Carla P's Experience
We had just pulled out, after stopping to look at the swans at the end of the lake. We were going to my father's home for Christmas Dinner. I hadn't spoken with him in 4 years and this was to be the reconciliation dinner. After losing my mother to cancer just 3 years earlier, I had learned that my father had been diagnosed with cancer. It was time to let the past be the past. My life was starting anew, with an engagement ring on my finger, which I just received the day before, we were going to spend Christmas with my father and family. It was 2:46 in the afternoon.
A green and white Dodge truck was coming around the corner. I heard my fiancée say Oh God, while he braked hard. The truck had crossed over into our lane, hitting the concrete wall on our side of the road. I can still hear the scraping of the metal on the concrete. I can still see the truck raising up and I remember clearly thinking that this was it, life was over. The truck was going to come through the windshield. I turned and rolled towards my fiancée. The doctors claimed that is what saved my life. The airbag detonated and hit my cheek. I remember thinking it felt like a kiss. Then everything stopped. Only the sound of the engine hissing. My fiancée asked me if I was okay, I told him that I thought I was. He got out of the truck and told me I should get out too. After turning in my seat towards the front of the vehicle, it felt like my one leg was on Jell-O. Every time I went to lift it nothing happened, except I felt this swaying motion. My fiancée was insistent on moving me, however I told him no, I thought that something was wrong. At this time, passing motorists had stopped to see if we needed help. She stood a distance from me, and I held out my hand asking her if she would hold my hand, I then asked her name. She told me and then found something to cover my legs. I was dressed in a dress for Christmas dinner. I kept asking her what my leg was on, and she said that it was fine and to try not to move.
I remember the police coming, then the fire trucks. I remember the police asking me if I was the driver of the vehicle. I think that is so funny now, as I was sitting in the passenger seat, with obvious injuries. A neighbor brought tea and cookies for the police and fire fighters. It was Christmas after all. It took the fire fighters over an hour to remove me from our truck. I joked with them telling them that I didn't care if they were calendar boys, just to get to work and get me out of the truck. They laughed. I remember the sirens of the arriving ambulance. I remember being strapped in to the spider web, feeling totally helpless. I remember the snow falling on my face while being moved to the ambulance. I remember worrying about my fiancée and how he was. I worried about our dog too and asked the fireman to put her in the back of the truck as I didn't want her to get hit or run away. My fiancée was being checked out by the ambulance attendants and after I was placed in the ambulance he got a ride to the hospital with the police. I remember the ambulance attendant saying that they usually cut people's hair when removing the head strapping, but that since it was Christmas he would take his time and remove it without cutting my hair. I remember him asking me if I was attached to my coat. I said yes. They said that they wouldn't cut it off of me then, they would just carefully remove my arms from it, since it was Christmas Day.
When I was in the ambulance they put a strap around my legs. I must have screamed. It was so painful, they interrupted that I had a fractured leg and placed a splint on my leg, after pulling it. It hurt but felt more comfortable after. I remember hearing several times, this will hurt but it will feel better after, from the fire fighters, ambulance attendants and doctors.
We arrived at Creston Hospital, where x-rays were taken. They found a fractured femur. I remember them cutting my new blouse, but very carefully along the seams, as it was Christmas and cutting the skirt along the seams as well. The skirt was part of a suit my mother had bought for me on one of our shopping expeditions before she died.
From Creston Hospital I was transferred to another ambulance to go to Cranbook Hospital where a team would be waiting to take me to surgery. It was 8:10 pm. I could hear my sisters crying, I could hear the voice of my father, breaking as he spoke, saying he loved me and to hang in there. My sisters held my hands and told me that they loved me and that I would be alright and to stay strong. My fiancée went with us this time in the ambulance. It was an hours drive normally, however it had been snowing and it took almost two hours, the roads were slippery, visibility was poor. I prayed that we would not be in another accident. My fiancée sat near my head as I drifted in and out of rest. They had given me something to calm me, I felt calm, but still very aware of my surroundings.
As I drifted off, I felt myself go to a beige place, no bright lights, no sounds, no fear, just beige. As I was there I thought to myself that I was ready to go, and that it was okay because I knew that my children knew that I loved them. They were spending Christmas with their father in Nanaimo. The only regret that crossed my mind was the loss of my new life together with my fiancée and that I never finished the Children's story I had been working on for my future grandchildren. I then heard my mother's voice tell me that she loved me, and that it was time to go back. She said that I would be in pain, but that I needed to go back. I drifted back to awareness as we arrived safely at the Cranbrook Hospital. As they transported from the ambulance, I remember the snow gently falling from the sky under the lights and the sky looked a twilight blue. It was so beautiful. I remember the snow falling on my eyelashes, and wanting to move, of course I couldn't so I stuck out my tongue and caught a snowflake. It is then that I decided that I was going to fight to stay alive.
