NDE Accounts

Life/Death/?

Originally written 1986-87 Re-edited with addendum 6/1993 by Geraldine Berkheimer.
August 8, 1959, Paris.

I wonder if it was a sunny day?  Could it have been a cloudy day?  Certainly it wasn't a rainy day, the day I decided to take my roll of film to the Latin Quarter to have it developed.  I'd never have ventured into the rain on a Vespa—I had more sense than that.  It must have been a good day; Patrick and I would go on a picnic in the afternoon.  But the afternoon never came.  I can only deduce that I was going to the camera shop from the fact that a roll of film was found in my jacket pocket.  At least that's what someone said sometime later.

I had spent the past academic year in Paris with the Middlebury Group preparing a Master's Degree.  It had been a great year!  I had learned to speak, read, write and understand French very well.  In spite of the hard work at studies I had managed to go to the theater, travel on student tours throughout France, Spain and Italy, and enjoy a full life of experiencing the "City of Lights".  Each of these activities allowed me to make friends from all over the world and from all walks of life.  I was happier than I had ever been.  Among my closest friends were two French students, both of whom were in medical school: Christine and Patrick.  Patrick had sold a Vespa of his to Sandy, another Middlebury student, and me.  She never wanted to learn to drive it, so I had it to myself most of the time. 

I drove all over Paris (once I raced up the Champs Elysees with another scooter addict) and in the suburbs.  I was quite comfortable with it and Sandy had no qualms about riding on the back, so we decided to spend the month after classes were over traveling through Europe, visiting some of our classmates and celebrating our graduation which would officially be in August.  I asked Patrick to make sure the scooter was in top running condition for our trip.  He had it completely overhauled and promised we'd have no trouble with it.  The night before we were to leave, Sandy and I loaded our luggage and made our way across town to make sure we'd know the best route to take in the morning.  Something was wrong.  I couldn't get the scooter to go fast enough.  It was as if I were driving in second gear the whole time.  Sandy was worried so she took the metro home and I tried to find a service station open to get it fixed—without luck.  It was late at night; no garages were open.

Rather than forgo our trip we decided to start out the next day hitch-hiking through our planned itinerary.  We left the Vespa behind with a note for Patrick telling him that if he fixed it he could use it while we were gone.  On our return we all had a good laugh—the brakes had been tightened too much.  That was around mid-July.

In spite of strange, unwanted feelings that I should return (in fact, that I was being drawn back) to the United States, I wanted more than anything to spend another year in France.  Thanks to the fact that my home town, York, PA, is twinned to Arles in southern France, I was to have a job there in the fall teaching "American" in the elementary schools.  Sandy returned to the States after our trip so I had the scooter to myself for nearly a month before heading to the Midi.  There I was, virtually free in Paris, now living at the Cité Universitaire at the southern end of town and loving it!  Needless to say, I made the most of it, touring the city and the surrounding area.  Of special importance, as it turned out, was the visit from an American friend whom I had known at Middlebury, Marcia.  While in Paris she introduced me to friends of hers who were to become my friends and be of great help later.

First there was Godin.  She had a full name, but to most people she was Godin.  Marcia had spent a full year in that household years before, and I would return to Paris to live with them two years later.  Secondly, there was Ginette, who before the war had planned a career as a concert pianist.  Due to the war those plans were put aside and when I met her she was in charge of helping refugees who came to the Quaker Center and giving them concerts from time to time.  As I recall, the day I met them there was a simple "Hello.  I'm glad to know you" between us.  I was Marcia's friend and was received as such.  I doubt if at that moment either of them thought they'd see much more of me.

During the course of those events I had a nightmare which I would put out of my mind until perhaps years later.  I know it was a very long time before I connected it with what was happening in my "real" life.  In the dream I was in a casket, the lid of which was being shut; I called for my brother but he didn't answer or come.

At Easter in 1959 I toured Spain with a group of students.  Like most tourists we visited entertainment offered by gypsies in the cave homes surrounding Granada.  At intermission, a Gypsy woman read palms of the clients who were seated along the walls around the room.  I was the last one in line and was quite bewildered when, after having given reasonably long readings for everyone else, she looked at my hand, shook her head and hurried away into another room without saying a word.  I thought about it then and have often thought about it since.  Years later, I would have an equally bizarre experience with gypsies passing on a Paris Street.

But by August I was assured of my diploma from Middlebury, a happy end of summer vacation in Paris, and I was intent on getting on with my new job in southern France.  That is, until August 8, 1959.

I don't remember setting out for the Latin Quarter that morning.  There is no question that is where I was headed.  It was a familiar jaunt and the location of the accident indicates the destination.  A policeman at the scene said a taxi pulled away from the curb and ran a red light.  I was in the intersection at the time.  I have a few memories of the next few days and they are as vivid as if the events took place yesterday.  (I'm told I called for my brother, who never wrote to me at the hospital, as well as for Patrick and Christine.)

The first thing I recall is the impression I must be in "heaven".  I was above my bed looking down at my body, and I saw white clad "angels" coming and going.  Of course it was the hospital staff.  I realized this immediately.

