People have been grappling with ideas about the afterlife since time began.
Whether you are devoutly religious or ardently atheistic, you cannot help but be intrigued by the stories people tell when they are resuscitated after being medically dead.
These unusual travellers can describe an experience many of us will never be able to share. They have shuffled off the mortal coil and slipped back on it again.
None of us can remember what it is like to be born, but how fascinating is it to know there are actually people out there who can recall what it feels like to die?
A year ago, a person known only by the Reddit name VerySmallBreasts posited the following question to the good people of Reddit:
People of Reddit who have momentarily died then were revived, what were those fleeting moments like? [Serious]
Interestingly, People’s deaths appear to be as weird and as varied as their lives.
Rather grimly, one Redditor described the event as being ‘like turning off a TV’:
It was like turning off a TV. One second things were working and the next im waking up surrounded by doctors and nurses with my feet in the air and a unit of blood being shot into me at high speed.
‘Heeeyyyyy budddyyyy…how ya feeling? We uh..lost you for a minute there.’
Another recalled the eerie sensation of floating above their own body:
All i can remember is floating above my body watching them operate on me and my parents crying their hearts out. Very surreal and freaky.
Perhaps the most hopeful and intriguing recollections came from those who have seen ‘something else’ on the other side, whether this be bright lights or the face of a deceased loved one.
Reddit user IDiedForABit recalled how they had caught a glimpse of a garden during their few moments on the ‘other side’:
I remember a feeling of being sucked backwards, extremely slowly, like being pulled through water and this blackness fading in and out.
At one point it faded back in and I was staring out at a garden.
It wasn’t filled with flowers, just dust and patchy grass. There was a playground with a merry-go-round in the middle and two children running around it. A boy and a girl.
It’s difficult to describe but I got the feeling I could choose if I wanted to stay or leave, but every time I tried to go back I was held in place.
I went through all the reasons I wanted to go back, and when I told the presence I didn’t want to abandon my mother whatever held me finally let go.
I snapped back into my body. My heart had stopped for six minutes.
Another person, with the Reddit name monitormonkey, described the sensation of looking back over their life, as if they were reading over a book:
I woke up in what looked like space but there weren’t any stars or light. I wasn’t floating so to speak, I was just there.
I wasn’t hot or cold, hungry or tired – just a peaceful neutral kind of thing. I knew there was light and love somewhere nearby but I had no urge or need to go to it right away.
I remember thinking over my life, but it wasn’t like a montage. More like I was idly flipping through a book and snippets stood out here and there.
Whatever it was, it changed my thoughts on a few things. I am still afraid to die, but I’m not worried about what happens after that.
I for one would be all for this, as long as all my embarrassing moments were edited out.
Listen to one woman’s incredible account of her death below:
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Whatever is waiting for us when our time on earth is over, it is certainly interesting to hear from those who have already had a sneak preview…
Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.