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Francis J's Experience

Experience description:   

I was close, but not unusually so, to my mother's parents (my grandparents). My grandfather died in approximately 1969, when I was 15. There was nothing extraordinary. In approximately 1982 I was married and the mother of two young children. I was asleep and had an incredibly vivid dream in which I was "surrounded by water" and unable to breathe. The water was kind of living water, I don't know how else to describe it other than maybe amniotic fluid. I could see shadows outside the water and knew they were people I loved but we weren't really connected physically. I fought and fought not to breathe the water, I was rasping heavily in my breathing. Nearing exhaustion, I decided to "breathe the water."

The next experience in my "dream" was sudden and immediate: a big black paw hit my forehead followed immediately by what I can only describe as "peace beyond all understanding." After the long and excruciating battle against breathing the water, these steps were more quick. Feeling peace beyond all understanding, I was sort of floating above a bed (hospital bed), surrounded by medical staff whom I would still identify today: a young man somewhat dark complexion, with dark wavy hair and a stethoscope around his neck; a lovely young woman with beautiful auburn wavy hair (I don't know these people in my real life). They said to me (the body below me) that they were sorry they could not save me. I "think-talked" to them, feeling so peaceful, that it was ok, it was ok, it was ok. Next a wonderful green-yellow-white light drew me to it (still floating in the hospital room). I couldn't resist the light and entered into it. There was an immense and more than beautiful lawn or meadow, and a tree with a man gardening under it. I moved toward the man (who was somewhat ephemeral) and it was my grandfather (my grandmother's deceased husband). He began to welcome me. Then the phone in the bedroom rang and rang...my husband awoke, answered the phone, and called me to it. I was very groggy from the dream, and my voice still "froggy" from all the rasping as I had tried not to breathe the water. It was my dad on the phone, telling me my grandmother had passed away, approximately a two-hour drive from my home.

That is the end of my experience. I believe I experienced her death and her first experiences (heaven) following her death. Please bear in mind that my grandmother died from heart failure, and her lungs filled with fluid. That is how she died.

At the time of your experience was there an associated life-threatening event?   Yes  There was the death of my grandmother.

Was the experience difficult to express in words?  Yes     There are no words full or rich enough to explain, especially what I refer to as the sudden blackness, "peace beyond all understanding" and how I was drawn to the light, as well as the living color of the light.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness?    I'm not certain if my highest level of consciousness was when the blackness hit me followed by a wave of peace beyond all understanding, or if it was when I entered the light.

How did your highest level of consciousness and alertness during the experience compare to your normal everyday consciousness and alertness?      More consciousness and alertness than normal   I think this experience is among the most vivid in my entire life. I remember all of it better than even the birth of my own children.

Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience.
   It was less visual and more experiential with all my senses (probably not smell).

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience.
   I think my hearing was reduced to the peripheral.

Did you see or hear any earthly events that were occurring during a time that your consciousness / awareness was apart from your physical / earthly body?   Yes   As described previously, when I was above my body I heard the medical staff speaking that they were sorry they couldn't save me. Please keep in mind that my grandmother had heart trouble for years, and had instructed my parents (her daughter) not to revive her, that she was "ready to go," and wanted to join her deceased husband.

What emotions did you feel during the experience?   When I was "trying not to breathe the water" I was very focused. When I gave in to it, I felt so peaceful I cannot describe it. When passing into the light, I felt helpless, curious, joyful.  

Did you pass into or through a tunnel?   Uncertain   It was more an aura of light that had a specific place (like a window).

Did you see an unearthly light?   Yes   It was something like a window.

Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice?   No

Did you encounter or become aware of any beings who previously lived on earth who are described by name in religions (for example: Jesus, Muhammad, Buddha, etc.)?   No  

Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings?   Yes   I encountered my deceased grandfather - the husband of my grandmother whose death I believe I experienced.

Did you become aware of past events in your life during your experience?   No  

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world?   A clearly mystical or unearthly realm
It was a garden, but without borders.

Did time seem to speed up or slow down?   Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
The time before I "died" seemed to take a long time. Upon giving up life when I decided to "breathe the water," it was quick.

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything?   No

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure?   Yes
The boundary was when I was struck by a sudden and quick, painful blackness when I gave in to "breathing the water." It passed as suddenly as it arrived.

Did you come to a border or point of no return?   No

Did scenes from the future come to you?  No 

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness suggesting that there either is (or is not) continued existence after earthly life (“life after death”)?   Uncertain   It's hard for me to believe this was no more than an incredibly, uncanny dream.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that God or a supreme being either does (or does not) exist?   Uncertain   Well, I didn't exactly meet God or his/her representative. But the experience did lead me to believe in some sort of life after death, a religious principle of most folks.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that you either did (or did not) exist prior to this lifetime?   No  

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that a mystical universal connection or unity/oneness either does (or does not) exist?   Yes   I think it was what Christians call "heaven."

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding earthly life’s meaning or purpose?   No  

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding earthly life’s difficulties, challenges, or hardships?   No  

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness regarding love?   Uncertain   My grandmother was devoted to her husband. He was the one I/she "saw" in "heaven."

During your experience, did you encounter any other specific information / awareness that you have not shared in other questions that is relevant to living our earthly lives?   No  

Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge or purpose?   No  

What occurred during your experience included:   Content that was both consistent and not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience   I am a spiritual person, privately. If this experience hadn't happened to me, I would not have thought it possible. I do, however, think it's likely we somehow share the space we live in, or maybe the space adjacent, with some people we had a loving relationship with. For example, about 20 years ago, my husband at the time (I have since remarried) was diagnosed with a life-threatening disease. I was praying at night to my God (higher power) that he not die. I think I heard his mother's voice say "He's not ready yet." She had passed away about 5 years previously. I don't think I came up with that thought myself, never having thought people were "ready" to die.

How accurately do you remember the experience in comparison to other life events that occurred around the time of the experience?   I remember the experience more accurately than other life events that occurred around the time of the experience   I'm an ordinary person.  

My experience directly resulted in:   No changes in my life

Did you have any changes in your values or beliefs after the experience that occurred as a result of the experience?  
No  

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you?   No, I frankly find it odd that I had this experience.

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience?   No  

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you?    
No, I frankly find it odd that I had this experience.

Have you ever shared this experience with others?  
Yes  I shared it with my mother, within several months of it happening.  She totally misunderstood. I've only shared it since with a few lovers who I considered particularly enlightened.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience?   Yes   I had heard of it.

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened:   Experience was definitely real   How did I get the experience of my grandmother dying? Why did I have it? From the medical perspective, this was probably her physical experience prior to her death. But what explained the part about "after" her death?

What do you believe about the reality of your experience at the current time:   Experience was definitely real  

Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience?   No  

Have your religious beliefs/spiritual practices changed specifically as a result of your experience?   No  

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience?   No  

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience?   I have heard about "near death" experiences, but never about experiencing the death of someone else, in a different place, when I did not even know she was dying at the time, nor how she would die.

Did the questions asked and information that you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?   Uncertain   Mostly.