Death

People Who Were Once Declared Dead Reveal What Death Feels Like

In some medical situations, people can die and then come back to life just moments later— either by resuscitation or pure chance.

Reddit asked anyone who has experienced dying firsthand to share their stories: “People who were pronounced dead and resuscitated, what did you go through mentally while being pronounced dead?”

Here are some of the top responses in the forum:

1. “I’ve died once. I don’t remember much about it except there was a nice, dark nothingness which I guess felt kind of cozy, but I also knew it was the end, so I’d better not. … I don’t know, I knew I wasn’t supposed to go into the dark. Like, I was in the dark, but I wasn’t supposed to be enjoying it, because if I embraced it too much I would die. … It was kind of like falling asleep and vaguely remembering a dream when you wake up.” —CedarWolf

2. “My frat brother was clinically dead for 45 seconds. Overdosed on Xanax. The experience changed his life. He never used drugs again. He said he saw himself over the hospital bed and the nurses working. He said as he slowly floated through the roof, a peaceful feeling better than any drug took over. He said you feel free of all worry and regret. He saw the white light allegedly, and a few family members, before they said it wasn’t his time. He floated back to his body.” —DownvoteDaemon

3. “I died from an overdose for a few minutes. There really wasn’t anything. Just blackness and a vague lapse of time. It was almost like waking up from a shitty night’s rest and feeling like a horse had kicked me in the chest.” —th30xygen

4. “They told me I was dead for three minutes. I remember those clips of people saying they experienced some kind of near-afterlife, but for me it was like sleeping. I woke up, they told me how I almost died, I said, ‘Oh yeah?’ They explained a bunch of stuff and then offered me a grilled cheese…I had Doritos too. 10/10 would die again, it’s just nothingness, not scary at all.” —zackkorth

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5. “My dad died briefly and said that he went down a long hallway to a door. When he was going to open it, he felt himself being sucked back into his own body.” —whiskeynostalgic

6. “I don’t remember anything from the whole day. It happened one afternoon. Only thing I remember is waking in the hospital two days later to a surprised nurse. Turns out they thought I was going to be in a coma.” —GozerDGozerian

7. “Anaphylactic reaction to an already deadly irukandji jellyfish sting. I coded. Saw this white light and could see my myself ‘floating upwards.’ Saw my family and the doctors and nurses who were working on me. Came back and was in intense pain.” —georgestarr

8. “My friend was pronounced dead about six times I believe, but only told me two of the experiences. 1) Just pure blackness in an empty space. 2) Their grandfather told them to go back.”—MR_System

9. “As my family was saying goodbye to me, I remember seeing three shadow people at the foot of the hospital bed. Thinking it was family, I asked ‘Who are they?’ My mother told me they were angels, but I perceived them as my dead relatives there to bring me to the other side. The nurses then put me under anesthesia so the doctors could hopefully get my brain to stop bleeding. They were successful and I’m still here!” —MagicMan0181

10. “I don’t remember any of them. Been declared dead three times and not once did I remember anything during death.” —Amihuman159

11. “I was around 5 years old when I almost internally bled to death from a bad virus. I experienced what I could only describe as maybe some weird limbo in between heaven. It’s weird because I don’t think I even had a concept of heaven at that point, unless it was something I saw in a cartoon.—shainajoy

12. “It felt like third-person security camera footage of my body, then slowly zooming out and rising up, felt really, really cold and then I started hearing really loud clanging sounds and woke up in the ambulance to the sound of the gurney bouncing on a rough road. It was surreal. Haven’t feared death since then TBH.”

13. “It felt like I was in a long tunnel, just floating and feeling very tired. I remember falling asleep and having a dream that I was in the kitchen in the house where I grew up, and my dad was cooking breakfast. I could hear a commotion and chaos at one end [of the tunnel], and at the other end there was a warm light that felt peaceful. Then all of a sudden I was abruptly in the chaos of an emergency room.” —Free_Hat_McCullough

14. “I remember a feeling of great peace, some flashbacks to my life, but mostly just a remarkable feeling of connectedness. It’s a feeling that changed the course of my whole life.”—drumbubba

15. “I OD’d and died and was resuscitated. It’s nothingness. Only thing I can compare it to is, you know after a night of drinking, when you close your eyes then open them again and somehow four hours have passed, but it feels like no time has passed at all? That’s what it was like.”—Ringdingaro

16. “I got hit by a car. I could still see with my eye that didn’t have blood in it. I could hear all the commotion. I felt getting forced onto my back and then CPR. I felt my first heartbeat and then blood flowing through my body, and at that point I felt all the pain, took a deep breath, and then everything went black.” —outsider531

17. “I was about 15. Climbed on top of the kitchen counters to grab something from the top cabinet, slipped and fell head-first on the marble floor. Next thing I knew, I was walking in water barefoot. I look up to my upper right hand side and there’s a BRIGHT light with a hand poking out making the ‘come here’ gesture. I walk towards it. Meanwhile, I realize the PEACEFUL and relaxed state I’m feeling. Like the best deep sleep ever and I say to myself, ‘Man, this is awesome, I never wanna wake up.’ Then all of a sudden, I jolt and I wake up to my mom wailing her lungs out. Apparently I was stiff, cold with no heartbeat, and managed to piss my pants.” —cule444

8 Replies to “People Who Were Once Declared Dead Reveal What Death Feels Like”

  1. maria wennink

    Years ago I was thrown off a motor-bike and was looking at myself and the people surrounding my body from above. They were all asking if anyone knew me. Then the person, who had given me the ride, came running up and then I went back in my body again and can’t remember a thing, what happened till about 3 months later, when I realized I was taking to my Mom in the garden. What happened with the lost time, I have no idea of. But yes,
    I was peaceful and content the time I was looking at everyone and myself, no panic, no
    uneasiness.

