I was 7 years old living in the suburbs of Chicago and about a year before I had been diagnosed with asthma.
I was still in the early stages of immunotherapy and figuring out all the things I was allergic to, and my asthma was not always under control. There was one night that I was having difficulty; the inhaler was not helping, later on, neither was the prednisone, and by morning my father drove me to the hospital. I had been up all night trying to get that next breath and was weak, so he carried me in. I was given something that felt a lot like the general anesthesia that I had much later on in life before two surgeries. I don't know specifically what I was given, only the physical sensation of being really shaky, cold, and then a warm sensation with my ability to breathe returning. I was very tired, and although the nurses wanted me to stay awake, I drifted off to sleep. I would learn later that I stopped breathing altogether.
I don't know if my heart stopped or not. I felt the sensation of a period of time passing, and entered a dreamlike state that turned into something of a nightmare that I could not wake up from. There was a strange physical sensation as I was looking down on someone in a bed with doctors working around them. It seemed to be nighttime. I felt calm, but at the same time wanted to wake up. I felt kind of confused, and had not made the cognitive connection as to who that was in the bed. I wanted to go home, and the next thing I knew I was outside our sliding door by the kitchen and my family was eating dinner. I was trying to get in and get their attention, but they didn't seem to notice me. This was frightening. I wandered around trying to find where I was, and how to get out, while at the same time had a calm, disconnected feeling. My conscious awareness was the same as it is right now typing this.
At some point I met others and we were in this dark void. Imagine you are wandering around in a large, dark room and meeting other people along the way, and we are all working together trying to find out what happened and why we are here. That's about what I remember from this part of the experience. There was a light, some distance away, and I later found myself becoming part of it, but I very much wanted to figure out a way to bring the others with me as I was drifting away from them. I don't remember a tunnel specifically, but later in life the movie Contact would become one of my favorites, and the scene of Jodie Foster's mystical travel seemed very familiar to how I felt then. Watching that movie brought feelings of deja vu to me when I saw it.
In the light was this powerful feeling of love. I had come home and was appreciated here. It was such a strong thing...a feeling of love and complete acceptance towards me, in me, through me. I had come home. The emotion is so much stronger than I know how to convey it. I very much wanted to go back and bring the others here. I wish you could feel this. I wish my words could make you feel how it was. I can feel it all over again as I write this, just pure LOVE!
From here on any concept of time just doesn't work anymore the way it does there. Time does not exist.
I could sense that there was a presence of some kind, with other beings I suppose. I felt a connection with them and there was this sort of introduction in a strange language where there was some part of me doing the communicating, but it wasn't directly from me. This was a sort of introduction, probably as much for me as it was for them. I got the feeling that there was a lot of information about other lifetimes bringing me to this one and where I was now.
I remember a review of all of it, more than I can currently understand or describe, but at a certain point I was in this life and certain parts of it were being played for me, only I was re-living those moments, with complete clarity, both from my perspective and the perspective of anyone else involved. These were my words, my thoughts, my actions, all over again, but from every conceivable viewpoint at the same time. It was very humbling, and it's something I try to be mindful of today in my dealings with other people, though when I think about it, it's so hard to push the ego aside and do the right thing, and I get the feeling that the next life review will be just as humbling or harder yet. I feel that we are limited here, and over there things were so much clearer; there was just an instantaneous knowing about everything. Feelings were much more intense, and my conscious awareness could go anywhere in an instant.
At a certain point I met a person or entity I would describe having a feminine energy but she was a guide, much like going to a counselor, except with complete and instant understanding and experiencing rather than just words or speech. I had to decide whether to start over in another lifetime or to continue on in this one. I was told that I might not reach my full potential if I decided to continue in this life, and that it might be better to start over in another one. I was told that this life would be very lonely. I was shown parts of my future life to help me decide. These were moments where I had to make a decision, but I was unsure of which way was the right way to go. I would also say that I felt that these were decisions where there weren't many available options, and maybe I was holding out for better options? In each situation there was this sense of calm where I felt, 'This is right. This is the right thing to do.' At first I was shown these things through a screen, but it was like I was really here experiencing it at the same time.
I was shown my career, and I remember meeting others who had been here and done the same sort of thing. They were very upbeat about it. Very positive. I was shown where I live now, both the home, and the area where I live, the small towns, just the general feeling of the area in general. Looking back on it now, it's more information than I know how to describe, and I have written about my NDE before, and it never feels "complete."
I was shown certain challenges I would have to deal with in my life, and I get the feeling that much of my life was chosen by me along with others before coming here in the first place in this life. I'm pretty sure my location, my asthma, were chosen to help me accomplish what I set out to do in this life, yet specific details escape me at this time due to the lack of clarity here. It's hard to talk about, and a little confusing. I remember being in a place that looks a lot like the Space Needle in Seattle. My parents lived there a few years before I was born. I remember choosing them as my parents over others because of their personality and their kindness. I remember waiting to come here, and it was a lot like waiting at an airport at night.
I remember asking my guide certain things throughout this experience to help me make my choice. Starting over in another life seemed very much like a wild card, and even with the challenges I was shown; my attachment to the people in my life was enough to make me continue here even though I was left with the feeling that it would be better to start over. I remember asking about the loneliness, and wondering if i would ever meet someone as a life partner, and being shown this woman with long blonde hair and we were on a plane going somewhere together. The feeling I felt was that "it was all worth it" and I looked at her, and some of the other people on the plane, and looked out the window at a bright light coming up out from the clouds that we were flying above, just like a sunrise. I don't know who this woman is, and have tried many times at guessing. I've come to a point in my life now where I'm not going to try to make it happen anymore, I'm just going to wait and see.
When I came back here I was at once aware of the limitations of my earthly body, and felt it was late at night. I was intubated and could not talk, and the nurse didn't get my telepathic communications as happened so effortlessly when I was away. I wanted to go back, but knew that this is what I had chosen and this was just right. It was a few days before I left the hospital and returned home. I remember getting home and walking into my bedroom, the sun was shining through the window and I felt very positive about the future, very hopeful, and happy to be here. I was high on life.
I guess it was about 3 or 4 years later...I had always been aware of the experience, but not that I had changed in any way. I was walking home from school with a childhood friend, and he asked me kind of surprisingly; "What happened to you when you were away?" He liked the old me better. I guess I had become more serious, probably more mindful of a few things. I guess I was a lot more carefree before, and probably more fun as a result. This was the first time anyone made it clear to me that they had noticed a change in my behavior, and probably the only time as far as I can remember.
I've tried speaking of this experience to my family, close friends and girlfriends over the years, and their reactions have taught me to be quiet about it. I guess it's a crazy story after all, and I suppose had I not experienced this for myself I would have a hard time believing such a thing. Now I just write about it here and there over the years, hoping that maybe it helps someone who is trying to sort out a near death experience that they have recently gone through, or they get something out of it in some other way. It was 30 years before I met someone who would embrace what i shared with them, and it helped me a lot. We became good friends and would try to visit at least once a year as we lived several states away from each other. She passed away in 2016. I met her in a dream the night she left, and it was a happy dream. It was like "You were right!" and we shared the moment together in a way that is difficult to describe, but it was like being back there again, and it was good.
Now I go to the occasional IANDS meeting, and spend a lot of time outside whenever possible, but still looking towards the future wondering, waiting, hoping.