Death. The great beyond. The one place where we all have to end up, but that we basically know nothing about. Shakespeare was right when he famously called it the “undiscovered country” from which “no traveler returns.” Or at least most travelers don’t… For generations, the phenomena of “clinical death” and “near-death experiences” have fascinated many curious individuals. There are countless examples of people who have been temporarily dead for all intents and purposes, only to somehow be revived and miraculously resume their lives as they had been living before. How is this possible? What did they really go through? What should the rest of us expect when we finally reach the other side? Here are some examples of resuscitated people describing what the experience of death was like for them.
1. An Innocent Bystander
I coded after surgery. I remember being able to see and hear everything and understand what was happening, but I couldn’t physically feel anything. It was deeply unsettling.
2. Awful Circumstances
A guy I know claimed to have felt extremely at peace before having his heart started again after having attempted suicide. He was schizophrenic in a poor country and fell off the map after neglecting his mental health. I felt very bad for him, but he was not someone that I’d been able to spend a lot of time with.
3. He Liked What He Saw
I don’t remember exactly what I experienced while I was dead, but when I woke back up (so to speak) I remember wanting to experience it permanently.
4. Raise a Little Gel
A friend of mine was technically dead twice. She described death as being surrounded by darkness and floating with some sort of warm gel-like substance covering her. She never wanted to leave that state.
When I had an MRSA bug in my heart area, I died twice after a major surgery. I don’t remember much of anything from when I was out. As cliché as it sounds, though, I saw a light. But dang, that year sucked.
6. Deep Freeze
During my death, I felt like my body was as cold as it could possibly be—but in reality, I was just at room temperature.
7. Out of Existence
I have been clinically dead on two separate occasions. I didn’t experience any visions or light, and I didn’t feel anything at all. It was like a switch was flipped and my existence was just shut off. Coming back was another story. Slowly, I was able to hear the voices of those around me fading in, and they slowly got louder until I was able to open my eyes.
That’s it. Nothing spectacular. One second you’re here, one second you’re not.
8. Comfortably Numb
This isn’t my story, but the head of my program was in a horrible car accident. She was clinically dead for a few minutes on the scene while paramedics worked on her. She said it was the most amazing feeling she’s ever experienced. It was a blank, black nothing—but that was perfectly fine, and she felt a sense of comfort that she can’t even explain.
She remembers being angry at the man working on her when she finally came back to her body, because she had wanted to stay there. She told us that she can’t wait to experience this again when it really is her turn to leave this world for good. Now, she is not religious in the slightest, and she actively quashes all of our ghost stories and whatnot when anyone mentions them.
She only believes in tangible things. That’s why I’m so convinced that she is telling the truth. Also, there is one important thing to mention with regards to this story. She is always very adamant when talking about this to remind everyone that she is not advocating suicide. She stresses that she isn’t trying to tell us that she’s actively trying to reach this place again, but rather that when it is inevitably her time, she will be comfortable embracing it.
9. Rest and Relaxation
A friend of mine described the experience of temporarily dying as “deeply relaxing.” She says that she could feel herself drifting away, but was brought back just as she was ready to “leave.” Ever since that experience, she has embraced both life and death. She says that she doesn’t fear death any longer, since it was so relaxing to experience.
10. A Familiar Face
I had a near-death experience in which I was ejected from an automobile. When I regained consciousness, a man came up to me and said everyone survived. The man was there before any paramedics arrived. The craziest part of it all was that looking at that man gave me the most powerful sensation of deja vu ever. Maybe I hit my head too hard, but it was an insane experience.
It was as if I had seen that man before and knew him somehow. To this day, I have no idea who he was.
11. Last-Minute Decision
I attempted suicide a few years ago by hanging myself with an extension cord. I had no pulse when the police arrived, but nobody is really sure exactly how long I was up there for. I was resuscitated in the ambulance, but was in a coma for a little under two weeks. Anyway, all I remember is a feeling similar to general anesthesia once I jumped off the table, but for the five seconds before it went black, I was in a total panic and had a total change of heart from the confidence in my decision to end my life which I had felt just seconds before.
