Wednesday, October 5, 2011


I really had nothing for tomorrow's post till I was talking to a friend on the phone just now. She had just gone through a life threatening experience and the question of if your life flashes before your eyes before you die came up. I told her of my such experience and now it will become a blog post. Her scare occurred today, mine took place when I was around 9 years old.

I spent a lot of my early childhood on a lake in Ohio. I can blame a lot of my wrinkles today on the sun damage I got in those days. We lived in bathing suits all summer long and were quite good swimmers. We took Red Cross swimming lessons each summer.

There was a large raft fairly far from shore that we played on endlessly. This day, there were about 10 of us lake brats pushing and shoving on the raft, having a wonderful time. The raft was about 20 feet square and was kept afloat with about 10, fifty gallon drums for buoyancy.

Not exactly sure what happened. I know I fell or was pushed off the raft. I went fairly deep and when I swam towards the surface, I ran rather noisily and painfully into one of those drums. I was really startled but not yet frightened. I reasoned I had come up underneath the raft and tried to swim from under it. Again the bong as my head hit another drum.

My friends who were all about my age would hear the bonging and would run to the side where they heard the noise. Their collective weight lowered the raft even more on top of me. Then pure panic set in. I flailed about blindly but repeatedly kept running into the barrels. Bong, bong, bong.

I hadn't gotten a good breath when I fell in and my lungs were really screaming. I was about to panickly take in a mouth full of water when the first picture appeared. My life till that moment, suddenly became a series snapshots.

It was a regular slide show. I saw a baby in a crib, I saw me stepping on my brothers kite and breaking it as a toddler. I saw Christmases, I saw my parents, grandparents and brothers. I saw my bloody face from the dog bite I had gotten in first grade. Many of these images flashed quickly and almost comfortably through my mind.

It didn't take long to relive my life, possibly since I was only 9, so there wasn't a whole back log of memories to go through. By now, I was crazy wanting air when I heard the voice in my ear. Very calmly, a man's voice told me simply,  "Open your eyes".

Yep, they had been cranked tightly shut in the panic. Obeying the voice, I opened them and the way from under the raft became obvious and quite simple. I rolled over on my back, looked up and swam from under the raft. 

I felt more than  a little dumb for panicking when the solution was so simple. The truly odd thing is that I never questioned where that voice came from nor thought it odd. I never told my friends about it.

Have you ever had your life flash before your eyes? And have you ever heard a voice instructing you when there was no one near?


  1. Hi Patti, I'm not sure I have ever had an experience similar ---but I almost lost a son once to drowning... Scared me to death!!!

    When Mark was about 16 months --I had him at our complex swimming pool.. He had gone in the water with me lots of time. My older son was there too--but he could swim.

    Mark was in one of those little floats ---and all of a sudden he was gone.. The float had broken and he went under the water... I had turned my back for a split second (which seemed to be an eternity).

    Needless to say, he was fine --but that incident scared me to death. I haven't been the same when it comes to water since....


  2. No, this has never happened to me, but your experience makes me wonder if it ever would, if I were close to dying. I have been injured so badly that I thought I wouldn't survive, but I didn't lose consciousness or hear any voices. I'm so glad you did, though, and you listened! What a great story... thank you!

  3. Patti what a story. Thank God you heard the mans voice and acted upon it. Otherwise we would not have such a great friend like yourself with an awesome ability to tell stories.
    I read your post before this and you mentioned that your way of seeing things has kept you from being an artist.
    Honey the way you write makes you a very one of a kind artist in my book.
    Love ya

  4. Hey Patti....NO to both those questions, my dear. But your story evoked a certain amount of panic in me---Not being able to breath and being under water, without a GOOD breath....OY VEY!
    I am a very good swimmer having learbed very early in my life--Maybe at 4 years old...And I LOVE to swim--particularly under water....But, the idea of being trapped somehow really freaks me out! The more problems I have with my lungs, the more panicky the thought of drowning is---drowning on my own mucous, to be quite graphic...It is really scary.

    This is what came up for me reading your post....(lol).

