Hearing about near death (and actual death) experiences is fascinating and terrifying. Is there life after death? What do people see and hear as they pass over into the darkness?
AskReddit users were brave enough to share their personal stories about being pronounced clinically dead and coming back to life. Here’s what they experienced.
“My heart stopped in a hospital. It was rather unexpected. I was watching the monitor hit 41 bpm then 0 and all the lines were flat. I had just enough time to say “huh?” before losing consciousness.
I had a dream that was very short and more disconnected than most dreams. I say confusing but others may say profound. The content was more or less about what was on my mind at the time and some of my interests. Mostly very familiar stuff. There is nothing after really. I can see how people could see their life flash before their eyes or see god if that is what was important to them.”
“Drowned at a public pool when I was 7, woke up a week later @ children’s hospital.
Apparently the first word out of my mouth was hamburger. I don’t remember anything on how it happened. Sometimes I think I may still be dreaming and never know. Also had to go through some walking therapy, laying in bed for 7 days straight does a number on your muscles.”
“I was really young at the time, I believe six. I didn’t see anything but I woke up really confused why I was in a hospital and surrounded by a lot of my family. It honestly felt like I was just sleeping normally I guess. Felt well rested though, which was nice.
I didn’t know I had died until I was told and an officer preformed CPR on me for about 15 minutes until I was revived by the doctors. Fantastic man and I wish I remembered meeting him.”
4. Lost several days
“I died at age 5, twice within just an hour or so. From what I was told I think I was gone for a total of about 5 minutes. The second time I was flatlining they kept trying to revive me for longer then they normally would have. (There’s a time limit where they’re recommending to stop because the risk of brain damage is too high.) I remember nothing but blackness. I did lose some short term memory due to the experience.
I had gone in early morning to get my tonsils removed.
When I woke up in the mid-afternoon I had absolutely no idea why I was there. Lost several days worth of memories.”
“Got hit by a car on my 5th birthday. I remember what happened before the accident and then I remember waking briefly in the hospital and then blacking out for like two weeks. The before “waking briefly” part was me being lifeless while the doctors were trying to resuscitate me.
There was nothing. No feelings, no senses, just simply nothing. One second I’m waiting to cross the street, the next second I get woken up by an unfamiliar voice repeating “I’m so sorry” over and over again. That’s when I tried opening the eyes for the first time. Everything was so white and I couldn’t focus anything or even distinguish objects. There was just this shadow of a man standing almost over me and continuously apologizing. I remember saying “I forgive you” and then blacking out again.
There really is nothing and I’m not sure if that’s comforting or scary.”
6. Don’t do drugs
“I used to be heavy in to drugs. One wild night when I definitely should have died 10 times over, I sat on a chair excepting death. Like everyone else says, complete blackness, yet a lucid blackness until E.M.T’s faces came in to focus.
Until I fully came back 17 hours later, The only thing I could see was a tiny light that very slowly grew in to consciousness. I think it’s your eyes dilating that causes the “light at the end of the tunnel” “
7. Wish there was more
” “Died” in a car crash when I was like 22. Was like I blinked and woke up a while later.
Wish there was more drama and deep meaning but there just wasn’t. Didn’t even know what had happened.”
8. I saw everything
“Severe car accident that killed 3 of my co workers, we fell off a 200ft mountain side(was working for a surveying company) I was thrown out the truck and rolled all the way down and only I lived. I was able to call for help on my radio, long story short, I remember seeing the helicopter and air lifting me away and hearing the paramedic say “stay with me, Christian, stay with me.” I died and it felt like a dream or I dont even know how to explain it but I remember seeing the helicopter from above but spinning slowly, and I heard a voice say my name.
I saw everything l, past present and future but before I learned anymore I was pulled back to my body and saw the paramedic again saying “I got a pulse” passed out again and woke up in the hospital….”
“My grandfather was stationed in the South Pacific in WWII. He was cleaning his rifle in a shed which was struck by lightening. He and several others, including his best friend, were taken to the hospital. The MDs pronounced him dead, no pulse, no respiration, etc. His friend was next to him and insisted they work on my grandfather.