That was the first of several out-of-body experiences related to this accident.  Sometime after that a doctor and a few other persons came in with objects for me to identify—a pencil, an apple, and what I recall as a radio or something resembling a small portable radio.  I thought to myself "How stupid do you think I am?" as I told them the names of the objects.  However, my communication was not received!  Those present apparently had no idea that I understood and responded.  I don't know how many similar incidents there may have been during the next few days.  I remember several of them.  And I realized quickly I wasn't getting through to those around me.  Due to the extent of my injuries I was transferred to a hospital better equipped to take care of this sort of trauma.  I wasn't expected to live and my family was notified.  I remember vividly the day I was put on a stretcher and wheeled down the long, barren hallway to the waiting ambulance, and the second out-of-body experience.  They had pushed my stretcher to the back of the ambulance.  I left my body and circled the vehicle from the back to the right side, around the front, stopping by the driver's window to look at the dashboard, and went back to the stretcher.  I was fascinated and intrigued.

At the second hospital I became cognizant of my situation, although no one told me immediately of my broken bones, loss of hearing, nor, as I recall, of my lack of communication skills.  Then, too, it is possible that I was told and the information didn't register.  Only later, after my release from the hospital, when I read the description of my injuries provided to me for "insurance purposes", did I encounter for the first time the name of my condition: aphasia.  And even then I didn't know what it meant.  For those who may be unfamiliar with the term, aphasia describes a condition in which the afflicted looses one, several or all of his or her abilities to communicate verbally, be it listening, speaking, reading, writing or several skills I shall not try to describe here.

It was in this second hospital that I underwent the prescribed testing, i.e.  EEG and others.  And it was here that the most unique experience of my life, other than that of being aphasic, occurred.  I do not know whether it happened the first day of my hospitalization there or a few days later. 

However, my impression is that it was the first day.  Once again I was outside my body, to my right and above my head.  I looked down at my body and then looked straight ahead of me where I saw a light, a clarity.  I was puzzled by this and I distinctly recall asking myself if I wanted to go see what it was or return to my body.  I chose to go back to my body, but part way back in I changed my mind and returned to the area above my bed.  This time I saw a tunnel leading to the clarity.  I don't remember seeing it the first time.  Somehow I knew that if I chose to go through the tunnel I would die, but, strangely, it didn't seem to matter to me.  I laughed because I wouldn't have to return to my parents' house and clean out things in the attic I had accumulated over the years.  As I look back at that I'm surprised that I'd find it amusing.  I'd always considered myself a responsible person and still do.  As I stepped into the tunnel this out-of-body experience became quite different from the others.  In the "ordinary" OBE one is immediately drawn back into the body by the slightest sound, fear or other thought from the physical world.  One is attached to the body by what some refer to as a "silver cord".  When I entered into the tunnel there was no attachment to nor memory of the physical world as we know it.  This is my experience; I don't know about "others'" experiences.  I did feel like I was swirling, at first slowly, then faster and was accompanied by "others" after I got part way through the tunnel.  As I approached the clarity at the far end I was disoriented but as soon as I exited from the tunnel I heard voices "Gerry's here. 

Gerry's here!"  Some people having had similar experiences report having seen relatives, friends or religious figures.  I did not recognize any "beings".

Several things struck me.  First of all was the feeling of joy, of euphoria.  No other word even comes close to describe what is inexpressible.  Nothing negative was evident.  I did not encounter or see any "bodies" such as our physical bodies.  What I "saw" were a few (three or four) what I can describe only as essences, clear in substance (if there was substance) shaped like inverted drops.  After 30 years I'm inclined to think "they" may have been different vibrations of light and that perhaps that is precisely what spirit is. 

Communication was not speech as we know it, but rather similar to what we call"mental telepathy'".  There was immediate recognition of the meaning of the communication.  I cannot express well enough the feelings of joy and euphoria (what some call love) that not just permeated the experience but which was its very essence.  It was an expression of total acceptance only spoken of on the physical plane.  There was a point where I said to myself" this must be where I'll see my past go by me".  If I had that experience I didn't bring it back to this plane with me.

Another unforgettable thing was the lack of time and space, i.e.  the experience of timelessness and spacelessness.  I was at one and the same time in the "past" (medieval times),"present", and "what will be".  It was as if the three "time" frames were superimposed in a fashion similar to that of numerous layers of film laid one on the other.  "Space" was experienced in somewhat the same way.  When I was at the exit of the tunnel I was on a hill overlooking a city or village in the distance, and instantaneously, again almost telepathically, I was somewhere else.

As mentioned earlier, there was a pervasive sense of total acceptance and I realized that there is no such thing as sin and guilt, that these are earth-bound, man-made concepts designed to control someone or something.  This has had a lasting impression on me and changed my perspective of life considerably.

So there I was.  It has been pointed out to me by a sensitive (psychic) that I appeared to those who greeted me just as they appeared to me.  That has brought me new insight to the experience.  At any rate I was as ecstatic as the others, eager to learn whatever there was to learn.  They were about to take me "farther" when another essence appeared.  Those who had greeted me at my arrival told the newcomer that I had just arrived and that they were going to take me wherever it was they were going to introduce me.  However, a firm "NO" from the newly arrived essence put a stop to it.  Neither the essences nor I were happy with that response and I tried to insist on staying, saying I absolutely did not want to go back.  In return we got a simple "Gerry must go back because they don't know."

