Every family is its own story, what role do you play in yours?


It’s been over 27 years since I left my body and came back. This is the first time I am writing about my Near Death Experience, often referred to as an NDE. Phenomenologically, many NDE’rs do not share about it until years later, yet the details of the experience remains clear as day. There is a sort of shame, or fear of coming out about it, perhaps due to the rarity of others who might relate. My NDE at age 19 radically opened my intuition, and it has been unfolding ever since.

At age 19, I went in for a routine tonsillectomy. The doctors warned us that complications can happen at an older age, however I didn’t have a choice. My tonsils were scarred and needing to come out, given that I had experienced strep throat one too many times. I was a Freshman in college, and thought I would be back to school immediately after.

The first surgery went as planned, and I was home with my parents eating popsicles and Spaghettios. After a few days, I woke up in the middle of the night and realized that I was bleeding. Forgive me for the gory details, but blood was pouring out of my mouth. It was the most terrifying experience! My parents called an ambulance, and I was rushed to the hospital. After a blood transfusion and cauterization, I was released and sent home. We thought that was the end.

Unfortunately, a similar scene happened a few nights later after watching the movie ‘My Girl’ with friends. As the credits rolled, my throat started bleeding again. I remember my friends crying and scared because the best friend in the movie had just died, and here was their bleeding friend. My dad drove at record speed in his mid-life sports car, and got pulled over by the police, who promptly escorted us to the hospital.

They decided to rush me back into surgery to more assertively address the bleeding. What happened next changed me forever. I remember my dad running alongside the gurney crying and worried about me going into surgery. He was not a big crier, so I knew there was a reason to be concerned. I had lost a lot of blood and the doctors seemed perplexed about how to stop this ongoing bleeding. We exchanged a knowing look of love, and off into never never land I went.


The next thing I saw, was life from a whole other angle. I saw my body from the perspective of the top of the ceiling looking down in the operating room. I saw four people around me in scrubs, yelling back and forth in worried voices, having a hard time intubating me. They dropped a tool on the floor, and they had to grab a new sterile one. They sounded panicked. I began to float into the hallway where my parents were. They said that I would be ok, but they didn’t understand why this kept happening. I came back to my body from above, and felt peace and calm beyond words. I knew that everything was going to be fine.

When I came to, I shared this story with my doctor, and he squirmed and quickly told me this wasn’t possible. In that moment, I also dismissed it and didn’t tell my parents or anyone else about the experience.

I had to stay in the hospital for a month, while the doctors tried to figure out how to stop the bleeding from happening. They tested me for a clotting disorder, talked about tying off my artery (thank God this didn’t happen). The ENT was the best in town, and his ego was bruised from not being able to solve this case. The doctor visited my hospital room, and asked if I could learn to swallow on one side of my throat, to avoid causing another bleeding incident. Tears rolled down my cheeks, as I felt blamed for ‘causing’ the bleeding and knowing there was no way to swallow on one side. Try it! Isn’t it impossible? I felt hopeless on the physical level. Stuck in the hospital, unable to sleep at night, with roommates sick and dying around me. It was quite miserable.


The remarkable part of it all however, was my state of being. My inner being, my soul and my state of mind felt utter peace. I recognized this peace, when my parents were sitting perched on the end of my bed with worried faces. I felt an immense peaceful calm and knowing that everything would be ok, just as I felt hovering over my body. It was a euphoric body and being sensation.

Right now as I write these words, I can call the feeling back, like a waterfall of goodness and ease. Everything is always ok, and will always be ok. I am defining OK, as ultimate goodness, perfection and euphoric bliss. We are all, always ok. I found myself reassuring and comforting my parents who took turns worrying and strategizing. I came to connect with this felt calm within a storm. My body and personality were frustrated and anxious to get back to life, yet my soul was at peace.


After a month long stay in the hospital, I went back to college 20 pounds skinnier (not a good look) and felt like a different person. It was as if my lens on life had changed, but I didn’t exactly know how. I started to notice that my interests, engagement and confidence in college dramatically grew. I was studying Journalism, and joined the Advertising Association. Participating in Advertising competitions against other schools, I had a stronger sense of myself than before. I also noticed that my dream life became more vivid and lucid, and I began having pre-cognitive dreams, knowing what would happen in the future, for those close to me. It was a bit un-nerving to gain access to this information.

I knew the intentions and thoughts of men I dated, before they told or showed me. There was a kinesthetic felt sense of the depth and duration of new friendships. I could feel the emotion in a room when I walked in. Everything heightened. I wasn’t ready.

I remember consciously pushing this intuitive information down, so that I could go back to ‘regular’ life. As a volleyball player in college, there was a simplicity and purity of just playing, laughing with friends, going to college parties and experiencing life. I was choosing it that way.


The medical medium author Caroline Myss https://www.myss.com/ talks about the phenomenon of when we are born, ‘We dip our foot into the well of forgetfulness.’ I take this to mean, that we forget who we REALLY are, so that we can have life experiences and deep learnings here on earth. If we always lived in that awakened spiritual state, it would be hard to drop into the messiness of life and the juicy learning that it offers.