  5. Wow, Patti, what an interesting post! I don't have a similar story, but am eager to hear what your other fans have to say. The circumstances of the floating dock remind me of this story from Hugh at Rock Paper Lizard (tho he didn't experience a lifetime "slideshow"):

  6. Wow, powerful post and memory! No I haven't, fortunately but it does make you think that there is definitely something better to look forward to when our life on earth is over. And I have no doubt in my mind where that voice came from.

  7. Scary that's for sure. I've been lucky I guess. No near death experiences.

  8. Not only have you had fascinating life experiences but you write about them so well that I just hang onto your words waiting to see what comes next.

    Near death experience? Nope. Hearing voices? Nope. But glad you did so you could live to write about it.

  9. Nothing similar to report Patti but I love the simple statement "Open your eyes." How often I go into situations with my eyes closed, taking each step in fear, when I have only to open my eyes to see the correct way to go! blessings, marlene

  10. Another great story so compellingly told! I have never had pictures flash before my eyes like that. If I hear voices in my head, well, I'm not admitting it.

  11. Well, I relate. Was in a car accident when I was 20---got thrown from the vehicle. Out cold. Lotsa' blood. Unconscious. The docs told me how lucky I was to have survived. Gives me pause, even to this day.

  12. No. not in a catastrophic situation as you described, although I do not swim and am more than careful in our boat--life jacket--always on even on 100 deg days.

    In fact my fear of water and my current unsteadiness is why I have fished only once this year.

    However, when I am facing very serious surgery (and the older you get the more serious any surgery becomes) remembrances of earlier life, usually happy, fill my mind.

  13. Hi Patti, I'm so glad that you made your way out of that situation!

    Around 30 years ago, I was at a crosswalk downtown. There was little traffic, and I was waiting for the light to change. It did, and out of nowhere, a car came speeding through its red light, after I had stepped out into the street. Time seemed to stand still, and I thought of my kids and my Mom and what life would be like for everybody if I died. I remember thinking, this must be what it is like when people see their life flash before their eyes, though I don't remember seeing many pictures like you did.

    I calmly stepped back onto the curb and thanked God that he didn't let me get hit.

    Yes, I have heard an audible voice, when I was in the middle of despair in that 2nd marriage of mine. I had been praying so hard, and I swear, the voice I heard clearly said, "You will be single." What a relief to know that, though it ended up being about 4 years later.

  14. Hi Patti, what an amazing story! No, I haven't had the flashbacks, but I've heard a voice a time or two telling me to do something that I'm glad I listened to. I won't go into detail here, it's a long story. I think the voice must have been your guardian angel!
    Have a great day!

  15. I can't say I've ever had such an experience. I've often wished that maybe I would have someone else's life flash before me as I've always thought mine was rather dull. Maybe I could see your life flash appears to be very interesting!

  16. Wow! No such experience but loved reading your story.

    In my opinion, I have felt my grandmother's spirit (no words).

  17. This is so weird. I have heard others speak of this, but never had the experience. I suppose I was not reckless enough as a child? Dianne

  18. No, I never have. I found your story very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

  19. Absolutely!!! Not in the water but in a car. To this day I can't explain what happened but God knows.

    I was on my way home from school as usual and came to the double narrow curve I traveled twice daily. I was meetin' a car but right behind that car was a speedin' car that came around the curve on the wrong side. I had nowhere to go. As the car approached headlight to headlight I my eyes closed and was prepared to meet my Maker. I opened my eyes and caught the taillights of that car in my rear view mirror. I can't explain what happened...the car would have had to go right though me. All I can say is...God is good!!!

    God bless an have a incredible day sweetie. Thank God for that voice and you listened. :o)

  20. Betsy,
    Nothing is more terrifying than what you went through. Sure glad it had a happy ending.

    Thank you and I hope you never have to find out.

    Aw thanks for the compliment Maggie. I still wish I could remember details.

    I think not being able to breathe is everyones nightmare. Lets hope you never have to experience that.

    Patricia Lichen,
    Thank you for that link. He really had a scary experience that was very well told.

    LLcool Joe.
    Thanks Joey. Pretty sure we think the same thing about the voice.

    Lets hope you never do till it is time.

    RV Vagabonds,
    Thank you for the lovely compliment. So glad I don't bore you. Sometimes I feel my posts are too long.

    Stichinby the lake,
    Thank you. It really would apply to many things we all tend to enter blindly.

