My near-death experience happened when I had been very ill with some sort of virus and a bacterial infection that spread throughout my entire body and left me pretty much bed-ridden for 6-7 months. I remember telling my mom that I was certain I was going to die from this illness.

At the time of my near-death experience, the doctors did not know yet what was wrong with me. One day, I was feeling particularly ill, so I went out into my garage to get some fresh air. The last thing I remember is my heart thumping harder than I had ever felt it beat and reaching for the wall to steady myself. I would later find out that I had fainted. This is when my near-death experience began.

Suddenly, I was in a place that was very calm. I can't even describe the calmness because I've never felt anything like that on Earth. I was in a field. There were hills. There was a gentle breeze. Every color was more vibrant than any colors I have seen before. The sky was bright blue and clear. The grass was a vibrant green. There were trees in the distance that were the deepest green I have ever seen. It was warm there. It wasn't like a sweltering summer day where you're hiding under every bit of shade you can find while fanning yourself. It was a wonderful, comfortable warm that filled my entire body.

There were people next to me laughing and running around. I recognized them as friends of mine who had previously passed on. My childhood dogs were there too. Soon, I was joining them. I remember feeling happier and more at peace than I have ever felt. It was like taking the happiest day in your life, hold onto that feeling, then multiply it by 10. It was a sense that nothing mattered, not time or deadlines, nothing hurt anymore. It was absolute peace. I wanted to stay there forever. I remember the strangest feeling being that I felt light, like nothing was weighing me down. I never would have thought to consider that bodies have weight prior to that experience.

Eventually, my friends started running towards this iron fence. It was kind of a grey color and it was incredibly shiny. I ran after them and told them to wait for me because I couldn't keep up. Then, my friend's mother said something to him and nodded in my direction. He walked over to me and he said, "You have to go back."

I replied, "I don't want to go back there. I want to stay here."

He said, "I know you do, but you can't stay. It's not your time yet. You have to go back. Everything will be okay." Then, he pointed behind me to this pillar of light and said, "Go with her. She'll take care of you."

I didn't want to go, but I did as I was told and walked over to the light. I remember taking her "hand" (I put that in quotations because I really do not remember a hand at all. I was just holding onto light, essentially) and then we stepped down back into my garage. It wasn't like I was in any place way up above the solar system like most people would imagine a Heaven to be. It was probably like a 4-5 foot drop down.

The next thing I saw was my body laying on the ground in my garage and the light being saying to me, "Are you ready?" I said I was. She told me to just hover over my body and then I would be back. So I did. I remember floating above my body and then being pulled very quickly down on top of it. I felt this excruciating pain on my back as if someone had put a 2-ton pile of bricks on my back. Then, I opened my eyes and began shaking violently. I was back in my body.

After I was "awake" again, I was sitting in the ER hospital bed and I said to my mom, "Mom, do you think people can leave their bodies?"

She replied, "Why? Did you go to Heaven?"

I said that I thought I might have, and told her everything I saw. I should say I don't consider myself to be a religious person. I was raised in religion, but have moved further away from religion and gravitated towards spirituality as I've gotten older. At this time in my life, I was questioning everything I had learned and was pretty certain that I was an atheist.
After the near death experience, I'm still not religious, but I do have a strong faith in God/a higher power. I'm not afraid to die anymore because there's no need to be afraid. It's wonderful after you die. I honestly can't wait to go back there, but I know it has to be at the right time, too. I think I've also gained a greater sense of there being a reason behind why people are born and are on Earth, as well as the separation of body and spirit, with the body being only the house or shell for the spirit on Earth.