Is there life after death? What happens when we die? Many people report having experiences after being declared clinically dead. And despite scientific studies, belief in a "beyond" is still a part of our collective consciousness. While it's impossible for the mind to survive without the body, those who have died and come back share their take in this fascinating thread.
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
"Drifting away" as the brain shuts down.Giphy
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.
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*cking tw*ts" 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.
My wife and I discussed this at length. 4 years ago, she died twice in 3 months, needing full resuscitation both times. Both were lengthy rescues (one resuscitation was off-and-on for nearly 40 minutes).
I asked her later when she had recovered if she remembered anything at all during the times she was clinically dead. She remembered nothing. Blackness. No light. No relatives and former pets waiting for her. Just...black. Thankfully, also no pain.
She finally passed 18 months ago, and I hope she felt no pain or worry the final time.
Not mine but the head of my program was in a horrible car accident. She was dead for a few minutes on the scene while paramedics worked on her. She said it was the most amazing feeling she's ever experienced. It was blank black nothing, but that was perfectly fine, and she felt a comfort she can't even explain. She remembers being angry at the man working on her when she finally came back to her body because she wanted to stay there. She told us she can't wait to experience it again when it's really her turn.
Edit: I'm really pleased this resonated so strongly with so many of you! I wanted to add some detail about her. She's not religious in the slightest, and she actively quashes our ghost stories and shit (mortuary students) because she only believes in tangible things, so she fully turned me into a believer.
Felt its important I make a distinction she was very adamant about when telling us this story- she's not advocating suicide. She stressed that she isn't telling us she's trying to reach this place again but that when it was her time she was going to be comfortable embracing it.
The feeling of being aware, but unable to do anything.Giphy
I coded after surgery. I remember being able to see and hear everything and understand what was happening, but I couldn't physically feel anything. It was deeply unsettling.
Acceptance followed by peace.Giphy
I hope this helps answer your question, for both you and /u/passtheslaw. I drowned and was resuscitated when I was a teenager.
I remember struggling mightily and then, when I was sure there wasn't any hope, a distinct Okay then. I can let go. And from that moment on, there was peace. Total peace. Nothing hurt, I didn't even feel the dying part. I would imagine, for someone who decides upon suicide, the peace started the second they made that choice. It's said that suicide victims often looked happiest/calmest in their final days.
Now that being said: there are other, better ways of obtaining peace that aren't destructive, and I urge anyone reading this who is considering suicide to talk to someone. It is entirely possible to be happy again while alive; you just can't do it without outside help.
No more pain, no more time. Hard pass on this btw.Giphy
I was electrocuted by about 13,800 volts. The doctors say it's likely the first hit stopped my heart and the second one started it (before I was pulled like a lifeless corpse to safety).
I remember experiencing the darkest dark and the most silent silence. I ceased to care that I was dying; time seemed to change, it could have been hours it seemed. It was only about 30 seconds.
I felt as though I was floating and floated toward something that I eventually realized was my body and reality. Upon joining with whatever it was I was floating towards, I became self aware in my body and heard the electricity making horrible noises and knew I was in danger.
From there it was a horribly painful experience where I lost most of my toes due to tissue death and had severe electrical burns on all four limbs. More surgeries than I care to count and seeing the round bone ends of my toes that were freshly amputated still haunts me a little.
EDIT: Thank you everyone for helping me understand something that happened over 12 years ago. I was in the hospital for about a month inpatient, and then for 10 months, daily as an outpatient (basically sent me home for my mental sanity but needed daily attention). I got addicted to pain killers, had to learn to walk again and had to see a pain management therapist. It was horrible at times but eventually the pain began to subside. I went back to school and became an engineer and I don't think I'd be where I am without this thing happening. Really strange to think that I am in some way grateful now. Also I can't watch horror anymore, Hollywood actually does a very realistic job.
Floating, comfort, and a sense of spirit.