    Thank you so much and you keep sticking to that:))

    Sounds like it made a real empression on you. So glad you are here to tell about it.

    Interesting that you view the good times before a health threat. That is a good way to secure a positive frame of mind.

    Oregon gifts,
    I am sure the life flashes are in different forms for each of us.
    I am so glad you got such a comforting message. Those voices are so clear and so right.

    I am so glad some of you have also heard the voices. They are real and they help so much.

    Your life is so interesting and complex, you must need B12 shots to keep up. I marvel at how you cope.

    Isn't it a comfort to have the presence of a loved one who has passed near by? I do believe.

    I think another term for that might be that you just had better sense.

    Retired English teacher.
    Thank you so much.

    Now that is a great big WOW. You were truly blessed. Wonder what that other person was thinking when they saw your tail lights.

  21. I did have a near drowning experience, but my life didn't flash before my eyes. I will say that when I realized I was probably going to drown (pulled out in an undertow, too far down to get to the surface) I didn't panic at all. I was warm and comfortable, and I remember thinking how beautiful the sun was shining down into the water. Somehow, I got to the top. Just as I opened my mouth, expecting to suck in water, my head popped above the surface. THEN I panicked! My husband had been frantically looking for me and pulled me out of the water. I've always remembered that at that final moment (or what I thought was the final moment) I wasn't frightened at all. And I didn't feel alone.

  22. The most recent voice I heard was my great grandfather's. He died 30 years before I was born. I'd come to the cemetery where he was buried and was cleaning his tombstone. It was part of a lifelong search for understanding of why things were the way they were with my mother.

    As I was working on the tombstone, he said, "You're using the wrong tool for the job, girl."

    It was the first time I'd ever been able to let go of the why.

  23. That's an awesome story! I've never had that experience and hope for a few years that I don't!

  24. How amazing Patti! It's a frightful experience to get under a raft. This is a great story! I got once under a much smaller raft, which was scary enough, but I got away from under it and that was it. I have never had my life flash before my eyes, but I know people who have. Your a great writer, Patti!

  25. How scary for a child!! And I would have kept my eyes shut too; in fact I did, when I stepped into a hole in a river that we swam in when I was a kid. The only voices I heard were the girl I was with and the lifeguard, as he lifted me up out of the hole. (I fell in love that day.)

  26. Wonderful story, Patti - glad you listened to the voice! When I was ten, I fell down a flight of stairs. I didn’t hear voices; instead I felt a spirit lift me before I hit. I had a concussion and was badly bruised from head to toe but I didn’t feel any pain. It is interesting that neither of us told anyone about it at the time.

  27. Wow, that's quite a story. I have never had my life flash in front of my eyes, nor have I heard a voice. I had a prayer answered one time though. I was coming home from the hospital one night when my husband (who has been gone now for 15 years) first got sick. He had been in the hospital for a while and they were trying a last ditch effort at some new type of medicine. I pulled over to the side of the road and prayed that the medicine would work. They had already tried several others that didn't. I remember saying, he's only 33, he has two boys to raise, it isn't time yet. When I got home, he had left me a message to call him. The medicine was working. He came home the next week. At some point the drugs just stopped working, but we still had 10 years more together and I believe those years were a gift from someone because of that prayer.

  28. Hi Patti,

    No i can't say i had i had a experience like that... I did see an angel once (well at least that is what i thought it was...)

    I'm glad you listened to the voice and that it turned out alright!

    big hugs

  29. Lisa,
    We both had rip tide experiences but mine was not under water the whole way like yours. Amazing that you did not panic. So glad you survived.

    Perhaps he knew just what it would take to put your mind at ease. Facinating.

    Mom of 12,
    I hope so for your sake also. Take care.

    Reader Wil,
    Thank you so much for the compliment Wil. I guess it is not all that uncommon an experience.

    Ha ha, Those lifeguards will get us every time.I have never seen a homely one.

    That is amazing. You were in a loving hand. Somehow for me, I think at the time I didn't think it all that remarkable or maybe I knew it really was. Too long ago to know.

    I am so sorry that you finally lost him but you were so blessed to have been given those 10 extra years. Great story.

    I hope that angel is still in your life and keeping you safe.

