In a morbid but fascinating Reddit thread, users have shared their near-death experiences, explaining what happened to them.
A user posted the question: Redditors who have been clinically dead and then revived/resuscitated: What did dying feel like? Did you see anything whilst passed on? Serious replies only.
The response has been fairly substantial, with some 750 responses in just five days (at the time of writing). Two overriding experiences that seem to come up are either feeling nothing at all, or being able to 'see' themselves in a sort of out-of-body experience. Here is a collection of some of the answers from people who died:
"I was getting an angiogram done, wide awake watching the screen and talking to the doctor. Alarms started to go off and everyone became panicked. My world became soft and foggy and everything faded to black. Next thing I remember was opening my eyes and hearing a doctor say: 'We got him back.' It was really a peaceful feeling more than anything."
"My mom had a brain aneurysm that was nearly fatal. Around the time that the doctors told us that she was going to die, she later related that after several hours of terrible pain, she only felt peace. She described a lightness of being and relaxed happiness."
"Overdosed on heroin, EMTs said my heart stopped. Didn't see anything, just like sleeping with no dreams."
"I overdosed and had no pulse for three to four minutes. I remember feeling tired when everything kicked in, then a few spotty memories of chatting with friends, then I was standing in front of a giant wall of light. It stretched up, down, left and right as far as I could see. Kind of like putting your eyes six feet from a fluorescent light bulb. The next memory I have is waking up in the hospital."
"My friend had died when he was in his late teens. He told me he was in a dark room where nothing was happening. He was only dead for about a minute but he said it felt like an eternity. At first he thought it might be purgatory, but the longer it went on the more it felt like he had gone to hell. I can't imagine a hell worst than being alone in total darkness for eternity."
"Thanksgiving of 2013 I coded in the emergency department of the hospital I work at. I remember the MD ripping my shoes off and saying my name before having to do minutes of CPR and defibrillating me. Everything faded to white and I had a long conversation with my deceased grandparents (no idea what we talked about but I vividly remember talking to them) and I awoke in the cath lab in the middle of the procedure. My wife and family said that I had talked to them briefly on the way into surgery and I had no recollection of this. The best way to describe what I felt is that there was no pain and it was the most relaxed state I have ever experienced."
"When I coded, I don't remember a sensation of floating, but I was able to recall things in detail that happened while I was 'dead' on the other side of the room. No white lights, no dead relatives, nobody telling me to go back, but I was definitely able to see things that were in no way visible from where my body was. I remember speaking and being angry because nobody would answer me. My mother told me: 'You didn't say anything, you were dead.'"
"I passed out then woke up in a hospital seven hours later and was told that while I was out everything stopped. When I woke up I was very refreshed. While I was 'out' I remember feeling nothing. I saw nothing. When I say nothing, I don't mean pitch darkness or neutral emotion. It's just a thing of its own. I wouldn't know how to name the colour I saw. It could have been a dream while I was passed out and not something else. It's been a few years and I still can't put together anything but the word 'nothing' in the form of a noun rather than an adjective. My friends joke about it saying it was probably Limbo."
"I'm a paramedic, and I have not experienced this myself, but I have had conversations with two people who were able to describe their cardiac arrests in detail. They were able to tell me with extreme consistency what people were doing and saying during the code. Neither reported feeling any pain from the compressions, it's more like they were impartial observers with the viewpoint of the patient."
"I had gotten toxic shock syndrome, the doctors couldn't figure it out in time, and my organs started failing. Right before I died, there was this undeniable peace. It's almost indescribable, nothing mattered, I could hear everything, but there was this moment when I knew I could let go, and it wouldn't hurt or matter, it would just be easy. Next thing I know, I'm back. I knew I was gone, but it wasn't the right time. I no longer fear death today. It makes it easier now to accept it."
"I was about 14 years old, a friend and I were listening to what we thought were airplanes on a large handheld walkie-talkie radio. We climbed to the top of a pine tree in my backyard to get better reception. We were listening, and the next thing I knew I was surrounded by white, not like in a room because there were no walls or boundaries. I was standing on a floor unseen. I was perfectly aware, and was thinking normally. I was taking in my surroundings, which were just me in a white space. I didn't know where I was or how I got there. Then I woke up halfway down the tree. I soon realised that the antenna had touched the power lines."
"I was six years old and they killed me on the operating table. It felt like a rubber band snapping on my chest when I left my body. I am detailing it all in a video, but to cut a long story short, I was gone for an hour. I went through a series of experiences. There is no time there and it is very calm, peaceful and this world seems unreal in comparison. It was an amazing journey and I have no fear of death at all."
"I flatlined in an ambulance. In that short amount of time before I came back I had a bird's eye view of the ambulance I was in as it was running red lights. I was out of my body and ascending, that's all I can remember. I woke up the next day in hospital with my family around me."