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The year was 1972 and it was seven weeks after the birth of my third child that I was rushed to the hospital with heavy bleeding, loss of sight and massive stomach cramps (now believed to be blood poisoning) and whilst undergoing a procedure I experienced, what I later learned was an NDE. My experience was not, at first of a pleasant nature. I was given an anaesthetic and remember coming back to my room for recovery after the procedure. Being a small hospital it was normal to be taken back to your hospital room as there was a lack of available recovery rooms.

The first thing I remember is the absolute knowledge that I was dying. My body started shutting down from my right toe then slowly up both legs all the while I thought, “This is what it’s like to be dying.” I was conscious of hospital staff trying to awaken me, but I kept on going into a faint and could not focus properly. My body kept on shutting down or slowly dying and I then remember going into what I can only describe as a white enclosed slide type of tunnel, the diameter being about five feet. It was terrifying and I was going feet first like a slalom ride, faster and faster and I felt desolate and terribly alone and terrified. The thought that ‘this is what death is all about” kept recurring in my mind over and over. The noise in my ears was terrifying and got louder and louder. This seemed to go on for what seemed hours, and I remember thinking that this is all there is and ever going to be; I was crying inconsolably.

At first the slide was white, then it turned into darkness and the space seemed to be getting narrower. The next thing I remember is that I was standing next to my hospital bed looking at myself. (There was a large chest of drawers or a locker and a chair next to the bed. The room was very small. It occurred to me later that I could not physically have stood in that spot). The doctor was bending over me, looking into my eyes and I could see that he was very upset and was trying to awaken me. I reached over to touch and tell him that it was okay and for him not to worry or feel at all bad about things as I was dead and okay. I touched his arm, but he was not aware of any contact and he could not hear me. I was then in the darkness again but going toward what I knew to be the end of the slide.

There was only a tiny speck of light. I then came into absolute silence and into a space so vast that I cannot describe it but the sky was arched. The air was warm, like liquid velvet on my face. The background sky was of an inky , dark blue color and the billions of stars were beautiful. The vastness was indescribable and extremely beautiful. I appeared to be floating and was not aware that I was standing on anything. I just wanted to be there and not move. The peace was so overwhelming and so comforting. Then a voice spoke over my left shoulder, a voice so beautiful, full of love and so deep that I will never forget that sound. He said, “Your time is not now. You must go back to your children. They need you.” I said, “I do not want to go back” several times over, and the voice said, “Your newborn baby needs a mother and your other two children need you.” No words were spoken as it all happened telepathically. All I had to do was think about what I wanted to say.

I was back in my body and woke up. I was very upset and depressed and did not want to be there or communicate with anyone. The next day I asked the staff to explain what had happened to me but no one would talk about it or even come near me. My specialist doctor rang three days running to see if I was okay, which was unheard of in those days. Doctors never rang to see about their patients.

I tried to access my medical records to find out if anything had been noted down. No one could access their hospital or medical records in the 70s. I tried again many years later, but the records had been destroyed. Some 10 years later I came across a book in a bookshop and whilst browsing saw an article on NDEs. I was so shocked as I had never heard of NDEs. I purchased the book and read it from cover to cover. It was such a relief to think that I had not been going crazy after all and that there were other people who had experienced the same thing.

I spent six months on anti-depressants prescribed by my doctor after the NDE as he felt I was going through post-natal depression. One has to remember that in the 1970s these subjects were taboo and rarely discussed or even known about, especially in Australia. In my case I did not realize what had happened to me except to know without a doubt that I had died. When I tried to talk to my gynecologist about it after the event and he just patted my hand and said “there, there”. Needless to say I did not discuss it with anyone for fear of being thought crazy.

I also wish to note that the experience is as clear today as if it had happened yesterday. It has been a life-changing experience for me in many wonderful ways! I am not afraid of dying but rather I welcome it as I welcome the experience of all that love and peace. I’m not suicidal, far from it. I love life and am constantly learning more about what I know in my heart to be true. There is a source of light. There is more to life than we are led to believe.

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