  30. Oh, my goodness. That was frightening. I don't think I would have thought your solution is so simple if I can't even remember to open a car door with the key. You were one lucky little girl and you had more time here to be that kind, sweet person you are.


  31. I've heard voices telling me what to do in several instances not with water though.

    I almost drowned in a Sierra snow melt stream pushing me under a rock back in the late 70s till my friends pulled me out, the strength of the water was too strong for me to do it myself. Sadly my friend's son drowned in that same stream a year later.

  32. What a story! On the edge of my seat! I believe in those 'voices'... ;)

    I love what Marlene said about your post ...

    "I love the simple statement "Open your eyes." How often I go into situations with my eyes closed, taking each step in fear, when I have only to open my eyes to see the correct way to go! blessings, marlene"

    Lots of good pondering in this post ;)

  33. Ah yes the finding my way to air in water is one I recall. I was diving into a lit pool late a t night. There was no daylight to tell my senses where up was and I panicked. Then It came to me that if I relaxed my body would automatically float upwards. Not sure what voice gave my came to me.

  34. In 2009 I had a severe GI bleed from an ulcer I didn't know I had. Drifting in and out of consciousness I did not see my life pass before my eyes. At times I could hear the voices in the background, one of which said, "Pump the blood in faster! We are losing her!"

    Much like you, I heard a calm voice in my ear telling me that I was not going to die there. I tried and tried to tell the nurses and doctors not to worry that I would be all right, but I was not able to speak.

    For a while I was worried because I did not see the white light so many people describe. On the other hand, I felt comforted that I didn't see any gremlins either.

  35. What a wonderful story sweet Patti. I am so thankful you heeded the voice that you heard and opened your eyes. I have not ever seen my life pass before me. Nor have I heard an audible voice but have had what I called a vision once...I saw myself in an accident 2 days before it happened. Because of seeing it I was prepared when it did happen and none of the children nor myself were injured. Now that gives me an idea for a blog. Hugs

  36. Great post ...your experience drew me in and I could visulise it all. The only voice I ever heard clear as day ...was my mum's ... on and off for the first few days after her death. I am not sure that I have ever felt as close to death as that but my late husband said he experienced the slide show once, when he thought he was drowning.

  37. Manzanita,
    I really am glad I heard the message also.
    I got tickled at your car key story.

    Linda Starr,
    Yikes, that story gave me the willies. How awful about your friend's son.

    Her statement impressed me also and it is so true.

    Now that was scary. It is easy to get turned around under water. Good thinking.

    NC Mountainwoman,
    What an amazing story. That voice really is calming isn't it.
    I have a post planned on the actual near death experience. I do believe and once had someone tell me about those gremlins.

    I read you post and that was an amazing story. I am sure your vision saved you and your children that day.

    I know of other's who have have heard a deceased person talking to them. I have felt their presence but never heard a voice. Only that unknown voice that day.
    I am glad that someone else experienced the slide show effect.

  38. What a story, I keep telling you, you need to print a book of short stories of your life. No I can honestly say, I have never had an experience like that. Perhaps because I never did anything to cause much harm. I never did learn how to swim and I hated getting into the water, whether it be a creek, lake or pool. I never rode scary rides like the roller coaster or such. Never had a two wheel bike. Never took chances in a car while driving as a teenager. Was always very careful around electrical things. In other words, I was a big fraidy cat about most things other kids did. I would stand back and watch and say I was glad that wasn't me. LOL Even when baptized in the creek, with the minister gently pinching my nose and putting his hand over my mouth before dunking me, I almost fought him. LOL Thank goodness I only had to be dunked 3 times.

  39. My only near death experience was when Mrs GQ ask me if her skirt made her look....I answered her.
    I know something flashed before my eyes but I don't think it was my past life experiences.

  40. Patty,
    And I'll bet you don't have any interesting scars. That is not a bad thing. I am glad that you allowed yourself to be dunked however.

    Ha ha. I always look forward to your comments. You are so funny. You really like to live dangerously.

  41. OMG ... both you and Lisa! I can't tell you how glad that I am that you were both saved and that I get to have you as my BBFF (Best Blog Friends Forever!)

  42. Oregon gifts.
    Thank you. Good to be in the BBFF catagory.