I don't remember saying good-bye.  I know that coming back through the tunnel was faster than going towards the clarity and that it was accompanied by a swooshing sound.  I reentered my body through my head, through what I have since learned is referred to as the crown chakra.  (Here, I must underscore the fact that before my accident and for years afterward I had never heard of the chakra system nor of the associated metaphysical concepts.)  That is where and how I found myself back in my hospital bed.  Whether the experience of having been "on the other side" lasted a few seconds or minutes or more I have no way of knowing.  No one ever mentioned to me that I had "died" but then, the French ways of keeping records and dealing with hospital patients vary somewhat from those with which we are accustomed in our country.  In any event, I had been sent back to the physical plane against my will.  Once back there was a point, a very poignant and frightening point, where I became aware of the fact that I had no strength that even to lift my little finger literally exhausted me.  I recall the impact of that realization.  Unless I took charge of myself I'd be an invalid the rest of my earth-bound existence, someone else would feed me, clothe me, speak for me, and move me from wherever I was to wherever I wanted or needed to be.  No way was I about to let that happen if I could help it so I struggled and "pained" to regain physical strength and to communicate.  One day I realized I wasn't hearing what was being said to me on my right side.  It was the first and, to my knowledge, the only time during the entire experience I am describing that I cried.  It is the only handicap other than tiring easily in noisy situations that has remained with me to this day.

My biological family was not closely knit, and although my mother did come to Paris at the request of the physician and friends, it was more harmful than helpful.  That is one of the reasons that Ginette's unexpected visit provided what I consider the key to my recovery.  Also, I asked her to send her personal physician to see if he'd tell me if I'd ever hear through my right ear again.  The doctors at the hospital wouldn't say more than that they didn't know and that didn't satisfy me.  I needed to know how and to what to adjust my life.  Ginette's doctor was to the point: "No", I would not regain my hearing.  I often wonder, though, whether I would be able to hear today if I had worked as hard at hearing as I did at learning to speak, read, write and pay attention to what people said to me.

Although it took me about five years to recover completely the early steps were exceptionally rapid.  In a week I understood English fairly well and began speaking enough to ask for my radio and a necklace, and to recognize the music from The King and I.  Within the following two weeks I began conversing in French.  The doctors had told me I'd never speak French again and possibly not English!  In less than a month, at my mother's insistence, I was released from the hospital.  The document I was given upon my release states that the aphasia had "notoriously regressed."

As I mentioned, prior to my accident I had made arrangements to teach English in the schools in Arles.  In spite of the doctor's advice I went to Arles so I wouldn't have to return to the States and stay at my parents' house.  I must add that I felt I was truly ready to reenter my profession and thought I would he able to continue my career at that time.  After one-half day on the job I knew I was mistaken.  However, the school administration suggested I stay for six weeks and then try again.  I did stay until mid-November but it became obvious I was not ready for work.  Therefore I returned "home" where I convalesced for a year before returning to teaching.  After one year I became aware I needed more time off.  Since my communication skills were again normal and my lack of strength was disguised by my enthusiasm, no one knew of my accident and experiences related to it and therefore could not understand, let alone believe, my decision at the end of the academic year to leave for where even I didn't know.  As it happened, I was able to return to France for two years where I audited courses and worked part-time.  During those years my "self" (for lack of a better word) was slower at returning to my chronological age than was my body.  One person, a friend in York, PA, was aware of this because I would indicate to her the various stages of focusing to her.  It was most interesting to observe and to go through this process at the same time.  There were specific moments where I said to myself "I feel like a first grader; I feel like I'm about a senior in high school" then in college, and finally at my then chronological age.  It was one of the most unusual experiences I've ever had.  That process lasted about four and a half or five years.

For years, many years, I continued my search for what it is "they don't know".  At times I still am haunted by it.  However, I 've given up on that search for the most part confident that I am doing what I must do.  I hope, simply, that the telling of these experiences will have helped someone understand him or herself, or someone else.  It is not necessary that anyone agree with it, or even believe it.  I would like to have contributed to a better understanding of anyone with similar experiences.

Addendum

In the years immediately following the incident described above I was intent on getting my life together, of coming to grips with "reality" and making ends meet.  Struggle is an understatement.

It was not until the early 70s when someone asked me about my aphasia that I was, in essence, forced to relive my experience.  Painful as it was, it was also cathartic and since then I have been able to share what happened to me.  The same person introduced me to metaphysics and to parapsychology; both these fields have helped me understand my experience.  I have also become a neophyte astrologer.

I had tried for years to write about my NDE but it wasn't until about 1986 that I was able to do so.  Much, obviously, has happened since then.  I learned about the International Association for Near Death Studies (IANDS) and have attended one of their international congresses.  I've read all I can find on the NDE.  One author in particular, PMH Atwater, has helped me.  In her Coming back to Life she states that her research has shown that it takes a MINIMUM of seven years for an NDEr to BEGIN to assimilate the experience!  It put to rest my wondering if I had suppressed my experience for some reason.  The process of integrating the NDE with "normal" life is a continuous, daily one.  Even today, nearly 34 years later, I make adjustments due to what I experienced in the NDE.  I spoke to a 65-year-old who told me the same thing ...  his experience was in childhood!  And, the experience is as vivid as the moment(s) it occurred.

Much has been written on the subject, particularly the past ten-fifteen years and mostly by researchers: Moody, Ring, Sabom, Atwater (herself a three-time experiencer) and others.  Material by experiencers is limited though there are now an estimated 13 million of us, in the US alone.  I often try to explain to groups to whom I speak that the NDE is more intimate than sex.  Here we are dealing with the very essence of being, with the soul.  Beauty and pain go hand in hand in describing the experience unless one detaches him/herself from it and few experiencers can, or are willing to do that.

