down and watched TV and kept me company in the living room listening to my moans and groans. I wanted desperately to get in a hot bath to stop the chills but somehow I sensed or knew that I could not walk. I was too embarrassed to crawl or to ask to be carried. I had never felt so helpless. I now knew that I was sicker than I had ever been in my life; but still it was just the flu.

At some point I got into really serious trouble. It felt like the blood was stopping coursing through my veins. I could actually feel my veins. It started at the outer extremities, tips of fingers and toes, and began to move up my arms and legs in towards the trunk of my body. My brain was very alert. I realized that when it got to my lungs and heart, I would be dead. I also felt paralyzed. About this time, my husband looked over at me and said, "Oh my God, I'm calling the paramedics." My mind screamed NO but I could not utter a sound. I wanted him to stay with me and hold me as I passed away. I wanted this so desperately but I could not communicate. I heard him in the kitchen calling the Rescue Squad. Back on the sofa my mind was screaming and blaspheming heaven and God for taking me as I had to stay and raise my children. The strength of this fight to stay was equivalent to me of the power it took for someone to raise a truck if their child was underneath. It was superhuman strength, but I could not endure. Finally, I had to concede. After begging for my life, I made a pact that if I could just raise my children I would gladly go anytime after they were raised and trade places with someone else who was still so desperately needed here. Alas, there was no relenting. The Rescue Squad was still several blocks away from my vantage point above, rounding the corner of Hawley and Bluemound 5 blocks away; neighbors had heard and were rushing over to take the children. One neighbor came in and said, "Oh my God, she's blue."

At this point, I moved through the dark void of the black tunnel which I found very frightening because I didn't know where I was going, but then saw a beautiful light at the end of the tunnel. I "knew" it was heaven. When I arrived in the light, which was of a beauty that words cannot describe, I was enveloped in love. The love too was beyond what one could ever experience while on earth. I was not aware of any beings per se but "knew" I was in the presence of God. That is just what it was; being in the presence of; a "knowing" sense; not a visual being. I had a very quick life review and "curiously" realized that the children I fought so ferociously to be with to raise now seemed as insignificant as childhood toys. Everything took on a different perspective in that other realm. I was given the knowledge of the universe which filled me with wonder and amazement. (This knowledge is not kept when you return to the earthly realm.) Suddenly I was back on earth struggling to get air from the third oxygen tank that they had tried on me. The first two did not work. I was then put on a stretcher and taken to the hospital. At the hospital they kept asking me what happened. I was so confused, and I certainly could not tell them what really happened for fear I would end up in the psychiatric ward if they had one. I was still in shock from the whole experience and could not place it in perspective. I also felt they, the staff, were trained professionals and they should be able to figure out what was wrong as I certainly could not.

I stayed in the hospital for two weeks. Severe flu with loss of fluids followed my admission, and I was on intravenous for days. They said my potassium level was as low as they had ever seen which was the very slow dripping yellow bag of intravenous that I received and also went home from the hospital with but in tablet form.

1969 was before research and publication of "near death experiences." Obviously I could not tell anyone what had really happened or even discuss it for many years. When the first books came out, I still did not feel comfortable enough to even want to read them. It was in 1973 that I first told a dear, close friend what had happened. My children and family did not even know.

Over time, I actually forgot that I had never told my children or family. I became painfully aware of this when my daughter, Colleen, informed me over the phone that she did not believe in God. I went into horrified shock. At first she refused to discuss it with me; her mind was made up. She refused to even let me explain. Finally, I had to tell her to "shut up;" something I never really say to anyone, including my children. This so shocked her she listened for a second, and I quickly blurted out, "You have to believe in God. I was there; I was in the presence." At this point, she began to listen, and I realized that because the children had been present during the episode, I thought they knew. This, of course, was ridiculous because we had never discussed it because I couldn't. The children were raised Catholic and went to Catholic grade schools for a time, and I just assumed they all believed in God. I told Colleen all about what had happened, and it has had a dramatic influence on her and her family's lives. I am so proud and pleased with all of them. At this point in time, I have further work and obligation to discuss this with the rest of the family which I have done to some degree. I know more needs to be done.