I was on loads of morphine so it's still really hazy and the fact it happened almost 6 years ago doesn't help the memory, but I'll try to recollect, as accurately I can, what happened and what I experienced.
I had appendicitis and my foster parents at the time didn't take me to the hospital until 2, almost 3 days after it had burst. I should've been dead well before they took me, even the doctors called it a miracle. Well, I died while waiting for surgery. I had to wait for a pediatric surgeon to come in because no one else felt comfortable performing the surgery on a case this bad with a child this size (dumbasses took me to the adult hospital, not the pediatrics which was 40 mins away. I was 14, 5'3 and weighed 75 pounds soaking wet). So while I was waiting for the surgeon I was in a room with me, the doctor, my two foster parents and my grandmother who is an RN. Like I said, I was really drugged up and couldn't really focus on much and couldn't really do anything. The monitor I was hooked up to would beep really loudly from time to time and the intervals between beeps started to decrease rapidly. Turns out I wasn't breathing. I was conscious for the most part, I just kept forgetting to breathe. Doctors had to keep nudging me so I wouldn't sleep. I just remember being pissed at this loud beeping that kept me from enjoying a nice slumber. The doctor had to step out for a second and my grandmother assured him she could look after me for a second. Unfortunately for her, she was out of her mind with rage at my foster parents. She didn't hold anything back. My grandma is a sweet, Mormon Utahn without a rude bone in her body. Well, I heard quite a few fuck you's, pieces of shit, etc. My point is she didn't notice I had passed out until the monitor signaled I had flat lined.
This is the bit where I died and is by far the most vivid part of the experience. I remember being capable of thought but no thoughts were in my head. I can only describe it as being conscious of my spirit but without a body for my thoughts to be processed in. I just kind of existed without feeling, thinking or being anything. I was floating. Honestly at the time it was a great feeling. I don't remember any visions of people, family, places or anything like that. But I felt something wrap around me and comfort me. Without talking I was assured I was ok, that there was nothing to be worried about, and at that point my thoughts returned. I knew at that moment, without knowing how long I'd be able to keep thinking, that I had to go back. I didn't want to, but knowing that the last thing I'd see before I left mortal life was these two pieces of human trash who had abused me, neglected me, and treated me like a stain that they didn't want to bother trying to clean up, that did it. I wanted to get back to my body, fix my life so I could go back and live with my biological parents and feel loved again. In that moment that's all I cared about. And then I sort of willed myself back. Doctors had tried to resuscitate me but had failed. Everyone was shocked when I opened my eyes and seeing the tears in my grandma's eyes after thinking she'd lost me, that did it. I fixed my life, I reinvented myself and threw out all my anger, depression, rage and everything else that put me in Brent and Karen's home.
Honestly, the only anger I felt (the burning hatred kind that makes you want to do anything possible to release it) in the last 5ish years since I moved from their home is when I think about them and how they're still fostering youth in custody and probably pulling the same shit with those kids. I live about an hour away from where they are now and I have to restrain myself from driving up there, kidnapping those kids and taking them to the authorities with an explanation of why. The only reason I haven't done that is because I've tried telling the authorities what kind of people they are. I guess the words of a juvenile fuck up don't stack up against the lies from people who have practiced this shit for years.
Anyways, sorry for the rant at the end. I know that wasn't entirely what you'd asked, but it felt good to type out. Thanks OP for asking this question. It's been surprisingly therapeutic talking about this.
I was dead for a very short period of time, like 30 seconds to a minute. There's a big misconception about it. It's not like sleeping at all. I'll try to explain. There's always a sort of white noise in the back of my mind. It quiets down when I sleep but it's still there. I never noticed it before I died, but I do now. I don't want to romanticize death, but when I was out, it was like this perfect nothingness. And nothingness is so hard to imagine normally, but once you "experience" it, and they bring you back, part of you wishes you could have stayed. There's no positive feelings there, obviously, but it takes away everything bad too. All your stress, the nightmares, the troubles. All gone. Just nothing exists. It's beautiful in a way. But I'm very much looking forward to a lack of consciousness when I do eventually pass again, and I can honestly say I don't fear death anymore.
Send me back.Giphy
I don't know what I experienced while I was dead but when I woke back up (so to speak) I remember wanting to experience it permanently.
Looking forward to a "lack of consciousness."Giphy
I was dead for a very short period of time, like 30 seconds to a minute. There's a big misconception about it. It's not like sleeping at all. I'll try to explain. There's always a sort of white noise in the back of my mind. It quiets down when I sleep but it's still there. I never noticed it before I died, but I do now. I don't want to romanticize death, but when I was out, it was like this perfect nothingness. And nothingness is so hard to imagine normally, but once you "experience" it, and they bring you back, part of you wishes you could have stayed. There's no positive feelings there, obviously, but it takes away everything bad too. All your stress, the nightmares, the troubles. All gone. Just nothing exists. It's beautiful in a way. I'm not suicidal at all, and hope to live the rest of a long and happy life. But I'm very much looking forward to a lack of conciousness when I do eventually pass again, and I can honestly say I don't fear death anymore.
This person was "switched off."Giphy
Clinically dead on two separate occasions. I didn't experience any visions or light and I didn't feel anything at all. It was like a switch was flipped and my existence was just shut off. Coming back was another story. Slowly I was able to hear the voices of those around me fading in, and they slowly got louder until I was able to open my eyes. That's it. Nothing spectacular. One second you're here, one second you're not.
Dead relatives appearing?Giphy
Former co-worker of mine died during heart surgery. I think she was out for 90 seconds or close to it. She wasn't religious or anything. She said that she remembered being in the room and seeing her dead uncle and cousin standing at the far end of the room watching everything going on.
Edit: oh now my inbox is having an NDE. Fun fact: she shared this information during an icebreaker "give us a fun fact about yourself". She didn't remember seeing a light or anything, just seeing her dead relatives at the end of the room.
Don't go in that door...Giphy
My mother experienced a long corridor with arched door ways, one was open and she said she refused to go in.
She suffered a massive stroke at 27 to from a spinal tap done a week earlier.
Being given a choice - stay, or go back?
I saw my grandpa. We talked for a while and he said I could go back with him, or stay. I looked down and saw myself in that hospital bed with my brother holding my hand. He felt it turn cold and I never saw him cry that way before. Went back into my body and felt more pain than I knew in my life. Been a year of recovery and I lost most of my memory but I'm happy.
(Skull fracture/traumatic brain injury from heat exhaustion)
Edit: Here's a link with a pic of my brothers reaction when I woke up and when my mom played music for me trying to get me to wake up.
Oh, the beginning of the interwebs.
Those were the days.
We definitely did not see what was to come.
Maybe it should've stayed simple.
We'll never know.
Computers rule the world now.
Let's see where we are in another twenty years.
RedditorEzucraAaAa wanted to wax nostalgic about the good old days of technology and its humble beginnings.
"Redditors, what's something the internet was crazy about but is now forgotten?"
I miss the simplicity of not having a thousand apps. I'm simple.
Ah Memories...the messengers aol GIFGiphy
"Search engines before Google existed. Alta Vista, Lycos, Web Crawler..."
"Downloading custom cursors for your computer. I gave my family computer so many viruses back in the '00s trying to click things with a lightsaber."
"Amazing. I had totally forgotten about all the virusy stuff I downloaded to my home computer, purely so the cursor would disappear and reappear. My parents had zero knowhow with computers either, so likely had no idea wtf I was downloading. Cursors were cool though, despite all the malware."
"During the early days of the web, when most websites weren't plastered with advertising... Website view counters."
"Back in the day of counters, one day I went to my website and the counter was in the thousands. I just thought it malfunctioned and ignored it. Years later I learned that my website, which had a MIDI collection, was published in a newspaper in another country. I couldn't say for sure if that was true and whether it aligned with the counter change."
"Yea the internet was simpler too, layout style I mean. I like old style HTML webpage layouts. I personally don’t like hyper modern logos and designs on interfaces. Something about old slightly pixelated designs about them home screens and app logos really made them satisfying. I’ve even went as far as seeing if I could install some extensions that could change the layout of sites, make them feel older, give them that 2000’s html look."
Found ItLooking The Loud House GIF by NickelodeonGiphy
"I used to waste so much time with stumble upon."
What a strange and crazy place the internet was.
notificationBaby Love GIF by LINE FRIENDSGiphy
"Poking on Facebook."
"I had a friend that poked me and I never noticed the notification. He died. I now have this unreturned poke as a reminder that I’ll never be able to poke them back."
"Many flash games are not dead. BEHOLD! The flashpoint project. They have saved thousands of the old flash games in a playable format. Go forth and relive your childhood Also paging u/The_Middler_is_Here"
I will find you...
"There was a rhythm game that I don't remember the name of that me and some friends would challenge each other in, and it had the song Guitar vs Piano 2 which introduced me to Envy, who was a pretty big newgrounds artist at the time. I wanna go check out their stuff again now, I'd completely forgot about them till now."
"Forums. There used to be so many, incredibly active and dedicated forums."
"A lot of the forums I visited were ruined by photobucket when they decided they wanted paid a lot of money from their users. So many build threads and tutorials ruined."
"IMDb had the best message boards back in the day. Chatting with your internet friends around the globe about every nuance in your fave movie. Man I miss that. Reddit is close, but nothing beats the olden days."
FunEgg Hatch GIF by The Roku ChannelGiphy
"Do you guys remember those egg things that hatched little creatures after a while? You'd put one on your website and then the artist would update the source url with images of it hatching? There were all kinds of little fun things like that."
Those were the days!
Do you have something you'd like to share? Let us know in the comments below.
Not all television and movies are loved by all.
A story and its characters have to appeal to you in order for you to be engaged.
It can take next to nothing for us to lose interest and let the screen go black.
Redditor BarooTangClan wanted to compare notes on all the entertainment we've said "that's enough" to.
"What will make you instantly stop watching a movie or show and why?"
I hate bad acting, writing, storytelling... I hate bad anything.
Stop JumpingFight Scene GIF by Operation FortuneGiphy
"Fight scenes with a million visual cuts. Gives me motion sickness. Contrast the absolutely masterful work in John Wick. long cuts, realistic use of weapons (mostly), 100% skill."
"When the actors whisper the whole movie and you have to crank the volume to hear what's being said - but the soundtrack or some other misc noise starts blaring at a higher volume directly after."
"I basically had to watch Stranger Things up in my attic with the windows and doors closed. I was worried the neighbors would think something was wrong or be annoyed if I watched it downstairs in my single family home. It was ridiculous."
"spice things up"
"Love triangles out of no where in a second or third season to 'spice things up' because studio writers are hacks and their idea of relationship drama is 'potential infidelity' at all times. It's the most tired trope on the go**amn planet and the second I see it rear its head I dip right the hell out."
"The whole concept of a love triangle to begin with an incredibly juvenile. Any healthy functioning adult who found themselves in a love triangle would soon choose to find themselves single."
Save your lips...
"When couples in a movie/show have a fight and one of them instantly goes to a friend and end up kissing her/him after talking for 5 minutes. I cringe so hard i turn it off and never watch it again."
"This pissed me off so much in Manifest. Girl is desperate to get back her ex-fiancé, he finally breaks up with his wife to get back with her and she's like 'nah, it's not fair to your wife, let me do this other dude I just met through a calling and be pissed at you for being jealous.' Michaela was the worst and everyone acted as if she were a saint the entire time."