Similarly, I blocked a lot of intuitive spiritual input so that I could be a young woman in my early 20s, navigating relationships, break ups, and my first job out of college working at a large advertising agency as an account executive. I wove in and out of my intuitive knowings, yet didn’t always have mirrors in people around me to confirm what I was experiencing.

Once I started to use my intuition as personal guidance, I saw my life changes go into full force. What felt scary, was the continuous intuitive knocking at the door. Yet once I opened it, life got really interesting, in a mystical and magical way.

My own intuitive openings, drive my passion in helping others to do the same for themselves. Learning how to know what we know and act on it is powerful, joyful and so rewarding!


In part 2 of this story I will share more about how my intuitive path wake ups continued to unfold through:

  1. NDE Research
  2. EMDR https://valtate.com/how-it-works/emdr/
  3. Clairvoyant School https://psychichorizons.com/
  4. Break-ups as wake-ups
  5. Breast cancer 
  6. Hypnosis

I will also share about how altered states of consciousness can create a deeper connection with one’s self, uncover clues to our past, present and future path, and remind us how deeply loved, guided and protected we are.

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Valerie Tate

Reader Interactions


  1. Kareena Hamilton says

    Thank you so much for sharing this, Michelle. It’s very interesting and must say that I am fascinated by accounts of NDRs and through hypnosis, how we can connect with ourselves on a deeper level. I look forward to your next writing.

    • Valerie Tate says

      Thank you Kareena for the inspiration and I agree on the hypnosis level. There is research being done by my hypnosis trainer Paul Aurand on NDE experiencers revisiting via hypnosis. I am excited about these links as well.

      • Colleen says

        Wow thank you for sharing. I survived an attempted murder and initially assumed I was having paranoid ptsd symptoms as was being told. As I stopped sharing instead listening to what my thoughts were telling me I’ve come to discover I’m now more untuned to what is not being outwardly spoken by others. I have an aspect of spiritual life improving my intuition that did not exist before my almost fatal experience. Rather than feeling like a victim instead there’d an awakened strength that makes me wonder whether it always existed in myself but I too was more focused on the outside world rather than life of the spiritual self

      • Jay says

        I had a NDE too from swallowing 31 extra strength sleeping pills. Different than yours but my esp gets stronger as time goes by.

        I did have a floating above myself experience but when I was a baby. I remember watching myself cry in a crib and my Soul was not happy to be (back) on this plain.

        Thanks for sharing!


    • Bhavani Werning says

      Wow. Valerie. First of all, this is such a beautifully written testament. I don’t think I have heard you share this experience in detail. Thank you for sharing. Makes me feel like I know and understand you even more. Can’t wait to read more…

    • Brittany says

      Hi Valerie,
      My name is Brittany and I experienced something different but similar to yours and felt inclined to connect. I am a young (I would like to think young, haha, you are much younger) 36 year old lady in Austin and just got out of the icu for 10 days from a stroke caused my a traumatic adjustment to my neck. The rarity is case study worthy as my many have mentioned. Someway, somehow, I am here, I am able to speak and talk about it. I’ve had the same experience where my intuition (which has always been there) is so stimulated right now along with many other characteristics. Anyhow – I am so glad you are well and survived. ?

      • Valerie Tate says

        Brittany thank you for sharing you recent experience with me and everyone who is reading this article! I would love to talk to you about what you are experiencing after the event itself. It is quite a journey and sometimes helps to talk to others who have been there. Have you heard of IANDS (international associate of near death studies) https://iands.org/? I hope your neck is healing and will connect with you on the other message you sent as well. Love, Valerie

  2. Sam Rhame says

    Dear Val, Thanks for writing this. I have been obsessed with NDEs and with “death” itself forever. The veil, the veil, the veil.
    Thank you for your deep work.
    I love you.

    • Valerie Tate says

      Thank you Sam! I didn’t know that we shared that interest on such a deep level! There are nearly weekly NDE talks at the Sunrise Center by experiencers in Marin if you ever want to go.

  3. Stan says

    Wow! I’ve only been in your presence physically once, but you left a big impression on me. Your story here has answered a great deal of why I had that feeling. Thanks for sharing your story and letting me know I should fight myself less and learn more. ??

  4. Ania says

    31 years ago something like that happened to me. Non medical, spontaneous once-in-a-lifetime glimpse into another reality.
    Thanks for sharing!

    • Valerie Tate says

      Ania, thank you for sharing about a similar experience. I’m curious how that glimpse affected your lens on life, if it did!

  5. Gloria Asplund says

    What an incredible story, Gloria! You touched bliss and it would seem that once we do that, we can’t help but want more! More of that calming peace and pure love. It holds the essence of who we truly are. I don’t know what I would have done if you had left us! Thank God you didn’t, although, I get the feeling that the experience on a larger level was not about death as much as it was about opening you so that you could teach this truth. I am amazed and always curious about our seemingly parallel lives. I just popped on my computer to write about the life-long mystical influences of peak experiences, just like this one! I can’t wait to read more!

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