At the time of my first near-death-like experience, which was not a medical emergency situation but more like a very vivid, nearly lucid dream, I was a teenager in high school and quite depressed, feeling very lonely and with little self-worth.
The experience, as it unfolded, seemed to me to be God reminding me of itself, its infinite love, and showing me that there was a higher power that knew every detail of what I was going through in my life and accepted me completely.
In the dream, I was initially in a kind of black void, not aware of my body, but only of my consciousness, and my sadness, staring through what looked like a camera lens or a camera view-finder. Through the "viewfinder," I could see a close friend of mine (who was and remains still alive - a person whom I see rarely but consider a soulmate) standing in a brilliant, heavenly, all-encompassing, golden light. At that moment, I could only see the light as a physical phenomenon, as if the glass of the viewfinder was separating me from it. Through it, my friend was gazing at me warmly and smiling. The strange thing was, though I recognized the features of this friend, everything that was good, beautiful and lovable about him was magnified to an infinite degree of perfection, to the point that I wasn't sure if the being I was looking at was actually him, a manifestation of his higher self, or a heavenly angel simply presenting himself to me in this familiar form. (His features and energy were also slightly more androgynous.) I thought to myself, "This is the most beautiful, perfect being I have ever seen, and I wish I could gaze at him forever, but I am not worthy and he probably doesn't want me to look at him." So, I steered the "viewfinder" away from him. As I turned away, this divine manifestation of my friend physically grabbed the edges of my field of vision, or "viewfinder," and steered it back to himself. He gazed in my eyes, his smile broadening. As he did this, the "screen" or viewfinder between me and the light seemed to melt away, and enveloped in it, I was overwhelmed. The light itself was sentient. It could only be described as God. What was being communicated to me by it, telepathically, in that moment, was that the light, which was pure love, which was God, knew everything about my human experience (and that of everyone and everything in the world), understood my feelings of inadequacy and frustration, and that all was perfect, all was well. The feeling was one of complete acceptance, forgiveness, compassion, absolute knowledge and unconditional love, and that this was the ultimate reality beyond human limitation. There was nothing to be ashamed of, no human shortcoming this light did not understand, no imperfection that was unloved. The apparition in the form of my friend seemed like a conduit, a portal, rather than the focus of the dream reality at this point. When I have read descriptions of "samadhi," or an experience of total, transcendental oneness with the universe experienced by yogis, passed on through gazing into the eyes of their guru, I have been reminded of this unforgettable experience.
About a half a year later after this initial dream, I met someone whom I also instantly recognized as a soulmate. (This turned out to be a very fraught, karmically heavy relationship, and not really a romantic one in nature, but twenty years later, we still recognize an exceptional bond.) The night after we first met, I had a very similar dream experience in which we were enveloped by that sentient light. This dream only lasted a few seconds, but I was thrilled to have been able to experience this divine light again.
I wish I could go back to it at will. It has largely eradicated my fear of death, at least on a day-to-day level. Ever since I was a child, I always instinctively knew of a higher power beyond human definitions of religious dogma, but these near-death-like experiences have allowed me to experience this infinitely loving, cosmic consciousness in a visceral way that can never be forgotten.