Therefore, the reader must accept that what I have written in these pages is the tip of the iceberg.  Please, ask no more at this time.

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A lifetime: Brief moments of light when suddenly truth beams on us

I was born October 29, 1960 as one of twin girls. One sunny day, my brother was tossing a large football-sized rock with a friend of his for fun. I was told to remain on the porch as they played but saw my dolly under a mimosa tree on a white iron chair that wrapped around the entire tree. I ignored the warning and went to grab it. As soon as I reached the tree the large rock hit my head and cracked my skull. I believe I felt warmth flush down my entire body. I heard a loud bell sound and my body dropped like a carelessly thrown garment as I went upward into the arms of a beautifully light-filled being, an angel.

I immediately trusted and loved this angel. I never wanted the angel to leave. I knew what was being told to me by this lovely joyful love-filled being was one hundred percent truth.  I was draped in the arms of this light-filled long-haired being and want to say red-haired being too. The light moved within the body as well as flowed as part of the clothing or gown she was wearing, but the light always kept me from seeing the face entirely. The light changed and danced throughout the being, blinding me from seeing this loving angel being’s face totally.

She was carrying me up a huge beautiful white spiral staircase, and brilliant lights were shining and sparkling all around us. I felt so safe. At that age (I was in elementary school, never was away from home) and in this being’s arms, I had not a single care in the world. I don’t think I gave a second thought to anything down here at that moment. I was in pure bliss. The being’s voice had a true joyful loving sound to it as well. Its honesty and love and joyousness, I could not only hear but felt inside my spirit.

I was looking around at the lights. When I mentioned how pretty they were to this angel being, this angel being agreed and said, “Yes.” As I heard the angel answering briefly to another presence, I was swallowed up into a lovely warm pink existence where there was what I would explain as a healing loving softness. That’s the best I can explain for now.

What my family was witnessing was totally different, even terrifying. My mother recalls driving out of town with seven of my other siblings when the awful knowing that something has happened to her daughter washed over her. She said it was a knowing. She drove to a phone and called home and turned back home after hearing the news.  From what I’ve pieced together, she saw me with my eyes rolled back, revealing the root, and I was bleeding a pool of blood from my head as well as covered in blood I had vomited.       

Back in my experience, I am laid down in what I believe to be mid-air. In space this angel chats with me, assuring me everything is just as it should be. This being directs my attention to my left and I see afar off a golden bright entrance. The being tells me heaven and Jesus are there and there’s a place for me. Now I know there was much more great discussion between us, but my memory was wiped possibly (haha). Really though, this being knew me entirely.

The angel being says, “Would you like to go to heaven or stay with your mommy and daddy?” As soon as she said mommy and daddy, I see a photo picture fly right up to my face in the middle of outer space where I’m laying comfortably with all the stars. The image that flies up was of my mommy and daddy fighting and I am immediately drawn to my mother’s image and a deep need to help her somehow. I had no care for my father at that moment, only the deep need to help my mother. When I saw my mother’s image, I chose to come back for her. The angel being told me to lie very still after assuring me everything was just fine. Well, everything goes black, but then something blacker than that black walks up and down along side of me a few times and leaves.

I wake up in the hospital, being told later I was in a coma for three days. I tell my mom some of what I had been through and she said not to repeat it. It’s funny I couldn’t tell her about the picture of her and dad that made me return. She told me not to talk of it. And I immediately knew she was thinking I had a missing screw bolt and rusty spring from my brain (lol). I was told the doctors were to do a surgery, but my skull had miraculously fallen back into place.

I’ve asked others in my family later in life, but apparently none of my other sisters and brothers were told of even where I was. Later I found out a lie had been told about who had thrown the rock. My brother did, not his friend who was blamed. They thought I wasn’t going to pull through. But even now I’ve never heard the entirety of the experience from their viewpoint because it was so very hushed.

I returned to school, but shortly after took aptitude tests, and I was passed from 6th to 8th grade for achieving a high score. I feel the NDE experience helped me answer the test questions, possibly giving me a higher IQ. I’m not saying I’m smart, but that something helped me answer...sounds insane lol. But I know I was helped somehow by the NDE. That’s the best I can explain.

Now, later in growing up, I was given the knowledge I would have a retarded child and that I was going to because I wouldn’t hurt a disabled child. I say retarded because that is the term I understood in that day. I recall actually standing at the end of our sidewalk wondering why I would have a retarded child, but knew I had to remember it.

Later in life I had my beautiful Down Syndrome daughter. I knew about this instantly. Before the doctors could say that she had Down Syndrome, I was telling them she has Down Syndrome. I had learned the term by a sister-in-law whose child was born with this extra chromosome (trisomy 21). Before they could tell me, I knew because I flashed back to the day I stood saying to myself, “You have to remember this day,” when I received the information I was to have a retarded child. So, yes, I remembered.

Other things occurred throughout my life that always reminded me this world is not all there is. When I was growing up in a very abusive home with an alcoholic father, I would pray for Holy Spirit to fill me from the bottoms of my toes to the top of my head. In one experience after prayer, Holy Spirit leapt into my body and immediately leapt out again, rushing through my head. But as if that wasn’t odd enough, when it jumped out of my head, my entire being was with that spirit, like being pulled with it together in unison. My body (my tent) was somehow being pulled upward as well, but it somehow shut me off from jumping out with the Holy Spirit. The force of spirit jumping out actually caused me to tilt my head back and raise my eyes involuntarily from the force.

