26 Men And Women Who Died And Came Back To Life Share Exactly What They Saw On The Other Side

@marikaghetti / www.twenty20.com
@marikaghetti / www.twenty20.com

1. Who Just Touched My Shoulder?!

My mom’s root canal got infected and she died for 5 minutes. She said she saw a river or a darkness like a river and on the other side was just others. She didn’t describe what they looked like, but she knew it was others like her somehow. Then from behind someone touched her should and said “it’s not time yet”. Then she woke up and WOULD NOT STOP asking who just touched her shoulder. The doctors were all confused and kept saying no one touched your shoulder, you were just dead.


2. In A Dark Place

A man came and spoke to one of my classes this semester about his near death experience and it gave me great comfort so I wanted to share it here. He was kayaking with a friend and ended up flipping his and being sucked under by the current. He was sucked into a pipe under water and struggled to get out, almost made it, and was sucked back in. He passed out and his friend saw his lifeless body being tossed down the river. This is how he described his experience in the moments he was unconscious: He was in a dark place almost like a cave only the walls were soft and velvety. At the end of this cave was a beautiful kaleidoscope of colors. He made it sound similar to a stain glass window. And on the other side of this colored glass dark figures were passing by. He said that all sense of time was lost and it felt like his wife and kids would come join him at any minute. He said it was the most comforting and peaceful feeling he has ever experienced. He said that he had the strong sense that God wanted him and everyone there so badly. And that you must have to do something pretty terrible to go to Hell because he wasn’t the greatest of guys before this. His friend was able to catch up to his body and revive him and he said now he feels a stronger connection with everyone and is grateful to have had this experience. Hope this was calming to some of you like it was to me. Some of the posts on here are pretty scary.


3. A Tree In Shadow

Not me, but a friend of mine overdosed one day while doing some stuff with his friend. The friend hadn’t done anything yet so he wasn’t imagining all of the signs of death on this guy (no pulse, cold skin, blue lips). My friend told me that those few minutes he was considered dead he saw nothing but white. Everything around him was bright white and in the distance was a dark shadowed tree. He then saw a woman, also dark and shadowed, so he wasn’t able to see her face. But her presence made him happy. She held out her hand to him and for a while he debated whether or not he should go with her. He decided not to and she simply walked away. Then he woke up again. Before that event he defined himself as catholic but was never really religious. Afterwards he turned his life around and started devoting himself to helping others.


4. Bleeding Out

I was stabbed in the stomach with a fillet knife by my schizophrenic uncle when I was 15 years old.

I remember freaking out, 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 and every time I moved I started bleeding harder.

I remember passing out and having the 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 colour in existence including colours I have never seen before and couldn’t possibly describe. The shape seemed familiar 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 time. I started weeping but I was filled with a feeling of understanding, 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 was in an ambulance (my older brother had found me and called 911)

4 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 in to words or symbols of any sort. It was all so obvious in that moment, I felt omniscient and omnipresent. But it was a shadow of the feeling I had during me near death experience.

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 imagining. 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 had actually experienced anything like it. I challenge anyone to have an experience like this and not come away highly skeptical about our current scientific world view. 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 we are just tying up some loose ends, but my experience has led me to believe that the cosmos is much more mysterious than anyone but the most original thinkers are giving it credit for.


5. AN Open Field Lined By Trees

I saw a field, with tree’s on both sides. I could see water, I felt like there was an ocean on one side of the path. If you can imagine the fields that electrical lines go through…where there is no residents and they just clear the area for the power lines …it was like that. There was a tree in the middle and a well worn path around it. I was walking the path…it looked like an oak tree…it was very large, and presence came to walk with me. I told it that I was ill and that this seemed like a nice place. The entity (I’m non religious so I don’t know what it “was”) told me that I was not done and that I should return. That I would be happy one day. It was so peaceful, beautiful, but the forest seemed…dark and scary. The tree’s on both sides seemed a place I did not want to go, I only wanted to go toward the water. Then I saw a bright light and I woke up in the ICU. I hope this doesn’t turn into some kind of religious debate or some kind of medical versus spirituality thing. This was my experience. Take it as that.


