1. I was floating above myself in the hospital bed and could see the doctors getting ready to save me.
“I died for two minutes on the table during surgery after a car wreck before they resuscitated me. I remember it being dark nothingness at first but very peaceful at first.
Then all of a sudden I was sucked out of the darkness and realized I was floating above myself in the hospital bed and could see the doctors getting ready to save me. As they resuscitated me I was pulled back into this darkness for a brief moment, then woke up.
Could have been a very vivid dream of hallucination, but I like to believe what I experienced was just the beginning of an afterlife.”
2. I remember the feeling of falling down into a small speck of light that got bigger. It fractured into an infinite amount of stars.
“I had a sudden heart failure in the hospital during surgery. I remember the feeling of falling down into a small speck of light that got bigger. It fractured into an infinite amount of stars and as time passed they created an indescribable new existence. It was bliss that lasted for millennia. I was only gone for 227 seconds.”
3. I had a dream I was flying over all of us. There were so many pretty people. So many pretty faces.
“I had a dream I was flying over all of us. There were so many pretty people. So many pretty faces. I talked to some birds. I fell in love again. And none of this ever ended. Everything just kept going, and going and going. And even when you laughed, when you cried. And even when you were sad you were really happy. Because you were here. And I got to meet every star, every planet. Everything that made me. And we all kissed. And became the same. We became the same. We became the same.”
4. Endless gray. Almost like a tunnel of light gray.
“Endless gray. Almost like a tunnel of light gray. That is it. It was like suddenly I lost all feeling in my body, I fully lost my body, and then my vision. I heard a super-high-pitched ring and all I saw was black that faded slowly to a light gray, and then there was nothing.”
5. Held in an indescribable blue-white light…a pure energy…and it was akin coming home after a long absence.
“Held in an indescribable blue-white light…a pure energy…and it was akin coming home after a long absence. No fear. Every sense heightened. Enveloped in unconditional love and exquisite joy. No sensation of a physical body…it’s like my essence was distilled to its original, perfect concept. Higher knowledge, deeper understanding.
Years later, I sought to return to that light after waking to a rapist that had drugged my food. That time? No light. No peace. No welcoming. Instead, I was plunged into a smothering void…sensory deprivation accompanied by excruciating loneliness and fear. This time, my body came through the veil. My entire being cried out for light. What answered was a voice I felt, not heard. It told me choosing to end my life separated me from the light, that I was being returned to finish my life as it was meant to be…and to remember two words: fear not.
It was the first step toward a more spiritual (not religious) perspective. It’s simply acknowledging all living things possess energy…and resonance is the path I’m walking.”
6. I felt nothing but unspeakable peace and joy for a second.
“It was swell. I felt nothing but unspeakable peace and joy for a second. Nothing. Then I see the light, and I start hearing sounds and feeling things. I had been in the ICU for a week. Everyone thought I was as good as dead, my mom almost had a heart attack and my dad had a panic attack. My brother was stoic as always. Dying isn’t half-bad.”
7. What appeared to be a single light resolved into first one, then several, then millions upon millions of stars of all shapes, sizes, and colors.
“What I remember is a vast nothingness; it’s hard to describe, as we’re always surrounded by something wherever we go.
Suddenly in this vast nothing was a blinding pinprick of light that got larger. Either I was moving toward it, or it was moving toward me. As it got closer, what appeared to be a single light resolved into first one, then several, then millions upon millions of stars of all shapes, sizes, and colors, along with tons of nebulae.
It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. As I approached the center, it seemed like I was joining a universal consciousness; a being made up of the thoughts, emotions, and experience of everyone and everything that had ever lived.
I’m sure it was all just a hallucination brought on by the trauma I had suffered the few days combined with my heart/breathing stopping, but there’s a part of me that hopes that what I saw is what really happens when we die.”
8. I remember a lot of black which quickly enclosed like a shell into a tunnel.
“When I was much younger (12 years old) I died from a full cardiac arrest. This was at a high school football (American) game. I can only remember flashes of memories from a few hours before until 2 weeks after the incident. Riding in the back of our truck to the game, sitting in the stands with my mom, and how annoying the opposing team’s chant was. ‘EAGLES! SKYLINE! .’ Congrats Skyline in Salt Lake City, your chant was able to pierce the veil of Death.
