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Laura M's Experience

Experience description:   

In excellent physical health, I was in the darkest throes of emotional grief after the death of my husband. Both strong Christians (in fact, he was a minister), we had often shared our hopes and dreams of a future together, with our pets, for eternity in heaven.  But when he died, I became plagued with fears that he no longer remembered me, that our life together was erased in eternity, that I was expunged from his awareness upon his death.  I remember screaming out to God, pleading with Him for answers to these fearful questions.      

My NDE began shortly after lying down just before midnight on Saturday, December 4, 2010.  I lay on my back in my dark bedroom praying for some reassurance that my recently deceased husband remembered me...and wishing to sleep...our 12 year old cat dozing on my stomach.  Quite suddenly a strong vibration began in my solar plexus then rapidly intensified in power until it surged through my entire body.  This sensation was accompanied by an increasing roaring, metallic screeching sound in my ears and the awareness that I was being forcefully sucked upwards out of my physical body by an intense vacuum that seemed locked onto the top of my head.   

My "spirit" began leaving by rising upward within my body and out of the top of my head.  My "spirit" head and shoulders were first to emerge, above my "physical" head.  I totally bypassed my bedroom ceiling, went straight into outer space.  Immediately the roaring noise stopped and I looked around at the black midnight sky filled with millions of stars, totally still and generally silent, but I made a mental note that I could hear the "sounds of outer space" and felt a slightly cool temperature. There was a momentary break in the vacuum pull on my head.  

I was fully conscious, alert, aware I was dying and distinctly recall thinking with elation "This is not a dream, this is actually happening...here I go...wow, so soon and so easy!"   

Seconds later the vacuum resumed and the incredibly powerful force kept pulling me upward, beyond any ability to resist, in a second round of sucking, this time my torso emerged.  Almost like repeated rounds of labor, pulling me out through the top of my head. At this point, my spirit was out of my body to waist level, and I was actually steadying myself at one point by holding onto the top of my "physical head" which was at about waist-level of my rising spirit, with my left "spirit hand". 

I noticed that the intense, loud vacuum had stopped and realized that all I had to do was wiggle my spirit legs free (out of the top of my physical head) and I would be totally disengaged from my body, floating in space.  Before deciding whether to do so, while still anchored from the waist down in my physical body, upper body in outer space, I tried waving my arms and discovered there was no gravity.  I could fly if I totally disengaged.  At that point I felt butterflies in my stomach.  I had all feeling, was 100% mentally aware of everything in my earthly life, remembered everyone, everything, while in this half-disembodied state.   

At this point I became aware of an unseen presence behind me to my right.  It communicated to me via mental telepathy that it was my choice to go or stay at this point.  I recall concern for my 12 year old cat being left behind, and the being made it known that the cat had lived a full life and I would be allowed to take him with me if I chose to die physically at this time. 

Because of my emotional grief at that point in my life, this experience was very exciting to me.  My joy was tempered, however, by the awareness that this dark night sky was not at all what I expected to see at death.  I had always expected to see Jesus, or angels, a welcoming group of deceased loved ones, or at least a brilliant light to "go to".  As I looked around into deep space, the thought of disengaging from my body totally--a boundary that I intuitively understood was a point of no return--and launching utterly alone into outer space was not appealing.   

As soon as I made the mental decision not to "jump" the rest of the way out of my body into outer space, there were 2 more weak pulls of the vacuum and I descended, somewhat uncomfortably, back into my body.  As though it was a tight fit and hard to wedge back in. 

I lay there, back in body, wondering if I'd had a heart attack or a stroke.  Extreme heart pounding, loud ringing in my ears, adrenaline pumping, painful tingling in all extremeties.  Experience over.

At the time of your experience was there an associated life-threatening event?   Uncertain  No known threat, but there is not doubt in my mind that I began the process of physical death.

Was the experience difficult to express in words?  No     The experience was so clear and real that it was very easy for me to express in written form, which I did the next day so that I would not forget any aspect of the event.  I also wrote all I could recall to avoid any unintentional revision with retelling over future years.  HOWEVER, while it was easy for me to express in words, I found that it was difficult for others to comprehend what I was describing.

At what time during the experience were you at your highest level of consciousness and alertness?    I was fully conscious and alert during the entire experience.  And even using meta-cognition:  I recall thinking "I notice that I am 100% alert and awake while dying" and it immediately solved all my concerns that my husband forgot about my existence when he died.  I realized that I was fully, totally and completely myself with all my memories and awareness, while disembodied.

