Gregory B's Experience
The first night at home I was so tired that I don't remember anything. The second night (08/09/12) I woke in the early hours of the morning starving, but I just ignored it and went back to bed as I wasn't interested in eating during the night as I'd been trying hard to eat all day and was sick of trying. While I was lying there starving, I had the impression there was a conveyor belt beside my bed, and I was alerted to it by the shuffling noise it made, like 2 metal plates rubbing together. I drifted off back to sleep.
The same thing happened the next night but this time I got a better look at this conveyor belt thing, or at least I got to understand the significance of it better. On the third night I woke up at 0020 hrs (on the 10/ 09/12), and I noticed the conveyor belt had sections in it, and it was like taro cards showing significant parts of my life, but in a random order. I realized that the noise of the previous two nights had been shuffling the cards, waiting for me to put the events in the chronological order. This was the third time in a row that this had happened, so I knew there had to be a reason. I had nothing to go on as to what was happening, just the basic outline. After this I was drifting in and out of sleep a few times when I remembered that I had to eat as well, because that was part of the deal. Not only did I have to put the events in chronological order but also I intuitively knew that I had to eat. I'd forgotten about the eating side of it. I made four biscuits with cheese and with 2 smoked oysters on each. I ate that and it was the first time for a long, long time that I could taste with pleasure everything that I was eating. It tasted so good that I had two more feeds, of what I can't exactly remember, probably some cereal and some fruit. I was just so freaked out that I could actually taste the food. That's when I noticed my whole world had started to change. For a start I had no guilt, it was as if all my sins had been abolished.
For once my life started to make sense, for example, the years of punishment from my father was just prep school for me to deal with this cancer. And my girlfriend Mitra, killed herself the day before her 21st birthday. For 21 years I had carried the guilt of her death like a flock of albatrosses around my neck. Then Mum died and I realized the significance of both their deaths. Being brought up as a catholic the big no-no is suicide. You don't go to heaven, you don't go to hell, you go to purgatory. Then Mum dying I thought 'stuff it', but there is only one problem, how do you choose between joining the girl you love in purgatory but never seeing your Mother again because she would be in heaven. After I'd eaten and realized I carried no guilt, I felt ecstatic and euphoric, plus I had so much adrenaline pumping through me. I realized that I was no longer scared of going out in public. I had always seemed to be a magnet for attracting aggressive people, and I had avoided and dreaded going out anywhere. I also started stuttering uncontrollably and I didn't understand the reason until I remembered the same thing happening when I was really frightened of being punished by my father, and being in stressful situations when I would get upset, like when I was facing eviction and when I was involuntary detained by Mental health.
Going back to the second day out of hospital, I'd planned to go for a ride on my bike. I hadn't had hardly any food for 9 days or any sleep, but I needed to get out on my bike. Being a chronic insomniac you learn to compensate for lack of sleep. Its a good thing I didn't go for that ride, as I probably would have blacked out going at least 110ks/h in full length leather in the heat of the day; not a good combination. Because Doug had ridden his bike, I wanted to ride mine. It means freedom to me. In the past, whenever I had a problem, I would go for a ride. However I realized that I shouldn't go riding as I'd walked down earlier to BiLo and nearly collapsed. Luckily a friend of mine came into BiLo when I was just about to phone a ambulance, and he gave me a lift home. After I got home I noticed I felt better in the cool environment. So after a bit of rest I thought I still might go for a ride, but as the day progressed I became weaker.
Basically my body was shutting down. I had difficulty breathing, thinking, full on lethargy (worse than with chemo), and everything was an effort, even frowning. It felt like I had the minimum amount of blood in my body to keep me alive, and I started to drift off. There was no doubt whatever that I might not be alive in the next morning. I didn't have any pain; in fact it was very peaceful and tranquil which was why I didn't even think about phoning the ambos. I went to bed at 6.30pm, I had wanted to go to sleep a lot earlier than that but I knew from past experience that I would just wake up during the night (insomniac thinking). Plus I thought it was going to be the last nap I ever had. This is when the conveyor belt image returned. I know I had to put the four most inspirational and spiritual things in my life and in my imagination, in order on the conveyer belt. The first was the bright light or star I mentioned above, the second are four-leaf clovers, I had spent hours and hours searching for them all my life and as they have always signified luck for me. I have several accidents resulting in serious injury where I should have died, but I believe, for the luck of the four leafed clover.
The third was Miranda. She was the person who interviewed me for a pension. I explained to her the situation with my daughter Melissa. I couldn't sleep thinking about her, so I couldn't work as getting only a couple of hours sleep a night. Basically Miranda gave me the inspiration to carry on when I was feeling very suicidal, by basically being interested in me and helping me reunite with my daughter. She sent me a card with words like 'together we'll find Melissa'. I realized that she wasn't going to spend her life looking for her, what she meant she'd be there spiritually for me and support me. Because of her interest and support I ended up going through the trauma of the Family Law Courts where I at least got to spend one day with Melissa. I took her out for lunch at the Pizza Hut.