I remember a lot of black which quickly enclosed like a shell into a tunnel. The tunnel itself was made of metal and looked exactly like the tunnel from Bespin where Luke ends up. I don’t think my mind could comprehend what it was seeing, so it filled in the gaps as best it could. The feeling was awesome, though. Unless you have seen it, there really are no words to describe it. I think this is because I cannot convey the emotions and feelings to you. They are very intense.
I was dead with no heartbeat for a little over 4 minutes. This caused massive problems later with memory loss and other brain damage. My mother said I was literally crazy for about 2 weeks after this. I was constantly talking to the monk in the corner. That my cat was being tortured in the next room. That my mother had three eyes. I was a loon.
On the bright side, I had a full page article in both schools’ yearbooks that year, so I got that going for me which is nice.”
9. All I saw was blackness, followed by many lights, lights became stars and stars turned into something I cannot describe.
“I almost died from drowning last year and the experience changed me. I had been dead for an unknown amount of minutes. But they managed to pull me out of the water and revive me.
I do not know how long I was dead. They say it took 2 minutes to revive me on the beach.
But the experience of after death felt like a very long day. Basically all I saw was blackness, followed by many lights, lights became stars and stars turned into something I cannot describe.
I did not feel anything, nothing. But looking back, I feel like it was a very long day, very strange experience.”
10. It was peaceful. No lights, no pearly gates, no angels, just peace.
“It was peaceful. No lights, no pearly gates, no angels, just peace. I was in a horrible car wreck and I had a blood clot go through my heart and I died for a bit. When I woke up everyone was yelling at me to breathe. I was pissed off because not only was I certain that I was indeed breathing, I had just been woken from the first quality sleep since my wreck. There’s nothing but peace and comfort on the other side.”
11. I had the tunnel, then nothing.
“I had the tunnel, then nothing. Absolutely nothing.”
12. It wasn’t a solid white light; it was like headlights in heavy fog, driving fast right at me.
“I attempted suicide a few months ago. I was hanging myself in my garage.
I get the rope ready, put on some music. Stand on some cinder blocks, secure the rope around my neck. Then I send a few texts and kick down the cinder block tower.
Pop! I’m dangling above the concrete floor. My first thought was ‘WHAT THE FUCK AM I DOING?’ It then progressed into ‘How do I get down?’ ‘How do I get down?’ Faster and faster. Until I forgot how I got up there. I kept reaching for the ground. But, I couldn’t understand why it was so far away. My thoughts became more sparse. My vision began stuttering. Darker and darker, until the deepest blackness imaginable. Then It was just peace. I felt calmer than I ever had before. I felt happy. Like it was purely a blissful experience. After that came the light. It wasn’t a solid white light; it was like headlights in heavy fog, driving fast right at me. I felt my stress and anxiety rushing back. Happiness drained from my body. I was awake, but it was like a dream. I slowly regained proper consciousness over the next few days and I had the shakes extremely bad for the next week. My rope had snapped and because of that I am alive.”
13. I remember the famous LIGHT! (oooohhh spooky), but not one light, two lights.
“I was in a coma for a few days and died for three minutes the coma itself was completely empty no sense of time no blackness NOTHING. Every so often I would come to a little bit and saw brief hazy flashes of scenes of a visitor (they lived out of state at the time so I was confused/happy to see them but couldn’t physically talk to them) worst feeling EVER, then from the next thing I remember was the famous LIGHT! (oooohhh spooky), but not one light, two lights. They were circling around each other while getting bigger and bigger (they seemed almost as if they were trying to save me?) Then I woke up in various different hospital rooms ultimately being told, ‘Hey you died for a bit and we are changing your catheter now’ (not verbatim) weird experience that I forget even happened most of the time. Re-learned to walk in a day or two. I still can feel the very distinct vibe if I think about it long enough. Almost like a happy nostalgia.
TL;DR I no longer fear death but am extremely grateful for life.”
14. It’s just nothing. There is no light and no darkness. No warmth and no cold.
“I wasn’t on life support or a monitor. So I can’t verify the ‘clinically dead’ part. But I’ve been dead. There was a doctor with me who says I was dead. I’ve posted before discussing this, so it may be overlap for some.
It’s just nothing. There is no light and no darkness. No warmth and no cold. You read about it sometimes and people say it was an embrace or a chilling feeling. I had neither.
