Nobody really knows what happens when we die - some believe in an afterlife, some believe in reincarnation and others simply think nothing happens. You just die. That’s it.
Reddit users who clinically died for a few minutes and then came back to life have been sharing what they remember from “the other side” in a fascinating thread.
While most talk about an overwhelming sense of nothingness and peace, there are some people who had more visual experiences - seeing bright lights and ‘stars’. One person even claims to have had a conversation with someone.
Here are their incredible stories.
1. “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 two weeks after the incident.
“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 four minutes.”
2. “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 two minutes to revive me on the beach.
“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.”
3. “I was 12 and very sick. I had a very high fever and remember going in the hospital and people visiting me and watching a lot of TV (back when MTV and VH1 played music videos). Other than that I remember nothing. Years later my mom apparently told me the rest of the story that my heart stopped and had to be defibrillated two times. No memories of it.”
4. “I died twice in an ambulance while being transported from a motorcycle accident. The last thing I remember was my face hitting the hood of a car at 60mph (no helmet) and then waking up in the emergency room at the hospital. I say twice ‘in an ambulance’ but it’s my understanding that I was actually dead when the ambulance arrived and then I died on the way to the hospital.
“The time between the accident and the hospital is nothing... I mean absolutely nothing.”
5. “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.”
6. “I had the tunnel, then nothing. Absolutely nothing.”
7. “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 towards it, or it was moving towards 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 colours, along with tons of nebulae.
“It was the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. As I approached the centre, 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 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 the next thing I remember was the famous LIGHT! 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.”
9. “I got hit by a car when I was three. 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.
“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.”
10. “My uncle was a heavy drug user and overdosed on many occasions. He had to be revived on only one occasion, and on this moment, he quit his drug use cold-turkey. He was gone for a full two minutes. All brain activity shut down, along with the rest of his body.
“He told me that the only thing he could remember was sitting at a picnic table at this park that was behind the house where he was raised, the only good place in his memory. He was sitting there with someone that he knew he loved, but that he didn’t know who it was. He said he just spoke to them, but has no idea what was said, only that the person said: ‘I’ll see you later, remember me.’ Then after this, he was revived.
“He was a little crazy and still is, but I wouldn’t think he would lie about this.”