Then I clearly heard my name being said by spirit. The voice, though male, had the same loving, joyous-full, all-knowing tone the angel being had during my rock injury NDE, although at that time I thought the rock injury angel was female. But I’m not sure why. Possibly the beauty of it, but I can’t be sure.

Now I want to tell of another near-death experience in my early teens. I would sometimes experiment by taking my father’s pills, usually a Librium, which they gave to alcoholics then. On this occasion I saw a small glass vial that said, “Place under tongue...” and some other words I didn’t read. So, I picked up the tiny pill and put it above my bed.

One afternoon I thought it must be like the melatonin or poison ivy pill so I popped it in my mouth and the next thing I know, my heart is pounding so very hard very fast. I’m trying to will my heart to stop this. While feeling the massive pressure and pounding it’s going through, I’m asking for forgiveness with my every fiber of my being. I’m thinking, “I’m alone and I’m gonna die.” But, I see my father at my doorway and, unable to talk, I reach out my hand. He approaches close enough, and I pull his hand to my heart, knowing it will reveal the issue.

At that moment I evaporate into the ground through my bed and the floor of the house into a very dark tunnel where I am speeding downward into darkness. I am on a black clear object, as contradictory as this seems, and I scramble to get off it as it rushes downward with me on it. As I scramble to get off, I am aware of other presences around the surface I’m on. The other beings scared me, and there was no fighting what was happening, so I go back to laying in the middle of the object.

At that point I’m dead and I know it, and soon it slows like an elevator slowly stops and arrives at the edge of a black deep cavern. I see way across to a golden throne with a red robe or cloth throw draped across the left arm. To the right of that, several feet away, there is a golden-looking box with a couple of gears you might see in a wind-up jewelry box. This image is lit in an area way off, surrounded in darkness.

I’m in a sitting up position and somehow know to turn awkwardly to my right and there I see massive, intricate metal doors. By massive I mean incredibly massive. I was shocked and amazed and wondering who could have built such massive doors that worlds could fit in.

I studied them and as I studied, I was aware of something coming for me but I knew that I had time, so I continued really studying the doors. If you’ve ever seen a metal tack for furniture that has the tortoiseshell appearance, these massive doors had hammered metal and if you can imagine, even a hammer mark on this door was the size worlds could fit inside. So, I was in total awe of who was capable of creating this. Was it God? I didn’t think it looked like heaven’s doors, but thought I was looking at the most massive furnace doors.

Now as I sit, I feel parts of my life drip from my spirit body like water. It was like the stories of my life fall away through the surface I’m sitting on until the last drip. I knew I was going to hell and knew I deserved to go, but as the last portion fell away, there was what I like to call a small “belief-in-God stone.” I’m saying stone for lack of wording but there was a belief in God that did not fall through the surface, and as I was revealed that, a group of beings similar to the grey alien came up out of the black cavern. And I thoroughly knew I deserved hell and even said so, saying, “Come, Lord Jesus.”

Something in me said, “Pray.” The aliens had large, empty black eyes. I saw beyond their eyes into emptiness that went on forever, like if it were possible to step in to that eye, it would be a dark very vast empty place, void of anything. The largest being of the group of four or five threw his hand into my soul and was trying to capture or scare or hurt me. I felt electrical charge run through my soul’s lower right side. The being’s hands were emitting some sort of rough electrical shocking charge, but as fast as this is shocking me, I begin the Lord’s Prayer. When I was provoked to pray the Lord’s Prayer, I knew I had to do it NOW because there is an alien demon’s hand in my side.

A dim light appears either from me or behind me, and as that light appears, these creatures turn and flee, and I mean flee fast. My praying the Lord’s Prayer and light appearing and their running all happened within seconds. I prayed bolder and louder. As I saw them flee, I knew it made them flee from me somehow.  As I saw them flee, at that same time, I was pulled back up into my bed where I opened my eyes to my father praying, saying he was too terrified to move me to even get help.

Man, oh man, I was so exhausted when I opened my eyes and saw my father, like zero strength left in me. I was always strong as a horse back then but at that moment I was in shock from the experience. I was grateful and eager to hide my face and cry over what I had been through and drift into true sleep because of the weakness of my body when I returned. I needed rest.

The prayer and the light were somehow a substance they found deadly or possibly worse than death, if there is such a thing. I can’t say enough how fast they turned and fled. A few days after the experience, I looked at the bottle and it was a nitroglycerin pill for a 300 lb. man with an instruction to place under the tongue.

The reason I even tell about any of my past is on the off chance it may help someone. There is a God that loves us and a World awaits us!!!!!!!!!! 

I would like tell of my husband’s NDE as well. Bob was born July 29, 1926 and I was born October 29, 1960. When he was a day away from passing, he told me he saw something golden on his bedside table that reached way up and that I couldn’t see it but it was there. I easily said, “I believe you.” Bob also mentioned a puppy in his room running in and out and a presence in the bathroom. I assured him I believed him. He told me he had the “big talk” with God, and when I looked in his eyes, they sparkled like a happy little boy playing. He appeared innocent (lol if you knew Bob) but I somehow knew he was an innocent man just by looking in his eyes at that moment.

The night before or possibly a day or so before my husband passed, he had me alone and said, “Janet, I fell out of my body last night and couldn’t get back in my room.” He said he was able to crawl around on the door (he said after he was going around the knob, he realized this wouldn’t get him in his room) and walk in the hall and was very confused for a while. To get back into the shell of his body, he made diving and swim motions with his arms. As he spoke of this, I was immediately assuring him that it was a true experience and went about giving Bob his puzzle book and office work he wanted to work on.