I went into surgery for a fracture of my femur and my tibia plateau which was found on the x-rays when taken at Cranbrook. After 2 months living in a nursing home to recuperate and then another 2 months with my daughter, I was able to return home. It seemed so surreal, to return to this home. I looked around and some Christmas decorations were still around. I looked at the walls and my home with new eyes and wondered who this person was that put this home together. I felt so detached...so different. My goals became so important, going back to school, walking down the aisle with a cane on August 20th. Both accomplished.
I guess that is why I looked at this web site. My life has changed, I have changed. My priorities have changed so much. What I thought was important before the accident seems petty now. This has affected every aspect of my life. For the better I think. My son tells me that he thinks I am from another world. He says I am different. My daughter tells me I am more fun to be around. My husband and I appreciate each other so much, for we both realized that life is so precious and we almost lost each other. And my father..., well he looks at me and says "I almost lost you little one."
And my mother's voice......well there is more to this story.....the swans....A girlfriend had brought a stereo and some classical music for me to listen to while recuperating. As I lay in bed in the first weeks after surgery, the song Clare de Lune played. I suddenly gasped for air as I remembered ...
Clare de Lune was the requested song my mother wanted played at her funeral service. I remember her comforting me as we spoke of this, saying that she will be like a the swan on the lake and will always protect and comfort me by wrapping her wings around me.
Do I wish
this would never have happened to me??? I have to ask myself what have you
learned from your experience and of your experience???? Putting the physical
aspects aside, it was a wonderful experience. It was spiritual, it has been a
growing experience and continues to be as I still struggle to find the balance
of my previous life and the life I am now. I rather like the life I am now. I
hope that stays with me always. Sometimes however, I do feel a little distanced
Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? No
At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event? Yes Fractured femur.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? Directly after the accident up until I went to surgery.
How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal every day consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal
If your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience was different from your normal every day consciousness and alertness, please explain: My senses were ultra sensitive, I could have heard a pin drop. I knew what needed to be done, but physically I couldn't do anything
Did your vision differ in any way from your normal, everyday vision (in any aspect, such as clarity, field of vision, colors, brightness, depth perception degree of solidness/transparency of objects, etc.)? Yes Transparency of objects, something like a fog, but not.
Did your hearing differ in any way from your normal, everyday hearing (in any aspect, such as clarity, ability to recognize source of sound, pitch, loudness, etc.)?
Yes I could have heard a pin drop.....
Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body? Yes
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Calmness....acceptance....no fear
Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure? Yes More like a moving through an enclosure, doorway, something like from here to there. Nothing specific.
Did you see a light? Yes No bright lights, just all beige.
Did you meet or see any other beings? Yes My mother's voice. To go back, I needed to go back and that she loved me.
Did you experience a review of past events in your life? Yes A real sense of no regrets of the past events in my life and a knowing that my children knew that I loved them. The future is what I missed, my life with my future spouse or the likelihood of no life with him and the children's book unfinished.
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? No
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes Just a voice stating that I had to go back.
Did you become aware of future events? No
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience you did not have prior to the experience? No
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes 2 weeks. They cried. They said that I gave them strength and courage and that they believed that I had a very spiritual experience that would change my life.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Yes Only that bright lights have been experienced.
How did you view the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened: Experience was definitely real I viewed it with awe and reverence.
Were there one or several parts of the experience especially meaningful or significant to you? My mother's voice.....the transformation in my priorities, goals, courage and focus. My calmness, my inward growth, my solitude seems almost spiritual.
How do you currently view the reality of your experience: Experience was definitely real A very unique personal experience, filled with purpose and inward growth.
Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes The relationship with my family has become very important. Every goodbye has special meaning and almost tears my heart out now. It all has to be said, because life can change in a blink of an eye.
Have your religious beliefs/practices changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes I have always been religious, but it is more now, there is a need for grounding, for being in touch with the universe. Being a part of the universe, giving of yourself. My husband and I plan on going on a working mission in 2008.
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? No
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience? A thank you for this new view on life, on the universe and thank you for my new found appreciation of life, family and love of life.
Did the questions asked and information you provided so far accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes