People Who Have Been Pronounced Clinically Dead Describe Their Experiences

Man overlooking a canyon
Joshua Earle/Unsplash

There are those who have come so close to experiencing death, they wind up cherishing every moment of their lives after surviving what could've been a fatal catastrophe.

Then there are others who actually flatlined and miraculously came back to life.

Not very many people know what actually happens to us when we eventually expire, but thanks to these survivors who lived to share their stories, we get an idea.

An anonymous Redditor curious to hear from the luckiest people in the world asked:

"Redditors who have been clinically dead, what did you experience in death, if anything?"

Once you experience the unknown, the fear of it can dissipate.


"A black void. Then waking up in ER surrounded by people running around like crazy. I was cold af , but in reality, just room temp."

"had to add and say that it was relatively peaceful. Like being wrapped in a big warm blanket."

– barrymendelssohn86

The Smell Of Life

"I was dead for 6 minutes . I was laying on the gurney and I was getting colder . Somewhere my body started warming up and everything became really calm and peaceful . I was not longer in pain . All the noise from ER just went away . Itwas really enjoyable .. I was thinking about my daughter and I was remembering all the things we had done . Slowly it was just black and nothign . There was no knowledge of anything . I explain it as it was like before I was born . Then the worst thing in the world is being revived . I starting hearing loud noises , I felt this massive pain . Then there was the nastiest stench ever . The smell was like every dead animal had crawled in my nose . The smell was so bad I started vommiting . I remember the Dr's turning me on my side and watching my vomit spray on a nurse . Dying was the most pleasant thing I have ever experienced and being revived the worse"

– dorseta40

No More Fear

"Friend of mine described it as deeply relaxing and that she could feel herself drifting away, but was brought back just as she was ready to 'leave.'"

"After that, she embraced life and death. She said she doesn't fear death anymore since it was so relaxing to experience."

– anon

Exhaustion From Staying Alive

"Similar experience here. As you're dying, you start feeling tired in a way you never have before (or will again, until you die). The sheer act of staying alive is exhausting."

"But then it's all blank until I woke up from a coma a couple weeks later. You don't even remember the actual moment of death, and it takes weeks for your mind to remember everything leading up to it."

"I was in a ton of pain before and after because a couple of my organs were perforated, but dying itself wasn't painful."

"I agree that I'm also not afraid of death. Not even just because of the pain factor, but because it feels less unknown to me and there isn't time for regret when it happens."

– dasher11

Comforting Thought

"Awesome, everyone seems to be in agreement that death was awesome and euphoric. That is comforting to hear, thanks everyone."

– anon

These individuals were visited by someone who was strangely familiar.

Grandma Visited

"Not really sure what happened and it still freaks me out to this day. My daughter was 4 and developed pneumonia. Her breathing would stop in her sleep so we took her in to the emergency room. She was there for a total of 5 days. For the first 3 days her health kept deteriorating. And on the 3rd day my girlfriend got a call that her mother had collapsed and was taken to the hospital. She was without oxygen for 20 minutes and was declared brain dead. That night my daughter woke up and asked about grandma. No one had said anything to her or in the room with her. We asked her what did she mean. She told us that grandma came to her in a dream and said it's not your time yet. I'll go for you. Immediately the next day she was almost 100 percent better."

– Mattjaq

Grandpa's Message

"Anaphylaxis, wasn't breathing, I considered all the hallucinations I experienced likely due to hypoxic episode until I told my Mom what I saw. A middle aged man who wasnt in scrubs standing still at the end of my bed while all staff were running around and doing their business. I was having a non-verbal conversation with him and he was telling me to calm down, focus on breathing. He wore a tropical style button down shirt, one of those old school news boys hats and had a very pleasant demeanor. Mom showed me a photo of my grampa that I never had seen before, and it was the guy at the foot of my bed, and he died before I was even born."

– anon

For these people, being revived was like a rude interruption.

Blessing And A Curse

"Overdosed. Flatlined. Didn’t see a damn thing. When they hit me with narcon, I woke up really mad ripping IV’s out of my arms, cursing out the poor, amazing staff who saved my life. Good times! 6 years ago now with all that sh*t behind me luckily."

– daddydollars74

The Desire To Stay Asleep

"This is my story exactly. Waking up just pissed as f'k. I WANT TO GO BACK TO SLEEP."

"I told the medics to f'k off im going back to sleep and heard the scariest 'DO NOT F'KING GO BACK TO SLEEP,' like he meant it with every fiber of his being. So terrifying"

"I didn’t get to go back to sleep..."

– anon

Thin Line Between Sleep & Death

"My girlfriend is anaphylactic, and it is triggered by a chemical called salicylate (found in pretty much every food). When she was in high school she had her first big reaction, and the school nurses refused to administer her epipen (adrenaline shot) until the ambulance got there. Now obviously, having an anaphylactic reaction doesn’t give you a lot of ‘waiting time’, so by the time the ambulance got to her school she was in pretty bad shape and barely conscious. The paramedics immediately administered one of her epipens, called the nurses 'f'kng twats' and loaded her into the ambulance as her mother arrived. She continued to fade, so they gave her a direct injection of adrenaline this time, still nothing."

"They give her a second direct injection of adrenaline and this time it hits her about 30 seconds later all at once, and her heart fails. She stops breathing, no pulse, nothing. Dead to the world. For about 2 minutes and 46 seconds she was clinically dead. And the scariest thing is, she saw nothing. She tells me that when you are losing consciousness you can’t tell the difference between waves of drowsiness and when your body actually shuts down. All she saw was the darkness of her eyelids, and it felt like going into an extremely calm sleep where she couldn’t hear or feel anything, and she didn’t mind it. All despite the fact her mother and the paramedics were screaming at her to keep her eyes open and the ambulance was flying towards the hospital. She miraculously just came back to life almost 3 minutes later as they were giving her chest compressions, and the cardiologist that assessed her later stated that all the adrenaline in her body was enough to not only stop her heart, but to also restart it with the little help from the paramedic pumping it around. But still do this day, she can’t differentiate falling asleep after a long day, and dying."

– tisJosh

It's easy to be fearful of something like death because it is something most of us have never experienced before.

And as in life, we are intimidated by new experiences. But once we get a taste of something unfamiliar, it's never as bad as it initially seems is it?

While it's taken me a long time to accept the fact that we're not on this earth forever, it does make me appreciate the time I'm given.

And the saddest part about death is not experiencing it personally, but being left behind by a loved one.

What I'm more fearful of is living with the regret of not seeing a loved one again, not hugging them, and not telling them the things you've wanted to say but couldn't in life.

Life is too short to be fearful.

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