I was going on my birthday to shave him and thought I’d call him first. He answered shakenly. I said, “I love you, Bob.” He said, “I luv yuoooo,” and a nurse came on and asked, “Does he normally have a hand issue? I’ll call you right back.” She called me right back saying he passed after his “I love yuoooo” comment. He died on my birthday, so October 29, 2016 somehow became a stamp inside my being of the love he had at the end for God, family, life, me and this confusing world we live in.

I mention his experience because it was my experience as well, and it left me with a knowing that his and my meeting was a meant-to-be kind of thing. The first day I saw Bob, a knowledge was given to me that I would marry him. I had just left a horrible marriage and he was much older, and all I kept thinking while peeking at him, not letting him see me look at him was, “Why????????? Would I be marrying him????????” Well, we married and had the best twenty years of my life!!!!  So, I honestly am telling whoever this may reach with a very assured feeling that his and my life were pre-ordained somewhere beyond this world, but I get confused still of the why.

I only get tiny slices of a massive 3D pie, so from earth vantage we may be buried under many layers of what I would call blindness, until a brief moment of light and suddenly truth beams on us. Then we are able to understand we are right where we are supposed to be and everything is going as planned. An all-is-well kind of knowing brushes over my thoughts.

Both my experiences were good. I summarize my near-death experiences this way: you go to a place where you know who you are, then you come back to a place where nobody knows who you are, so it doesn’t work out. So, you’ve got to ride it out, baby!

I was one with God consciousness

The birth of my third child was by emergency c-section. The overtone during the birth/surgery was one of hushed, quiet voices. Very little shared or explained. A general feeling of unease throughout. 

Once the birth/surgery was over I was reunited with my little one in the Maternity Ward. I was in a lot of pain as was to be expected and had what I thought to be an unusual amount of discomfort. I had had two previous c-sections and I knew that this felt different. I was assured all was well and that the healing was on track. 

I was allowed to go home two days later. I thought that if I got home, I would begin to feel better again. But what followed was ten days of subdued, quiet awareness. Like I wasn't quite myself but could not pinpoint what was wrong. Two more visits to the Midwife proved everything to be 'fine'. Even though my baby was losing weight and I had no milk. But none of these rang alarm bells for me or the medical staff, and my assertations of general unease were put down to my recent surgery. It was noted, however, that I had an extreme amount of bruising around the incision. The midwife made my doctor aware of this and was told to keep an eye on it and if I was concerned, then I should book an appointment.

The ten days blurred by. I was aware that my baby was incredibly patient and quiet. Rarely cried and slept most of the time. It didn't occur to me that I had no milk until perhaps the seventh day. Uncharacteristically, he began to wail. And it all began to make sense. That night we gave him milk from the fridge as it was all we had and he was soothed.

I had begun to bleed by this stage. Bright red drops. Light at first, nothing too alarming. I thought it odd, but my thoughts were not clear. Over the next three days, the bleeding became heavier until on the tenth day I could not keep up with the pad change. I called the doctor, still unconcerned. I made my appointment and sat down to feed my baby.

Not long after I sat down, I felt an overwhelming sense of something. A fullness perhaps. An eruption just about to begin. At that exact moment, my husband walked in the door. Home early to grab a bite to eat. I gave him the baby with an urgency that overcame me. I just knew I needed to get up.

And then the flood began. The blood streamed down my legs, warm and heavy. The flow was torrential. At some point, my husband had put the baby down and was now holding me. I was leaning against him crying and crying out. “What is happening??” I simply did not understand what I was seeing and feeling. I squeezed my legs tight together in an effort to stop the flow. To no avail.

And then suddenly I understood the absurdity of trying to control this. I realised there was nothing I could do that could change this and I had to simply go with it. I had the intense sensation that my whole life was bleeding away, and I was overcome with a sense of peace. Time and space slowed right down. I could see decisions and the choices being made. I took a long deep breath and saw the Universe shifting and expanding.

I knew then that I could make a choice to be terrified and panic. Or I could make a choice to surrender. Let go. Let go of my life. And I saw that there was, in fact, no choice. There was only one. Let go. And it felt like a complete letting go of my life.

My husband put me in the shower while he raced around getting things organised. In his panic, he forgot to turn on the hot water. I had a ridiculous thought that I was going to bleed to death in a freezing shower and I began to laugh! But then as I saw the blood in its constant stream, I slowly cried. Big heavy tears. Watching my life slip away has a very calming and grounding effect on me. And by this stage, nothing was stopping the blood. I shoved a towel between my legs to catch the flow. I noticed that there was blood all over the floor. Everywhere. And I felt that panic again. And then I breathed. That slowness. That higher part of myself stepped in. She knew exactly what to do and slowed everything down.

And everything stayed incredibly slow. My husband was talking too fast. Moving too fast. Driving too fast. More than once I asked him to slow down in a very calmed, measured voice. He looked at me like I was crazy. Arriving at the hospital was intense. Everyone around me was in emergency mode. I couldn't reconcile it with how I was feeling. Calm. Still. Quiet. I wanted to sleep.

I was later transferred to a larger hospital and thought it a bit of an overreaction with the lights, sirens and speed of the ambulance. The nurse and medic beside me continued to move with speed. 

