NDE - My Near Death Experience

Today we are pleased to welcome Carl Young as the guest poster on the topic of the Paranormal/Supernatural.  Carl is an automotive mechanic/owner in the state of Nebraska.  Born and raised in Grand Island, Carl and his wife, Joan, have three boys and one girl. Carl and Joan have been married 32 years.  All three boys are on their own with one son and daughter-in-law who are expecting their first child, Carl and Joan's first grandchild. The youngest, Marcia, is a freshman at the University of Colorado.  Carl and Joan work with charities that support homeless children in the area.  Carl has received several community awards for his service for those at the poverty level in the Cornhusker state.  Carl has also written a book entitled, "From Life To Death To Life."   

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I can't put into words how shocked I am that my story was chosen for the "Story of the Month" in the Supernatural topic of this site.  I am both amazed and honored based on the amazing stories that are already published and the numbers submitted here each month. I'm just as shocked how my rather mundane life changed one sunny Monday morning as I was driving to work.  With that said, I will begin my story...

It was just an ordinary Monday morning in August of 2010.  You know how it is on Monday, dreading another long work week and all the hell that awaits you at your place of business.  I was thinking of that as I sat at a traffic light waiting for the light to change to green.  I remember feeling like I had indigestion, heartburn all of a sudden.  I love scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast, lunch or even dinner.  I was thinking I had too much to eat when I clutched my chest.  It felt like a damn elephant had jumped on my chest.  I heard horns blowing from cars behind me for not moving.  But, I could not move.  I reached for my cellphone and it was like everything around me started swirling and turned dark as midnight.  I must have lost consciousness.  I said I lost consciousness because I suddenly found myself inside of a mildly lit room. I was no longer inside my new 2011 Lincoln Navigator.  In this room, there was one table and one straight-back chair of which I was sitting in at the moment.  The pain in my chest was gone.  It was as real to me, at that time, as this laptop computer I am typing on is real to me.  I could touch the table.  It was made of some kind of cheap particle board.  The chair I found myself sitting in was old and creaky.  I thought it might collapse under my 240lbs.  I was completely stunned, shocked and anything else you wanted to use to describe how I felt at that time.  The last thing I remember was reaching for my cellphone to call 911 because I thought I was having a heart attack.  My next thought was that I was dead. Do dead men think? This couldn't be real. Then my next thought was this is what death is all about.  You don't know what death is like since you only experience it one time (or so I thought at the time).  If this is death, am I in hell?  Is this my hell?  To sit in a dimly lit room for the rest of eternity?

[To be clear, the rest of my story is to the best of my recollection of events.  I'm absolutely positive of 85-90% of the conversations and events as they took place.]

I sat in the dimly lit room for hours and hours.  I had yelled, screamed at one point, and I got no response.  I had no way to measure time.  But, I estimate I had been in the room for about six hours when a door suddenly formed directly behind the table I was sitting at for what seemed like forever.   I went to the door, knocked on it and got no response.  I turned the door knob only to discover it was locked.  I was beyond exasperated at this point.  If this was hell, then where is everybody else?  This was torture.  I had nothing else to do but sit back down in my chair.  I sat down and waited and waited.  Suddenly, the door opens up and I have "company" for the first time in what I estimated to be about eight hours.  The man who came through the door was a slight-built man, about 5'6 and maybe 120lbs at most. He was wearing an ill-fitting suit with vest.  His eyes were sunk back, with eye bags as if he had not slept in forever.  He was completely bald.  In fact, he had no facial hair at all.  No eye brows, no eye lashes.  He stood opposite of me at the table.  I was waiting for this man to speak.  Since he did not, I spoke up.  "Where am I?  Am I dead?  Is this hell?" I asked.  The man did not even blink.  He just continued staring at me.  I was about to stand up and start screaming when the man spoke up, but just barely.  "All your questions will be answered shortly.  You must be patient," Said the man in a barely audible whisper. "Patient?  I've been in this room for at least eight hours now.  What is going to happen to me?  I deserve to know!!!" I screamed at the man.  I had completely lost patience now.  I wanted answers and I wanted them now!  The man looked to his left as if he saw someone, and turned to me and whispered, "Your journey is about to begin.  Your waiting is over.  I wish you well."  Now, I was scared beyond words.  You know that old saying, be careful of what you wish for?  Well, I was about to get what I wanted....and then some.

