My father's mother had been living with us for about the past year. She was a member of the Church of God which I understood to be a fairly conservative Christian faith. She had recovered from a broken hip and could no longer take care of herself. She also had Parkinson's disease which was progressive and physically limiting. She had congestive heart failure. About 2 weeks prior to the morning she died she decided that she no longer wished to live and stopped eating. She was about 76 at the time. I had been practicing Transcendental Meditation for about two and half years at the time of her death.
My experience: On the morning of her death, during a dream I had the vivid experience of coming clearly conscious and then of my dream being placed on pause, as if it had been a VHS video tape, and then experiencing myself with a luminous body positioned at the end of my grandmother's bed in her room. At the time I felt that this was a normal and purposeful thing to do.
I noticed that she was in a state of limited awareness, with great fear and agitation as her second body struggled to release from her physical form. I sent a very warm, loving and comforting message and reassurance to her that all was well, that her physical form had ceased to function any more, that she was in the process of leaving it, and I was there to keep her safe. At that moment she relaxed completely and released from her physical body. Then a wondrous bright light appeared in the ceiling corner of the bedroom on my far left.
Her body moved into that light as I escorted her there. I watched in love and wonder as she moved into this brilliant light and disappeared from view. As she disappeared I received the deep feeling of loving appreciation from two beings who were there in the light to escort her on her way. After a moment I was back in my body and the dream began to play right where it had been paused before. I only dreamed briefly before waking up and going to my grandmother's room. I saw clearly that her body was dead. I picked up the bible and read the 23rd psalm as had been her request. Then I went to wake up my parents.
Any associated medications or substances with the potential to affect the experience? No
Was the kind of experience difficult to express in words? No At the time of this experience, was there an associated life threatening event? Yes I was fine. It was the time my grandmother died.
What was your level of consciousness and alertness during the experience? As well or better than if I had been awake. It seemed as if I was more awake that if I normally was.
Was the experience dream like in any way? No
Did you experience a separation of your consciousness from your body? Yes I did not seem to have a distinct physical form, certainly not like my physical body. I seemed to be made of light and located in space, like a shinning cloud.
What emotions did you feel during the experience? I had a firm and confident sense of knowing exactly what I was doing. I had such loving compassion for my grandmother. I had the distinct sense that this was the real me - a more holistic feeling of identity.
Did you hear any unusual sounds or noises? no
LOCATION DESCRIPTION: Did you recognize any familiar locations or any locations from familiar religious teachings or encounter any locations inhabited by incredible or amazing creatures? Yes The familiar location was my grandmother's bedroom in our house. Other than the brilliant white light in the ceiling corner, the room looked as it normally did.
Did you see a light? Yes As described before the light was in the ceiling corner of the bedroom to the far left when standing at the foot of the bed. The light was white, very bright, it felt like it had great physical depth or length and immense volume even though it was not all that large in the room.
Did you meet or see any other beings? Yes As before, I did not meet or see them directly. I received the very clear message of great warmth and appreciation from them (2) for assisting my grandmother with her transition from physical to non-physical life.
Did you experiment while out of the body or in another, altered state? No
Did you observe or hear anything regarding people or events during your experience that could be verified later? Yes Only that my grandmother had died.
Did you notice how your 5 senses were working, and if so, how were they different? Uncertain Vision was clearer and more versatile. I was seeing without eyes. I have no memory of the other senses. Communication was not via sound.
Did you have any sense of altered space or time? Yes Sense of time did not exist.
Did you have a sense of knowing, special knowledge, universal order and/or purpose? Yes I certainly felt that what I was doing, that is helping a loved one transition to non-physical life, was quite common for me. I felt at ease, skilled and very happy to be able to assist in this way. The whole circumstance felt perfectly real, indeed more real than my everyday life, and I was completely comfortable with it.
Did you reach a boundary or limiting physical structure? No
Did you become aware of future events? No
Were you involved in or aware of a decision regarding your return to the body? No
Did you have any psychic, paranormal or other special gifts following the experience that you did not have prior to the experience? No
Did you have any changes of attitudes or beliefs following the experience? Yes I became fully convinced of a greater reality I had only read about before. I become convinced that "death" is just an ending of the functioning of the physical body. Physical life is an experience, not the experience, and that there is much more to know about life than I had previously imagined.
How has the experience affected your relationships? Daily life? Religious practices? Career choices? I discovered that I became quite disconnected from a sense of the normal cultural expectations and requirements with which I was raised. I have struggled with this conflict during the years since. I finally decided to move to an occupation more in keeping with my belief and experience and so entered a masters program in transpersonal psychology.
Have you shared this experience with others? Yes Cautious belief, whole hearted acceptance, complete skepticism. It has varied greatly.
What emotions did you experience following your experience? I felt a strong wish to have this experience consciously and regularly. I felt a great sense of purpose and accomplishment from this activity. I felt disappointed that I did not have other such experiences.
What was the best and worst part of your experience? N/A
Is there anything else you would like to add concerning the experience? N/A
Following the experience, have you had any other events in your life, medications or substances which reproduced any part of the experience? No Did the questions asked and information you provided accurately and comprehensively describe your experience? Yes