The following is the February selection for the Monthly NDE. These selections are taken from accounts submitted to the IANDS archives and are posted here anonymously.
This month's account is a near-death-like experience (NDLE), an experience that is not the result of a medical crisis but rather happens spontaneously to an otherwise healthy person. Based on the number of accounts submitted to the IANDS archives over the years, near-death-like experiences may be more widely experienced than NDEs.
This account happened to a 12 year old child in the middle of the night and, like other such events (sometimes also called spiritually transformative experiences), shares many of the typical motifs of traditional NDEs. In this case, it includes an out-of-body experience, communication with an other-worldly being, being sent back, and typical aftereffects such as the loss of the fear of death and new perceptions of one's body. Although some might say this was a dream, like other experiencers, the person who sent this account is adamant it was not a dream.
Submitted to the IANDS Archives in 2003:
Oh gosh...it has taken me almost 40 yrs to get to be able to actually sit here and write this. I was perfectly healthy. I was only a child of 12. I had no idea such things existed.
I went to bed as usual.
Sometime during the night, I felt myself floating face down up at the ceiling in my bedroom. I felt soooo light, and was immediately feeling the most intense feeling of happiness, that it's hard to find the words to describe. I was aware that my body was spirit-like, very white and pure. And my thoughts were still the same. I was overwhelmed by just floating. And I remember just thinking after a few minutes how I wanted to leave my room. It was then I seemed to just go through to the outside of my bedroom. Once I was outside, still facing face down, I remember I sort of floated above this tree that was outside my window. It felt like something was gradually drawing me slowly upward. I looked at the houses near ours, and I could see the lights on. I remember how fascinated I was to be seeing the subdivision, gradually get farther away, while I still continued moving higher and higher. I saw the highway and the cars. And I still continued feeling this gentle pull, it felt like! I was moving in a northwestern direction. I had never been so high before. Never flew on a plane. So this was the first time for me to look down at these things from so high up. As I got higher and higher, I suddenly thought about what if I would fall. Then everything went black, and a VERY authoritative voice said, “NO, GO BACK”. It was like I had no choice. I was made to go back. I can still hear that voice when I think about it; it was like the voice of God or something – a command, no buts about it.
Then I felt myself literally go back into my body. It seemed like I entered back somewhere through my head. I immediately felt the weight of my body, being soooo very heavy, and I didn't want to be back in it. I remember opening my eyes slightly and seeing my chest rise slowly again with breath. It felt so heavy, and I felt so sad. I just laid there, trying to make sense about what happened to me.
I knew it wasn't a dream. I thought I died. I had such a calm. I knew God for whatever reason showed me what it was like to die, and I no longer was afraid of dying. I really wished I could make everyone not be afraid. But what happened to me was so strange, that I was afraid to tell anyone.
I felt sad that whole day, in fact, a little withdrawn. I remember sitting on my bed and my Dad coming in my room, asking what was wrong and I began to cry, unable to make sense of it all. I told him what happened. He just held me, and just listened. It was several weeks later he had a priest from our Parish talk to me about it. It was then I learned other people had similar experiences. To this very day I don't know why some do and some don't.
All I can truly say is that it has made such a difference in my life as far as knowing what it feels like to die. And to share the intense joy one feels at that moment. I can say your thoughts or consciousness still continues. That our bodies are a heavy mass of flesh and bone. That our spirits are light as breath, and death is just simply leaving our flesh body.
I guess when a baby is born, and the spirit enters the body, that in dying we just make our exit. Only the intense joy and happiness is so beyond words to describe, it just is.
Thank you for letting me share what happened to me as a child not knowing.