Talk to MeIn Love Flirt GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"Shows where a single polite conversation could fix everything."
We are going overboard with the witty repartee. Talk normal...
Shut UpScared Home Alone GIF by FreeformGiphy
"Annoying main character, especially if it's a kid."
"Kids who have a quippy, sassy retort to everything, and everyone just kind of crumbles before their wit."
"Shows where kids in high school talk like they are 30 years olds who have done everything, been everywhere, know it all and use a ridiculously flowery and extensive vocabulary in every conversation. Like, have any of these writers ever been to high school? Literally no one talks like that. Even worse is when, in addition to this, all the adults talk normal or are just plain stupid, like so weird parallel universe."
"If the movie is too dark. Not graphic, just literally dark. I lose all sense of intensity in dark scenes and I'm not straining my damn eyes trying to figure out what the hell is going on."
"I've seen about 10 percent of all DC movies recently. I've seen all of the individual films in full, just actually saw 10% of each of them."
"Movies in the late 80s had a lot of dark but you could see the depth because of different shooting techniques. Now you cant see crap because its a CGI fest drowned in black color so you can't see crap because you have no depth in a scene. Compare night scenes in dark alleys in 80's movies and movies now. Utter crap show in the new ones."
Pay Attention Storytellers
"Bad editing would be a big one. A lot of modern horror movies can't help but edit the movies like they're trailers, with added noises to scare the audience because they are afraid the script alone isn't enough to keep people watching."
"I remember this is where the first transformers movie lost me. When the transformers are fighting at the end, it's all a big, jumbled mess of metal and I can barely tell what's going on or who is who."
Dramawill devry soap opera GIF by General HospitalGiphy
"When they go straight to relationship drama right away when it wasn't the selling point of the show."
Do better, Hollywood. It's not that hard.
I fear death.
I wake up in cold sweats dreaming about it.
I think about it in my waking hours.
It's an obsession and clearly, I'm not alone.
But there are more preferred ways to exit.
All we can do is hope to be lucky enough to skip the mercilessly awful.
Please just let me go quick and in my sleep.
RedditorCallMehRiverwanted to hear about all the ways none of us what to leave this life.
"What Do You Think Would Be The Worst Death Imaginable?"
My list of the worst deaths is long. My imagination runs amok.
Trappedseason 6 friends GIFGiphy
"For me? Being trapped in a small tube or cave (like the ones you have to wiggle through) and getting stuck to where you can’t move your arms. And all you can do is wait to die. I’m getting chills just thinking about it."
"The more I hear about cavers that get stuck, the more I think that's a crap way to go."
"There’s a great YouTube channel called Ask a Mortician and this was her #1 worse way to die. I can’t remember the exact details or their names, but two well-known divers went into an underwater cave."
"One of them became entangled and died. Years later, his friend dives back down there to try and retrieve his body, the body itself is rotten and his head comes off and the other guy also becomes tangled and dies. Really sad."
A Long Process
"Believed to be in a coma but coherent through the whole 20 year process until they pull the plug."
"Oh man this just reminded me of a story I read on here about a guy who lost the ability to move and speak but was completely conscious. Had to just lay there and be awake but trapped in a useless body. His family thought he was brain dead or something and he couldn’t communicate to them that he was 'all there.' Crazy"
Slow & Steady
"Being slowly impaled by a growing bamboo. It was a form of torture probably used by the japanese during WW2 against Allied prisoners."
"The scariest part is that once you have symptoms, you 100% will die. A 100% mortality rate has to be a psychological torture in itself."
"Not only that, you feel irrational fear. Your brain is literally being eaten apart by the virus and it fu*ks up everything on it. You can't drink water because it hurts you. You feel dizzy, present a fever, excessively salivate, everything hurts and it only gets worse. I'd rather take a bullet and die when the symptoms are still tolerable."
Why can't we all just go engulfed in calm and quiet?