And then it was just…nothing. Like a deep sleep. And when I finally awoke from the coma, it was like finally reaching the surface of a pool after diving too deep. I was in the same panic that I had been in immediately after I had jumped from my table. From my perspective, I had just blinked for a moment. In reality, I was knocked out for two weeks.
So in terms of explaining what death was like, I don’t remember anything at all. It was like being in a deep, dreamless sleep. Perhaps if I regained consciousness immediately after being resuscitated, I’d remember something more interesting, but yea, “nothing” is about all I can offer.
12. Steam in the Engine
When I was eight years old, I learned how to fix small engines. One time, it just so happened that my dad had an old flathead Briggs and Stratton 5.5hp engine that didn’t work. He also had a riding lawn mower that had no engine nor blades. He gave me the task of getting the engine running. As a reward, I would get to put it on the riding lawn mower and have fun with it whenever I wanted.
I was sooo anxious at school the next day. Well, that day, I tore apart the motor and had it running by bedtime. The next day, we had the thing mounted and riding around. Fast forward a few weeks. My older sister and I were out riding when my shoelace got caught on the back spindle. It pulled me off and began dragging me (mind you, only going as fast as the machine could go).
My sister tried to help. She stopped the lawnmower and went in reverse, which caused her to accidentally drive right onto me. The chain and chain wheel caught my lower right back, ripping my skin open and pulling my large and small intestine out. It severed my right lung, broke my spine in two places, and shredded my right kidney. I felt the thing roll onto me and then everything went blank.
I couldn’t see, move, speak, or anything. No pain as well. All I remember is the blackness. After my father got my heart beating again, I remember just laying there in pain. I also remember feeling my back injuries and shortness of breath. I felt what I still believe to have been my stomach in my hand while I was feeling my back.
Once I was in the ambulance, everything went blank—except this time I saw myself lying there and the medics shocking me. I felt a hard pull and I was suddenly back inside myself. A few minutes later, I was on a table with strangers in white all around me. I remember being in a panic, then suddenly standing next to my grandmother who had passed away when I was only three.
She told me that she was my Nana. We were there watching them jolt my heart with tiny round paddles. She kept telling me that everything would be ok. They called my death time at 6:06 pm. Then, all of a sudden, I wake up and I’m all fixed and stapled up. My parents told me I had died three times. The first time had been for five minutes, the second for a little more than 12 minutes.
But the last time was the most astonishing to the doctors. My heart had stopped beating for 20 minutes. My parents made them continue jolting my heart even though they believed that there was no chance of reviving me at that point. They told me that the doctor kept telling them that I was going to have a 98% chance of being brain dead.
Today, I’m 25 years old and as healthy as ever. I’m fully capable of walking as well. I’m forever grateful.
13. An Offer They Couldn’t Refuse
When I died, I was surrounded by joy, and had to go back to return to pain. I had the feeling of being incomplete, as though I had something more that I still had to accomplish in this lifetime. This feeling made me choose to return to Earth. But it was a choice. They tell you that they do not force you to live, you get to choose.
And they always ask—do you want to go back? The choice is always yours to make at the end of the day. And they are pure love up there, and pure understanding. They do not judge. They understand completely and they know you completely—including your mind and heart. As I said, nothing but absolute love. I am no longer afraid of death. In fact, some would say that I am even a little too eager to return to it.
Normally, when someone returns after the experience of dying, they do not remember the experience. I know this because I remember that moment of forgetting, where you interact with these beings, and then return as if it never happened. You go to sleep and you have a “vivid dream,” but you know that it wasn’t just a dream.
That’s why I told them that the only way I would return would be if they would agree to let me remember this experience, because I did not want to go back only to forget the entire thing. They allowed it. I woke up moments later and immediately wrote down every detail of our interaction so that I would never forget it.
14. Wake Up and Smell the Roses
My mom’s heart stopped for several minutes during surgery. She said that the only thing she remembers is being in a field of flowers.
15. Like Nothing Else
As you’re dying, you start feeling tired in a way that you never quite have before (or will again, until you die for real). The sheer act of staying alive becomes exhausting. But then, suddenly, it’s all a blank. After that, the next thing I remember from my own experience is waking up from a coma a couple of weeks later.