Once at the hospital, I was prepped for surgery with cannula after cannula going into my arms and hands. Each new doctor asked what, when, how. And I think I explained it to them but I have little memory of this time. I felt I was talking too slowly and quietly for them to understand. I had several hours where I lost consciousness here. When I awoke it was to find they were flying me to a city hospital. I think this is the first time reality stepped in. I suddenly understood where I was and what was happening and I began to cry again.

The plane waited several more hours as I needed to be stable enough to make the flight. Eventually, late at night, I was wrapped in blankets waiting on the gurney in an open hanger to board the Flying Doctors plane. I was conscious again and I could see the stars all around me. And suddenly the distance between those stars and me was reduced to nothing. I was aware that I was the stars, the universe and consciousness. I found my Presence here. Under these stars. I saw everything as a whole and connected. And it was overwhelming and normal all at once. I felt such immense joy! I was part of this!

On the journey to the city, I felt completely supported and surrounded by what one could only call angelic beings. So were so close I felt I could touch them. I really wanted to be with them but the doctor kept gently shaking me awake. I smiled up at him each time. It was so peaceful in that semi-conscious state. Everything had a beautiful golden glow.

Just before surgery, I was waiting in a small room beside the operating theatre. The anesthetist was beside me. She said she would check if they were ready for me and left me alone. In those moments I started to cry again. Big, slow tears rolling down my face as I lay there. I was just so tired. So incredibly tired. Soul weary. I realised I didn't want to be kept awake anymore. I just wanted to sleep. And in sleeping, I knew I would be giving up my life. And I decided that it was the easiest decision I had ever made. I felt my body and mind begin to let go.

Then I saw a hand beside me. And a firm and cheery voice said to me, “Are you coming with us then? Or staying here?” And I knew what this meant. I knew I was leaving my body. I was shown briefly an apocalyptic scene and was given the understanding that this had been my life. A life lived in fear. Then I reached out for that hand and had a split-second of thinking about my family. I knew immediately that they would be ok. They had their own life. 

And then freedom. Immense and full. Understanding and knowing. I was pulled out of my body very fast. And then the music began. And fireworks. A celebration on every level. Choirs of angels and jubilation! I felt free. I was weightless. A beam of light. Flying, soaring through the bright sky. The light was immense and went in every direction. Blue, bright sky everywhere. I had those first few moments of reveling in that glory of freedom. And then I knew exactly where I needed to be.

I moved off in a specific direction. Soaring extremely fast through that space, the enormity and interconnectedness of everything was an all-consuming feeling. I was one with God Consciousness. I was still aware of myself as me, but the super-expanded version. The version that knew all and saw all.

I saw a structure hanging in the sky in the distance. This was where I was headed. It was circular in shape. I saw three over light beams also heading that way. I felt utter elation. I knew who they were and I was excited to meet them again.

I arrived at what was a vast Library. Greeting the others was like greeting friends and family, although none were from my previous life. These were more ancient than that. Cycling throughout time together. Some had not been incarnate for thousands of years. I was home with them. And we were so happy to see one another.

We talked and reminisced. We shared stories of my life. We discussed contracts and purpose. How did I feel about my life? And then I was handed a book. I flicked through and it looked empty. Every page was blank. And then I opened to a page with words. And when I saw those two words, I knew I was coming back to my life. I was going back. I was supported in this decision, asked again and again if that was what I wanted. I just knew if I didn't, I would be coming back again to do this. This life thing. Another birth. Another life. Another journey. And I knew that I may not get it again. “Self Worth” had been my nemesis many whole lifetimes. Thousands of them. A vast stream flashing by me. And I knew it. This was the one thing left to master.

Once I had made the decision, I moved out of the library space. I spent a moment with my 'family.' Knowing that I would see them again, I made my way out to the vastness. And I began to feel myself moving down 'levels.' The light was gradually less bright and I started to take on my physical form once again. My physical form began to manifest out of the atoms all around me. Vast groups of them joining together and layering over my body. I could feel them take their place all around my energetic body. They covered me and energised me. It was like putting on a beautiful cloak. And having it settle a warmth all over me. It was an incredible feeling that I can still feel today.

I touched down onto a road. It was wide and long. Long grass and flowers waving gently in the breeze on either side. I started to walk and as I walked, a house started to come into view. As I got closer, I could hear voices. Laughter, talking. Then I could see groups of people in a cottage garden. I walked in through the front gate and headed for the front door. I didn't feel like I knew any of these faces.

I stepped inside the house to subdued light. Like a soft orange and golden glow. I noticed that the room was full of small children, toddlers and infants. Outside it was all adults. These children were holding one another; there was support from elderly helpers, like grandparents. Some children were walking or being carried up some stairs over to one side. I joined them on the stairs and found I had my hands being held by some small children.

I could see at the top of the stairs an old couple hugging and whispering to the children and babies. When I got to the top, they hugged me and whispered words of love into my ears. The children were then taken to various doors to go through. I stood watching for a while. Uncertain that I wanted to be here. 

The Grandmother motioned to me. “Are you ready?” She asked. I shook my head. She asked me two more times before she said, “Come and help us.” So I took my place at the top of the stairs and whispered words of love into each child's ear...

After a while, she looked at me. A questioning look. I nodded and got up. I walked through a door. And inside was a mirror on the wall. The room was soft and glowing and dim. I walked up to the mirror and looked into my eyes. “Are you ready?” I asked. I wasn't sure I was, but I did it anyway.

