The biggest takeaway from these internet users who shared their near-death experiences is that there really isn’t one definitive answer to what happens to us when we die. Sure, there are similarities, but for the most part, the afterlife seems to be tailored towards individuals. Want to see what some examples are? Then continue reading. One suggestion though—maybe don’t read this before bed.
1. Don’t Worry About a Thing
My heart stopped when I was in the ER, for 34 seconds. Not really a “life flash” but a very calming feeling of, as I describe it, “what was I even worried about? Everyone and everything is going to be fine.”
2. Lovely Message
I had an NDE in my 20s. Was totally unexpected. The last thing I expected was a Christian reality on the other side, but that’s what I got. Back then, I considered myself a Western Buddhist with no formal religious identification besides humanism, really. I died and experienced an NDE that was more important than anything in my waking life. The experience changed me, changed my personality. I’m still riding on the energy from my NDE 30 plus years later.
No tunnel and dead loved ones for me. Just a 3D space of the most perfect blue light. Not like blue here, but something more intense, but permeating and peaceful. I was floating in that space. I don’t remember talking with others, but they were there. There was music, but it didn’t sound like the 12-tone music we are used to. It was like the perfect chord with infinite notes.
Jesus was speaking to me, but I don’t have His words. I can only recall it as feelings of utter contentment, awe, and purpose, and a few memories of my life that percolated up—mostly of times I’d been loving to someone and how it had helped them, but sometimes just really small things I’d done. Neither the time nor the experience was really linear. It felt like it all happened at once but took a long time to happen.
Anyway, in the hospital, it was touch and go for almost an hour, as they tried to stabilize me, and then three days in a coma. It felt like three years and sometimes like three seconds. My takeaway: Love is all that matters in this world. Love yourself, love your neighbor, even love your enemy, and seek the one that made you to plug into the more than what is obvious.
Celebrate your creativity and productivity. Never give up. Don’t worry about failure, just enjoy and keep on. We do not die.
3. Mom to the Rescue
I had a near-death experience when I was about five. I was drowning in a pool. I probably didn’t have enough memories at that point for anything to flash before my eyes, and I was also very focused on trying to get my head above the water again. I remember looking up at the sky through the water, and that the surface started to look geometric, like tessellations.
Then I experienced some sort of depersonalization. I had a distinct feeling that I was outside of my body, and I watched what happened next—my mom saving me—from a distance.
4. Don’t Move a Muscle
I suffocated during surgery due to a series of errors with the nitrous mask and monitors that had been removed and not immediately put back. As I was suffocating, I tried to signal. I realized I was under so much nitrous I couldn’t move. My ears were ringing. I thought about my husband, and if my daughter would be OK. I cursed the anesthesiologist because one of the nurses said I didn’t look good and he said no one could move until he finished this part.
I remember blacking out, then watching from a corner of the OR while everyone was rushing to work on a pink blob. I could see everyone clearly, but one thing was a blob. I realized the blob was me, and they were trying to resuscitate me. I intentionally did not go anywhere because I wanted to be there when I was resuscitated so I could be alive again.
I just existed in that corner watching the chaos. Then I woke up on the table, bruised but alive.
5. Sharing a Dream
My dad flatlined with a failing heart. When they brought him back the doctor asked where he had been. My dad said he was picking blueberries with his long-deceased mother and his sister. 1,609 km (1,000 miles) away, that sister woke up in the middle of the night, woke her husband and said something was wrong with her brother.
She had been dreaming that she was picking blueberries with my dad and their mom. I get teary-eyed every time I tell that story. He died a few months later. Miss ya, Dad.
6. Jesus Take the Wheel
I was a passenger in a car driving home from holiday to celebrate my high school graduation when the car swerved and the driver hit an embankment. The car flew into the air and bounced off the ground three times, and I was asleep when it happened. I should have at least been hospitalized, and when ambulances—for the driver—police and passersby stopped, everyone mentioned how its a miracle that we were alive at all.
But when it was happening, I didn’t have time to open my eyes before I experienced a violent force I couldn’t have imagined, which kind of felt like I was put in a metal box and shaken around—you know, which is what was happening—and my head was so weirdly clear, I just had this intense feeling of like, “God no, the car is crashing.”
This is happening, and I didn’t feel any pain—I got banged up significantly—and I had this unbelievably overwhelming feeling that I was not ready to die, I was going to get out of that car, that my life was not over, and it was like my soul just said, “No.” I’m not exactly religious, but I’ve always tried to form a relationship with at least my idea of God. In those incredibly fast, confusing seconds, I don’t know if it was my brain doing what human brains do when they freak out, but I really felt like I was talking to God when I thought, “Not today, thank you, I’m not ready.”
It was such a peaceful, intense presence, and I’ve never been the same since. I can’t ever forget that feeling, like I was not alone, and I really want to believe I’m right about that.
7. Every Inch Counts
I was crossing the street once and stepped off of the curb only to hear someone yell my name. I straighten up out of fear and see a semi blow by inches in front of me. I couldn’t believe I was still alive. That was Christmas Eve.
8. To the Great Beyond
I bled to death after a car accident. I went somewhere. I can’t say for sure if it was real or just a weird chemical trip in my brain but the best way I can describe it was like being in a hallway made out of space. It was beautiful, and incredibly peaceful. I saw flecks of memories passing by me but I wasn’t focused on them.
Then a woman’s voice that felt like it was everywhere told me I could wake up and suddenly I was alive again.
9. Bob Marley Said It Best
I remember slipping into a relaxed, giddy state, a place where it felt OK to not worry about a thing because it didn’t really exist or mean anything anyway. It was a detachment while also being aware of people around me tending to me, discussing me amongst themselves, and I just submitted my body to them while my mind enjoyed this totally chill, at peace, dreamlike state.
I imagine it was due to blood loss and shock but it was interesting all the same. I often wonder if it’s a state we enter naturally when near death, and if it is, I’m OK with that.
10. Soup Over Salad
I nearly drowned in a swimming pool when I was nine years old, at a hotel, when my family was on a holiday. I remembered it like it was yesterday. At that moment, my legs and arms locked up, my lungs felt like stone, and then I slipped out of consciousness for I’m not sure how long. I woke up to the lifeguard pumping my chest.
During the time I was unconscious, I was floating—probably because I was in water—in a space filled with stars. I tried to “swim” over to one of the stars and found out they were fragments of my memories—voices, noises, smells, faces, places—all jumbled together. But a big part of those fragments were my mom, my dad, and my two younger brothers and a cousin who was also my best friend.
It wasn’t like a memory or anything. To put it into words, it was more like a soup of everything I’ve ever seen, heard, tasted, smelled, and felt all there. Then I woke up. I’ve never seen that vision again. But I still remember it clear as day. It wasn’t too complicated, as a nine-year-old there aren’t that many places I’d been to.
I really wish I could put into words what the images looked like. But I guess the best explanation remains the same. The soup of memories. Sounds like a darn good soup.
11. Too Young to Die
I almost drowned as a kid. I think I was about four or five years old. I didn’t lose consciousness, but I remember extremely clearly to this day the moment I couldn’t get my head out of the water anymore and my lungs filled up with water and I just gave up. I had that moment of clarity, “That’s it, that’s death.” I don’t think a five-year-old can really grasp the concept of death, but I’m certain that I knew exactly what was happening and it was incredibly peaceful.
Then a dude pulled me out of the water and I don’t remember anything after that.
12. Being Overtaken by Darkness
I had my heart stopped at the hospital because it was going 150 BPM for hours. I even had the readout of me flatlining printed out. I had a heart condition and was on acid. My life did not flash before my eyes. It felt like a black cloud spreading through my body—the heart-stopping injection. Which makes no sense.
I should note I am over four years drug and alcohol-free now. When it was over, the doctor was walking out of the room, then turned to me and said, “Better living through chemistry, huh?” Crazy experience, would not recommend.
13. Come Back Later
I had a near-death overdose experience at a young age. I remember a black presence came to me, and I knew it was my death. I felt very strongly that it was not my time to go, that I had so much more to do.
14. A Good Allergic Reaction
For me, there was this feeling of death. My OD was a suicide attempt, and everything became blurry. The room was shaking. I laid down and put myself to sleep, and felt an empty feeling/presence I can’t put into words. It felt like I was losing feeling of my body and then I was asleep. I knew I was dying. Woke up due to the fact I was allergic to what I overdosed on, and threw up for hours. This was the worst feeling I’ve ever felt.
I can’t put it into words, but that feeling of emptiness and my brain accepting my own death will forever upset me.
15. Less Eternal Sleep, More Eternal Nap
I overdosed as we were leaving our hotel room after a weekend-long festival once. The last thing I remember is feeling odd, and trying to call out to my husband as he left the room, while I tried to make it to the bed. I remember the words getting stuck in my throat and coming out weird, and a VERY brief moment of thinking “I’m about to die. Well, damn.”
And this split-second feeling of extreme guilt before I was out. Nothing flashed before my eyes or anything like that. I woke up on the floor surrounded by people and was told I’d just had a seizure that had gone on for several minutes. I was confused and didn’t understand. I didn’t get why everyone was panicking. In my mind, I’d woken up, so I must have been okay. I wasn’t.
I could barely speak or remember anything, or move. I apparently kept trying to close my eyes, kept getting shaken awake with the whole, “If you close your eyes now, you’re not going to come back” warning.
16. The Dark Knight
Okay, so when I was 13 or 14, my heart stopped. For no real reason, it just did. My heart’s been bad ever since. Anyway, obviously they managed to revive me but its really strange to explain that everything was just black, but not like I was sleeping and didn’t remember it. It was like a tangible black. Like I was just floating in black.
I really want to stress that it wasn’t like being in a pitch-black room. Its almost like I was the blackness. I was just this blackness, existing. I remember it so vividly, which is the strangest part.
17. The Seinfeld Version of Death
I fainted and stopped breathing due to lack of blood to the brain. Not sure if it counts. I didn’t go “anywhere” or see the tunnel thing or have my life flash in front of me, I didn’t see God or relatives talking to me, didn’t see hell or heaven or aliens, nothing. I saw nothing as in THE nothing. I felt nothing as in me being nothing.
I remember fainting and disappearing, but after that time ceased to exist. Everything became dark with my eyes still open and I ceased to exist. I lost memory, feelings, sensations, there was only absolute, until the people trying to revive me brought me back and I started to hear something in the darkness, I started to feel kind of like I was forcefully waking up from a deep sleep and suddenly I was in another place in the floor.
I started to feel space and time again, disorientation, embarrassment, I wanted to get up but they stopped me. Then, I saw my arms and they were white, almost transparent, so I could see my veins. I didn’t know how much time had past. For them, it was a couple of minutes, but for me, it was an instant. Like time traveling.
To this day I feel like there’s a gap where I just disappeared from existence.
18. Acceptance May Be Key
I wasn’t clinically dead or anything, but in the hospital, my brain was swelling. The doctor told everyone I might not make it, including me. I felt an unbelievable sense of calm and comfort/goodwill and was totally content. It was really weird and I haven’t felt it since, but I wish I could. If that’s what death is like I’m OK with it.
No flashbacks, but some weird sort of flashing thoughts in my mind and that all-encompassing, overwhelming sense of comfort. I survived and made (mostly) a full recovery. My memories were messed up so I forgot things around the incident, as well as other random stuff. I had concussion-like symptoms for a couple months.
19. It’s the—Not Quite—Final Countdown
Heart attack. I was in the observation ward when my heart rate began to drop. Since I was being monitored, an alert was sent to the nurse’s station. All these people came rushing into my room and I could hear someone counting down my heart rate—50-40-30. At 30, I looked over and saw the crash cart sitting in my room and I asked a nurse what that was for.
She said, “Just in case.” My response was, “Just in case of what?” Then my heart rate hit 20 and I passed out. I was sure I was a goner as they counted me down. Weird thing is, I didn’t feel any fear. It was almost like, “Oh well, I guess this is it.” Woke up with two stents and a pacemaker. No angels, white lights, or tunnels.
I would say nothingness, but even nothingness wasn’t there, if that makes any sense.
20. Near-Death During Birth
I lost 2.5 liters of blood in childbirth. Midwives hadn’t realized, despite me telling them how unwell I felt and that I was going to be sick. It wasn’t until I sort of passed out and remember them saying blood pressure was something over zero. They hit the buzzers, a lot of people came rushing in and I just laid there for what felt like a long time feeling everything go quiet, but it wasn’t peaceful, just absolute sadness consumed me that my husband was about to be left without me and that my new son wouldn’t have a mummy.
A lot of oxygen, drugs, and a couple packs of emergency blood transfusion later and thankfully, I was OK. Still very mentally scarred by the whole thing. But the main moral of the story is—please give blood if you can. It’s only thanks to the kindness of strangers my baby has a mamma and bleeding out during childbirth is a lot more common than I ever realized.
21. Close to Something Special
I overdosed when I was 14. I gradually transitioned from life into a state of peace and bliss. I saw/felt something, the presence of something wonderful but heavy. Heavy and old and not meant for us mortal folks. I felt that I was on the very brink of entering this place, of finding something great, but I was always just on the edge.
It was so long, and so tiring, and I was just waiting to experience this thing. Next thing I know I’m back to the real world, and I never had the chance to experience the greatness.
22. The Astral Plane
I floated out of my body and looked down on the room, saw the medical staff trying to revive me and just felt awesome. In a very detached way, I thought “Well, my family’s gonna be pissed.” But physically, I just felt like I was floating and very, very content. I remember being excited to see what was next. Then I was revived.
I no longer fear death. It was a great experience. I just want to know where my people went. I thought they were supposed to come welcome me or something.
23. Green Light Means Go in
I was fifteen and full of hormones and bad ideas. Those two things are notorious in being the right ingredients for the perfect disaster. My girlfriend at the time missed me in the middle of a post-St. Patrick’s Day March night and wanted to see me, so I snuck out. It was around the beginning of spring, so I underestimated how quickly the weather could change.
I dressed lightly because it was really beginning to feel like spring and my desire to lose my virginity made me suddenly oblivious to the fact that she lived on a hill 10 miles away in rural Northern Pennsylvania. As I rose in elevation, the inverse effect happened to the temperature, and I was too stubborn to turn around because I would be there “any second.”
It turns out that I took a wrong turn, so I was completely lost and alone in a snowstorm so dense that I couldn’t see in front of myself. The scary thing was, I was quickly dehydrating and my clothes were getting progressively more soaked, and then my phone died. I wandered for what felt like hours, screaming for someone to help to no one in particular. It was all an idiot teenager could have thought to do.
I never did get help in the way that I had wanted. Instead, I saw a bright green light in the middle of nowhere, so I stumbled toward it with the rest of my energy and found myself at a glass door with a shamrock shaped light over it. I tried the door and—it opened. So I went in and collapsed next to the wood stove inside.
I awoke to my clothes being dried and an older woman asking me if I wanted breakfast. I broke into this lady’s house and she was asking if she could do anything for me. I was so lucky, and I thanked her every second that I could that morning. To get home, I helped her relatives down the road with some early morning manual labor, as they lived on a farm.
Once I paid my way home, my mom whipped the ever-living daylight right out of me for being so stupid. I won’t deny that I deserved it, because I really could have died in that storm. Sometimes, fate just cuts us a break.
24. It’s Been How Long?
I have been clinically dead twice, both times during tests in a hospital. No light, no life flashing before my eyes or out of body experience. It felt just like any other time I lost consciousness, with the sole exception that the disorientation and confusion was much greater after waking up again. Despite only a few minutes having passed, and being in the same place, if they told me I had been out for weeks, months or even years, I would have believed them in those first few minutes.
Also, I really wanted to go pee and kept trying to get up to go to the bathroom, and had to be stopped several times by the doctors and nurses.
25. The Father, the Son, and the Holy Garcia
When I was maybe six or so, my friend and I thought it’d be a good idea to play in her pool without her mom there. I didn’t know how to swim and found myself slipping into the deep end. For a while, I was panicking and struggling against the water. I held my breath as long as I could and eventually started to breathe in the water, which made me panic more until eventually, I stopped resisting.
Eventually, this great sense of calm came over me. I remember crapping my pants and not caring. The last thing I remember was looking up and seeing the light dance and refract beautifully against the water with so many colors. Then it just went black. Apparently, my friend who could swim got her mom who did CPR on me long enough for an ambulance to come.
My lungs were full enough of water that I was medically drowned. My mom was at the hospital and they were scared that even if I woke up I would have brain damage. But I woke up fine. I told my mom that God has big hands and that I saw Jerry Garcia. I’m not religious at all and wasn’t brought up in that sort of background, but I have definitely believed in a higher power since that day.
I’ve kept a picture of Jerry Garcia in my room since high school to watch over me.
26. Don’t Fear the Reaper
I overdosed. I stopped breathing and had no pulse. There was blackness—there was no thought, no feelings, no past, no future, just drifting in th blackness. There was no bright light. There was no flashing of my life. Do you remember what it was like before you were born? That’s what I feel like it was, it was timeless. I had no knowledge that I had died but I had no knowledge of a “Me” either.
I do not find death to be scary now. I know that it is a peaceful, timeless place. Maybe it was because of the drugs I was on that made me unconscious first of all, maybe death is much more different, I’m just retelling my story and what I experienced. Even after experiencing clinical death—heart stopped beating, no breathing, etc.—I still have a belief that there is something out there and when my time comes, I’ll greet death like an old friend rather than a demon creeping through my door.
The thing that hurt was waking up. I didn’t even realize that I was human, that I lived a life, that I loved, hurt, felt pleasure, felt pain. There were no memories, just this timeless, calming place, and I was at peace.
27. Good Idea at the Time
I had a chance to see a girl I had a huge crush on. Drove two hours to have long, meaningful conversations—not a euphemism, sigh—until 2 AM. I left super exhausted and drove home. I wasn’t familiar with the area, and this was before mobile navigation. I took a wrong turn and quickly got lost. I was too tired to make coherent decisions and realized driving was a bad idea, so I looked for a place to pull off the road and take a nap.
This was winter in New Hampshire. I had dressed for freezing temperatures—from my car to her door. Fancy date shirt and a wool trench coat—it was the 90s, don’t judge. No hat, no gloves, no scarf. It was fine for 30 degrees. While I was on my date, a cold front moved through and it dropped from 30 degrees to negative 14, not counting wind chill.
As soon as I turned the car off, it got COLD, and I started shivering wildly. I knew leaving the car running while I slept was a good way to die of carbon monoxide poisoning, so I would run the heater, get the car as warm as I could, turn it off, and close my eyes to nap. When it got so cold that I started shivering, I would wake up, start the car, and turn the heater back on for a few minutes.
I had a few cycles of this, sleeping in 20-minute increments and waking up shivering. Then one time I cracked an eye open and noticed a good 40 minutes had passed. “Good!” I thought, “It must be warming up. I’m not shivering at all!” I was about to close my eyes again when I noticed frost building up on the inside of the window nearest to my head.
I thought it was funny how much warmer I felt when my breath was still freezing on the inside of the car. Then I remembered that one of the symptoms of severe hypothermia was a lack of shivering, and not feeling cold. I started the car and drove the rest of the way home on an adrenaline burst. I’m convinced that if I’d gone back to sleep I would have died.
28. Could’ve Been Worse
Bad car accident. A guy sent me into the divider. I flipped over while airborne and landed straight up into oncoming traffic. Thank god no other cars hit me. But the roof on the passenger’s side was completely caved in. My friend was supposed to be with me that night.
29. Slow Things Down
I was in a motorcycle accident when I was 18. I was going 110 km/hr (68 MPH) when I was thrown from my bike. My bike was destroyed. After the paramedics realized I was OK they told me I shouldn’t have lived through that, let alone get up and walk away afterward. I know the whole thing was over in a matter of seconds but it seemed like an hour.
There were lots of good memories going through my mind and the feeling I had was so peaceful and calming. I ended up losing consciousness but when I came to I remember being so happy I had another opportunity.
30. Scary Relaxing
I was floating down a spring river in Florida when I was seven or eight. It was just deep enough at a point for me to get off my floaty tube and sort of jog along the bottom with the strong current. There was a dip in the bottom that I didn’t see, and I sort of tripped into it and took a mouthful of water and a bit got in my lungs.
I coughed and inhaled a full breath of water. Coughed again and sank straight to the bottom. It was incredibly peaceful. My lungs were full of 72-degree spring water and it was crystal clear. I struggled for a few moments and then just floated without motion as I began to pass out. Vivid imagery of life memories began flashing all around me in a very quick and confusing way.
I remember starting to cry as everything went black. Woke up as my dad was dragging me to the shore where he held me upside down by my ankles and I coughed up/vomited the water inside me. Ever since then, I’ve tried to tell people how drowning isn’t as horrible as it might seem. It’s really only the anticipation of drowning that would be horrible.
When it happens unexpectedly, there isn’t much time to contemplate death. The fact that you can move your diaphragm means that it isn’t at all a sensation of being smothered, and I think that’s what a lot of people think it would be.
31. Too Many Knocks on Deaths Door
Four times I almost died. This includes dialysis, comas, and emergency surgery. Twice, my heart actually stopped. At age eight, after suffering anaphylactic shock due to a dye injected into my body for a kidney scan. Didn’t see anything. Only felt sick, zonked out, then was out cold until my hearing came back as if I was underwater and I saw the paddles on my chest and felt the shock jolt me hard.
Age 33, I had a kidney infection. These can be very serious if left untreated as I was born with severe reflux and had my uterus removed and re-implanted and suffered 48/52 damage to my kidneys. I went into septic shock, my husband found me unconscious. I was in a coma for a week and had dialysis. I had told my husband two days before I was ready to go now and was at peace.
He thought I was tripping due to the medication I was on. I knew I was going to die, but when it happened I felt nothing, except when I woke up I had the feeling my mum and auntie, besides my husband, had been in the room. Can’t explain why because I didn’t hear them.
32. One Step at a Time
Overdose death for about five to ten minutes. I knew I was overdosing and started saying the Lord’s Prayer. Next thing I knew, I was standing in a place where the air was like liquid gold, but clear. Really hard to explain. I felt absolute peace and joy, and I knew everything. I was about to see Jesus, I think. I knew I was about to know total love.
Suddenly, my at-the-time boyfriend and daughter were standing slightly behind me. They each touched my shoulder and I was back. I felt heavy and angry to be back. My boyfriend had done CPR or something and I said, “Why did you bring me back?” I had messed myself and vomited when I died, and he was trying to clean me up.
What I remember about knowing everything is that there is no such thing as time or space when you’re dead. People I loved who weren’t dead yet were already in heaven, but also it felt ancient. I am now a devout Christian who does not judge or condemn others. After the experience, I find it easy to forgive and am much more compassionate.
Also, material things are nice, but I don’t much care about them anymore. I’m just extremely grateful to have a roof and food. All these changes did not happen overnight, but it definitely was the turning point. Now I know that death is life, I want as many people as possible to have the peace and joy that I felt when they die.
33. Groundhog Day
I 2014, I was hit by a car and sent flying about two meters across the road. My head hit the ground first and I slid on my face for about one meter as well. I was out cold instantly and the doctor said I was on the brink of death and if the ambulance wasn’t called sooner I would have died. I didn’t have my life flash before my eyes, but I had a dream where I relived the day. I saw my friend run into my backyard where my parents were and get them.
It was like I was invisible and was watching the whole thing out of my body. Then about give minutes after I was hit—in the out of body version—I woke up in the hospital about to have a CT scan.
34. Wrong Kind of Drive-Thru
While I was checking inventory at a liquor store I worked at in college, a lady drove her car through the building in the exact spot I was standing. If I had been just five inches to the right, she could have pinned me to death between the shelving. Literally experienced one of the two fears I had about working in the store. There’s still a video of it.
35. Father Knows Best
It happened when I electrocuted myself. I had this weird hallucination where my deceased dad was next to me, and I asked him, “Am I dead?” and he calmly replied, “Nope. You can still go back. You’re way too young to die, so please don’t do something reckless like this again.” Before I could ask him anything else, I regained consciousness.
I’m still glad that I had that experience.
36. Seeing Less but Hearing More
I had a seizure one time when I was younger. I couldn’t breathe as my parents hurried to call an ambulance and I was turning a deep shade of purple. While I was going through this mess, all I could see was a very foggy ceiling that felt oddly peaceful. I heard screaming in the back of my head and I felt like I would disappear.
I felt like nothing, almost like a ghost. Next thing that happened though is that I woke up in a hospital. Pretty weird, but okay.
37. What a Wonderful Feeling
I had an experience while doing whitewater rafting training that the doctors can only explain as “a self percussive cardiac restart.” Honestly, it was such a pleasant experience, minus the broken rib. Background—I was jumping into shallow water for rescue drills—this was intended—when I landed with my entire bodyweight on a pointed rock straight to the center of my chest. If not for my PFD it would’ve caved my rib cage.
Instead, I rolled on my back and yelled, “Oh my god that hurt!” and then I wasn’t conscious for about 30 seconds. I remember SOMETHING—but I can’t express what it was. It’s not like when you go under anesthesia and just blink to the future, I just remember I felt fantastic. Like, better than a good drug high fantastic.
38. Peace Overtakes Pain
I was hit by a car three years ago—February 11, 2016. I was walking across the road with one of my friends and they crossed the road and I waited a few seconds and then crossed but I was very short at the time and couldn’t see the car coming. I remember seeing the car coming on the right-hand side of me and the next thing I remember is being hit from the right side and flying through the air and landing with a thud on the side of the road and then hearing the tires screech.