You don’t even remember the actual moment of death, and it takes weeks for your mind to remember everything leading up to it. I was in a ton of pain before and after because a couple of my organs were perforated, but dying itself wasn’t painful. I agree that I’m also not afraid of death anymore. Not even just because of the pain factor, but because it feels less unknown to me and there isn’t time for regret anyway when it actually happens.
16. To Keep You Company
A former coworker of mine died during heart surgery. I think she was out for about 90 seconds or close to it. She wasn’t religious or anything. She said that she remembers being in the room and seeing her dead uncle and cousin standing at the far end by the door, watching everything that was going on.
17. The Last Down
My former football coach had a heart attack on the field and was dead for 15 minutes. We were talking to him later on, and someone finally asked him what it was like to be dead. He replied by saying that he remembers a whole lot of nothing. He didn’t have amnesia or anything, there was just nothing around. He also added that it was the most peaceful moment of his life.
Going off of this, I kind of think it’s like Inception, where you build the world that you want to inhabit.
18. One Guy, Two Worlds
My near-death experience was weird. I left my body and moved up through the ceiling in the Intensive Care Unit. I moved through some walls and then back down under my body and reentered myself from below. When I wasn’t looking at anything in the hospital, I could also see a large, dark, black space with slivers of pulsing color that seemed to be on the edges of shapes.
So, I could see the hospital and also this dark “world” at the same time. I have no idea whether I was hallucinating or not.
19. Unique Vantage Point
When I was around six or seven years old, I got rushed to the hospital by my parents one day because they had heard me breathing really loud and hard. The last thing I remembered was the faces of the doctors and nurses above me while I was lying on my back. Then I flatlined. The weirdest, most inexplicable thing happened to me then and there.
I could suddenly see the whole scene as a spectator, as if I was a floating spirit in that room. I could see myself getting revived, saw my mom crying, and saw my dad comforting her. Then, I saw a white entity shaped like my body, falling through the ceiling and slowly, like a leaf on the wind, falling down to eventually land inside my body. That’s when the experience ended.
I was put into a medically induced coma, and I woke up after some days. I don’t remember any of that part. I had stuff plugged into me, including an IV and a red glowing elastic ring on my finger. Anyway, I later mentioned to the doctors that I had seen it all. I told them that I had seen them using the defibrillators, saw my parents’ reactions, etc.
No one really believed me, and they told me that I was probably just dreaming or biasing my memories due to watching TV—but I know what I saw!
When I died, I saw my grandpa. We talked for a while and he said that I could choose whether I wanted to go back with him or stay. I looked down and saw myself in that hospital bed with my brother holding my hand. He felt it turn cold and I never saw him cry that way before. I went back into my body and instantly felt more pain than I ever knew in my life.
I’ve been in recovery for the past year and I’ve lost most of my memory, but I’m happy.
21. School Days
My girlfriend is anaphylactic. Her allergy is triggered by a chemical called salicylate (found in pretty much every food). When she was in high school, she had her first big reaction. For some inexplicable reason, the nurses at her school refused to administer her EpiPen (adrenaline shot) until the ambulance got there.
Now, obviously, having an anaphylactic reaction doesn’t give you a lot of “waiting time,” so by the time the ambulance arrived at her school she was already in pretty bad shape and barely conscious. The paramedics immediately administered one of her EpiPens, called the nurses “freaking dummies,” and loaded her into the ambulance just as her mother arrived on the scene.
She continued to fade, so they gave her a direct injection of adrenaline this time. Still nothing. They gave her a second direct injection of adrenaline, and this time it hit her about 30 seconds later all at once. Her heart suddenly began to fail. She stopped breathing and had no pulse. Nothing. She was dead to the world at that point.
For two minutes and 46 seconds, she was clinically dead. And the scariest thing is, she saw nothing. She tells me that when you are losing consciousness, you can’t tell the difference between waves of drowsiness and when your body actually shuts down. All she saw was the darkness of her eyelids, and it felt like going into an extremely calm sleep where she couldn’t hear or feel anything—and she says she didn’t mind it.
This was all despite the fact that her mother and the paramedics were screaming at her to keep her eyes open as the ambulance was flying towards the hospital. She miraculously just came back to life almost three minutes later as they were giving her chest compressions, and the cardiologist that assessed her later stated that all the adrenaline in her body was enough to not only stop her heart, but to also restart it with the little help from the paramedic team pumping it around.
