20 Reddit Users Who Came Back To Life Explain What Death Felt Like

There is still a lot that we don’t know about death. Sure, it’s easy to write it off as a state of non-existence, at least in the physical form, but then we have the entire philosophical part attached to it.

So, it should come as no surprise that people continue to ask questions about it. One Redditor by the nickname of u/Aidanmartin3 recently asked a death-related question on r/AskReddit.

In particular, he asked people who were pronounced dead and ended up being resuscitated what they went through mentally whilst being pronounced dead—whether they had some sort of dream or there was a light at the end of the tunnel or something.

Redditors flooded in to respond to Aidan’s question, sharing stories of their own near-death experiences, or those of the people they know. 

1.

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One of my best friends almost died giving birth to her daughter. She was bleeding out and the doctor and nurse had summoned the priest to perform last rites. She basically made a plea to god that if he let her live, she would make her life’s mission to save other people on the way to emergency surgery.

Says she blacked out and thought she was dead. She woke up with her Mom and doctor standing by her bed surprised she had survived.

She felt she had been given a mission and went back to school to be a nurse. She eventually got a job as an ICU nurse on the code team. In short, when people are dying, its her job to save them, which she’s done for more than 20+ years now.

2.

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Yea they told me i was dead for 3 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.

3.

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A frat brother was clinically dead forty five 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. He was never the same again and used to be atheist.

4.

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I wasn’t pronounced dead but from what I was told I wasn’t far.

I experienced nothingness. Like when you black out from drinking. Or when you get home from a super long day to fall on the couch and just fall asleep. it was like absolute restfulness and peace, but in absolute darkness. It’s not scary at all, and it’s really eliminated my fear of dying. The only thing I worry about are those that love me after I pass – otherwise I could really go at any point and I wouldn’t mind. It made me stop thinking about good and evil and made me think more that people are just human.

5.

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I don’t remember any of them. been declared dead 3 times and not once did i remember anything during death.

6.

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Not me but my husband. This happened just a few weeks ago on December 6th. We were in our room chilling and talking about going to lunch and doing some Christmas shopping. As I got up to get dressed he started breathing funny. I look over and his arms are seized up and eyes wide. He’s not responding to me at all. As I’m on the phone with 911 he stopped breathing. I preformed CPR with the helpful instructions from the dispatcher for 7 minutes until the paramedics arrived.

Once they got here they continued CPR and had to defib him twice. When they finally got him in the ambulance they had him intubated and a pulse going again. He was in the Cardiac ICU for 5 day. Only intubated for about 24 hours before they woke him up from heavy sedation.

They did loads of tests. Nothing wrong with his heart but it was ruled a sudden cardiac arrest. On that 5th day he went in for surgery to have an ICD put in and was transferred out of ICU. He was release on the 6th day.

He remembers very little of the whole ordeal. Doesn’t remember it happening or how long he was there. His memory of being in the hospital is hazy. But he’s doing great. Tired and healing but alive and I had him home for Christmas.

He may not remember but I always will. Scariest 6 days of my life. Having my healthy 31 year old husband, the love of my life, almost die in front of me is something I’ll never forget.

7.

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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 something I saw in a cartoon.

I was transported to my grandparents house except there was no walls. Everything was hanging on the walls like normal but it was floating in midair. No one was home but I remember just wandering around the house looking at everything floating. Then it switched to me at my elementary school. Again, there was no one around. Almost abandoned. Except I saw another girl around my same age. My memory is a bit foggy of what she told me but I know she had passed away and I think she was trying to get to heaven. We ended up being in some beautiful area, gorgeous hills with green grass and beautiful trees everywhere with blue skies. I was standing next to a tree and kept rubbing the leaves, as long as I kept rubbing the leaves I wouldn’t pass away completely. I remember then being almost literally in the sky. There was a huge giant tree log that I wasn’t allowed to pass unless I was ready to leave earth. If I decided to go over it, I would basically be with “God” although I don’t remember thinking that word as a kid. It was just like you would be with some loving energy. I remember not wanting to cross because I didn’t want to leave my parents yet. And that was it. I woke back up from falling unconscious suddenly as I was hemorrhaging

8.

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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 into 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.

9.

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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 a 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. As an atheist that doesn’t believe in heave it’s def something I think about often.

10.