Looking back over the years, the experience has helped me tremendously. I usually feel a wonderful inner peace almost all the time, and lack a fear of death. Our brain or our consciousness is our soul which is what goes on forever and expands in the other realm. It is our eternal essence and is only housed very temporarily in our bodies. From the perspective of this other realm our bodies become completely insignificant. Their significance is only of the earthly realm. While I enjoy life and feel life gets better with each passing year, I feel a longing to go home and not infrequently am jealous of those who pass on. I have compassion for loved ones who are left behind but find it very hard to grieve for anyone who has died. In honesty, its impossible for me to feel grief for the one who has passed. My faith is rock solid, and I find at times I have a certain "knowing" about things that I cannot explain. I believe in miracles and angels or spirit guides and pray frequently everyday and throughout the day; it is ingrained and a complete part of my life. My prayers consist of talking and listening and giving thanks for all my blessings of which I believe I have many. Church, when I can attend, is a treat. I do not see it as a necessity.

I started a support group for "near death experiencers". I am a member of IANDS (International Association for Near Death Studies). This has been a little disconcerting as at the time I was asked to do this, I was led to believe there was a great need. I finally felt comfortable in leading this group because I read there were now millions of people who had had this experience, and I was anxious to talk to them. The truth is that as of October 1, 1997, the date I am writing this, it is difficult finding these people. I have always wondered why this experience happened to me, and what should I do with it. I am thinking of doing hospice work, after I retire, as a way of trying to make this experience I was blessed to have meaningful and/or helpful to others.

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Man who drowned as teen and was pulled out seeks answers later in life

When I was around fourteen years old, I went fishing with my older brother and his friend. We took a small boat out on to a river. The river waters were extremely high and fast-moving as it had been raining for two weeks straight. As soon as we launched the boat from the shoreline it immediately capsized. As I went over into the water, I was able to grab onto a seat cushion that fell into the water. It happened so fast as the water was pulling me down underneath rapidly. The seat cushion which was supposed to also serve as a flotation device was useless as I was clutching on to it. 

I was looking up as I was being pulled down and I could see the top of the water and a very small what appeared to be a hole of light from above getting smaller and smaller as I was being pulled down so fast I couldn't seem to move at all, just being pulled under. Two thoughts came to mind, as I was being pulled down - the seat cushion was not helping to save me, it was getting sucked down regardless, and I remember saying to myself in my mind - "I can't believe I am going to die like this, I'm only 14." At that point, everything went dark.

The next thing I can remember is looking up and seeing the overcast sky, I was soaking wet, lying on my back. My vision was not very clear, foggy like, confused, where was I, what was happening. As I was coming to my senses, I could hear my brother calling my name off in the distance. I called out to him. All I remember next was saying to him - (his first name) "You saved my life, thank you for saving my life and pulling me out of the water." He replied - "I didn't pull you out of the water, we've been running up and down the shoreline looking for you." We've had people looking for you for some time.

When he pulled me up from the ground, I turned to look at where I was. I had been lying in the branches of a large birch tree that was lying partially in the water’s edge downstream from where the boat capsized. We got in the car, didn't talk much. When I got home, I remember telling my Mom that (brother's first name) had saved me from drowning. 

My brother to this day doesn't know what happened and he insists that he did not pull me out. He found me lying on the tree. The incident seemed to have gone into the background of my life in the early years of my life. At times the memory would come up, I would struggle to make sense of it and then it would disappear again for years. In my later years, as a parent, I've struggled to fill in the missing pieces which were causing restlessness for answers, loss of sleep, questioning life.

Something seemed to have brought the incident to the forefront of my thoughts several years ago and it was difficult for me, replaying it out in my mind daily, what happened, how did I get out of the water - Who saved me? It's almost like I have a sense of someone having pulled me from the water. A hand reaching down into the water and pulling me out, telling me it was not your time.

The past year I've been getting more thoughts coming into my head that I was not following the course that I was supposed to. I was supposed to be helping people heal, overcome their challenges, fears, obstacles. Helping them find their path in life. Like I was given a second chance in life and now was the time to take care of business before it gets too late and I didn't accomplish what I was supposed to do. 

I've only recently told my children about my experience. I have actually come to peace with trying to find the missing time/events between going under and awakening. I've been in many sessions of searching and during one, a voice or thought clearly said to me - "You don't need to know the answer right now, it's not the time. Just know that you are here." 

Woman, abused as infant, has NDE after-effects

When I was approximately two years old, my father looked at me one day and decided he wanted to “be the first”. He raped me as an infant. Many years later, when he was beginning to show signs of dementia, someone spoke to him about how he should treat me. His response was, “She’s my daughter and I’ll do what I want with her,” and then proceeded to tell the above story (in more graphic detail). This came back to me more than a year after that conversation, and after he had passed.