Everyone was very thankful—but still to this day, she can’t differentiate between falling asleep after a long day and dying.
22. ‘Nuff Said
To me, death felt like nothing at all really. It’s much like a deep sleep.
23. The Main Focus
My heart stopped for a short time following a car accident. I woke up in the operating room and was then in a coma for two weeks after that. I saw nothing. It was exactly like being asleep. The interesting bits are what you feel when dying, as your body is dumping all of its wonderful chemicals and time slows down from the adrenaline or whatever.
I saw the truck hop the median and I saw the car spinning like a carnival ride, which felt like at least 30 seconds when in reality my car only turned less than one full turn. DMT is a hell of a drug, but the being dead part isn’t interesting or any sort of a religious experience. Luckily, you can’t remember what pain feels like.
In retrospect, this experience is a lot more interesting than it was at the time. It’s a lot like being high, in that your priorities are shifted really strangely while you’re in it. I didn’t care that I was messed up so much as I cared that they were cutting my pants or that I had $10 in change in the ashtray that I didn’t want whoever recovered my car to steal.
24. I Spy With My Little Eye
I know three different people who have been clinically dead and have come back. The way they all described it is very different from what many other people often describe having gone through. They all said, if you paraphrase, that it feels as if you’re passing out. Someone compared it to OD’ing on whippits (Nitrous Oxide-based drug)—a feeling of your consciousness slowly getting focused in on one point in the exact middle of your head, while your limbs lose feeling in a tingling, pleasant way; right before you pass out.
25. The Ultimate Reward
My sister was shot while she was out walking her dogs one day in our small town in Alaska. The bullet ricocheted around, piercing her bowel in nine different places. Even though we had one of the best Rhodes Scholar doctors in the north at our ER, and the only flight out of town was miraculously minutes away from takeoff and held up to fly her to Anchorage, she tragically bled out and died on the operating room table.
She knows because she vividly remembers everything that the surgeons said as she lay dead on the table. What she told me later is remarkable: She recalls drifting up and into a very bright light. She was no longer in pain, and felt compelled to travel into the brilliance. It led to an amazing river. Seriously, the look on her face when she describes this place helps me realize that radiant, endless joy is not just a possibility but an eventuality.
She describes playing in a river that consisted of pure knowledge. Anything that she ever wanted to know was at her fingertips. As she played in this amazing river, she could sense figures on the distant shore. They were our people, she explained. Our family. Our animals. All waiting patiently for her to finish playing in the river and wade towards them on the shore.
Though she was not ready to leave the marvelous river, she knew without being told that they would wait patiently and joyfully. But she never made it to the shore. As she was playing an amazing thing happened. Seriously, people, if you could see the look on her face when she describes this next part you would laugh for pure joy.
A being approached her. She did not know what it was except to describe it as pure, unconditional, ebullient LOVE. It radiated love. It pulsed love. And ALL THINGS diminished before the radiance of that love. The next part makes me chuckle a bit even though it seems out of place. She said it spoke to her and said that she had to go back, that it wasn’t her time.
She said, like a little kid, “But I don’t want to.” When she recounts this experience, she emphasizes that to be in proximity of that being is ALL THERE IS. She describes it as a completion. A peace. A welcoming. To leave was incomprehensible. But to decline was also incomprehensible. She felt infused with a purpose. Very, very, very reluctantly, she returned to life.
She is amazing. They patched her femoral artery, but explained that the graft would eventually give. In all probability, she should have died within minutes. Living with that sword of Damocles should be terrifying. No. To her, it’s a promise that she will get to return. Life is what we are here to do, she explains, but after…sweet, benevolent, and all-encompassing love awaits us.
With every single breath she takes, my sister is always heartbeats away from death; yet I have never met anyone who is more alive. Fearless.
It’s still unclear if I was unconscious or dead, the doctor wasn’t quite sure. I was around seven years old at the time. Either way, I saw a light, it got bigger, and then—I swear on my mother’s grave—I saw the cartoon characters Ed, Edd, & Eddy appear. And they started dancing. And music was playing. It was weird as heck, but I swear that it’s what I remember!