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As My family was saying goodbye to me I remember seeing 3 shadow people at the foot of the hospital bed (me thinking it was family) I asked “who are they” my mother then proceeds to tell me they were angels but I perceived them as my dead relatives there to bring me to the other side. The nurses then proceeded to put me under anesthesia so the doctors could hopefully get my brain to stop bleeding. They were successful and I’m still here! I was told later on that they lost me during the surgery but I would have never known that on my own. I went under then woke up, that’s all I knew.

11.

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I was in a motorbike accident in 2013. It eventually resulted in internal bleeding from damage to my spleen and liver (plus more – I was pretty messed up. Just the spleen was really bleeding though). I ended up with 13 units added to me over multiple transfusions.

I had a few small incision surgeries to try to stop the bleeding before they really opened me up. The morning I was supposed to have a big surgery I was waiting in the ICU.

I am told that I “coded” one morning. Effectively I was on the edge of death and my heart stopped. It was definitely not so far as to be pronounced dead but I guess it was closer than most people prefer.

Between physical trauma, massive blood loss, and massive-er pain killers my memory of the time in the ICU is spotty at best. I have absolutely no memory of coding. It isn’t very exciting from my prospective, but my brother says it was pretty intense for everyone else in the room.

Luckily I have a totally normal life now. If I’m wearing jeans and a t-shirt all my scars are hidden and no one knows any different. In the pool, there are a lot of scars to see. Kids stare. It doesn’t bother me.

Thanks to all the medical staff out there that do so much to keep people like me alive!!!

12.

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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.

13.

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My buddy had heart surgery last year that got complicated, to the point where it took about triple the time it was supposed to. (He has spoken at length with me about the experience because it was so traumatic.) He did require resuscitation from a full arrest mid-surgery, which sadly (fortunately?) he does not remember.

What he does slightly remember, is the THREE DAYS of post-surgical psychosis as the specific cocktail of sedation played poorly with his personal brain chemistry. For him it was a relentless stream of horrible hallucinations, demons, fighting monsters, quicksand, carnivorous hospital beds, being swallowed by the orderlies who morphed into tentacle monsters, pulling out his own Foley catheter while it was still inflated, all sorts of terrible, horrible memories he wish he could erase.

So if he even remembered specifically the being dead portion of the program, it is unlikely that would even compare to the subsequent 3 days of his life.

15.

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I had an employee of mine get very sick over a period of time, I won’t go into the details of his illness. He had been in the hospital for a week before I was allowed to see him. I was visiting him in his hospital room and his wife was also in the room. He kind of blanked out and then the equipment hooked up to him started beeping, alarms were going off. He flat lined. Many doctors and nurses rushed into the room and they tried to resuscitate him. We were eventually ordered out of the room. They came out about a half hour later and told us that they were successful in resuscitation. I wasn’t allowed to see him again until several days later. At that time he told me what he observed during the ordeal. He said that he observed the entire episode from a third person point of view, he saw the whole thing including me and his wife in the room. He no longer works for me but we still stay in touch.

16.

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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 s****** night’s rest and feeling like a horse had kicked me in the chest.

17.

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 in and my dad was cooking breakfast. I could hear a commotion and chaos at one end 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.

18.

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. I’m generally not that scared of death these days.

It was kind of like falling asleep and kinda vaguely remembering a dream when you wake up. All I really have are feelings, not a solid picture or an image or anything like that.

19.

I died from anaphylactic shock when I was 6. Flatlined for almost 3 minutes. I remember looking at myself in the ER with a stuffed bunny someone had put on my bed by my feet. My next memory is the next day in ICU when I woke, I was reaching around asking for my bunny. Supposedly it freaked out my mom and the nurses, because the bunny never made it into the ICU.

20.

I don’t remember my heart stopping cause it was during surgery but I definitely remember being in life support. I thought I was in some weird handmaid’s tale type situation and I was in the hospital for them to take my baby out of me. I wasn’t pregnant can’t get pregnant. I was in the hospital due to a kidney stone and I went into septic shock. They did a couple different surgeries for it and the 2nd one my heart stopped for a while. I’m going to edit and add that during my 10 days stay in the ICU. I was ready to die. Knew it was my time. It really didn’t click how sick I was until day 9 and I was up walking the floors and a nurse who took care of me in the beginning, got very excited and came and hugged me. In my head I was like ok I’m just out of bed. Then it hit me that she didn’t expect me to make it.