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 was keenly alert and aware of everything.  Senses fully intact.  I heard the roaring noise, felt the intense vibration of my body, saw the night sky, stars and planets, smelled a certain "cool, damp" smell in outer space, and telepathically communicated with the unseen being.

Please compare your vision during the experience to your everyday vision that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience.
   My vision of the nighttime outer space into which I was pulled with vacuum force was crystal clear.  I could see millions of stars and planets with great clarity to infinite distance.

Please compare your hearing during the experience to your everyday hearing that you had immediately prior to the time of the experience.
   The experience itself was accompanied by an deafening roaring noise that had some metallic screeching elements.  Once out of my body, outer space was silent but for what I recall thinking was faint "space sounds".  Like a slight, tinkling faraway windchime.

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   Although the experience took me into deep outer space, I could still somehow "see" that my body was still lying in my bed with my cat on my stomach, and I was aware that my cat was snoring softly.  When I returned to my body, this was indeed still the situation.

What emotions did you feel during the experience?   First: curiosity about the powerful vibration, massive vacuum pulling on top of my head, and deafening roar.  Then, upon realizing what was happening:  elation that dying was so painless, relief to discover I was still 100% mentally "me", anticipation to soon rejoin my deceased husband.  Finally, upon noticing that all I could see was deep outer space with no expected Jesus, angels, husband, loved ones or light: a sense of apprehension, an awareness of being potentially lost in space with no compass was not appealing.  

Did you pass into or through a tunnel?   No   I went directly from my physical body in bed into deep outer space, dark night sky with stars.

Did you see an unearthly light?   No   I expected to, and looked around in outer space for it, but did not see the anticipated light.

Did you seem to encounter a mystical being or presence, or hear an unidentifiable voice?   I encountered a definite being, or a voice clearly of mystical or unearthly origin
I became aware of an unseen presence behind me to my right.  It communicated to me via mental telepathy that it was my choice to go or stay at this point.  I recall concern for my 12 year old cat being left behind, and the being made it known that the cat had lived a full life and I would be allowed to take him with me if I chose to die physically at this time.  The presence was neutral, not especially loving or hostile, simply informative.

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?   No  

Did you become aware of past events in your life during your experience?   Uncertain   I did not become aware of anything that was not already familiar.  But I WAS consciously aware that I could remember everything about my life thus far.  NOTHING became hazy or difficult to recall.  I was 100% percent aware of every detail of my present daily life just as before the experience.

Did you seem to enter some other, unearthly world?   A clearly mystical or unearthly realm
I was vacuumed forcefully out of the top of my head directly into dark nighttime outer space with stars and planets.  Cool, slightly damp atmosphere and faint distant windchime sound.

Did time seem to speed up or slow down?   Everything seemed to be happening at once; or time stopped or lost all meaning
I had glanced at my bedside clock before and after the event, and noticed that the whole experience lasted about 25 minutes in real time.  But in the experience, it felt like it took only moments.

Did you suddenly seem to understand everything?   Everything about myself or others
I immediately came to understand that when one leaves the physical body, all memories and mental faculties are 100% intact.

Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure?   Yes
It was made clear to me that if I chose to wiggle the final bit out of my physical body, to break totally free, I would not be able to return.

Did you come to a border or point of no return?   I came to a definite conscious decision to "return" to life
It was made clear to me that if I chose to wiggle the final bit out of my physical body, to break totally free, I would not be able to return.  The deciding factor to return was awareness that this dark night sky was not at all what I expected to see at death.  I always expected to see Jesus, or angels, a welcoming group of deceased loved ones, or at least a brilliant light to "go toward".  As I looked around into deep space, the thought of disengaging from my body totally--a boundary that I intuitively understood was a point of no return--and launching utterly alone into outer space was not appealing.   

I recall thinking that maybe it was not yet my time, and so my welcoming committee was not assembled and waiting, as I was unexpected at that point.

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”)?   Yes   Yes, the fact that after leaving my physical body I was fully alert, aware, and able to analyze, evaluate the circumstances and make decisions while disembodied were proof to me of continued existence.

During your experience, did you encounter any specific information / awareness that God or a supreme being either does (or does not) exist?   Yes   The vast beauty of the outer space into which I was vacuumed, the presence of the unseen being who answered questions telepathically, and MOST OF ALL, the fact that this entire experience answered the questions I had recently been begging God to answer:  "do we retain all of our memories and awareness after death" and specifically, "does my recently deceased husband remember that I exist and know that I love and miss him" were answered by my personally experiencing that same reality.

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?   No  

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?   No  

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 entirely not consistent with the beliefs you had at the time of your experience   It was made clear to me that if I chose to wiggle the final bit out of my physical body, to break totally free, I would not be able to return.  DIFFERENCE: I always assumed that when your time came, you were taken and had no choice in the matter. 