The bald man opened the door for me to enter.  I had asked him what journey he was talking about.  Of course, all he did was point to the direction of the opened door and into absolute darkness.   I was hesitant about leaving now.  I turned to ask the bald man where I was going when the entire room just disappeared.  I was in total complete darkness.  It was so dark, I could not see my hands as I put them up to my face.  I was now finding myself wishing I was back in the dimly lit room.  I was fearful to take a step forward or backward.  I felt I would fall into oblivion.  I shouted and didn't even get an echo.  I had been standing about five minutes when I felt myself moving forward as if I was on an escalator.  This escalator started moving about 50 MPH.  Then it seemed the speed just suddenly doubled and then tripled and then God knows how fast I was going.  I was amazed I was still able to stand upright.  I had the sensation I was moving of at least the speed of sound.  But, that wasn't possible.  The human body could not withstand that kind of speed without protection.  Yet, here I was blazing along at an incredible rate.  Then I came to an abrupt halt.  I had been moving along for about 10 minutes I estimated.  Again, nothing but darkness and silence.  That ended in a blink of an eye.  I was no longer in darkness.  I was in a land of ice and snow.

The wind was howling at about 100 MPH at least.  I could feel the coldness, I could feel it permeate my flesh like little needle pricks, my bones, my brain and my soul.  It was real.   I could also feel it freezing my eyelids open.  I could not close my eyes.  I was hanging on to an icy overhang for dear life. , Below me, it was at least a 20 ft drop into jagged ice.  The wind was buffeting me relentlessly.  I honestly felt I was going to lose my grip at any moment and then go flying off into what was quickly becoming a dark, icy place.  I knew I wasn't going to last long at this rate.  I started screaming for help.  I asked for relief from this terrible situation I was presently trying to survive.  I screamed as hard as I ever have in my life.  But, now, my lips were frozen and I could not open my mouth.  I was praying for another death, another darkness when a voice that penetrated me like an icy knife.  "What are you going to do?   WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?" the voice screamed.  I couldn't open my mouth to answer because it was frozen shut.  I was once again finding myself losing consciousness, slowly fading away into that gentle darkness as before.  I was hoping for, praying for death now as an escape from this icy land of darkness, pain, and horror.  I got my wish just before losing consciousness again.

I awoke to find myself in another room.  The first one was spartan.  This room was filled with nice easy chairs, a long oak table with oak chairs, a plush leather couch, and ambient lighting.  This was much nicer.  Most of all, it was warm.  I was still suffering from the bitter coldness of before.  I could now open my eyes, my fingers were no longer frozen together and I could open my mouth to speak.  I was starting to think there was going to be a pattern of different places I would visit for reasons I could not understand.  I still wasn't convinced I was dead.  Is it possible I was snatched from my Lincoln by aliens?  I dismissed that right away.  I was hoping someone would appear and explain to me what was going on.  I was in no hurry to leave this pleasantly warm room anytime soon.  There was even a wool blanket on the couch with which I covered myself.  I got up and walked to a bar I had just noticed off to my right.  It was a wet bar.  Thinking there might be some whiskey (I definitely needed a drink) or some type of alcoholic drink.  No such luck.  There were fruit drinks, OJ, and ice.  I found a simple glass and filled it with ice that was in a bucket.  I turned on a faucet and to my surprise, crystal clear water came out.   I drained that glass like a famished man who had not had a drink in 3 days.  I must have filled that water glass 5 times.  I was feeling better, much better.  But, now my attention turned back to my situation.  It seemed to me I was in some kind of trial or tribulation.  Was I being allowed to see what or where I could spend eternity?  I could not tell if this whole ordeal was real or what it was exactly.  Maybe my eternity would be a series of terrible situations as I found myself in the cold icy world I had just left.  That would be a cruel and unusual punishment.  I can't say I'm a saint.  I admit I overcharged people on some repairs.  I admit I ripped off some people in my life. But, not often.  If you find a car mechanic who says he has never ripped off a customer, I will show you a liar.  But, I never physically hurt anyone or caused someone to die like people on death row.  Most of the time, I would give customers a break, especially if they appeared to be on hard times.  I wasn't proud of myself now that I have had time to reflect on it.  Maybe I was being punished.  That being the case, I can't say I didn't deserve it in some respects.  But, I am not an evil man. I didn't deserve this.

