Once in a while I receive a near-death story that gives a larger focus to what happened before and after the experience. This one from Mary Sandra traces her life afterward, dealing with the aftereffects, leaving the country, finding a way of living elsewhere, finding love, and having more children when she was told she never would. She speaks of “home” as being off-planet. ~PMH
David is 28 years old. His cardiac arrest that facilitated a near-death experience happened just nine months ago (today's date is July 20, 2011). He was flatlined for longer than five minutes, yet walked out of the hospital two days later. He puzzles over why he has no brain damage from lack of oxygen, and how people might react if he tells them what happened to him, what he saw on "the other side" of death, and what he was shown about things future. On one hand he fears being thought crazy, yet, on the other hand, he is so filled with a profound sense of brotherly love (as he put it), even for complete strangers, that he is not certain he cares if people poo-poo him. He feels utterly transformed, yet he has many questions - searching the Internet for information about near-death experiences has not proved helpful. That's because the full story is not on the Internet. You must read through various books to find that, especially my own. For "newbees," like David, I recommend COMING BACK TO LIFE, BEYOND THE LIGHT, and THE BIG BOOK OF NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES. If you are a child experiencer, be sure to read THE NEW CHILDREN AND NEAR-DEATH EXPERIENCES. I also urge experiencers to join the International Association For Near-Death Studies (IANDS) and attending their national conferences. There's nothing like being a room filled with people just like you, who have also died and been on "the other side." Here is David's story.
Susan’s near-death experience, although briefly put, is typical of the phenomenon. How she describes what she went through and has been dealing with since is raw and truthful. The public forgets that episodes such as this come from accident scenes, serious illness, or some other form of trauma or violence. Near-death experiences are not always pleasant, but they can indeed lead to a broader and more positive life afterwards.
Every near-death experiencer's story is unique. Yes, the patterning is global irrespective of culture, but elements in the pattern differ broadly and the way the individual tells his or her story is truly personal. The one below is from Mark Jacoby. It happened while he was a teenager still in high school. He has asked that we use his full name and that we give his e-mail address, as he invites correspondence. You may contact him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
--Dr. P.M.H. Atwater
Although this incident seems more like an out-of-body experience, I consider it to be an initial near-death experience, especially because of the way it has affected the boy throughout his life and even now as an older adult. Children are prone to have brief episodes like this (refer to "The New Children and Near-Death Experiences"). The young Len easily could have been killed in this fall. It is a miracle that he wasn't. Len, by the way, is the husband of Margaret Fields Kean. You may remember her story in several of my books, especially "Beyond the Light," in the Transcendent Cases chapter. The two were always able to share with each other on a very deep level. Perhaps this story explains why they had that unique sensitivity.
There are many experiencers in this section who have shared the story of their near-death episode and how it affected them. I am grateful for all their stories and the courage it took to tell them. This entry from Juliet is different from the others. Here we have an experiencer nearing the end of her life who offers how the near-death experience she had in the mid-1970s opened wide new worlds and new realities for her, above and beyond a previous experience in childhood, and what she has learned since. It is a treasured piece, very philosophical. I thank Juliet for giving me permission to print it.
Here is a near-death experience that comes from a man in Columbia, South America. His name is Diego. His description of what happened to him is a little different than North American cases, maybe his English not as you are used to, still, we need to consider all aspects of these episodes. And, we need to keep in mind that an experiencer in a country like the U.S. will differ somewhat in their interpretation and feelings about what happened to them than those in other countries. Diego is part of my original study of child experiencers of near-death states. I discuss his case in both "Children of the New Millennium" and "The New Children and Near-Death Experiences."
--Dr. P.M.H. Atwater