  2. Robert Mullen

    The Bible says that those who have received Christ go to Heaven and those that do not receive Christ go to a holding place called Hades or Hell, then they are cast into the lake of fire after the judgement. I saw both types in the above descriptions, the darkness is not Heaven.
    Did you know that no one goes to Hell because they commit some sort of sin, they go there because they did not receive Christ. We are all born in sin, its automatic in this fallen world, by default we have the sin nature and Jesus removes that nature from us when we are born again. I strongly advise everyone to receive Christ as their Lord and Savior, avoid the darkness.
    I myself had an experience like the ones above, I heard the Heavenly Choir sing songs that I had never heard before, I was right on the cusp of death but recovered through the prayers of my friends and family. That choir was quit comforting to hear as I lay there.

  3. Anthony Sliney

    I had pneumonia aged 5 in 1949. I was given last rites & Holy Communion by a Catholic Jesuit Priest & then taken to a Ambulance. The next thing I remember was standing in a dark tunnel & could see a bright light at the far end. There were flashing lights & a wonderful sound maybe music but very captivating & drew me to it. Then I heard a voice & turning round saw a old lady sitting on a seat, I immediately recognised her as a neighbour who had died recently & she was sitting next to another person I didn’t recognise. She said to me ‘ You can’t go in there’, I said ‘ I want to it’s drawing me in & I want to go in”. She said “ You have to go back, it’s not your time”. I again said “ I must go in, I want to go in”. Again I was told “ Go back, it’s not your time, go back now”. Next I was looking down on a bed where a nurse was sitting beside it reading a book, I was in the bed. Then in a flash I opened my eyes & looked at the nurse, she said” oh you’re back with us, I have to get the doctor”. She left the room. I attempted to get out of the bed, but fell to the floor, just as the nurse & doctor came in. The nurse said “ you can’t get up yet, you’re not strong enough”. I said “ I said I can, I want to go to the toilet” she said you’ve been very poorly & need to get strong first.
    I told my parents what I had seen & they said I had been dreaming because I had been in a coma for a few days. No matter how many times I told them, I got the same answer.
    This has stuck in my mind for over 70yrs & would love to be hypnotised & be able to go back & relive that episode. One day I might just do that.

  4. Deidre

    I was in a terrible motorcycle accident. I was thrown 20 feet away. I saw a beautiful bright light everywhere. There was no fear, no pain just a tremendous feeling of peace. I was told that I needed to go back. I said that I didn’t want to, I wanted to stay. I was told my family needed me. Before I could protest I was back in my body, laying on the ground.

  5. Helmuth

    I was badly injured in a motorcycle accident. I remember walking through a big arena of sorts with hundreds of people around me. They were all very happy and stepped aside so I could continue in the direction I was headed. I came upon a booth and my deceased father, stepfather (Dad), and my older brother were sitting in the booth. They were very happy and my brother looked at me and said it wasn’t my time yet. Waking up in a hospital bed in very intense pain I asked what the bright light was for up in the corner of the room. No one else could see it. A week or so later I was floating above my bed looking down at myself. My old long dead dog Sam came and laid by me as he always used to… suddenly he jumps up and starts barking and I wake up in my bed with doctors and nurses swarming around me. The bright light up in the corner of the room that no one else could see stayed there for about 2 weeks.

  6. Jarod

    Night if drinking. While driving had accident. Out of body experience. I kept kicking myself to get up. THe accident happened at a farm I grew up on. While up above, I saw at a distance of everyone all gloomy just a step below me. I was told by my guardian angel I guess that they were ones not accepted. On the same plane as me everyone was happy and I wanted to go to them. I wasnt allowed. Also on the same plane was what I believe were people going “up” all happy. I then was told it wasnt my time. Came out of 1 month coma. Came to senses and relise there is a God. I’m alive

  7. Greg Bryant

    I died three different times during a long surgery from too much blood loss. Each time they would give me more blood and then shock my heart. The first time I wasn’t sure for a second what was going on.
    Each time the same things happened. I would suddenly see everything and everyone in the OR, including myself. There’s a couple of things I will always remember well… that all pain, anxiety, sorrow, and worry would just like instantly leave me. I remember an overwhelming feeling coming over me that… “None of this matters. Nothing in my life ever mattered.” It is not possible for me to describe how good it felt.
    When they would revive me, all of the pain, sorrow, anxiety, and anesthesia would come rushing back into me. What an awful feeling. The second and third time it happened I was trying to stop them from reviving me. I did not want to come back. I grabbed the nurse by her shoulders and yelled “Please no!! Don’t bring me back!!” Of course they could not feel me shaking them or hear me yelling. They later said that each time they revived me, I would sob.
    Some people who have been revived came back screaming that they’re on fire. I did not experience that at all.

  8. James R Kelly

    During heart surgery, they had to briefly stop my heart. I remember looking down from above the bed and seeing a doctor applying the paddles. Then I woke up. I’ll never forget that.

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