I was unconscious for 20 minutes before I stopped breathing and was unconscious for the 20 minutes after I started breathing. The blackout was the same as the death. The only ‘moment’ was when I started to come back…everything was ‘dull.’ When I started to open my eyes, it took 4 or 5 minutes to be able to focus. I couldn’t comprehend anything said to me for almost 10 minutes. Anything I touched (was wearing dive gloves and a wetsuit) felt alien, like I was touching it for the first time.
It was like my brain needed a hard reboot and to remember how to do various things.”
15. I found myself in a large room hewn from white marble—no doors or windows, only a nice fountain purring soothingly in the center.
“When I was 23, I suffered from pneumonia and blood poisoning—I got hospitalized and hooked up to the machines, but since I decided to be a moron earlier it was nearly too late: For nearly a week, I was convinced I just had a case of the flu and didn’t need no medicine beyond aspirin, marrow broth, vodka and a woolen blanket, so when I showed up at the doctor, the nice man with the white coat had me rushed to the emergency ward immediately.
There I shot up to 44 degrees Celsius of fever. While my body was basically boiling my brain away, I drifted in and out of sleep before slipping away completely.
When I came to again, I found myself in a large room hewn from white marble—no doors or windows, only a nice fountain purring soothingly in the center. Loitering around this white room were maybe two dozen people, a few of which I recognized as dead relatives of mine—all of them relatives having died from suicide, through violence or while young (lots of suicide in my family). The others I could identify as related to me through facial features. Each was on his own, standing alone; they all looked exhausted and disappointed, like people having waited way too long for a train, starting to question whether the train was ever supposed to arrive at all in the first place.
I talked to some of them—hell if I remember anything of those conversations. After a while, my mother came up to me (drowned herself when I was 14 after spending the years before lodging knives and glass shards in my flesh); she looked at me surprised, put her hand on my shoulder, and addressed me with a smile: ‘We didn’t expect you yet, but that’s OK. You can stay with us if you’d like to do so already.’ (Our native language is/was german. For those interested, the words I remember in their original were ‘Wir haben dich nicht jetzt schon erwartet, aber das macht nichts. Du kannst auch jetzt schon bei uns bleiben wenn du möchtest.’)
At that point I freaked out—my mother literally tried to kill me on several occasions when I was a kid, so an invitation from her did NOT sound trustworthy.
All I remember from there on is panic, animal panic and naked fear and white light until I jerked back into something akin to consciousness in a hospital bed. Really waking up took a lot of time, however—I was as weak as a newborn kitten, took me six months to get back to full strength.
After a while, I realized that ‘my visit in the white room’ took two weeks. Makes you scared, knowing you were out for two entire weeks. According to the head of station (‘Chief doctor,’ don’t know how you call them in the states), they were not expecting me to wake up anymore—apparently, I’ve went into respiratory arrest and organ failure (Sorry, don’t recall all those Latin expressions) three times while I was out. The third time, cardiac arrest joined the party—at that point, they were expecting me to finally fade out and die, no energy left to fight on with, but apparently I soldiered onward. Not going back to the white room for as long as possible, no sir.
So, that’s my story. I don’t know if my ‘visit to the white room’ really was my first visit of my eternal home-to-be or just the neural fallout produced by a brain being super-heated by a body running a temperature of 44 degrees Celsius. All I know for certain is that just thinking back to the white room sends shivers through my bones.”
16. It was like being in a black cloud. It was all black, but not empty.
“My abusive ex choked me until I think I briefly faded out one time. I don’t think my heart stopped but blood flow to my brain did.
It was like being in a black cloud. It was all black, but not empty. It was like the darkness was stuck to my skin and surrounding me, like that’s what I was choking on. It felt like my fingers and toes began to freeze, and as the cold shot up my limbs and toward my heart, I couldn’t feel my fingers and toes anymore.
I briefly saw the tunnel, but it wasn’t white, it was something else. It was kind of like that damp blackness was opening up a tunnel in front of me but even though I couldn’t see it I could feel the dimensions of it. I felt myself moving forward into it and then I stopped, the black felt less suffocating, the cold stopped just before it reached my heart, and I started to move back. Before I could figure out what was happening, my boyfriend hit me really hard and it startled me enough that I slowly came to. I was shaking violently and apparently as I was passed out I was seizing up. I was only out for a short amount of time, but everything was so slow in that little purgatory, it felt like at least 10 minutes of just standing around in there.