I was becoming a bit too reflective.  I had to find some way to communicate with someone to find out when this ordeal would be over or if it would ever be over.  I started yelling again and hoped I would get someone who would really talk to me, to explain what was going on and if it would ever end.  As if my thoughts were being read, a very well dressed young lady suddenly appeared in front of me.  She was not beautiful.  But, attractive in a normal kind of way, the "girl next door" kind of woman.  The young woman was wearing business attire that you would see on any business woman in the 21st century.  The lady seemed friendly and spoke to me in a clear, understandable voice (unlike the bald man).  "Mr. Young, I am quite certain you have many questions.  That is understandable.  But, I must tell you that I cannot answer most of the questions I know you must have.  I can only tell you there is an end to what you have previously endured.  You have not reached the end as yet.  You must endure more.  There are reasons why you must go through this process.  But, I am not at liberty to tell you nor would you understand," Said the young lady.  At first, I could not speak.  I was still feeling the effects of the bitter cold from the icy land.  I estimated her age at about 26, maybe 27.  There was something vaguely familiar about her.  But, I couldn't place her.  I knew her from somewhere, I thought.   I asked her the question most on my mind, "Can you at least tell me if I'm dead? What is your name?"  The young lady smiled a gentle smile. "I can't answer your first question, Mr. Young.  But, for your second question, you may just call me Emily," She said.  "Fine.  Emily, can you tell me where I am?  Is this hell? Tell me something!" I yelled at her.  I seemed to startle her momentarily.  But, she quickly regained her composure.  "There is no need to shout, Mr. Young.  If I could answer your questions, I assure you I would do so.  I can only tell you that you will not endure scenarios, as you just came from, indefinitely.  That's all I can say.  I wish you well.  And, Mr. Young?  I will see you again someday.  I promise you that." Emily said.  Now, I was really confused.  I was about to ask her what she meant by that.  But, she vanished before my eyes.

After Emily disappeared, I heard a loud roaring noise.  I could not determine if it was in the room or if it was even outside the room.  I soon realized the roaring noise was coming from within my head.  I felt as if my head would explode when I again was enveloped in darkness.  But, this time, I was not in a room.  I looked up and immediately saw what seemed to be billions upon billions of stars.  I was on a desolate and barren planet of some sort.  It was rock, craters and I could see mountainous regions about five miles away.  I could feel no temperature though.  It was as if I was in a vacuum of space.  Yet, I was not cold, hot or even warm.  I know that doesn't make sense.  It doesn't make sense even typing it.  But, that is the only way I can explain it.  It was sheer nothingness I felt.  The only light cast down was from those billions of stars, light years away from this desolate world I now found myself as potentially the only inhabitant.  I screamed, but my voice did not carry.  I could barely hear it myself.  That told me there was no atmosphere.  But, how could that be?  I would be dead....again, what is death?  I did not know if I was even dead or alive.  Was this even reality?  I had no way of knowing.