6. “It’s My Last Time On Earth”

Hindus believe in afterlife or rebirth to be more exact, strangely no one has mentioned that here.

I’m not a practising Hindu so I never really thought deeply into such matters until I met a very kind lady (father’s friend’s wife) when I was 14 years old. She had the ability to see into the future and I’m not shitting you guys when I say that whatever she’s told me as happened so far to the T. She just held my hand and basically saw my future (this is the part I don’t want to accept/like – since this would mean our fate has been set in stone or something to that extent) I’m 28 now and I’ll never forget the sensation I got from her – that warm vibration/energy she radiated.

I also asked her why she’s able to see into people’s future or something along those lines ( I was such a cynic, because there are tons of ‘astrologers’ out there promising you lies) and she said “It’s my last time on earth here.”

This would explain it I suppose “The soul, called “Atman” leaves the body and reincarnates itself according to the deeds or Karma performed by one in last birth. A person stays with the God or ultimate power when he discharges only & only yajna karma (means work done for satisfaction of supreme lord only) in last birth and the same is called as “Moksha” or “Nirvana”, which is the ultimate goal of a self realised soul.”

So I do believe there’s something more – we just don’t know what. But I do know that death is the only certainty in life and that’s morbidly comforting to me.


7. Drifting Into The Light

My sister was shot while she was walking her dogs in our small town in Alaska. The bullet ricocheted around piercing her bowel in 9 places. Even though we had one of the best Rhode’s Scholar docs 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 bled out and died on the operating room table. She knows because she vividly remembers everything 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 lead 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 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 that 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 and explained that the graft would eventually give. In all probability she will die 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, all encompassing love.

With every single breath my sister is heartbeats from death, and I have never met anyone who is more alive. Fearless.


8. Seeing Nana

When I was 8 I learned how to fix small engines. That being said my dad had an old flat head 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 I could put it on the riding lawnmower and have fun whenever. O was sooo anxious at school the next day.

Well, that day I tore apart the motor and had it running by bed time. The next day we had the thing mounted and riding around.

Flash forward a few weeks, me and my older sister were out riding when my shoelace got caught on the back spindle. It pulled me off and was dragging me. Mind you only going as fast as it would go. My sister stopped and went in reverse which caused her to go 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. Severing my right lung, breaking my spine in 2 places and shredding my right kidney. I felt the thing roll onto me then everything went blank. Couldn’t see, move, speak or anything. No pain as well. All I remember was the blackness.

After my father got my heart beating again I remember laying there in pain. Also remember feeling my back and short of breath. I felt what I still believe as 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 laying there and the medics shocking me. I felt a hard pull and I was back in myself. Few minutes later I was on a table with strangers in white all around me. I remember them in a panic then standing next to my grandmother who passed when I was 3.

She told me she was my Nana. We were there watching them jolt my heart with tiny round paddles. she kept telling me it was 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 3 times. The first for 5 minutes. The second was a little more then 12 min. But the last time was astonishing to the doctors. My heard stopped beating for 20 minute. My parents made them continue jolting my heart. They told me the Dr kept telling them that I was going to have a 98% chance of being brain dead. I’m 25 years old and am healthy as ever. I’m fully capable of walking as well.


9. A ‘Kick’ Out Of His Body

I was in an ambulance carrying me from the hospital in small provincial town towards the big hospital in the capital. I had bad pneumonia which was not responding well to (weak, old and not very effective) oral antibiotics doctors were giving me. In the ambulance I was choking, unable to breathe from (what was later found to be) 750 grams of fluids accumulated in my lungs. The ambulance was jolting, I was short of breath, and next thing I remember was I felt SEVERE blow that kicked me out of my body. I later read stories by other people in similar near dead situations who reported seeing a tunnel and a light, but this was not what I experienced. It was just a blow, a kick which threw me out of my body. I was looking at my body from the side, and also seeing a medical sister which was trying to put a breathing mask on my face.

