The below event occurred around the end of 2016, beginning of 2017, during the most difficult period of my life, and at a time when I was close to suicide.

To provide some background, prior to this event I knew nothing about Spirituality, nothing about NDE’s or similar experiences, and I was unsure whether I believed in life after death. I’d been raised a Christian and had attended Sunday school when I was younger, and although I now occasionally attended church with my children, I wasn’t a regular attendee.

I am now, and was then, employed in a disciplined government service, a position I’ve held for nearly 30 years, and I was not the type of person to believe in this kind of event. If you’d have asked me at the time, I’d probably have said that anyone claiming to have had one of these experiences was either crazy, lying, or on drugs.

Prior to this event, I was very caught up in my own life, always wanting more money and a larger house, but in the months leading up to this event my life had changed completely. I had recently discovered that my wife had been involved in several affairs throughout our relationship, and we were now going through a bitter divorce. I was living in a friend’s spare room and living away from my two young children for the first time in their lives. Financially, I had lost everything and was facing bankruptcy. I was looking at a Court case following an argument with my wife’s lover, and, as if things could’ve gotten worse, I was in difficulties at work.

There was nothing in my life which was the same as it had been 6 months earlier, and I had gone from having everything to having absolutely nothing.  I felt like I was in a downward spiral with no hope of recovery, and so decided to take my own life. I made preparations and then one night I made an attempt, but couldn’t go through with it. A week later I came closer to success but again failed to see it through; it was after this second attempt that the following took place.

I went to bed and soon fell asleep. I had taken no medication or alcohol, and had no known medical conditions. As far as I know, I was not close to death, but I suddenly became aware that I was out of my body. I don’t recall seeing my body but I could sense that it was close by and was behind me to my left. I was upright and slowly moving away from my body. I felt a little lost or disorientated and then realised that there was a brick wall in front of me.

Almost immediately I started to slowly walk through the wall and continued until I stopped in a void about 500mm wide. The wall I’d just walked through was behind me and another wall was in front of me. I stopped and looked at the bricks for a minute or so. I couldn’t believe what I was doing, but something inside kept telling me to continue, and that’s what I did. The feeling of passing through the wall was highly pleasurable. I could feel the brick passing through me as if I were a sieve and the bricks were jelly. I then stretched out my arms in order to exaggerate this sensation.  It was like my whole body was tingling as the wall passed through me. The wall seemed about 1m thick and then I suddenly came out on the other side, into thick blackness.

At this point I stopped and turned back to look at the wall I’d just come through. I stood there for a while, standing about three feet in front of the wall, just staring and trying to understand what I’d just done. This made me conclude that I wasn’t dreaming, as I was rationalising things, something that I couldn’t recall ever doing in a dream. I then noticed that the wall was made out of red bricks and these were illuminated, but from no obvious light source. I followed the wall along, to see where I was, and found myself in a large area with nothing except for the wall that I’d come through and thick blackness everywhere else.

The black was so dark it reminded me of the black background of a computer game. Everything that wasn’t illuminated was the darkest of blacks, When I looked out into the blackness, it seemed to go on forever, but oddly it felt as if it was only there for me, and although it looked to go on forever, it was in fact wrapped around me. It felt a safe and calm environment and I spent what felt like 5 minutes just looking around.

As I turned and faced the wall again, I noticed that to my left was a round, black tunnel. I continued to look around and tried to figure out where I was, but suddenly I became aware of a light coming towards me at speed along the tunnel. I watched the light come around a left-hand bend and descend slightly, to then travel straight towards me. The light was moving fast and I could see it increasing in size as I got closer. This didn’t panic me but reminded me of when I was a child playing near the railway line. (I grew up in the country and there wasn’t much to do.) I assumed this was a train and thought the train was now coming towards me through the tunnel. I moved to the side and gave myself enough space for the train to pass without pulling me towards it. I found a spot about 10m from the mouth of the tunnel and watched and waited.

From the mouth of the tunnel, I was at a 45-degree angle, off to the right and about 10m back into the blackness. I saw the light emerge from the tunnel at a fantastic speed but then immediately stop about 3m from the mouth of the tunnel. I looked at the light and saw that it was not a train but a ball of yellow / warm white light; it wasn’t a perfect sphere but had light protruding from its edges and this light was blue. I looked at the ball of light and instantly said to myself, “Auntie.” I know that sounds strange but somehow I knew that this ball of light was my Great Aunt who had died in 1996. She had been like a Grandmother and Mother to me, my maternal grandmother having died before I was born and my single Mother working and leaving me with her Aunt.

I excitedly moved quickly towards the ball of light and it was at this point that I realised I too was different from normal. The position I had been in was slightly elevated and I had to descend to meet the ball of light. I was also moving without walking. I felt that I had my usual body but I couldn’t see it, and if I wanted to move I just had to think of it and lean in that direction slightly and I would move.