I have no conscious memory of that event from my infancy. However, I have known since my 20s that something of that nature had happened to me. I knew it because my emotional and physical responses in certain situations were classic sexual-abuse-victim reactions. I knew it because of “cellular memory”: my body knew, even though my mind didn’t. I spent many years in therapy, reading, and self-evolutionary work, trying to figure it out, trying to remember what happened to me. It wasn’t until my father’s late-life “brag” (that was his point, to demonstrate his “rights”) was relayed to me that I finally had an answer. I was then in my 50s. But I still have no conscious memory of the event.

When I started attending the Tucson IANDS presentations, I was fascinated. To know what was on the other side, to hear others’ personal accounts, was at once uplifting and reassuring, intellectually engaging and emotionally supportive. I joined IANDS, and was further delighted to start receiving their “Monthly NDE” reports. Recently I came across a couple of them that really caught my attention.

One talked about NDEs in children, written by P.M.H. Atwater. She spoke of how “children compensate”. Rather than deal with their experience, they adjust other things around it; that even into mature years, the puzzle is often not solved. They “begin abstracting (dealing with broad conceptual ideas), are smarter than their parents, school teachers, friends”. “They forever miss HOME, the greater collective they know is real.” She says 90% are unable to bond with their parents. She continues: “Typical characteristics afterward: heightened senses, vivid imagination, intellectual curiosity and drive, psychic/intuitive, loneliness, higher I.Q., deep capacity to care, great potential for an ethical path, aware of future moments, strongly independent even if shy, nonlinear development. The younger the child, the greater the jump in I.Q., [and] the ability to abstract.” They are “doers with good ideas, inventions, and the energy to get jobs done”. They have a heightened consciousness, and a tendency to nerve-stomach-skin sensitivity.

These things all represent aspects of myself. I never felt particularly close to any of my family. (I’m not even sure what “bonding” with a parent might actually be.) I never thought I was smarter than average, until I had more experience with a broader range of people – and then it became clear to me: my comments were often over the heads of other people. My thoughts and ideas were often complex and fairly advanced in logic and principle, and went unnoticed (at best) or ridiculed (at worst). I am very resourceful and can often come up with unique ways to deal with a problem or situation. I am a Highly Sensitive Person (HSP) as defined by Dr. Elaine Aron. I am intuitive and perceptive of people’s emotions and intentions. I can often “see” likely outcomes of present actions. I can often tell when someone is lying. I have a strong sense of history and how it connects everything, as well as my own participation in many time periods. I have had several Spiritually Transformative Experiences (STEs), mostly regarding my own past lives. And I have an awareness of a broader future for humanity and the planet.

A different Monthly NDE mentions the writer’s “excruciatingly painful awareness”, a “feeling of desolate isolation from my real existence”. I have always felt a deep, profound, and painful sadness, just from living on the physical plane, never feeling a part of this place, never feeling “at home”. I know things about how this life works that most other people don’t seem to be aware of, things in terms of personal interactions, repercussions, and energetic flow. At least, sometimes.

Other times I am clueless as to social norms and acceptable behaviors, or what some enigmatic comment is supposed to convey. And yet I was never able to utilize my sensitivities for anything other than personal evolution. It did not help me find jobs or friends, I never felt “successful”, either monetarily or socially. I have never had sufficient certainty of my ideas to help others by way of predictions or information regarding their own lives. All I can do is give my own thoughts and impressions as suggestions, and if they accept what I say, it may help them to understand their circumstances or make their own choices. Often, however, they do not. I sometimes feel like Cassandra of Greek mythology, cursed to give true prophecies which nobody ever believes.

In this second Monthly NDE, the writer says she has no memory of the experience, she simply “knew” that she had been on another plane of existence, and had been forced or somehow persuaded to return to her physical body. This really woke me up. “Having no memory of the experience” is the same way I describe my own sexual assault: I have no conscious memory of it, yet I “know” it happened. This led me to what felt like a revolutionary concept: perhaps I had, as a result of rape at a very early age, left my body and experienced an NDE. For reasons at which I can only guess, my memory of the physical event and my retreat out of my body – and whatever happened on the other side – had been erased. I would guess that this was done to protect me and help me survive.

The emotional pain, shyness, reluctance to socialize, constant anxiety, and fear for my protection and future have been with me as long as I can remember. I have always known that I had to take care of myself, I could rely on nobody else for my physical, mental, or emotional wellbeing. Over the course of more than 60 years, that intuition has been borne out, and continues to be true.