At first I thought that something happened with my vision and I panicked. I was seeing everything in 2D, like on a movie screen, and also nearly black and white. It was not completely black and white, it was like the colors were very darkened, as if everything was a shades of gray with very little color in it. I know that this seems strange, I mean, I looked at my body from the side and yet I panicked for my eyes and vision, but that was what I thought then. I was 14 year old at the time, and in a state of panic, and I guess my logic was weak and weird at this moment. I severely panicked for my eyes and vision and that was a moment when I thought of my mother, and in an instant, I was looking at her.

She was traveling together with my father and my uncle in a car following the ambulance on a road to the capital. It was my uncle’s car. I started talking to my mother, telling her that my eyes are not ok, that something happened to my eyes and I cannot see well. She did not heard me. They continued to talk, cursing and lambasting the incompetent doctors at provincial hospital, discussing how those doctors tried to coax them to sign some papers after the ambulance left, how they refused to sign, and how they arranged for me to be admitted in the department led by an experienced and very competent doctor with strange name (assoc. prof. Koiundurliev). This was unique name which I remembered.

At that point the gravity of situation hit me. I finally realized that something weird happened, that I shall not be in this car, and I panicked even more. I began to think of my friends at school and of the girl I liked, and as soon as thought of someone was really “sharp enough” in my mind (I don’t know how to explain this in writing), but as soon as thought about someone was “sharp enough” I instantly saw them as if I was standing next to that person in this very moment. Then the panic hit me even harder, I started jumping from place to place, from memory to memory, in an ever increasing pace, and everything became a kaleidoscope of people and places.

This jumping from place to place abruptly stopped when an old lady came. She was very old, with a white hair, white like completely snow white, not white like the grey shadows of other colors I was seeing. She took me by the hand, insisted that I looked at her and repeated several times that I should calm down my mind so that this random jumping from place to place stops. I realized that she was somehow helping me to remain calm, to look only at her and to set at rest and be quiet.

Then she proceeded to explain that now I am going to fall asleep, and when I wake up I will be at the hospital. She told me that doctors will start giving me injections, that some of them will be painful, but I shall be brave like a man and endure the pain, and that my condition is going to improve. But after two months doctors will propose a surgery. She insisted, several times, that immediately when I wake up I MUST tell my mother to refuse to sign papers for the surgery, to refuse to let them do the surgery. She told me that if they do the surgery I am going to die, and insisted again, several times, that I should explain this to my mother as soon as I wake up. She also told me that if I am a good boy and do as she told me to do, my uncle is going to bring me a lot of delicious chocolates in the hospital.

So, long story short: I woke up at the ER, told everything to my mother, she was shocked by my detailed description of what they talked about in the car, I distinctly remember her eyes grew WIDE OPEN when I told her the strange name of the doctor, and she listened to my frenetical demands from her to refuse to sign the papers for the surgery. She was not understanding what I am talking about, as at this moment no one was talking about any surgery. My mother told me that everything is going to be ok, that there is not going to be any surgery and generally tried to calm me down.

I slept a lot in the hospital, was very weak. Doctors drew up the fluids from my lungs using long and thick needles inserted through my back. It was indeed very painful. Christmas came and passed. They gave me strong antibiotic injections and I recovered. 45 days later they saw on X-Rays one particular spot on my left lung which was refusing to heal. Two months later is was still there – still same size. On next X-Ray – again. They proposed a surgery to remove this spot.

My mother resisted to them initially, but eventually, as time passed, there were many doctors insisting that surgery must be done, and my mother finally gave in to their pressure and signed the papers. But this delayed the surgery for many weeks, and when they did a final X-Ray before the surgery to see how big the spot is – it was gone, and the planned surgery was canceled. They all (my mother and the doctors) lied to me, my mother was telling me that there is not going to be a surgery, but they were actually secretly preparing to do it. I only later found out what really happened.

