NDE in Dentist Chair.In May of 1978, I went to my family dentist to have a couple teeth extracted. What started out as a simple procedure, ended as a life changing experience.
A few years earlier, I quit a good factory job to go to Bible college with plans to become a minister. The plans ended early and I found myself without money or a job. My wife was pregnant with our first child and we were without health insurance. I tried to get my old job back but the factory was laying off and there were no other jobs to be found. With limited options, I decided to join the army. After two (2) years in the army at the age of 23 and a father of 2 beautiful children, I was honorably discharged.
By May of 1978, I was in my second job since being discharged and my life was in turmoil. My wife and I were separated and I was filled with guilt over leaving my children. At this point in my life, I had lost all faith in God and had no real religious beliefs.
Soon after starting that job, I went to a dentist to have a couple teeth pulled. The dentist's office was in a small house that had been converted into an office. From what I could see, the house only had a waiting room and a couple of patient rooms.
I was a little nervous when I arrived at the office. I never had any teeth pulled and I had never been anesthetized with laughing gas. The dental assistant took me into a room and she told me to sit in this old green dental chair. The chair looked like it was 50 years old. She loosened my clothes and wrapped a cloth around my face as she tried to assure me that everything was going to be ok. She then declined the chair and placed a mask over my nose. She told me to take in deep breaths as she turned on the gas. As I breathed in, I could feel my body start to go numb and my eyes became very heavy. I tried to keep my eyes open and stay awake as long as possible. Finally, my eyes just couldn't stay open any longer and they slowly closed as I started to sink into heavy sedation.
When the dentist came into the room, I was still aware of what was going on around me. Even though I could hear him talking to his assistant, I couldn't open my eyes and I couldn't feel anything he was doing. He started joking with his assistant about her boyfriend and their sex life, which I thought that was inappropriate. I wondered what they would think if they knew I could hear everything they were saying.
I felt the dentist open my mouth wide and put some kind of clamp inside to keep it open. I could tell he was giving me a couple of shots but it didn't hurt. He put some cotton or gauze in my mouth and I assumed it to absorb the blood after pulling my teeth. Then I felt him stick an instrument in my mouth and begin prying and pulling on the first tooth. I was aware of everything he was doing but it didn't hurt at all, thank God! I felt my head pulled up and down as he pried and twisted on the first tooth. Suddenly I heard a loud snap and the first tooth was out.
During the time he was working on the first tooth, I continued to sink deeper and deeper within myself. I don't remember the extraction of the second tooth and I vaguely remember the sequence of events after that.
I felt my jaw muscles begin to contract and I could hear a buzzing sound that vacillated with each contraction. I remember wondering why my jaws were contracting and what was causing the noise. I continued to drift, as I sank deeper and deeper. I thought my consciousness must have been way down in my chest because I could see a light far away and I thought I was looking at the light coming into my eyes. I felt myself rush toward the light and suddenly I found myself in another room of the house. I was in the corner of a room, looking down at the dentist, his assistant and two other couples as they sat there drinking and laughing. They didn't seem to notice me as I watched them. The room was a light beige or light green with two couches, a chair and two lamps. I could not understand why they were drinking and socializing when they had patients in the office.
The next thing I knew, I found myself standing in front of this great, misty gray wall. I looked all around and the wall was the only thing I could see. On instinct I guess, I stepped into and through the wall. It felt like a cool, misty like veil as it slid past my face from the tip of my nose to the back of my ears. Once the veil slid off the back of my ears, I was on the other side.
I was standing in the shadows and I could see a light in the distance. The floor looked like it was made of a polished tile because I could see a soft reflection of the light. I also saw people walking around in the shadows. One man in particular was off to my right and just seemed to be waiting there with no apparent intent to go toward the light. He was facing the wall and was watching me. It seemed like he was waiting for someone else to come through. I couldn't forget him because he wore a hat that was popular back in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Just like the one my grandfather wore when he died in 1963. I sensed others milling around but everyone was in the shadows and I could not make out any other details.