He was brought back to life but described the events to my family. He said everything he did in life was played before him and there was a subtle change of color from light/dark depending on what he did. He was a devout Irish Catholic. I find it more interesting that they had already started sending the letter of to his mother and she received one saying he was dead.
My grandfather had 2 brothers who she had also received letters saying they were dead. Neither of his brothers actually ended up being dead!”
“When I was 12 I got in a jet ski accident. I was unconscious and not responsive for about 30 minutes. The only thing I remember after the accident was waking up in the ambulance with paramedics hovering over me. I don’t remember seeing anything in the 30 minutes I was out. Ended up with about 120 stitches in my neck.
My sister told me after they had pulled me out of the water onto a boat. I don’t remember that. I don’t remember the boat trip to shore and I don’t remember being loaded into an ambulance. After the whole thing was over I question an afterlife for the first time in my life. I was raised in a Christian family.”
11. Something exists
“I overdosed due to a suicide attempt (this was decades ago and I’m great now) in the ER my heart stopped and I had to be resuscitated. I recall vividly watching the whole thing from above my bed looking down. and even though I was unconscious, I accurately described events and conversations I saw and heard. I’m not religious by any stretch, but something exists beyond this life and I believe that as a fact.
During the events there was no fear, no pain, I just “was” HOWEVER at the very end I remember a thought of “how will I get back in my body” then I closed my eyes and when I opened them, I was lying on the bed, back in my body looking up.”
“Donated blood for lupus research since I wanted to contribute to finding out more about my disease. Went to whole foods with my bf suddenly felt ill and faintish, all I remember was my vision going dark, feeling so at peace and then nothing. Woke up to like 5-6 firemen and an AED. when they took my blood pressure and pulse it was 40/60 and my pulse was a 30. I was in and out the entire ride, had the guys in the ambulance pushing fluids through two IVs and one slapping me to keep me awake. Boyfriend is a nurse so he was trying to keep it together the entire time while calling 911 and starting compressions. He said he was terrified, couldn’t find a pulse and I had no chest rising.
When I woke up I just remember being really pissed off. Went from a peaceful nothingness to what felt like a punch in my chest. I miss the peaceful nothingness but am grateful he saved my life. That nothingness still f-cks me up though, it was just nice.”
“My brother had to be revived due to a drug overdose. His heart had stopped and (according to the EMTs) he was dead. He likes to joke around but if you talk about this with him, he is very serious and says he watched them revive him. He’s not religious and doesn’t have any thoughts about the afterlife but he said he was able to describe the scene to the EMTs after the fact, even though they said he was gone at that point. I assume it’s just his brain creating memories but he’s confident he saw it.”
14. Utterly painless
“When I ‘died’ it was rather instant. Pulled from an American quarterhorse at full speed, landed on my head. Reportedly, I had grass and dirt crammed down into me throat with no heartbeat and my eyes were going in opposite directions “like a lizard.” The last image I saw is burned into my memory. Probably be one of those things I’ll remember into senility.
It was utterly painless. I was resuscitated minutes afterwards but I have zero recollection from the moment of impact to 2-3 days later when I was trying to write and found it difficult. My handwriting is still terrible.
I do believe there is something on the other side. I just don’t think we teeter on the border of that next place. IMO we don’t breathe our last breath here to instantly fill lungs in the next place. Likely just for events like this lol.”
15. Bright light
“Had a gentlemen come in my class talking about cardiac arrest and CPR. We know that religion is touchy in colleges so I sucked it up and asked did you see a light. He said no but he talked about a friend who was watering plants then bam on the ground and woke up in a hospital. The guy said he saw a dock with boats and people in a line. You would step on the boat and it would take you into this bright light.
He cut the line and tried to get in the boat but a man held him back saying sorry it’s not your turn. He said no that’s my boat as a person stepped on that boat and went into the light. He tried to get in the next boat where the man held him back saying no this is not your time, your time will come. Then he woke up.
Being from Minnesota this has to be the most Minnesotan way of seeing the light, boats on a river.”