My name is Katie. I'm 16 years old, and, like most people in this world, I have had my share of brushes with death. I have escaped death at least five times, and can remember two near death experiences clearly. I have survived carbon monoxide poisoning when our home furnace just outside my room caught fire, and have nearly drowned four times in four different places, and was once unofficially declared dead at the scene of one of the drownings, which was at a local pool. That was when I had my most vivid NDE, and the other I can remember was when I nearly drowned in a flooded river.
At the time of my "death," I was 14 years old. My two friends and I decided to go for a swim in mid-July, just a few weeks before my 15th birthday. We grabbed our swimsuits, towels, sunscreen, the works, and hopped into my mom's van. She drove us to the pool and promised to be back to pick us up at around 4:00, two and a half hours later. The three of us walked through the gate to get to the pool, put our stuff down next to some empty seats, and jumped into the deeper end of the pool. We played several water games, and at one point got a few other kids and played Marco Polo.
I have always had a hard time holding my breath. The longest I have been able to stay underwater at a time is 16 seconds. Once my limit has been reached, my lungs seem to compress on themselves and then immediately open again, forcing me to breath in, making it easier for me to choke on water (thus my several near-drowning experiences).
While we were playing Marco Polo, I dove underwater in an atempt to swim farther away from my friend who was currently "it." A boy who was also playing the game with us did the same thing. I went deeper than him, trying to avoid us bumping each other. But, as I tried to come up for air, he swam overtop of me, blocking my way. I tried to swim around him, but I couldn't move fast enough, and I breathed in before he could get out of the way.
At that moment, I felt a sense of, for lack of better words, great relief. I could feel the water enter my lungs, but it didn't hurt like it usually does. It felt cool and refreshing, in a way. I looked around, and I could see everyone swimming around, splashing each other. I could hear a faint "Marco!" being called out, and a few "Polo!"s answered. I looked to both sides of me and saw that I was still swimming, but when I looked down, I saw my body laying prostrate on the bottom of the pool.
Almost as soon as I saw myself laying so still, I heard a rushing of water and saw my two friends swimming frantically towards my body. I surfaced the water and looked around once more. Beyond the pool, just on the other side of the fence, was this bright light. It was shaped like a person, and, somehow, I knew it was an angel, come to take me to my eternal home. The light offered me it's hand, and I seemed to float out of the water, though float isn't really the right word for it. But as I rose, I looked down once more, knowing I was saying goodbye to my friends. In the few moments, or what felt like moments, since I had seen the light, they had managed to pull my body out of the water, and one was giving my body CPR while a lifeguard rushed towards them. He immediately took over, and after he pushed on my chest a few times, I turned back to face the light. It had grown dimmer, so I could now see both my grandmother and grandfather (both dead) standing behind it. They smiled and stood still, and I smiled back. I took a few steps towards them, but they backed up. Though their mouths didn't move, I could hear them telling me to turn around and go back, that it wasn't my time if I didn't want it to be. I looked back at the real world, and heard an ambulance siren in the distance. My two friends were holding each other and sobbing, and the boy I mentioned earlier was sitting next to my body, paler than I had ever seen a person.
I once again faced my grandparents and the light, now much farther away then before. The light slowly took its hand back, no longer offering me the joy of the afterlife and Heaven. I smiled sadly and nodded, knowing that I still had more to do in this world. Slowly, I turned around, and was sort of sucked back into my body. As soon as I entered myself once more, a wave of pain overtook me and I started coughing. I opened my eyes briefly, saw my two friends still sobbing, but smiling now. I saw the boy hovering over me, still as pale as could be. I closed my eyes and passed out, and woke up later on in the hospital with pneumonia. That pale boy is now my boyfriend, and my friends and I haven't gone swimming together since. Now we go to the movies.