I was living alone in Washington, DC in an apartment and felt isolated from people and nature. I was depressed and hated the way I was living. I was working downtown in an office, and I had chronic bronchitis.  The doctor said there was nothing more she could do. It may have been a reaction to air pollution in the city, mold, or a severe allergy. It was caused partly by tension/compression in my chest, but I didn't know that.  Every night, I coughed and wheezed for some time before I could breathe comfortably and get to sleep.  Sometimes I seemed to start choking after falling asleep, and woke up to more coughing. This time, I apparently stopped breathing altogether.

I was asleep in the early hours of the morning, and suddenly found myself in a different level of existence.  There was no tunnel or transition; I was just there. It was a realm consisting entirely of light, sound, joy and bliss. All around me were beings of pulsing, colored light, and indescribable music/singing full of joy and praise. The beings did not have human shape; they were more like oval or round pulsing loci of light. There were no sharp outlines in this realm; everything seemed to gently blend into everything else a little. There was nothing but light, music, praise for God and All That Is, and many beings/points of consciousness. The beings were creating the music and were made of the music. I was made of music, light and joy. I was filled with bliss and comfort, and felt "at home" for the first time ever. 

It was an experience where everything was instantly self-evident. If I turned my awareness to anything, it was self-evident to me with no time delay. I experienced that I was free in time and space; they were not obstacles to my awareness. I KNEW what I was experiencing. It was clear. 

The experience was very brief and had less detail than most NDEs I've read about. I knew I was in some sort of heaven or astral realm. I knew I was out of my body. I wanted to stay, but instantly knew that I had much work to do back on earth that I had barely begun and that most of it had to do with my family relationships.  There was a sort of abbreviated life review that hit these points very quickly. Knowing all this, I immediately looked down toward my body.

I could see a cord connecting me to my body, hanging down from me and softly swaying. It looked like shimmering, softly glowing, grey silk. We were still connected. My body was far away, downward, in a very dark place. The space between us looked dark and foggy or smokey, very dismal. I jumped/dove back into my body instantaneously and found myself trying to get my breathing passages clear, coughing, choking, wheezing for about 10 or 20 minutes. I think I coughed up a lot of mucus. 

When I could finally breathe, I just lay in bed going over the experience, feeling awe and wonder.  here was no fear or confusion; the whole thing was perfectly clear. I was amazed that I was able to come back and get my body "started up" again. I was at peace with the necessity of coming back; it too was self-evident, but I looked forward to the chance of going back to that wonderful place when my work was done. I would have stayed with no question if I had not known/seen that I had too much work left unfinished.

After that experience, I found a Rolfer and got the full 10 sessions of Rolfing, and after my chest was worked on, the bronchitis cleared up completely. I did not get Rolfed in order to cure the bronchitis; I didn't know that would happen. I became much more of an adventurer and wanderer, moving often, traveling, and having spiritual experiences more often. I had already had some transcendental experiences but they became more frequent and much deeper.

It seems to me that the NDE had to be very brief, or else I might not have been able to come back and revive myself, though I'm not sure what the correlation is between "time" during an NDE and time on earth.