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Your True Tales
October 2005
Page 20

Drowning NDE
by Brian L.

I really don't remember much about my life before that day. A day that would forever change the way I viewed life, death, and the world around me. I experienced something so amazingly terrifying, mortally painful, and yet so blissfully peaceful that I feel almost a need to share this experience with other people.

After church one Sunday, we went to the park to have a family picnic. With darting colorful butterflies to chase, fast slippery toads to catch, and an abundance of rocks and sticks to throw in the water, it was a perfect setting for any seven-year-old. White, puffy clouds hung low against the deep blue summer sky. The thick, tall carpet of green grass seemed to be there just for young eyes to view with enchanted wonderment.

It was a perfect day.

After swiftly stuffing my pudgy belly with pancakes and milk, I decided to go throw anything I could find into the water. I know I had not intended to have one of these objects include myself, but that's exactly what happened. I had inched out too far over the water's edge, and I fell in. Considering the fact that I hadn't learned to swim yet, or to even float for that matter, this was not an idealistic place to find myself. So there I was, out of the sight and hearing range of any welcomed heroes of the day. I was too young to fully grasp the severity of the situation, but when you're choking, panic and fighting for your life seems to come naturally. For a moment, I felt the utter fear of death. My body instinctively sensed a life-threatening situation. I held my breath and struggled to find something to hold on to, but my small hands were only gripping the liquid space. I was helpless and completely out of control in my panicked state. At some point, I finally gave in to the battle I was losing. All of a sudden, my body was no longer craving a breath. I did not need to breathe anymore, and with that, the panic stopped. I can remember slowly bobbing up and down, up and down, like a hook and sinker on a fishing pole line.

The next thing I can remember was feeling the most profound and utter sense of peace I have ever felt in my life. I felt as safe as a baby in its mother's arms. The world became a giant cradle, and I was its infant. I was engulfed in a brilliant white light, so very bright, but not blinding at all.

Then, like a perfectly edited movie, I watched my whole life flash before my very eyes. Frame by frame, it seemed like every little detail of my short life was being reviewed, but who was the audience? Even more, who was the director? Was I being judged? As if all this were not remarkable enough, I can distinctly remember gracefully leaving my body. Like a monarch butterfly breaking out of its cocoon, I hatched out of my physical restraints and started to dart about like a humming bird. Out of my body, I flew over my parents and hovered there for awhile. I then quickly flew back to the water, where I looked at my own lifeless body. I seemed to prefer the view from about fifteen feet in the air. The glittering magnificent colors that made up this new world were spectacular. Everything was much more vibrant than before. The blues were bluer than blue, and the greens were greener than green. I had no fear, and there were no answers because there were no questions to be asked. I felt much older and wiser than my actual years. It was as though I had been through this experience many times before. I was in a very familiar, contented, and comfortable realm.

Then, all of a sudden, I was abruptly slammed back into my painful body, which felt like it was thrown into a tub full of ice water. A stranger had pulled me from the water and managed to physically pound life back into my limp body. This was a horrible and gut-wrenching shock. Where did that enchanted, magical, and all-loving place go?

Being back on earth seemed to be filled with pain, sorrow, and limitations. Instead of flying, I was coughing, spitting up water, and people were crying. I was panicked again. I knew immediately I missed the wonderful place where I had been. A place where I no longer wanted candy, I no longer needed a baby sitter, and I certainly had no mortal physical bounds and fears. The place where you are just a soul, no body, no ego, no vanity, no greed, no pain, just love and warmth.

I know I'll go back some day. I just hope getting there is easier next time.

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