My mother also told me how she watched, not believing her own eyes, how my extremely stingy uncle was bringing me chocolate after chocolate in the hospital. This happened in a then socialist country (Bulgaria), my uncle was working as a driver of big truck for international transportation and that was where he bought the chocolates. On our country local market those chocolates were EXTREMELY expensive and nowhere to be found. And my uncle was (and is, to some extent, to this day) very stingy bastard. My mother told me that, above all, this particular piece of my story convinced her to refuse signing surgery papers for so long, despite the intense pressure from the doctors.

I have a lot of other weird memories from these events, but I decided to not share them, as I am not sure how reliable my memories are. I am only talking about memories I was able to successfully verify with my relatives. Years later I made my mother and father and uncle tell what they remembered, I recorded their words on tape, and I drew the line around what I consider to be the reliable part of the story and what may be the distortions of my memory from the time passed.

Note that I am not religious, my relatives are also atheists. Neither I nor any of my relatives became religious after this incident.


10. “I Can’t Feel My Heart”

I was at my girlfriend at the time’s parent’s house, and suddenly started feeling really queasy. She and I headed to the kitchen so I could get a glass of water, and we stood with me leaning back against the counter and her hugging me. She was saying I had gone incredibly pale, like almost white and my lips were going a purply colour. She looked really scared.

I then say to her, “I… I can’t feel my heart…” and I check my pulse.

Next thing I know, I’m in this ‘place.’ I can’t describe it except as an absence of absolutely everything. There was a floor, but I couldn’t see it, I was walking on nothing through nothing and surrounded by nothing. But I was there, and it was there. There were other people with me. Discernible faces, clothes and demeanours. I could see them, and they could see me. Like, properly see me, not just look at me, but ACTUALLY see me, I could feel that they could. We were all there in complete silence, just really calm and silent, and in this space of nothingness, and then this bright bluish-white light erupted from the distance, and it called to us. Silently beckoned us all towards it, so we started walking. I don’t know why, we all just felt compelled as a single entity to head towards this light.

It was… beautiful. Really, fucking beautiful. I have never seen a light so pure or so beautiful since, I have never felt a calm so serene, and a strange happiness was flowing through me. I could feel myself smiling, and feeling like all was right with everything in the world.

Suddenly, I started being dragged backwards, as if a fishing hook had just grasped my intestines from behind and was pulling me. I felt intense pain and there was a rushing sound. The light got more and more distant, as did the people, and there was what I can only describe as a blood curdling scream fading in from behind me.

As this got louder, and as soon as the light faded… I woke up. I was on the floor of my girlfriend’s kitchen, her mother (a nurse) had just performed CPR on me, as I had been actually full on dead (no pulse, no breathing) for about about a minute. I felt like I was in that space for an eternity. The scream was my girlfriend, crying hysterically at the thought of me being dead. I promptly threw up everywhere, and felt instantly better.

Even doctors at hospital don’t know what the fuck happened to me. I was discharged after a few hours of tests with a clean bill of health and felt completely fine.

What’s even stranger is, apparently when I said “I can’t feel my heart” I passed out, and fell onto my girlfriend, who couldn’t support me, and I fell, hitting my head off the counter and smashing into some empty bottles on the floor. While I was out, I had apparently just stayed still, but smiled, until I stopped breathing. I was pale and my head and hands were freezing cold to the touch, but the rest of me was still warm.

What’s even stranger than THAT is that her pet cats freaked the literal fuck out when I was dead, and all ran out of the house, howling into the night. One of them returned the next morning, the other two were found up a tree a few blocks away, meowing incessantly.


11. She Could Stay Or Go

My mom had one. She was in surgery for a caesarian for my youngest sis in 1986. We were in Italy and not citizens so she chose not to have the elective sonogram to determine sex. So she was put under for c-section, apparently a little too far under. She woke up to them performing CPR chest compressions.