I have always had a deep need and respect for the truth, beyond what most others would act on, even to my own detriment in terms of money or personal cost. If you don’t have truth, I felt, you don’t have anything. My mother’s description of me, as told to the mother of a friend of mine, was “very independent”.

Despite crippling shyness, I was compelled to utilize my musical talents in singing and acting. I have a number of stomach/digestive issues, and I am physically very sensitive. (I.e., things that are very painful to me would go unnoticed by many.) I have always tried to help others, though my efforts were often misunderstood. I feel a visceral pain at cruelty or subjugation of any kind, to anyone, whether I know them or not. I have always championed the underdog in most any situation or society at large, including (especially!) the animal kingdom.

My empathic abilities seem to be very sharp, yet indistinct. I can be overwhelmed by feelings that often make no sense to me, if I happen to notice. More often, I get totally lost in the emotion and react to that, and I don’t notice that it likely comes from people or circumstances around me. This is complicated by my own, often very strong, emotions. It took me decades to realize this was happening, and I am still learning how to differentiate and identify sources (me or not-me).

I describe this laundry list of “after-effects” as the only evidence of my NDE. It may seem like I’m jumping to conclusions, but that is the nebulous nature of my attributes and abilities. I have only my intuition to go on. It may sound self-absorbed, yet that seems to be my purpose here in this lifetime. My constant goal throughout my life has been to improve myself as a human being and increase my spiritual awareness. Everything else was secondary. (I was once told by a numerologist that I was hoping to make this my last incarnation.) For the most part, the only real achievements I have made during my life have been in introspection, self-realization, and personal evolution. And perhaps those are no small achievements. So, make of it what you will. If my story helps anyone else in their own journey, that will be a whole new kind of success for me.

Greeted by vibrantly-colored spirit guides and guardian angels

I was involved in a horrific three-car motor vehicle accident on Sunday, March 8th, 2020. Doctors told me that I am fortunate to be alive and that most people involved in a head-on collision such as mine don’t survive it. 

I am writing to you in part to process what I experienced during my accident and also try to find some answers or understanding about what happened to me. 

The accident occurred in front of my eldest daughter's home. I turned on my left-hand blinker, slowed down, and noticed a white car traveling extremely close behind me. I proceeded to slow down while going East on the residential street and felt the white car hit me from behind. That caused my car to spin out of control and forced me to go over the divider into oncoming traffic proceeding Westbound where I was hit again head-on. I lost consciousness after the second impact. When my daughter approached my car she mentioned that when she first saw me after the accident my eyes were a distinctive blue-white 'haze' and a type of milky color in my eyes. She saw me slumped over the steering wheel making a gurgling sound and not breathing.  

What I saw was myself being tossed back and forth in the car with a cloud of white smoke surrounding me, which I assume was the airbag deploying, but I was not connecting with the person in the driver's seat at the time. While I was observing myself in the car, I noticed the color of the t-shirt as the most brilliant magenta color and finally realized the person in the car was me, because I specifically wore that t-shirt for comfort and it’s one of my favorite t-shirts. As I was connecting that the person in the driver seat was me, at that moment I was literally out of my physical body. Next, I observed me slumped over the steering wheel and then I felt my body floating away from the inside of my car and I started rising above my car.

I had the most incredible feeling of oneness and joy and absolutely no pain at all. I can’t really describe it, but I could see everything around me, under me, above me and behind me. While I was fascinated with this concept and trying to understand what I was experiencing, I noticed there were five to six of what I believe were my guardian angels and spirit guides that were waiting for me within the most indescribable light surrounding them. The brilliant colors are hard to describe, but they were mostly orange hues with yellow streams of light behind them. The colors were so vibrant and gorgeous. It felt like they were waiting for me to attend a kind of celebration. While I was observing this amazing scene, I thought of my family and instantly with great force and speed I was sucked back into my body, gasping for air, and started feeling the most excruciating pain. 

After eight weeks of recovering, I have gained a new perspective on life. I can honestly say I feared death and the unknown before my accident, but due to my experience, I have lost the fear of death. I have a new sense of what my purpose is and my spirituality has strengthened. I also tended to be a bit shy and not speak up or express myself; however, I found my voice and now have the ability to express my feelings more often. I am a doula and I cherish serving babies and their families and yet again it’s given me an increased awareness to serve and love my family and friends more often. 


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