"Some pulpy sci-fi book I read a while back had one of the best deaths of this real piece of crap bad guy. Left to die in a drowning sea lab under the Antarctic ice, he freezes himself in a state of the art suspended animation pod with some kind cold fusion power source that would keep it running for millions of years."
"But he forgot to inject himself with the drug that would put him to sleep. So basically he is in suspended animation at the bottom of the Antarctic ocean while his mind is perfectly awake and conscious in a near unbreakable machine that won't run out of power for millions of years and nobody knows about it."
"As an RN I have always thought that the worst way to die (natural process) is ALS. Lou Gehrig's Disease."
"My mom and grandmother have Huntington's disease, which is essentially ALS, Alzheimer's, and Dementia combined into one really messed up genetic disease. I have a 50% chance of inheriting it and if I hit 40 and there's still no cure I can't promise I'll feel like continuing on with my life because that disease is absolutely freaking miserable."
"The fact your chromosomes can be so destroyed your body basically lost it's genetic code and with it the ability to make any new cells. It's literally a 'dead man walking' and you slowly rot away in agony. Stuff is so unimaginably f**ked up."
"What's also bad about radiation is that it affects your nerves and brain cells last, so you have everything in place to feel all the pain of the rest of your cells being destroyed."
GooNot Listening Season 2 GIF by The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirGiphy
"I want to believe anything that slowly kills you painfully to be the worst. Such as slowly being crushed or something where the pain is beyond compare and yet not enough to throw you into shock or unconsciousness."
"Alternatively, being rapidly crushed into goo would probably be the least painful. I'm talking one of those massive industrial hammers they use for large steel work. Basically smooshed before the nerve signals make it to the brain."
Now I'll never sleep again without nightmares of death.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Most Americans think nothing of their humdrum daily activities or amenities available to them.
However, others with a different perspective might romanticize the things that are otherwise commonplace ideas and concepts for US citizens, like going to a diner or riding the school bus.
One Redditor looked to foreigners to hear of their American desires to respond to the following:
"Non-Americans of Reddit: what is an American thing you have always wanted to try?"
The things depicted in film really captivated foreign audiences.
"To visit a diner like in the movies. In the middle of the night, it’s raining and just a few people there with great music from a jukebox."
Iconic Student Transport
"Ride a yellow school bus even if I'm too old. Growing up I always loved seeing them on TV."
Just Like The Ones We Used To Know
"A white Christmas."
"Living in an Australian state where I've never even seen snow in our winter, let alone experiencing that classic Hallmark movie moment of waking up to a street full of it and sitting around a fireplace while opening gifts/preparing a feast."
"Guess it's not strictly American, but the imagery and trope is something I've only really seen from American Films."
They may be ubiquitous for us, but they sure seem to be novel ideas to foreigners.
Let's Be Frank
"One of the hotdogs from those little street cart things."
"A friend of mine from Indonesia said, 'the food chewer in the sink.'"
"Apple Pie made by white-haired grandma, placed near window, who says 'oh dear...' as I levitate towards it."
"Proper tailgating before a ball game, the kind where there's ribs and stuff."
"Deep fried foods at a state fair. I'm from Scotland and we love to deep fry everything and I wanna know if it's just as good or better."
There are places to see!
Places To See
"America’s greatest invention!"
Backpacking In Nature
"I always wanted to hike The Appalachian Trail if that counts. Or see Yellowstone."
"Being able to start a whole new life 'elsewhere' without having to leave my country and going through an arduous immigration process."
My cousin told me she looks forward to visiting a Trader Joe's someday when she visits America for the first time.
Her bucket list option was hardly surprising. My parents used to bring treats from TJs as a novelty souvenir gift item, and my relatives ate it up. Literally.
Let's face it. The snacks at TJs rocks.
Even store locations in New York City would have ridiculously long lines during busy hours because the West-coast-based grocer was a novelty on the East Coast.