I don’t think I died but I came very close. I think if I had gone any further into that tunnel, if the cold had hit my heart, and if he hadn’t let go exactly when he did, it would have tipped the scale.”
17. It was basically a dark nothingness, but it wasn’t pitch-black nothing; it was somehow even emptier than blackness.
“I attempted killing myself by trying to slit my wrists, I passed out, but was found by my sister in the bathroom and my parent and she alerted my parents and they took me to the hospital while trying stop the bleeding.
I really don’t know how to describe it, because in real-world time I was dead for about maybe 2-3 minutes and unconscious for a couple of hours.
It was basically a dark nothingness, but it wasn’t pitch-black nothing; it was somehow even emptier than blackness.”
18. I could see colors on a spectrum that I couldn’t when I was alive– I could see energy and UV light. I could see the electricity running the lights, through the walls.
“I made a suicide attempt about six years ago. I was clinically dead for about only a minute, but the place I went to…time means nothing there. When I came back, it felt like I’d been there two hours.
I can only describe it as existing only as your consciousness, but in an altered consciousness. I didn’t feel anger, sadness, anxiety…I remembered the feeling of these emotions, but I could no longer feel them. I also could not feel…happiness per se, but more like just peace. I still knew who I was (or who I had been?), but I could not feel the full gamut of human emotions I felt when I was in my body. I did not feel extreme negative emotions, or extremely positive ones like intense joy, happiness, excitement…I just felt very calm and matter-of-fact. The only other thing I could feel was love. I could feel love for the people I was close to, and I really wanted to be near them.
It was also…things don’t look the same when you’re dead, because you’re no longer in your body, looking with your brain, your eyes, your consciousness that is generated by your living brain. The things I saw were real, but just altered. I remember looking at my body. I remember looking around the room. I could see colors on a spectrum that I couldn’t when I was alive– I could see energy and UV light. I could see the electricity running the lights, through the walls. Also, I could see everything around me, including my own body that I’d just left, as if I was in the fourth dimension. I could see inside of things, and I could see outside through the walls, and into the ground through the floor, and into the sky through the ceiling. I could see inside my body, and other people’s bodies. I know it sounds insane. I could also not necessarily hear, but I could know people’s thoughts, like telepathically. It was like I was connected to every person I could see from where I was.
I also knew that I could go further, if I wanted to. I just knew instinctively that if I wanted to ‘cross over’ and stay dead that I could go into what I can describe as the fifth dimension—where you go if you want to stay dead, and don’t want to get back into your body. I could see it and feel it, and I knew I had a choice to go there or get back in my body. Obviously, I chose to get back into my body, as I’m here now.
Also, and this is hard to explain, but when you’re dead, nothing’s a secret to you. Like I said, you can hear and feel people’s thoughts and feelings. Like you’re them. When I came back, and was able to talk to people, I was able to confirm the things I’d found out, things that people I knew or was close to, were thinking or had done in the past that they thought nobody knew about. Things I couldn’t or shouldn’t have known.
Also, as I mentioned before, time is an illusion. I also was able to see things that were going to happen in the future, and I can tell you that the things I knew would happen a few years down the road if I chose to stay alive, did happen. Time is not linear; not really, it just seems like it is when you’re alive and in a body. That’s how you perceive it when you’re alive, but when you’re dead, time is not linear, and you know things that have happened in the past that you didn’t know about when you were alive, and you know what will happen in the future. You can see it as if it’s all happening at once. It’s hard to explain.
All in all, it was bizarre, and I now know that there is a consciousness after death. A very altered one, where you’re still you as an individual mass of energy, but you’re also very connected to everyone and everything, so it’s like being part of a collective consciousness of everyone both dead and alive. It’s a place of light, energy, and no boundaries. And there’s an even more complex place you can go to if you choose to stay. If you choose to stay, your brain will die and it’s permanent. I remember being very aware that while I was in this ‘holding place’ of the fourth dimension, that I was still somewhat connected to my body via my brain activity. I was aware that my heart had stopped but that my brain was still alive, and that it was like a tether of energy or like electricity. I knew that if I went further, my brain would cease to hold me near my body, and I’d leave the room completely. I was out of my body, but still connected to it, but that I could choose to sever that, and then I wouldn’t be able to come back.”