 I walked about from the small flat surface I had originally found myself.  I had to watch my step.  There were deep cravasses that I could easily fall into and never escape from, alive or dead.  "Is this my fate?  Is this my hell?  To live all eternity in this desolate vacuum of space on a barren planet?  What did I do that was so wrong, so evil?" I shouted out into empty space.   The silence was deafening.  I remember I started walking around, looking out over the horizon of more and more rocky terrain and desolation.  This is a fate worse than hell,  worse than death, I thought.  Okay, I bilked some customers out of their money.  But, I also helped out some customers as well, such as the mother on welfare and food stamps who had a 2nd gear stripped in her automatic transmission.  I only charged her for materials which I also helped cover for since I knew she could not pay it all.  There has to be something else why I am experiencing all of this.  As if someone read my mind, I heard the same question repeated, "WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?"  I was furious now.  "What the hell are YOU going to do???  WHAT?" I furiously asked.  "What am I supposed to do?  Please tell me!  I was at the end of my rope now.  There was total silence once again. Then, once again, I found myself surrounded in total darkness and reaching a speed of about Warp Factor 8 (Yes, I am a Trekkie).  

I came to an abrupt stop once again after traveling at an incredible rate of speed.  Once again, I'm surrounded in total darkness and filled with abject despair.  When will this end?  When?  I couldn't take much more.  Without any type of warning, I found myself sliding down a mountain, rolling over rocks, getting hit in the head by rocks and screaming in pain and horror.  But, not just any kind of rocks.  These rocks were blazing hot!  The sky was a clear, bright yellow and I was sliding into what appeared to be a lake of fire.  I remember thinking I no longer had to ask if I was in hell.  I am here now and at the end of the road.  I heard an unbelievable roar of screams of horror and pain.  It was all around me.  It was a sound that you could actually feel as much as you could hear.   I found myself uncontrollably sliding to the edge of the rocky shore and into the lake of flames, screams and ear piercing whistling (I remember that as vividly as any other single thing for some reason).  But,as I appeared to be going into the lake, I was stopped by a force that gently, but forcefully intervened to keep me from going into the lake of fire.  I was able to stand and look over the flames just erupting from the lake like stalagmites in a cave.  I heard what seemed to be billions, if not trillions of people screaming.  But, for whatever reason, I could see no one.  Their bodies or souls were invisible to me.  The screams were more than I could take.  So, I remember I decided to join in with the screams.  But, nothing came out of my mouth.  Then, once again, the question that was unrelenting....."What are you going to do?  WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?"  I was going to answer when I found myself in another room.....alone again.

I was back in the spartan, cheap furniture room where I met the bald man.  I was back in the creaky old chair.  Was I about to start this all over again?  Was Emily being truthful when she said I would not have to indefinitely endure these scenarios of horror?  And the constant question...What are you going to do?  They wanted an answer.  I decided to give them one.  I could not keep going through this over and over again.  "You want to know what I am going to do?  I am going to assume you mean, what am I going to do if I get another chance at life.  I know there are things I've done in my life of which I am ashamed.  I cheated on my wife once and almost wound up in divorce court.  My heavy drinking caused my wife to leave me less than six months after our marriage.  I basically ignored my children until they became adults.  And, yes, I cheated people in my business.  But,there was good that I did also.  I helped all my children through college or presently helping them so they don't have to pay back a student loan.  I now work with homeless children to give them food, a place to live and a chance at an education.  I'm not the most church going man around.  But, I remember in the Bible it states,‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.'  I'm doing that now as Jesus said and will continue to do works and attend church more often.   I'm far from being a perfect man.  I can only strive to do better.  I will do more, I will not cheat people again.  I will continue to feed the poor, cloth those who do not have the means to do so.  I ask, I plead to whomever it is, to give me another chance at life, another chance to be with my family and a chance to prove I can and will do better if I am allowed to return to my life.  I beg you.'  It was the most impassioned plea I have ever made in my entire life.  And, I will always, always remember what I said because it came straight from the heart.  I finally just broke down crying.  It was the most I probably had ever cried, even more than when my beloved mother died.  Then, I heard someone clear their throat.