27. The Circle of Life
Not me personally, but my grandmother was clinically dead for a bit after giving birth to my uncle. She told me that she felt herself rising out of her body and she ended up in the top corner of the room with a view over her bed and the doctor. It was then that she willed herself back into her body and came alive again.
28. The Godfather 2
Can I speak for my Godfather here? He went into heart surgery to have a triple bypass done and died on the operating table (classic flatline, like you see in the movies). He told us that he went into the next life twice, and both times was given the choice to either stay with the living or come to heaven. Both times, he said, “I’ll stay.”
Once he got back, whenever he told the story, he insisted that it was very, very real. It wasn’t his brain dying, he really went somewhere. He lived for about 30 more years after that.
29. Rising to the Occasion
I was pronounced dead two times in the same night after a car accident I was in when I was 16. My great-grandma pulled me out of the car and we walked through this really peaceful field of flowers together. When I woke up two weeks later, she was sitting on the edge of my bed and told me to tell my mom that everything was going to be okay.
My great-grandma had died when I was only 10. Before that, she had been bedridden for years due to a stroke. I never saw her walk or heard her talk in my entire life. It was amazing and beautiful.
30. Taking the Good With the Bad
I was dead for a very short period of time, something like 30 seconds to a minute. There’s a big misconception about it. It’s not like sleeping at all. I’ll try to explain. There’s always a sort of white noise in the back of my mind. It quiets down when I sleep, but it’s still there. I never noticed it before I died, but I do now.
I don’t want to romanticize death; but when I was out, it was like this perfect nothingness. And nothingness is so hard to imagine normally, but once you “experience” it and they bring you back, part of you wishes you could have stayed. There are no positive feelings there, obviously, but it takes away everything bad too.
All your stress, the nightmares, the troubles. All gone. Just nothing exists. It’s beautiful in a way. I’m not suicidal at all, and still hope to live out the rest of a long and happy life. That being said, I’m very much looking forward to a lack of consciousness when I do eventually pass again, and I can honestly say that I don’t fear death anymore.
Death to me was like a black void. Then, waking up in the ER surrounded by people running around in panic mode was totally crazy.
32. Coming To
What I remember most from my near-death experience is the shock of being resuscitated. It’s just like “boom!” You take the single most painful gasp of air you have ever experienced as your eyes burn out from the halogen lights in the hospital. You look up and see a bunch of people in white hospital masks staring down at you.
You’re manic and panting for air, as the nurses and doctors hold you down to keep you from jumping up and ripping out the IV.
33. In It For the Long Hall
When my mother was clinically dead, she says she experienced a long corridor with arched doorways. One of the doors was open, and she says she refused to go inside. She had suffered a massive stroke at the age of 27 from a spinal tap done a week earlier.
34. Shapes and Colors
My schizophrenic uncle stabbed me in the stomach with a fillet knife when I was just 15 years old. I remember freaking out and lying on the floor, hyperventilating while I was bleeding out. I had tried to crawl up from my basement to phone 911, but I was so weak that every time I moved, I just started bleeding harder.
I remember passing out and having a sensation like I was leaving a dark room and moving outside into the sun. I stopped panicking and this feeling of pure contentment settled over me. I was floating over a garden where all of the plants were giving off light, and I could see a huge amorphous shape above me that was made up of every color in existence.
This even included some colors that I had never seen before and couldn’t possibly describe. The shape seemed familiar, almost like I was a part of it—and it was beckoning to me and filling me with pure ecstasy and understanding as I looked at it. Then, a man who looked an awful lot like Dream from the Sandman comics (which I was obsessed with at the time), walked over to me through the garden and told me that I couldn’t go home yet, that it wasn’t my time.
I started weeping, but I was filled with a feeling of complete understanding. It was like I knew that I had to go back, despite not wanting to. The man had tears streaming down his face and he took my hand and led me back to my body—which, by that time, was in an ambulance (my older brother had found me and called 911).
Four years later, I experienced a kind of weak flashback/replay of the feeling I had while looking at the giant shape in the sky while I was on psilocybin mushrooms. It felt like I was intimately connected to every aspect of the universe, and that all things that could be known were understood intuitively in that state, like an all-encompassing answer to some divine question—but I couldn’t put it into words or symbols of any sort.