19. I got sucked into a vacuum it felt like…I ended up in this space that was…empty. It wasn’t black, it was just simply void.
“I got hit by a car when I was three.
I stayed conscious long enough to accept a teddy bear from the man who saved me. All I know is his name was Matt, and that’s what I call the teddy to this day (I only have two of my childhood stuffed animals and I still sleep with Matt. That sounds bad, haha. My husband thinks it’s cute, so eh fuck it.)
My heart stopped for just shy of two minutes. I had lost a ton of blood and was dealing with insane amounts of trauma as far as nerve endings go.
I had a really weird out-of-body experience.
There was a Taco Bell on the corner of the strip mall we were at. The guy dropped the order when the police cruiser arrived after I was already in the back of the fire truck and he ran his siren once to make sure people cleared away from him and the worker dropped the meal. It was like I was looking down.
My mom was sobbing and my dad was literally holding her arms to keep her from coming to me while they all were swarming me. There was this equipment and yelling. I saw it through a toddler’s eyes, so I guess that’s how I remember it.
I got this feeling like it’s time to go so I watched my mom as I left. I got sucked into a vacuum it felt like…I ended up in this space that was…empty. It wasn’t black, it was just simply void. And all I felt was like when you need a hug the most, when you are at your very worst. When a single kind touch will make your emotions burst. That times a million. I felt hugged close to…I honestly can’t describe it. It felt like a ‘welcome home’ message. Then it all blacked out, I woke up in an ICU and was fucking terrified of the beeping and tubes and screamed until my dad came and comforted me.
I tend to think there’s something on the other side, but maybe it was my brain, etc. I get it’s just a rough subject.”
20. I was engulfed in darkness. But it was all peaceful. Everything around me felt soft and at ease.
“I was clinically dead for only one minute and I think because of the limited time I was able to retain some memory of it rather than cause brain damage luckily.
It was during a dark period in my life where I chose substances over EVERYTHING in my life. The morning after a bender actually was when it occurred. I went to get out of the bed and my heart immediately began beating too quickly (I have a weakened heart to start so I am supposed to be careful…) then everything went black. I was engulfed in darkness. But it was all peaceful. Everything around me felt soft and at ease. My mind was dark but also light at the same time. Sorry I know that hard to comprehend, but visualize a dark room where you feel truly happy and at peace. Almost as if you were meditating. Very at peace and just relaxed.
I was jolted back into reality very quickly and abruptly and I did see a light as I came back. No one brought me back; I just came back. My boyfriend at the time had his arms wrapped around me and was a wreck; he told me I stood up and passed right back out onto the bed with no pulse for a little under 60 seconds. He was about to call 911 when I woke up and asked him, ‘Why are you interrupting my dreams?’ The look on his face when he told me I wasn’t dreaming I was dead is something I will never forget.
The feeling of utter peace and contentment still messes with me from time to time. I want it again. I wonder why I came back frequently. It’s something I’ll never have an answer to.”
21. The things I saw/heard made me believe the world I had entered was liquid. Thick liquid, flowing but just barely, and with audible eddies and flows in the background.
“I was struck by lightning as a child, a direct hit. I lost about 3-5 minutes in total, during which I was likely dead (fun fact: your brain and heart can react to lightning strikes by hard rebooting multiple times, in a process that looks like but is functionally different from arrhythmia/brain death).
The things I saw/heard made me believe the world I had entered was liquid. Thick liquid, flowing but just barely, and with audible eddies and flows in the background. Shapes were…distorted, but recognizable. I found myself a bit stunned by how quickly I adapted to the logic of the place, and not only accepted but even predicted how things would occur in the liquid world.
A decade later, I read an H.P. Lovecraft story called The Crawling Chaos, and the way he describes his opium fever dream was very similar in style, if not substance, to how my mind reacted to death. I have to assume that all of this was ‘back-filled,’ as I obviously wasn’t producing new memories or sensations when I was out.”
22. I had the feeling of being cradled in someone’s arms, almost swaddled like a baby, and seeing millions of stars while this huge wave of comfort washed over me.
“When I was seven, I drowned in a pool. I was unresponsive for about two minutes until they were able to revive me with CPR.