Also, I expect to see Jesus, angels, loved ones, a welcoming group or at least a beckoning light when it is truly my time to go.  I did not see any of these expected sights in my experience.  However, there is NO DOUBT whatsoever that I left my body and was given the option to die at that point or to return to finish this earthly life in the future.

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  

Discuss any changes that might have occurred in your life after your experience:   I now have little to no interest in material, earthbound concepts and things. I no longer have any interest in romantic or intimate relationship (not saying such is bad, simply observe I have lost all interest in such).  More interested in kindness to everyone in general. I am extremely interested in Bible study, a deepening relationship with God and Jesus.  I am very patient and understanding of others' shortcomings, realizing we are each here on our one and only, much anticipated "stint on planet earth".  I am now interested in becoming a hospice volunteer, and greatly respect others' near death stories.  I now care for 25 animals--thankfully I live in the rural countryside.  I am living each day to the best of my ability doing the best I can for God, with His help, one moment at a time.

My experience directly resulted in:   Large 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?  
Uncertain   Not so much a change, but a validation that our earthly relationships do live on after death.

Do you have any psychic, non-ordinary or other special gifts after your experience that you did not have before the experience?   Uncertain   This is difficult to define because I have a lifelong history of special gifts in the "knowing" sense.  Precognitive dreams that have come to pass, being able to look at a person and knowing they will die soon, knowing women are pregnant before they themselves know, ability to transmit and receive thoughts over long distances.  Hundreds of sightings of otherworldly beings throughout life.   

A very clear OBE when I was 3, wherein I was transported to a time and place before I was sent to earth, and I was informed that my life would difficult and challenging.  This has proven to be true, in many ways.

Are there one or several parts of your experience that are especially meaningful or significant to you?    
By far, most meaningful was the direct answer to prayer wherein I experienced, firsthand, the knowledge that our memories and minds are 100% intact when we depart.  We still know and love all our loved ones just as before.

Have you ever shared this experience with others?  
Yes  I wrote it down the next day to remember all details.  Told my mother and sister after about a week, my dad after about a year.  Have not told any outside immediate family.  Mom believes I was "trying to die" to rejoin deceased husband.  Sis, while not entirely skeptical, doesn't know quite what to think. Dad thinks I was being "tested" spiritually to see if I would opt to go--in a sense of wishful suicide--he thinks I made the right choice to stay.

Did you have any knowledge of near death experience (NDE) prior to your experience?   Yes   Yes, I have read various materials on NDE over the years.  Prior knowledge did not affect the actual experience, other than my considerable surprise that mine did not contain any of the expected elements.

What did you believe about the reality of your experience shortly (days to weeks) after it happened:   Experience was definitely real   The experience was so incredibly real and concrete that I have never doubted it for an instant.  And I wrote it down in precise detail the next day so there would be no chance of forgetting or embellishing the experience with the passage of time.

What do you believe about the reality of your experience at the current time:   Experience was definitely real   The experience was so incredibly real and concrete that I have never doubted it for an instant.  I recall every moment as though it was yesterday.

Have your relationships changed specifically as a result of your experience?   Yes   I now have zero interest in romance or intimate relationships.  Instead, I notice I only gravitate to helping and ministering to others.  Earlier in my life I was all about romance.

Have your religious beliefs/spiritual practices changed specifically as a result of your experience?   Yes   My Christian walk with God, Jesus, Holy Spirit has strengthened dramatically. I have daily Bible study, prayer and devotions.  Have more spiritual dreams and visions.  Alternatively, I have become disillusioned with organized religion and have generally stopped attending church other than when invited by my mother to have fellowship with her as she grows older.

At any time in your life, has anything ever reproduced any part of the experience?   Yes   At age 3, I left my body and was transported to an area where prior to my birth I was informed by 2 "authority figures" of my life purpose and that my life would be difficult and challenging.  That experience was WAY beyond the concepts normally in a 3-year-old mind.  I returned hysterically crying. 

In my teens and 20s I experienced numerous incidents of sleep paralysis with accompanying evil manifestations, there was a similarity with the vibration and roaring noise in my ears that were present at the beginning of this described experience.

Is there anything else that you would like to add about your experience?   No

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

What could a national organization with an interest in near death experience (NDE) do that would be of interest to you?        Hold regional meetings, organize a community discussion group.

Are there any other questions that we could ask to help you communicate your experience?                  No, this was very comprehensive.  Thank you for this opportunity to share my experience for the first time.