Vroom. Sucked back into my body again. Waking up after surgery. My very first statement was, “I am here.” I had been intubated so my croaky voice did not carry very far. The midwife in my room said, “Oh you're awake!” and gave me some ice to suck.

I was back. In my body. In my life. Ready with my purpose.

I lost 4 litres of blood. I was transfused with 6 pints of blood and 15 pints of plasma. I had my uterine arteries cauterised and never was able to bring my milk supply back for my little one. I spent many weeks recovering in hospital and then had home care after. 

It has taken me six years and counting to rewrite my life. In many ways, I have been reborn. I lost many memories. Had a very dark night of the soul where I developed anxiety, depression and PTSD. Longed for that connection again and had many long nights contemplating how I could get back. After the initial euphoria, I lost all reality and ceased to function on a normal level.

But slowly, slowly, I began to access that peace and grace in waking life. I began to see the slowness and the vastness and the choice. I began to love myself. I was grounded, slow and thoughtful. My speech, my breath, the way I move, everything slowed down. Everything in my life changed.

Now I am helping others access that innate peace inside them. Through reality, acceptance, surrender and self-love. Connecting them to their past. Their lineage. And that knowing that we are not alone in this vastness. Always connected. Part of the whole. Part of the one consciousness. It all matters, yet nothing matters. 

I had a second OBE on my way home from the hospital. I lived 500 kms from the city hospital and my Mum offered to drive me and my baby home as I was not allowed to drive. We got about 60 kms from my hometown and I had an overwhelming urge to swap with my Mum and drive. She resisted this, but I insisted. Further up the road, a car pulled out in front of us. We were travelling at 110 kph when this happened. I had no time to brake, but only respond. In that split-second, I swerved around the car on the outside, onto the roadside. There just happened to be a small slipway there. I left my body and looked down at the car and my baby in the back. I saw his car seat swerve violently. I heard clearly, “Are you sure?” I have no doubt that my Mother could not have reacted quickly enough and had I not insisted I drive, it may have been a different outcome for us all. I am so incredibly grateful for my life. Although to this day my Mum can't speak about that drive.

Woman helps another cross over during NDE

When I was 36, having taken some new medication in addition to the anti-depressant medication I already took on a daily basis, I went to bed and went to sleep.

Whilst asleep, I understood that I existed as an entity, separate from my body and also separate from my surroundings, which were a kind of ‘nothingness.’ I felt that I was an entity made of energy, which I perceived as beams of light, and I had a profound sense of contentment.

I understood from someone else who was there, but like me existed without a physical body, that my role as a being of energy only (i.e., a role which I had when there) was to go to other planes of existence and help people cross (in 'spirit,' though that term wasn't used) to another plane. I felt that I would be helping them by doing this.

I was sent to another plane and passed through several different planes/realities to the person who I was to help. She was a Caucasian girl, likely of around high school age. I saw her from an angle above her, but not directly above her. She was sitting and talking to friends at a table. I was able to embrace her spirit and move it with me through the planes to the one I had been in previously. This appeared to take more effort than moving through the planes by myself had taken.

Throughout the entire experience, I continued to feel the sense of positivity/contentedness.

Upon my return to the initial plane, I was spoken to by someone else who was there. (I mentally termed them 'god' as that was the term I knew which was most closely related to what they were, but I was aware that they weren’t 'god' as defined by religion). I am not sure whether I heard them speak the words, but I understood from them that I could stay there and continue to experience what I had been experiencing (i.e., feeling the sense of contentedness and helping people pass between the planes) or I could return to my body. I understood that if I chose not to return, the part of me which existed on earth would die.

Upon considering the possible impact of my death I chose to return, due to the likely impact my death would have on my parents.

At that point I woke up, though I continued to feel the 'contented' feeling for some time, before making a conscious effort to awaken completely. I felt that I had been taking very shallow breaths and needed to breathe more deeply to wake up properly.

I felt like I had experienced an NDE and immediately started researching what had happened to me on the internet. I discovered that the new medication which I had been prescribed could react with the medication I was already on and could lower the heart rate. A medication interaction website indicated that taking the two medications together presented a risk of death and that it was inadvisable to take both medications at the same time. I did not do so going forward.

I also established that the anti-depression medication I had been on for some time can cause lucid dreams. I had experienced some vivid nightmares upon commencing use of the anti-depressant medication and this was a known side effect.

Although I hadn't previously experienced any vivid positive dreams, or any dreams which felt as though they were reality, I concluded that it was likely that I had experienced a kind of dream. At that point I was disappointed, as there was a clear explanation for my experience, and I considered it unlikely that any part of the experience was real. However, having mentioned my experience, in passing, to a doctor, the doctor suggested that the choice I was faced with, to die or wake up, may well have been genuine. (Accepting that other aspects of the NDA were likely a vivid dream, which I felt was likely to be as a consequence of the interactions of the medications I had taken.)

Although I feel that my experience in general was not ‘real’, i.e., I did not exist as a being of energy (which I have mentally termed a 'light being'), I think it likely that I was close to death that night and that if I had chosen that option, I would have died peacefully in my sleep that night as a consequence of the interaction of the medication I had taken.

I found that I was able to return to a feeling that was similar to, though not as strong as, the feeling of positivity I felt on that occasion, when I undertook some guided meditation.

It may not be of relevance, but I suffer from hypnagogia, so have some issues with sleep which could perhaps be connected to this incident.

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