I remember being on the bottom of the pool and looking up at the sunlight through the water, and realizing that there was absolutely no way I was going to make it to the surface. Then the edges of my vision started to go black, and it was just complete darkness.
I had the feeling of being cradled in someone’s arms, almost swaddled like a baby, and seeing millions of stars while this huge wave of comfort washed over me. It felt like falling asleep in the comfiest bed ever.
Then it felt like I was being yanked out of that bed, and all of a sudden everything HURT. My lungs and sinuses felt like they were on fire. I was super confused because I couldn’t remember right away what had happened or why my mom was freaking out.
When I think back on it, I still just remember being comforted and feeling completely safe.”
23. I don’t remember being gone. Just silence and darkness. But I seem more at peace with everything.
“I thankfully have a pacemaker now but for about a year of my life I went into full-blown cardiac arrest once a month. Depending on how fast they were to respond they would use chemicals or paddles to revive me. Each of those feels different coming back, but the leaving always felt the same.
The first thing that happens is my vision starts to go, peripherals first narrowing into tunnel vision, then greening out before going black. At this point I can still hear, and if I am standing up I start to go down. It feels like my body is swaying back and forth, like I am rolling in the waves of the ocean. But I have been told I’m not actually moving during this time. My brain is still functioning and I can think things like ‘oh shit, not again’ or ‘try to get a grip.’
Then I can hear my heart beat in my ears louder and louder until it starts to slow down, then I listen to it slow down until I lose my hearing completely. If people are around me at this point I stop hearing them too. Then the blackness ensues and it feels like there is an elephant sitting on my chest, like the whole universe is being sucked into my chest creating this crazy amount of pressure and pain, but not real pain. I don’t want to scream out, I just want to give into it. To make it go away anyway I can. I am being crushed to death and I know it but there isn’t anything I can do about it.
Then there is always an instant when everything stops, my thinking, the pressure, the pain, life…
The next second is when they bring me back. If it’s with drugs it’s always much more gentle. I start to hear my heart beat again, pounding in my ears and my chest, my hearing comes back but it’s like I am underwater. I get the absolute worst headache you can ever imagine and my whole body gets tingly. Like when you have been out in the cold and then run your hands under hot water. You feel like it’s burning hot, yet somehow it doesn’t hurt.
If they have to use the paddles it’s a completely different story. It’s more instantaneous, that elephant that was on my chest leaps off and at the same time it’s like the universe that was sucked into my chest explodes out, tearing me open. My ears are assaulted with every noise around me at the same time and it’s confusing. My entire body hurts like I ran a marathon and didn’t drink any water, sore, tight, burning all at the same time. But at the same time that is the moment when I feel most alive as well. It is the best and worst feeling in the world.
Whenever I come back I am never fearful or worried. I don’t remember being gone. Just silence and darkness. But I seem more at peace with everything. More in tune with the world. And I know weird things about people that I shouldn’t. I even had a nurse remove herself from my case because of this once.”
24. I was naked and in a cold dark tunnel that suddenly opened up into this massive area.
“I was in a house fire and suffered pretty extensive burns when I was 15.
A couple of months after the house fire and while on the Burns Ward in hospital I went into cardiac arrest.
I remember the night it happened and being terrified of my mum leaving me and feeling like there was a presence in the room.
Eventually my mum left and I don’t really remember much of the night but I do remember having what I thought was a really weird dream.
I dreamt I was naked and in a cold dark tunnel that suddenly opened up into this massive area. As I slowly walked into it I saw what looked like the Christ the Redeemer statue from Brazil and as I walked toward it tiny sparks of light lit up all over it, slowly illuminating it and giving me a sense of awe and wonder.
Suddenly I was sitting on a bench and there was a man sitting next to me nonchalantly throwing a rock up and down in his hand. He gives me the rock and asks me to throw it at the Christ the Redeemer statue.
I hold the rock for a moment thinking and have this image of the statue crumbling and burning after being hit by the rock and decide I can’t do it and give the rock back.
I then get up and walk toward the statue when I hear my name being called. I look back over my shoulder and saw all my school friends standing behind a window and calling for me and waving for me to come back.
I then walked back toward them and that was it.
Not sure if it was an afterlife experience or just my brain coping with the fact my heart had stopped.”