Katie's Experience

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Experience description:   

I was caught in an undertow and although a strong swimmer, the current held me underwater.  I could no longer hold my breath and the one and all possessing thought was just to make it to the surface to get air.  All of a sudden, I stopped struggling and the most peaceful calm surrounded me.  The presence of my father (who had died 6 months earlier) totally enveloped me.  I did not see or hear him, but it was as though he was right with me.  I cannot stress enough that it wasn't as though I thought, " I'm going to die and join my father."  It wasn't like that at all. One minute I was fighting for air and the next minute the experience completely overwhelmed me.  

I had never even heard of a life after death experience when this occurred.  I did not die or lose consciousness nor did I see a white light or tunnel.  I did not see my body, but I felt as though I was just ready to leave it (sort of like a surreal experience) when a man dived down to look for me.  His dive must have broken the current because all of a sudden, I shot to the surface without swimming.

Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience:  No

Was the experience difficult to express in words?  Uncertain
What was it about the experience that makes it hard to communicate?  Although the event is clear to this day, at that time no one ever talked about life after death experiences.  I was only 19 and I didn't think that anyone would really believe me.  I did tell two friends right after the accident, but put it out of my thoughts because I just couldn't fathom that I had experienced the situation.

At the time of the experience, was there an associated life threatening event?
Describe:  I was drowning.

What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience?  I was conscious.

Was the experience dream like in any way?
  Actually yes.  I have never really thought of it that way, but that was the surreal feeling that I had.

Did you experience a separation of consciousness from your body?

Describe your appearance or form apart from your body:
  It was as though I was getting ready to leave my body although this sounds so strange.  I never looked down and saw my body though.

What emotions did you feel during the experience?
  During the drowning, I was just fighting to get to the top - so I guess I was in a panic.  But during the actual experience, I was filled with the most peaceful calm.

Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises?

Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure?  No

Did you see a light?  No

Did you meet or see any other beings?  Yes
Describe:  My father surrounded me and I never saw his form, but I KNEW that he was there.  At that time in my life, I had never even heard of people being "met" by relatives or friends.  My father did not communicate to me in any way, but I felt as though he was there to greet me.  I don't know if he was there to help me because that was never communicated.

Did you experience a review of past events in your life?  No

Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later?  No

Did you see or visit any beautiful or otherwise distinctive locations, levels or dimensions?  Uncertain
Describe:  I didn't actually go anyway, but it was as though everything around me was totally peaceful and calm.  I have never experienced anything like it since.  I think the closest experience would be the calm that you feel when you are out in nature and it is totally beautiful and you feel as though " all's right with the world."

Did you have any sense of altered space or time?  Yes
Describe:  It seems as though time "stopped" - if that makes any sense?

Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose?  No
Describe:  I wish that I did!  Maybe if anything though, I came away knowing that in the next life - what we thought of as problems or things that upset us would just not matter.

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure?  Yes
Describe:  I never heard, "It's not your time or anything," but when I shot to the surface - it was as though I was "sucked out of a dream" and back into reality and time resumed.

Did you become aware of future events?  No

Were you involved in or aware of a decision to return to the body?  No

Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience?  No

Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience?  Yes
Describe:  Well, now there is no doubt in my mind that we are joined with loved ones after death.

Has the experience affected your relationships?  Daily life?  Religious practices etc.?  Career choices?  Unfortunately, I don't think that it has affected my life.  So many times, I wish that I knew why my life had been spared.  I wasn't able to have children and I haven't really influenced the world in any way.  Maybe God felt that it would be too hard on my mom to lose a daughter after just losing a husband.

Have you shared this experience with others?  Yes
Describe:  I told two friends after it happened, but I really downplayed it so they just thought (I think) "Oh - she thought she was going to die and so she thought of her father."  It wasn't like that at all though.  I later told a good friend who had clinically died at the hospital only to be revived. He told me that he saw his body as he was leaving it.  My first question was, "Who is the closest person to you that has passed away?"  He answered it was his grandfather and then went on to say that his grandfather was waiting for him.  I then told him about my experience.  About a year ago, I told my mother what had happened.  She totally believed me and didn't think I was imagining anything or something.  So I guess that I have told about 6 people total.

What emotions did you experience following your experience?  I was bewildered because I had never heard of anything like this before.  I was also pretty frightened about almost drowning.  Although I never have experienced such peace since that time, it wasn't as though I wanted to leave my life.  I think it might be because I was saved before I experienced the total peace that might occur when you actually leave your body.  Joel (the friend who did actually die) says that he was told that it wasn't his time, but all I felt was that I was glad that I was still alive.

What was the best and worst part of your experience?
  The worst part was the struggle in almost drowning, but I think the best part - better than even the calm/peaceful feeling was knowing that my father was there for me.

Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience?
  Even now, I feel as though people who have passed away are close to me.

Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience?  No

Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience?  Uncertain
Describe:  A few years later, I had to have my tonsils out and I was put under.  When I was coming out of the anesthesia, it was sort of the same "dreamy" sense of stoppage of time.

Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?  Yes

Please offer any suggestions you have to improve the
questionnaire?  I think that it would be a good idea if you asked if people were met by the people who were the MOST important (deceased) in their lives. I haven't read any books on this, but I have a feeling that we are met by those deceased individuals who meant the most to us.