I embraced the ball of light and could feel my aunt hugging me and I was hugging her back. It was the same as if we both had bodies and were just hugging as normal, but she was a ball of light and I couldn’t see my body. My aunt then spoke to me with her same voice but without sound, speaking telepathically. I was overjoyed to be with her again, I felt safe and…it’s difficult to explain, but I just knew it was her by sensing her presence. She said to me, ‘You’ll be alright; everything will work out for the best and you’ll be ok.’ We were still hugging and I replied, also without talking, ‘I want to stay with you, I don’t want to go back,’ and she said, ‘You have to, you still have things you need to do, it’s not your time.’ I did not want to go anywhere and said, ‘No, I want to stay with you, it’ll be fine, I’ll just stay.’

At this point I became aware of a third voice, which was coming from behind me. This voice was male, very deep and very loud. It was an older voice than mine and it boomed in an authoritative manner, ‘Go Back!’ It reminded me of the way a headmaster would shout at you as a child and I felt that this was the kind of relationship we had, and that although I did not recognise the voice, it knew me very well. I looked over my left shoulder in the direction of the voice and saw another ball of light in the elevated position close to where I had been earlier. I shouted in response, ‘NO!` I was shocked at my reply; it reminded me of the younger me. I had been very headstrong as a child, rebellious and stubborn. This side had disappeared after many years in a disciplined organization.

I’ve thought about this bit a lot since. I have two young children, whom I love very much, but at that moment I felt that I was the happiest and most content I’d ever been. I felt that my children would be fine without me and that I would be safe where I was. The best way I can describe it is to liken it to you playing in your garden with your child but then you decide to go indoors. You know the children will be fine outside playing and that they’ll be in with you soon.

I said to my aunt that I wanted to stay with her and I did not want to go back. My aunt again informed me that I still had things to do and had to return. She said that everything would be alright and that events would turn out for the best. The male voice once again boomed at me, “Go back!” I shocked myself when I shouted in response, “No, I’m not going. I’m staying here!” I can recall thinking to myself, “Where did that come from?” Again, I had reminded myself of what I used to be like when I was younger.

A couple of seconds after this it was like someone behind me had switched on the world’s most powerful vacuum cleaner. I felt my legs and arms shoot out in front of me as I was sucked backwards into its pipe. Within a millisecond I was back in my body, eyes wide open and in the process of sitting upright in bed, gasping for breath like I’d been underwater for minutes. It was reminiscent of movie characters who have just been given an adrenaline shot.

I sat in bed with mixed thoughts and feelings. I kept saying to myself, “What was that?” This event was so real. I also had the excited feeling that I had just been with my aunt; not because of the memory, but the feelings I had of just being with her. It was as if I’d just left her after visiting her house.

I’ve thought about this event every day since it happened and I can remember everything as if it was yesterday. I initially started some google searches to see if anyone else had encountered similar experiences and eventually came across Raymond Moody’s works and eventually IANDS. I don’t know if I was close to death or not, but this was definitely a Near Death Like Experience for me.

This event changed my life. My suicidal thoughts disappeared immediately. From that point onwards I was certain that I have something left to do in my life and thought they’ll only turn me away again if I don’t do it! I had a relentless urge to tell people what I experienced. After 2 years of saying nothing, I told three of my closest friends and they all thought I was mad. I’ve not mentioned it again until now.

I have not been to a church since, but have become very spiritual. I took up meditation to try and get back to the black void whenever I can, and now meditate daily.

I briefly changed careers but have since returned due to COVID. I stopped watching all the things I used to like to watch on tv and can now only tolerate very little outside of programs about spirituality, nature and travel.

I’m suddenly crazy about Spain, it’s become a huge part of my life. I’ve started learning Spanish and regularly listen to Spanish radio.

I am a completely different person from the one before this event. I am more tolerant of people and realise that people are simply doing the best they can in life.

Was this a dream? If it was, it’s unlike any other I’ve had in my life, before or after the event! I can clearly recall every detail of this experience, including feelings and thoughts, something I struggled to do for a waking moment around that time.

Since this experience, I’ve struggled with certain parts of this event. For a long time I felt guilty about wanting to stay and seemingly being so careless about abandoning my children. I also felt very bad about the way I spoke to the authoritative figure who ordered me to go back. These feelings have passed with time and after listening to other accounts from those who have felt or done the same.

I should add that prior to this experience I was scared of death. I had come into contact with it on many occasions through my job and it was definitely not something I was looking forward to. Since this experience I really don’t care about dying, it’s not something I’m constantly hoping for, but if I was told tomorrow that I had a month to live, it really wouldn’t bother me. My whole outlook has changed: if it’s my time to go, then it means I’ve done my work and it’s time for something new.