It was all so obvious in that moment, I felt omniscient and omnipresent. But it was still only a shadow of the feeling I had during my near-death experience, nothing compares to that. I didn’t have any religion in my upbringing, and I have never been inclined to believe in any sort of organized spirituality—but those two experiences were so vivid and otherworldly that they have convinced me that there are dimensions to existence that are beyond our current ability to grasp in a tangible, scientific way.
It felt like I had pressed my face up against some sort of veil and looked through a pinhole at something beyond the capacity of our wildest imaginations. People have told me that it was all just the simple product of brain chemistry and that there is nothing spooky about my experience, but I honestly have trouble taking them seriously because none of them have ever actually experienced anything like it.
I challenge anyone to have an experience like this and not come away from it highly skeptical about our current scientific worldview. There seems to be this undercurrent of feeling among some that we are rapidly approaching a comprehensive and objective view of reality, that science is in its twilight years and that we are now just tying up some loose ends.
My experience has led me to believe that the cosmos is much more mysterious than anyone but the most original and creative thinkers are giving it credit for being.
35. Her Happy Place
One girl told me that when she came back into consciousness after clinical death, she was hallucinating because she had no idea what was going on. She said she was terrified, and that she started dreaming of something “safe” to calm herself down, i.e her mother hugging her in a warm bed.
36. The Big Empty
I hung myself with my dog’s leash almost a year ago. All I remember is letting go of the leash (since I was holding onto it), and just hanging there for like a minute. It wasn’t enough of a shock like stepping off of a chair, so I was slowly suffocating and time just seemed to slow down. I felt my heartbeat in my arms and legs, and then I felt it start to fade.
I remember what I’ve come to call “The Big Empty” in my therapy groups—i.e. just the plain nothingness that surrounded me. It’s a hard thing to describe and some people who have been through similar experiences have managed it quite well, but my personal description would simply be a void. There’s no darkness, there’s no you, there’s nothing.
It’s such a complete lack of anything at all that it can’t even be described as empty, because that would imply that it could potentially be filled with something. It’s hard to even realize that it exists because you can’t even really perceive it. A near-death experience like mine I think is like peering at the void but not going in; just enough life left to know it’s there but not enough death to be engulfed and completely extinguished by it.
My nosy neighbor apparently witnessed me through the window, broke said window, and cut me down within 10 minutes. I was out for three days afterward, but I have since fully recovered and finished my in-patient and out-patient program with the Youth Services Bureau. I have completely turned my life around. The fear of “The Big Empty” still haunts me, though.
I know that I will have to face it again one day and lose.
37. Back to the Basics
To me, death felt like absolutely nothing. When I was 14 years old, I had to undergo an MRI. They inject you with a radioactive iodine isotope to make it show up better. Apparently, I am allergic to that. Just before they put me in the machine, they told me not to move. I replied, “Hold on, my back itches!” I’m told that my back looked like a 3D topographic relief map of the Himalayas.
That’s when I stopped breathing. They immediately put some concentrated liquid Benadryl into my IV, and I could feel it start to move around in my body before I completely blacked out. I know I will die again someday, and I truly hope that I don’t suffocate again. That is a very scary way to go. I was dead for almost two minutes according to the doctors.
My mom was very freaked out.
38. A Scheduling Conflict
My father had an unforgettable near-death experience when he was a young man. He was burned severely in an apartment fire before I was born (and before he had met my mom—his first wife died from the burns she got in the fire). He said that he floated up, heard everything that the doctors and medical staff around him were saying, floated through the upper floors of the hospital (and could describe everything that was going on in these rooms), and ended up gravitating towards a white light.
He felt an amazing sense of serenity and love washing over him that couldn’t wait to get to the destination ahead. Then, he heard a voice telling him that it wasn’t his time yet and that he had to go back. He said that he didn’t want to go back, but the next thing he knew he had come back to life, and the entire thing was over.
He lived for more than 30 more years after this incident. He would go on to meet my mom, have me and my brothers, and do a lot of other great stuff. Overall, he lived a very normal life from that point on—except for the fact that he said there would be times he would go somewhere he’d never been before and, before entering the space, he could describe it exactly.
