Erin K's Experience
2 weeks after
the birth of my second child, I was still experiencing a large amount of
bleeding (fist-sized blood clots). My then-husband (now ex) took me to the
nearest Emergency Room (something like Black Hills (?) in Olympia WA) when he
arrived home from school to find me going into shock. My skin was grey and
clammy; the bleeding would not stop; I was freezing cold.
Shortly after we got to the ER, I could see only fuzzy images of the staff and my husband. I could hear them talking, but their speech became muffled (like the speech of the adults in Charlie Brown cartoons). I could only vaguely feel my husband's hand holding mine. Then a figure sort of ceased to be fuzzy. He did NOT just appear---he was there all along, but he just became clear while everyone else remained fuzzy. He took my hand, and I could feel each of his fingers. His voice was clear and normal while the others remained muffled. He wore white, but I don't know if it was a suit, a robe or something else. He said, "Don't be afraid." (Actually, I wasn't afraid to begin with, and I felt very calm at the sight of him.) He said some things that I have never repeated (and never will), and then said that we would be together someday.
I was transferred to another ER (St. Peter's Hospital in Lacey WA) and had a D & C to remove part of the placenta that had not been expelled when my daughter was born. For the next 11 years, I assumed that, if the experience was even real, the man was an angel or someone that I would see someday in the afterlife.
I divorced my husband and moved several times with my children. We ended up where we are now last summer (2001). I came to the area several times, a few days at a time, and we moved here a few days before we were each to start school. I saw the man from this experience about 2 days after we settled in here. He does not seem to recognize me, but it is definitely him. He looks and sounds the same; he hasn't aged, though I think I would know him even if he had. Some of the things he said to me in 1990 have been validated, beginning immediately after I saw him. It is EXTREMELY frustrating to me that he does not recognize me (or is not letting on, if he does), because I know he is supposed to.
Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience: Uncertain
Explanation: I don't think I was given anything until it was over, but I can't be sure.
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes
What was it about the experience that makes it hard to communicate? The quality of reality
At the time of the experience, was there an associated life threatening event? Yes
Describe: Blood loss, shock, decrease in body temperature
What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience? Hard to explain. I could not make out details of what was going on around me, but the man himself was crystal clear and I could hear even his breathing.
Was the experience dream like in any way? No. I have had hallucinations from a fever and from experimenting with drugs as a teenager, and the degree of reality goes like this: everyday (waking) life has a feeling that is more real than dreams or hallucinations, and this experience had a feeling that was more real than everyday life.
Did you experience a separation of consciousness from your body? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? A sense of calm; awe; heightened love.
Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises? No.
Did you pass into or through a tunnel or enclosure? No
Did you see a light? Yes
Describe: Sort of. The man seemed much brighter than everyone else, but it was as though he himself was bright, not like there was light shining on him.
Did you meet or see any other beings? Yes
Describe: See above.
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? No
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Uncertain
Describe: I was in shock. I sort of had the impression for a while that this man and I were the only people in a small area, like reality consisted only of him and me in a sealed pocket of air(?).
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? Uncertain
Describe: The man told me things that did come to be or to make sense.
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No
Did you become aware of future events? Yes
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? Uncertain
Describe: I noticed this to a slight degree before the experience, but SINCE then it has increased dramatically: When I hear about a person who is missing or was killed, I get an immediate mental picture of what happened to them, and whenever I later later found out what did actually happen (which was not always the case), I saw that my picture was accurate.
Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience? Yes
Describe: Not so much immediately after, but after I came here and saw that this man is real, a lot of things fell into place. The person I was a year ago was very different from the person I was before the experience, and the person I am now is very different from the person I was a year ago. So many things seem to amuse me now.
Has the experience affected your relationships? Daily life? Religious practices etc.? Career choices? I did not tell my ex-husband any of this, because I came to know during the experience that I would not be with him for much longer. I went from being a battered woman with no self-esteem to a 40-year-old pre-vet student living in an area where I knew no one. I used to look away from people and look down at the ground when I walked; now I am happy and confident and I look at my surroundings as I walk. I relate better to people, but especially to animals.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes
Describe: I shared it with my sisters, my dad, and a teacher, but not until I came here and saw the man. It's not that I had forgotten about it, but I think I had forgotten the extent to which it was real. My teacher did not seem to know how to react; my sisters said they thought it was interesting, but I suspect they think I was hallucinating. My dad, who has a degree in psychology, suggested that I try to figure out whether or not something in my psyche might have made me attach the face of the man here to the memory of the man in the experience, and failing that, to consider the possibility that the experience was real and the man here may recognize me but not know what to do about it.
What emotions did you experience following your experience? Sadness for a while, because I wanted to be with that man, wherever he was.
What was the best and worst part of your experience? The worst part was thinking for 11 years that this man was someone I'd see in the afterlife, only to meet him here and not be involved with him the way I would expect to be---very confusing. The best part is the person I've become!
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience? For some reason, I developed several food allergies (specifically fruits) after the experience.
Has your life changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes
Describe: Though I don't go looking for death, I am not afraid of it anymore; I have a greater understanding of life cycles. I feel compelled to do what I can to help people and ease suffering in general.
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? Yes
Describe: Have relived it in dreams several times since I moved here, to clarify what was said when I was unsure.
Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? No
Explain: Accurately but not comprehensively. It was more real than life. There is no way to convey that in words.
Please offer any suggestions you have to improve the www.nderf.org questionnaire? No, but you could put people in touch with others who have experienced the same sort of thing. I feel very isolated not being able to converse with anyone about it. In the space toward the top "Did your experience include" you might add "PRESENCE OF OTHER PEOPLE" to "PRESENCE OF UNEARTHLY BEINGS" and "PRESENCE OF DECEASED PERSONS