Someone took my left hand and said, "it's all over, you're home, don't worry about anything, it's all over, you're home." I didn't recognize the person but I've always thought it was a woman. She just kept repeating that I was home and not to worry about anything.
A feeling of extreme peace and joy came over me as I began to realize I was home again. I was where I belonged and I was not interested in returning. Then my mind cleared and finally I understood everything I had ever wondered about. All the mysteries of the world were right there in my mind. Not that I asked about anything or that she told me anything, I just remembered! I just thought, "oh well, I just forgot everything while I was there."
I turned and looked behind me and saw a large circle and in that circle, were smaller circles. However, the smaller circles did not fill all the space inside the larger circle. I later decided that was an indication there would be more people in my life before I leave this earth. In the smaller circles were all the faces of all the people that had been in my life. I looked at each face in each circle and sensed a rush of emotions and experiences with each.
My friend kept telling me over and over not to worry about anything and that I was home. I looked around again and it was as though I was standing on the moon looking back down at the earth. I could see scattered white clouds covering the deep blue waters of earth. It was very beautiful and I felt very peaceful and happy.
However, around this time I realized I had wasted my time while I was here. I don't remember why I felt that way but it was a strong feeling. Even so, I was still glad to be home!
I have always been a very protective person when it comes to the ones I love, especially my children. But at this time, I wasn't concerned about anyone. I knew they were ok and they would all be with me soon. But soon didn't seem to be a time, just that I knew they were coming after their journey. Where ever I was, I was home and where I belonged.
I turned and started walking with my friend toward the light and toward my home. However, after only a few steps toward the light, I felt myself being sucked backwards, out of the hand of my friend and back through the wall. The next thing I knew, I woke up in the dentist chair, alone and confused. The dentist never said anything about what happened that day and I never asked. I knew something profound happened that day, but at that time I didn't know how profound!
Fifteen months after the experience, my wife and I divorced. We have always maintained a good relationship and worked together for the kids sake.
Since the experience, I've learned to appreciate every aspect of life and not to fear death. I have to admit I fear the process and the pain associated with death, but not death itself. Nothing from my prior religious beliefs could explain to me what I went through. A large portion of my life since that time has been spent searching. Searching for my purpose and to make sure I don't waste the rest of my life. I've always encouraged my kids have an open mind about God and life and to make sure that they don't let anyone tell them what to think.
The things that were important to me before the experience were not so significant anymore. I no longer cared about physical possessions or the need to pretend to be something that I wasn't. Now I think more of who I am and how I could be helping other people.
For years, I didn't share this experience with anyone. I was afraid of what people would think. Now I tell anyone who will listen! It wasn't until five years after the experience that I realized I had a near death experience. I had no prior knowledge about near death experiences, but after that I started searching and reading. One evening in 1983, I watched a movie that was based on a true story, titled "Resurrection."
The movie was about a woman who died and came back to life to share what she experienced. She was riding with her husband on a winding road along the coast of California when the car went out of control and over a cliff. Her husband was killed and she was critically injured. She was taken to the hospital and pronounced dead on the operating table for about 7 minutes. Then she suddenly started breathing again and she was revived. The movie portrayed her experience during that 7 minutes in great detail. As I sat and watched her go through the tunnel and to the other side, it was like reliving my own experience 5 years earlier. I was really excited! It was as though someone made a movie of what I saw and experienced.
Today, I work in a good job, earning a fair wage and I do help people in my job. But it's not the kind of help that I really want to provide. For a couple of years, I volunteered with hospice. I talked to patients, family members or anyone else who would listen to what I experienced. I knew where the patients are going and I wanted to help ease their fears as well as those of the families.
My future will continue to consist of searching. I am still an average person with the normal problems in everyday life and I'm not perfect by any means. However, I've been given one of the greatest gifts of life! To know there is life after this earth and nothing that happens here is ever as significant as we think. I know I have to take advantage of this extended opportunity to learn, grow, share and serve.
The greatest gift I have to offer is my knowledge and to share it with people who want to know about death.