39. Last Conversation
Dad was fearful in his last days. He had been to the hospital many times, and every single time he came close to death. What he remembered didn’t reconcile with what most people report when having a near-death experience. He, in fact, had a lot of bad experiences. There was one time in particular where he had to relive a day three times in a row—in which doctors sedated him, but he was still fully aware of what was happening to him. He could hear the conversations, feel the pain, feel the choking and suffocation.
When I saw him the next day following that whole ordeal, he had tears in his eyes as he tried to communicate a question on how many days he had been out. When I told him one day, he was really confused and it took him a while to wrap his head around it. He thought he had gone to hell and that this was his eternal punishment.
He pondered for a long time on what he could have done to deserve that as a punishment. He did not ever want to be in the hospital. He had hated hospitals for his whole life, and that experience made him hate them even more. Dad’s last trip via ambulance, he actually walked out to the ambulance willingly, and this time, it wasn’t because of the usual shortness of breath, it was because of chest pains.
I was sure that this was going to be a short stay and he’d be back soon. During his last stay, he experienced more sedation, more hallucinations, and more disorientation. I went to visit him every single day to get an update on his status. One night in particular, they had considerable trouble getting his heart rate down.
It was steadily beating at about 160, then it would calm to 120 or so before going back up to 160. It wasn’t good for him. Then, the next time he was up, I walked in right around his dinner time. He couldn’t wait to talk to me, but he could barely speak. It took all of his effort and energy, but he had some things to say.
Dad: Son, I know without a doubt that there is an afterlife.
Me: How are you so sure? You’ve been seeing guns on the ceiling and all kinds of hallucinations…
Dad: That wasn’t me, I wasn’t here.
Me: You weren’t here?
Dad: I was there.
Me: Okay well…did you see anyone you knew?
Dad: (Shaking his head no) It’s not like that. You can see souls being born into life and it’s the most beautiful thing you can see. Time doesn’t exist there. Time is here because of us and we’re here because of time. Ohhh, I should have done more. (Looking at his hands) I could have been another Jimmy Page! (referring to his skill as a guitarist). I could have done more…
Me: But you were the greatest dad!
Dad: (Smirking a little to indicate that isn’t what he meant) Do more. Do everything you can!
Me: So…like carpe diem? Like seize the day?
Dad: (Brightens up) Yes! Do everything you can. Don’t worry about the consequences. Everyone finds their way. People worry too much about the consequences. Just do good and do as much as you can. Everyone eventually gets there. Tell the family…
Me: Can I tell everyone?
Dad: Yes, tell everyone…
Me: Okay, Dad. I’ll tell everybody!
Dad: (Nods in agreement)
(I can tell he’s tired by this time)
Me: I love you Dad.
Dad: I love you too, Son.
This was the last conversation that I had with him. I miss him terribly and have been trying real hard to find myself again after his passing. It’s been a long time and I’ve been able to cope with it just enough to finally write this all out. I hope this finds someone who needs to hear it.
40. When the Tables Turn
When I was 15 years old, I was scheduled to do a tilt table test because I was consistently experiencing dizziness and fainting spells. The test basically consists of them leaning you up at an angle on a big table. After about 20 minutes, the doctor started to tilt the table back and I could feel myself suddenly passing out.
I got severe tunnel vision and lost like 95% of my eyesight. It felt like I was looking through a straw, and then I totally blacked out. I remember hearing the doctor call the code and my father cussing at the doctor for having “killed” me. I remember hearing a lot of slamming and banging around, which I assumed was the crash cart and nurses shoving into this small testing room.
I felt a pressure on my chest, like when you have someone stand on your back to crack it. I found out later that this was the nurses doing CPR. I saw an array of vivid colors kind of dancing around forming objects in the dark. The scariest thing was how peaceful it all felt, just pure 100% peace. No panic, no pain, no sadness, nothing just bliss.
I coded for just under two minutes. As soon as I came to and opened my eyes, I felt seriously angry and hostile. I started ripping off whatever I could get my hands on and yelling at the doctor to get me off the table.