While out of it she said she was in a calm and peaceful place and didn’t hear a voice but just a feeling that she could stay or go. She said she spoke and said that she couldn’t go because she had three girls to raise. She didn’t know she had had a third daughter at that point.

She’s ok now – 23 yrs later – but that birth was really rough on her and left her bewildered about that experience. When she told her father about it, he too had a similar experience during a heart attack.


12. “I’m Going To Hell!”

Okay, not my story, but something my sister witnessed when she was a med student at a level one trauma facility. Guy comes in from a MVA, motorcycle vs. truck, she said he was a “Waffle House hash brown” — sliced, diced, and chunked. The guy is able to talk at the beginning, drunk, cussing the nurses and docs trying to help him, not a nice guy. The end up intubating the guy to preserve the airway and the guy’s going down hill fast. He codes, but they manage to bring him back.

Suddenly, the guy comes completely to, rips out his tube, grabs my sister’s hand, and lets out this breathy little scream, “Don’t let me die, I’m going to hell. Please don’t let me die!” This freaks out everyone, including my sister. The guy says he “woke up” in hell, on fire, and keeps begging someone to check his feet for burns…nobody could believe he pulled out his tube and was talking….

Despite everything they did, the guy still died. My sister said they were all freaked out about it for weeks….


13. “Mother”

Had a patient who had a long, difficult death from CA of the everything. Moaned, whimpered, uncomfortable no matter how much morphine we gave her. As the greenest member of the nursing team, I was assigned to spend as much time with her as possible, as we knew she was dying, and felt that she shouldn’t be alone. She stopped whimpering suddenly, looked toward the bottom of the bed, lifted both arms up, smiled, sat halfway up, said “Mother” and collapsed back dead.


14. A New Type Of Consciousness

This is the first time I’ve ever written this out, or shared this story with people other than a psychiatrist or my family.

Four years ago, almost to the day, I was pronounced clinically dead for two minutes after undergoing cardiac arrest which subsequently was caused from a seizure.

I was 20 at the time. I remember it was incredibly hot that evening. Me, my boyfriend, my best friend, and a few other kids I went to high school with were all going to see a local band play in Newtown, Pennsylvania. It was around six in the evening and at this time I had only an espresso all day; no food, no water. We decided to smoke a blunt while we were waiting for the band to set up. All was good! It was my last last get together with friends before I left for school.

About a half hour later, after a few cigarettes, we decided to smoke some more. The band was almost ready to start playing. I was feeling really, really good. By this time, I had totally forgotten that my body was deprived of food and water for the entirety of this incredibly hot day in August…I was sweating bullets.

10 minutes later, the band is ready to go on. My boyfriend brings out a Monster energy drink from his bag. My breath starts to feel a little shallow. I grab to get a hold of the drink, but it slips from my fingers and drops to the ground. This is where things start to go awry. I looked at my hand in confusion, then at my best friend who was looking at me with a strange face.

“Are you ok?”

I thought I had answered, “I’m not sure” but I guess the response happened in my head. Not 15 seconds later, I felt the extreme urge to sit down right where I was. I hit the ground hard, landing flat on my ass, but barely feel it. I hear someone in the background go, “woah there!” but my body is failing me, and I can no longer react to the outside stimulus.

I don’t remember much of what happened to me in a physical sense after that. My best friend told me how things unfolded after that: she was trying to hold me up, to get me over to an EMT. The safety guys I guess didn’t notice that there was a problem so essentially my friends screams for help was useless. A big guy noticed the severity of the situation, slung me over his back, and pushed through the crowd to get me to help. Apparently I wasn’t breathing, my body had gone stiff, and my lips and fingertips were turning blue. I was having a seizure. I was put in an ambulance. During the ride I underwent cardiac arrest, and after two minutes of using CPR and a defibrillator, my pulse returned followed by my breathing. I regained full consciousness as I was entering the hospital.