It was the bald man again in the ill fitting suit.  My first thought was that nothing I said was going to matter.  I was about to start again on the different scenarios.  Would it be back to the Icy planet again?  Or would it be something else even more horrific?  I slowly rose to my feet and mentally prepared myself of what scenario would take place next.  The bald man spoke to me,  this time, in an audible, clear voice.  "Your time here is at an end.   Your time among the living is not over.  You must now go back.  You will remember all that has taken place within this realm.  You have work to do and you now have shown the heart-felt desire to do it."  With that, he turned to leave.  But, I wasn't letting him off that easy.  "Who are you?  Or, what are you?" I asked.   The bald man looked at me with a sort of bemused look on his face and said, "You will see me again, Mr. Young."  The exact same thing Emily had said to me, I thought.  I remember feeling sleepy almost immediately after the bald man answered me.  I woke up to the blaring siren of an ambulance and paramedics sticking me with an IV.  "Stay with us, Mr. Young, stay with us!  He's regained consciousness, Stan," Said the young man.  I felt myself smiling.  "You just suffered a heart attack and you are smiling now, Mr. Young?" Asked the incredulous young paramedic.  I weakly said, "I'm glad to be back."  The paramedic looked at me with a confused look and then smiled.  "Hang in there, pal.  We're almost at the hospital now."

Two days later, I underwent a triple bypass, with two arteries with 90% blockage and the other with 80% blockage.  Doctors said I was a living, breathing, talking miracle.  I was in the hospital for nine days.  That was about two days longer than normal as I did have a setback when my blood pressure became almost uncontrollable for a couple of days.  I wanted to see the surgeon who I owed my miracle to.  But,  on my last day, he still had not shown up.  I woke up early that last day since I was more than ready to get out of that hospital.  I hated the place.  My wife and children all came to greet me as the nurses told us I could not leave until I did eat my brekfast.  There were no bacon and scrambled eggs.  My wife told me I wouldn't be getting any at home either.  I didn't know how to feel about that.  I dosed off for a few minutes after breakfast.  I was still not up to strength.  I got tired very easily.  As my wife woke me up, they were about to put me in the wheelchair and take me to my eldest son's van as he was downstairs waiting on me.  I looked around my room one last time and noticed something on the information board.  It was a board with specific information about me and the nurse's name.  "Your nurse today is....Emily."  I looked around everywhere.  But, I did not see her.  Maybe it was the Emily in my ordeal.  Or maybe just a coincidence.  I don't know.  I didn't care.  I was going home and that was all I could think about.  As I was being wheeled down the long hallway, I saw a man, I assume was a doctor, go into an elevator.  He was bald and had an ill fitting suit with the ID tag, "Dr. Theodore Scott, Cardiovascular Surgeon."  Before he entered the elevator, he turned to look at me....with a brief "Hello, I hope you are doing well after your surgery, Mr. Young."  Well, they both did say they would see me again.  Neither one mentioned I would see them again.  I smiled and my wife said, "I'm smiling also, Carl.  I am so happy you are coming home"  I didn't tell her why I was smiling until months later.  

This is the story of my Near Death Experience (NDE).  There was no long tunnel with a bright light at the end.  No long dead relatives to greet me or anything else normally associated with stories of NDE.   But, based on my research and talks with others who have experienced NDEs, the long tunnel with bright light at the end is what most see.  Why I did not, I still have no idea.  I am upholding my end of the bargain I made in my plea.  I do more around the house, I made it company policy that if a customer proves one of my mechanics cheated them, I reprimand the mechanic and give the customer their money back.  I then make the offending mechanic apologize.  I do more work, much more work with homeless children.  It is a blessing to do this.  And, yes, I go to church everytime the church doors are open.   In fact, as soon as I retire (in about 3-5 years) and sell my business, I am going to open a shelter for children, with help fom my church,  until we can get them permanent housing.  I want to do better in my life.  I want to be a better man now that I have a second chance at life. I want people to remember me as  man who did as much as he could, in this world, to help those who desperately needed help. I want to be like Private Ryan, of Saving Private Ryan, when Captain Miller said to him, at the end of the movie through clenched teeth, "Earn this...EARN THIS."  I hope and pray I am earning that second chance. 

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