It was a time when no one had ever heard of such a thing, apart from those people who had experienced one themselves. But they were seldom believed when they tried to talk about it.
I don’t know when they started to do research into this phenomenon in the USA and elsewhere, but here, in the Netherlands, where I live, it wasn’t until the end of the 1960s that a cardiologist, Dr. Pim van Lommel, started to take this seriously and then started doing well-documented research into the matter.
He kept meeting patients who had experienced an NDE and who told him about it. However, as I had my experience on a sunny day in September 1960, there was nothing at all known yet that I could relate it to.
At the time I was thirteen years old and lived in Rotterdam, a bustling harbour-city, where I’d just started my second year at a Grammar School that shared an old, sombre building with another type of Highschool. In front of the building there was a large sports field which we also shared for outdoor sports, and when the weather was fine, we all used to walk around it during lunch break.
On that particular day I wanted to go and buy something in a shop that wasn’t close to the school, so I skipped lunch and went outside at least ten minutes before the other students would come out. It was a beautiful day and I enjoyed walking along the sports field in the direction of a minor side street I would have to cross.
As a city girl I was very adept at anticipating the traffic and I always managed to cross roads safely. This time however things turned out differently.
While I was standing on the curb, carefully looking in all directions, I saw only one car, coming from the left, which was still very far away. I knew I could easily cross safely, so I stepped off the curb. That is the last thing I remember doing as in that instant my consciousness was whisked out of my body and instantly I found myself in surroundings I could not relate to in any way whatever.
I looked around me and saw something like a light which however wasn’t a light. It was diffuse, it was shimmering, it was impossible to describe. I saw nothing. No-thing, No-body. Even I myself seemed to have disappeared as a person and I was only consciousness.
I did not hear anything either. And there was nothing to explain what had happened, not even an accident – which by then must have happened but which I had not noticed at all and wasn’t aware of yet. I had not felt anything.
Seen from where I am now, I am reminded most of the Zero Point Energy Field of Potential that seems to be the Source of everything that has been and is being manifested from it. At the time of course I had never heard of that, but thinking back, shimmering energy is the most approximate word to explain the situation I found myself in.
I saw a sea of shimmering energy and I was that sea of energy at the same time. I was All that Is. I was also Love. Love and Bliss and total Acceptance of a frequency that can never be tolerated by a physical body.
It may sound very strange under these circumstances that I did not panic at all. Instantly I understood the situation. That car that had been approaching must have driven much too fast; it must have hit me and killed me. I must be in heaven.
It did not bother me at all that heaven looked like nothing I had ever been taught in church or school. There was no God, no Jesus, no angels, nothing. Not even I myself was there but still it was the most wonderful experience I could imagine and I did not want to leave again, ever.
Imagine the shock when I found myself just as suddenly back on Earth, bruised, bleeding and in pain, while the driver of the car that had hit me, and thrown my body a couple of meters in front of it, was bending over me.
In a circle around me I saw what seemed to be just about all the pupils of the two schools, staring at me. An absolute nightmare. As I had left school some ten minutes before everyone else did, my experience must have lasted at least ten minutes if not more or otherwise all these students could not have been there.
As soon as the driver saw that I had regained consciousness, he picked me up and put me in the car in order to drive me home, where he more or less dumped me because he wanted to get away before anybody could ask him questions about what had happened exactly.
He just told my mother that I had not watched the traffic. He was probably right as by the time he got close to me ‘I’ wasn’t there anymore. Then he quickly disappeared while my mother took care of me.
I never told anybody about my experience, not so much because I was afraid they would not believe me – that had not even occurred to me yet – but because I did not want my parents to know that I had not wanted to come back to them. Besides that, I didn’t even have the words to describe what had happened.
It was only recently that I realized I had been taken out of my body before the accident even happened. And only yesterday the question popped up: why was I taken out of my body at all? If that had not happened, the accident also would not have happened as I could have reacted to the movements of the car in time. I had seen it.
So only now I realized: this must have happened because I was meant to have this experience. And, as I see it now, the accident had to happen to give me a tool to understand what was happening.
If there had been no accident to relate it to, I would have been totally bewildered because healthy thirteen-year-olds don’t just drop dead on the sidewalk without reason. The accident was the handle for me to get a grip on the experience and to always savour it afterwards.
When I was checked out by our MD, I proved to be miraculously unhurt, apart from some cuts and bruises that healed quickly, and one or two weeks later I was back in school.
It was already the second incident since I had turned thirteen in May that I had narrowly escaped death as only weeks before I had been knocked down by a bolted horse (in the middle of a city!) that fortunately had already lost the cart it had been pulling, also with only minor bruises.
The message I got from that was that I was always safe, no matter what happened.
Only later did I understand the significance of the fact that I was thirteen years old when I had these experiences. I got interested in numerology and learned that for the Mayans thirteen means transformation. In the Hebrew alphabet letters are also numbers, so words also have numerical values, thirteen being the numerical value of the words for One (Oneness/unity/ God) and Love.
And indeed this transformation, this unconditional love, and the unity of all have been the driving force in my life ever since.