While all of this was happening, my mind was somewhere else. As soon as my body hit the ground I felt detached from it. I could hear everything going on around me but I felt like my viewpoint was from miles away. The feelings themselves are hard to explain. It was peaceful, almost dreamy. I felt as if I was passing into a new stream of consciousness. I also “saw” myself. It seemed like my viewpoint was in “god mode” or something similar. I watched my body get carried out of the crowd, put onto the stretcher, and loaded into the ambulance. I suppose at the point when my heart stopped beating completely was when things got even more wacky. I couldn’t see myself anymore. I couldn’t see anything. It wasn’t black, it wasn’t white. I didn’t see a tunnel…it was just a feeling. An utterly tangible feeling of absolute peace and fulfillment. Later, as I regained consciousness in the hospital, I felt as if I had awoken from the best nap ever.

After getting a few tests done and telling my story to doctors, they really didn’t have a straight explanation for what happened to me. Here are some facts that I think attributed to my seizure: I was dehydrated, I had been drinking and smoking all day, I was also taking anti depressants at the time.

I do not believe in heaven, I do not believe in hell. I DO believe in a higher power, I do have faith. But I don’t really believe this experience proved or disproved those beliefs, for the record.


15. A Nice Long Nap

I was in a coma after a serious car accident. Sometime near the end of it, I was legally dead for around two minutes. Everyone kept asking me what it was like, and I always just say that it was indistinguishable from sleeping. I have no memory of it, but I remember segments of the coma as a whole, and the period of death was no different than any other moment of it. I remember something where it felt like everything was slow, and I sort of associate that with the moment, but my memory is so foggy on the whole subject that I am starting to believe my mind might’ve convinced myself that actually happened when it really didn’t. The whole experience has made me pretty much unafraid of death, and I sort of appreciate it for that. The thing you have to realise is, at the end of the day, dying is just like a long nap.

And man, do I like to nap.


16.Deja Vu

I had a near death experience in which I was ejected from an automobile. When I regained consciousness, a man came 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 have seen that man before.


17. The Only Thing She Remembers

My mom’s heart stopped during surgery. She said the only thing she remembers is being in a field of flowers.


18. Most Peaceful Moment

My former football coach had a heart attack on the field and was dead for 15 minutes. We were talking to him and someone finally asked what it was like to be dead, he replied with saying that he remembers a whole lot of nothing. He didn’t have amnesia or anything there was nothing around. He did say it was the most peaceful moment of his life. Going off this I kinda think its like Inception where you build the world that you inhabit.


19. The Big Empty

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 a chair so I was suffocating and time just seemed to slow down. I felt my heartbeat in my arms and legs and I felt it start to fade. I remember what I’ve come to call “The Big Empty” in my therapy groups as just the plain nothingness. It’s hard to describe and some people in this thread have managed it quite well but my description would 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 it could 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 and not enough death to be engulfed and completely extinguished by it. My nosy neighbour apparently witnessed me through the window, broke said window and cut me down within 10 minutes, I was out for 3 days afterwards but I have since fully recovered and finished my in-patient and out-patient program with the Youth Services Bureau and have completely turned my life around. The fear of The Big Empty still haunts me, knowing that I will have to face it again one day and lose.


20. A Hallway Leading To A Door

My aunt had an experience like this wen she was 18. She always suffered of chronicle seizures that made her pass out. One day, she had one while no was around, she was later found by my grandmother. The doctors luckily arrived in time to resuscitated her. She explained that she was in brightest most peaceful hallway. She wandered aimlessly through it, until she found a massive door closed on one end. She told, mi grandmother that she tried as hard as she could to open the door. Tapping, slamming, even kicking it would not allowed the doors to break free. She looked back to see the back of the corridor gone, replaced with an emergency room. She was lying on stretcher while multiple nurses/doctor where frantically working to revive her. She gave up on the door, turn around and led for the surgery room. She inevitably reached the room, and reentered her body. She passed away at the age of 42, about nine months ago. Heart failure after multiple seizures. She left behind two young daughter and a husband. We like to think that the doors opened for her.