41. Nothing to See Here
My wife and I discussed this at length. Four years ago, she died twice in three months—needing full resuscitation both times. Both were lengthy rescues. One resuscitation was off-and-on for nearly 40 minutes. I asked her later, once she had recovered, if she remembered anything at all from during the times when she was clinically dead.
She remembered nothing. Blackness. No light. No relatives and former pets waiting for her. Just…blackness. Thankfully, also no pain. She finally passed 18 months ago, and I hope she felt no pain or worry the final time.
42. Going Electric
I was electrocuted by about 13,800 volts. The doctors say it’s likely that the first hit stopped my heart, and that the second one started it again (before I was pulled, like a lifeless corpse, back to safety). I remember experiencing the darkest darkness and the most silent silence. I ceased to care that I was dying. Time seemed to change. It could have been hours, it seemed.
In reality, it was only about 30 seconds. I felt as though I was floating, and I floated toward something that I eventually realized was my body and reality. Upon finally joining with whatever it was that I was floating towards, I suddenly became self-aware in my body and heard the electricity making horrible noises. I knew I was in danger.
From there on, it was a horribly painful experience where I lost most of my toes due to tissue death and had severe electrical burns on all four limbs. I endured more surgeries than I care to count, and seeing the round bone ends of my toes that were freshly amputated still haunts me a little, even to this day.
43. Like Something Out of a Movie
My aunt died in the hospital several years ago. She was clinically dead for a few minutes. In that time she says she floated above the operating table and saw them trying to revive her. She says she felt a pull on her and flew out through the very top of the room. She remembered very clearly floating above the light fixture on the ceiling and then there being darkness.
Suddenly she found herself floating above the ground several inches just above a field of dirt. In front of her was a very large chasm, deep, very dark, she couldn’t see the bottom of it from where she was. On the other side of the chasm was a beautiful field. Green grass, flowers, trees, and sunlight. On her side of the chasm, it was overcast and very little light, no vegetation, just brown dirt.
She felt the same force that pulled her out through the ceiling of the hospital start pulling her across the chasm. As she started floating over the chasm these hands reached out of the blackness and started pulling at her, almost like ripping the flesh from her legs and feet. She says it was the worst feeling of pain and cold she had ever experienced and it horrified her.
After what seemed like forever she finally reached the other side of the chasm and the hands faded away. The feeling of pain and terror she’d experienced was replaced with a feeling of happiness and contentment and warmth. Several family members that had been dead for some time were there and they seemed to be beckoning her over.
She was going to the field when she heard the doctor say something. It sounded like it echoed very loudly from the other side of the chasm. Suddenly that force pulled her across the chasm again only this time much faster than she had been pulled over the first time. Again the hands came and again the cold. The hands ripped at her and she felt the pain she had felt before.
Finally, she came to the dirt side of the chasm again. Then blackness. Then she was on the ceiling of her room in the hospital again and she saw her body spasm violently and her arm smacked the doctor’s arm, breaking his watch. Her spirit was pulled back into her body again and she heard him say something like “She’s back” and then blackness again.
Several hours later, she woke up and she was absolutely PISSED OFF, at least at first. Then she realized she was alive and she thanked the doctor and apologized for breaking his watch. He was surprised because when she did that she was technically dead. I don’t know what she saw but she was very descriptive of what she thinks she saw.
This was very long ago and she’s now on the other side of that chasm due to lung cancer.
44. Monster Hospital
Growing up, my father used to tell me of an experience he had while having open-heart surgery. The doctors had to stop his heart for about 20 or 30 minutes while they inserted a mechanical valve into his heart. At the time, he was in his early 20s and was involved in a lot of bad activity that he says he is ashamed of now.
Anyway, while my dad was “dead” he said he was in a very dark place and as he wandered around, he started running into very scary people who were deformed and screaming at him. He ran for his life into a corner and hid. And just before the people got to him, he looked up and saw his deceased grandmother reach her hand down and grab him.
The next thing my dad remembered, he was back in the hospital. He’s convinced he was temporarily in hell. I don’t know if this was just a dream state or something but I’ve never seen my dad so convinced in his life. It was enough for him to turn his life around and turn to religion and more importantly, to come back to his family that he had left behind.