Luckily, the only injury I sustained was a compound fracture to both the bones in my right leg, meaning the bones snapped completely in half and came out of my leg and as they snapped. When they came out of the skin, they snapped the artery in the leg and all the nerves. I went into shock from the injury so I couldn’t feel any pain besides the burning from the hot road—Australian summer weather.
I looked down at my leg and noticed the blood coming from my sock pouring all over the road and my leg bent in half and thought, “Well it’s broken alright.” Then I just remember being surrounded by people. I called my mum and since I was in shock I wasn’t distressed or crying, she didn’t believe me when I told her I was hit by a car. I was so calm she thought I was kidding.
I lost a lot of blood at this stage and had a seizure and passed out, but I didn’t think it was serious, so I kept trying to move and get up only to be held down by bystanders. I remember this white ring in my vision that kept getting bigger and bigger, blocking my eyesight. It started from the edge of my sight closing in.
Like everyone else seems to be saying, I don’t remember any “life flashing before my eyes” or anything like that, I just remember feeling extremely tired and losing vision. I felt so at peace and relaxed like it was a dream and I was ready to pass on if you will, not caring about what my death would mean to my family and all my friends.
39. Drunk But Not Out
Drank way, way too much one night and started to throw up. Mid puke, my throat clamped shut and I couldn’t get the vomit out nor air in. Last thing I remembered was being on my hands and knees on my bathroom floor as everything went black. I was afraid of how my wife and kid were going to find me and that my kid was going to grow up thinking I was the biggest loser ever for dying like that.
I woke up sometime later draped over the side of the bathtub. I called my wife and had her take me to the ER to get checked out. Nothing in my lungs and nothing broken or ruptured. The doctor surmised that I’d unconsciously made one last-ditch effort to save my sorry butt and stood up and dropped down abdomen first onto the side of the tub, which forced everything out so I could breathe again. It’s also textbook what a person alone and choking should do to clear their airway before they get to the point of passing out.
I haven’t drank that much since.
40. Fighting for Her Kids
My body was completely infected with sepsis. The emergency room staff had placed me in a tub of ice to try and help fight the fever. I had two IVs pumping I don’t know what all into me. Next thing I knew, everything was dark. I could feel other people around me. I felt so happy and light. I was free. There was no fear.
Somewhere I could hear my best friend yelling at me, “Don’t die. I am NOT raising your children.” My mind snapped to. Immediately, I knew I had to go back. There was no way I was going to let her near my children. Woke up right afterward and was amazed at how heavy my limbs felt. I have no fear of dying now. I have raised my kids. And she is no longer my best friend.
41. Won’t Let It Happen Again
I had a pulmonary embolism during an emergency c-section. My husband already lost the mother of his first child and I knew I was not OK, so I forced myself to look away from him so he wouldn’t watch me die as I watched my stats drop. All I could think was “damn” and went black. Pretty quickly though, I felt a burning in my arm and chest, immediately followed by such a surge of energy I felt I could run a mile, a combo of a quick-acting blood thinner—I think, I never really asked, or if I did, I was pretty out of it—and adrenaline.
So no, my life didn’t flash before my eyes. I was pleading with myself to not let my husband see me die.
42. That’s What Guardian Angels Are for
Not sure how close to death I actually was but it felt pretty scary. I went to Tanzania a few years ago with a large group of people to do work experience in a hospital. On one of our days off, we were taken to this big waterfall. Everyone was paddling around the river/plunge pool but I was like “heck yeah, swim time baby.”
I was swimming up to the waterfall against the force of the water pushing me back. I was swimming hard against it, thinking it was like a water treadmill. Suddenly, I got too close and found myself sucked down by the falling water, maybe four meters under. I was getting rolled head over heels for about 30 seconds before I clocked what was happening.
I remember very clearly thinking in my head, “Swim up, you’re going to drown,” so I swam to what I thought was the surface, put my hand above me to feel around and felt the bottom of the pool. I was so disoriented from being thrown around I couldn’t work out which way was up and started to panic and thrash around with my arms.
I felt a rock wall and kicked against it as hard as I could, which managed to push me out of the water sucking me down and into water moving downriver. My head found the surface and I came up gasping for air. No one out of the maybe 15 people I was with had noticed I’d disappeared under the water for about one to two minutes.
Nothing flashed before my eyes, but it was weird how cut and dry my thoughts became. They were like a separate person giving me specific instructions to not die in my own head.