21. Deformed And Screaming

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, come back to his family that he had left behind.


22. At Zero

When I was twelve I drowned in the gulf of Mexico. I was out pretty far from my family and the current picked up into a rip. I had always been a very strong swimmer and I knew what to do: swim parallel. On this occasion I wore myself out and started to sink beneath the water. I remember struggling to breathe. Then, I took a big breath of water and everything stopped. The only way I can describe it is by saying it was being at Zero. I wasn’t scared or excited. I was just Zero. I was looking through the water and I blacked out. During that time, my mother was swimming out to me (she’d been a surfer all her life) and pulled me to shore and gave me CPR until I coughed up water.

There was something eerily comforting about being at Zero.


23. It Was Like Someone Snapped Their Fingers

My friend went hiking with his family and he fell a few feet off a cliff they we’re climbing and he hit the back of his head on a rock. They called an ambulance and when they finally arrived to the hospital he was pronounced dead. He had no heart beat or any brain waves. They were already unplugging everything and moving on with all the paper work when he suddenly woke up the nurse screamed “he’s awake!” and then chaos ensued all over again. He was dead for about 7 minutes and he says the entire time he was laying down fully conscious in a really dark room. (he calls it a room but doesn’t really know) He said he couldn’t tell how long it was but that suddenly he heard a sound like if someone snapped their fingers next to his ear and then he woke up in the hospital. The experience didn’t make him religious either.


24. Given A Choice, Twice

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 flat-line, like you see in the movies). He told us that he went into the next life twice; and both times he 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 years after that.


25. The Sliver Of Nothingness

I OD’d on some sleeping pills when I was young and stupid and heartbroken. I hadn’t thought much about the consequences of what would happen afterwards except I wouldn’t feel this overwhelming pain anymore. The shock of the absolute nothingness I experienced for a few moments brought me enough strength to crawl back to town and get taken to the hospital. The 5 or so minute ride to the hospital was me fighting it with everything I had, and every time I slipped over, the horribleness of it made me fight just a little harder. I was too exhausted to fight it once I got to the hospital, a preacher read me my last rites and I was out. Luckily I woke up a couple days later. I’ve been worse off emotionally a few times since then, but suicide never crosses my mind. There are no emotional troubles that are as awful as that sliver of nothingness I felt. My life is great now and Im so thankful I’m alive. I’ve experienced so many great things since then I can’t believe I ever thought I had nothing to live for.

When I was coming to(which took a couple days) I hallucinated my best friend trying to get me into trouble by making me get out of bed, and seeing a little mouse in the corner of the room which I kept trying to capture. My friend is still alive and I don’t have a special connection to mice. It felt very real, but obviously I was hallucinating. I can see how someone might hallucinate about things like deceased relatives, and mistake their visions for something more than a brain malfunction. So as far as changing my views on religion: I was fairly skeptical before hand, but deep down hoped angels would whisk me away. Afterwards Im pretty sure this life on earth is all we got.


26. Needed To Die To Be Reborn

I kicked it, then came back. The how does not matter, but what does is what I saw in the interim. As cliche as it may seem, I saw a brilliant light, and walked into it. Inside, I saw my childhood home and my recently departed grandmother. We talked awhile and then she asked me a question that hit me like a ton of bricks: “are you doing something that matters with your life?”. When I was resuscitated, I came back in an abject panic, but the most pressing thing that was in my mind was the realization that if I had died at that moment, I would have left the world worse off for having me in it. Back then I was a pretty shitty person to a lot of people and caused much more harm than good. After this, I decided to change who I was and make life a little kinder. I now work as counselor working with traumatized children who have experienced abuse, and I have never been happier.

I guess I just needed to die to be reborn.

I am still an atheist. I had a powerful experience and can’t really explain it, but if I focused on that, I would be wasting my time on daydreams instead of doing what matters: trying to leave the world a little better than when I found it.

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