What it feels like to die and come back


IRELAND – What does it really feel like to die? We all think about it but few of us want to talk about it.

The stories of those who have been clinically dead and been brought back to life can be very different.

These accounts are from the Question and Answer site Quora in response to the question ‘How does death feel?’

Many shared positive accounts of these near-death experiences. using words like ‘blissful’, ‘relaxing’ or ‘peaceful’. It is comforting that in these memories people don’t feel pain or discomfort during the process of dying.

One woman recounted it as an vivid visual experience.

I remember seeing something like a plasma of colors all around me, with a very strange visual perspective.  It first looked like liquid clouds, something like the telescope pictures of galaxies, with colors melting into each other, neither far, nor near, and all around me and “through” me, in a pan-vision.  I thought that was so beautiful!  I felt a certain lift all over, like my body was a huge lung and it just inhaled and disappeared, and suddenly, an instant release from what now I constantly feel– gravity.  It felt like being rising up, with a definite sense of direction, and inhaling and expanding.  I tried to look at myself, but I was not there!  That shocked me, but did not scare me.  Also, I did not feel alone, there were “others” whom I could not see, but only knew that they were there because they “talked” to me.  It was as if they were encouraging and welcoming me.  I felt this infinite vastness, but also the absence of time, like everything was collapsed into a zero and happened at the same time.  The last thing I remember is wanting to be somewhere else and being instantly there, and that surprised me and delighted me.  I was so infinitely happy 🙂

Another woman having ‘died’ three times describes how relaxing it was.

Although I could hear perfectly (the beeping of the monitor as I flatlined, the code on the PA, the squeak-squeak of the crash cart wheels, everyone talking at once), I had no other sensation. As I was sinking into unconsciousness, I felt very cool, relaxed, no need to breathe, no cause for alarm, no pain of any kind, totally peaceful. Everything grew dark around the edges until there was only blackness.

One man’s recollection after suffering multiple heart-failure was of nothingness.

Speaking from my own personal experience I would have to say that death was pretty uneventful and didn’t feel like anything at all.

A critical care registered nurse did feel pain.

I’ve had one near death experience. Going into it I was relatively serene in spite of the pain, then there’s a big black space in my memory. When I came back the doctors told me I had been dead, but the only way I could tell I was still alive was the pain. It hurt dying, not so much afterwards. There was a lot more pain when I got back.
One man felt that while he was dying all he thought about were the things that he didn’t accomplish. Don’t have regrets.
I just laid there  waiting for or shall I say holding on for an ambulance, I can feel life slipping away, getting real tired and all can think of is the things I didn’t accomplish, the real important things like watching my son grow. I dont care what you have in life; in death-dying it’s about the things you don’t, the important things. So while you have health and strength (which I hope you do) live and love life and the beauty in it. Don’t get caught up in trival nonsense.  Love your family. Don’t have regrets.

We shall probably never know what it feels like to be dead, that is if we experience anything at all. It is fascinating to hear the stories of those who ‘cheated’ death. It’s especially comforting to hear of an absence of pain and suffering. Although this might not be true of all people. It’s important to note that near-death experiences are very rare, are also subjective and hard to measure scientifically.