The fourth was Wendy,
who was my social worker when I had cancer. When I went to see her I had been
told that my life was all over. The thing is I was quite happy! I thought 'now I
don't have to 'neck' myself'. After about three or so visits to Wendy my whole
attitude took a '360 degree' turn from wanting to die. By showing an interest in
me she gave me the inspiration to want to kick on. Every time I talked to her
I'd walk out feeling great - the same as with Miranda, she did the same thing.
She helped me with things like filling out all the forms to get my
superannuation, because my heart wasn't in it because I didn't think money would
make any real difference to my happiness and desire to live. One of my best
memories of seeing Wendy was when we had lots of good laughs. I don't know what
the others workers nearby thought while we cracking up laughing. Basically both
these women were my light at the end of the tunnel. In a nut shell everything
was set up by my mother.
At the time of your experience was there an associated life-threatening event? Yes Terminal advanced stage 4 bowel cancer with metastases of the liver
Was the experience difficult to express in words? Yes It was so confusing because it was out of my everyday reality which made it twice as hard trying to explain to people even though I tried as I really wanted people to understand. The most frustrating thing was I volunteered to let the doctors to examine me and do what ever they wanted to prove I that I was cured and the majority didn't want to know about it.
At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness? More consciousness and alertness than normal I was extremely aware during the conveyor belt (?)hallucination I fully understood what my life was about both past and future
Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. I was completely focused on an image that wasn't there, in my everyday world
Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience. There was absolutely no noise except for the conveyor belt which sounded like metal on metal; as if to get my attention
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? No
What emotions did you feel during the experience? Intense curiosity
Did you pass into or through a tunnel? No
Did you see an unearthly light? No
Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice? No
Did you encounter or become aware of any deceased (or alive) beings? Yes I distinctly left the presence of my Mother who died in 2003, and who I believe was guiding me though the experience and is still guiding me.
Did you become aware of past events in your life during your experience? Yes I had a strong urge to mentally move certain events from my past on the conveyor belt into chronological order which I knew would get my life in order.
Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world? A clearly mystical or unearthly realm The whole experience was about certain past events which represent significant milestones in my life.
Did time seem to speed up or slow down? Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning I experienced no sound and no feeling of time passing, could have been minutes or hours
Did you suddenly seem to understand everything? Everything about the universe I was convinced I was the world's smartest and luckiest man because I thought no one else had ever been through anything like that.
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? Yes There were no bright lights to guide me apart from the bright star year ago. It was left to me to decide what to do. I even had the option to leave a world that, at times, had been incredibly cruel, callous and unkind to me, especially in the last three years.
Did you come to a border or point of no return? I came to a definite conscious decision to "return" to life I had the choice of life or death. I thought, 'why bother living' as I'd rather be with my mother and other deceased friends and relatives in this beautiful, peaceful, perfect world; I had nothing 'here' in the real world, but I 'knew' that I had to live, and I 'knew' that things would be different in the future, and I thought of my daughter.
Did scenes from the future come to you? Scenes from my personal future I knew my personal future would be incredibly different from my past. I felt and feel a sense of purpose to do really well in some field helping others. I have already donated my life savings to a local palliative care group who don't receive any regular government funding, and is run by volunteers. I have a sense of wanting to make my mother proud of me.
Did you have a sense of knowing special knowledge or purpose? Yes I knew I didn't know how to cure cancer but I knew how to make it more comfortable for people. No-one knows what a cancer sufferer's going through except a cancer sufferer.
Discuss any changes that might have occurred in your life after your experience: Large changes in my life no guilt or sins no more pain no more analgesia after 3 years ecstatic euphoric extreme peace and confidence no fear no longer shy but extroverted most importantly I have no signs of cancer and believe I am cured
Did you have any changes in your values or beliefs after the experience that occurred as a result of the experience?
Yes See above
Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience? No I am more aware of a gift I have always had of thinking of something and it appearing within a week
Have you ever shared this experience with others? Yes I tried to share it with others but only a very few would listen. Most people just brushed it off, they did the same thing I did to my mother when she talked about her NDE.
Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience? Uncertain Only the Hollywood experience, and I had heard of others but didn't really understand it.
What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened: Experience was definitely real
What do you believe about the reality of your experience at the current time: Experience was definitely real
relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience?
kinder, more tolerate, and much more patient.
Have your religious beliefs/spiritual practices changed specifically as a result of your experience? Yes I used pray every night and feel guilty if I missed. I used to pray for things that I needed, after the experience I didn't need anything, as I had everything I needed. Now I pray with gratitude
At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience? Uncertain I've had bursts of happiness before but I was euphoric for 4 months before settling into just happiness
Did the questions asked and information that you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience?
Are there one or
several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant
The fact that I had to do everything in the experience myself, which related to my life. I was never happy about it but there was a reason