Impact of the Near-Death Experience on Grief and Loss

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How can knowing about NDEs help me in my grief process?

Insight gained from learning about an NDE can impact the grief process.

  • NDErs reveal that the moment of death was not painful.  Many people who have had a close brush with physical death assumed that they would suffocate or feel intense pain at the time of death.  Surprisingly, they report that in clinical death (cardiac arrest, no breathing and/or heartbeat) they had no physical distress of any kind.  Instead, they had a floating, peaceful, euphoric experience.
  • Beyond the moment of death, many NDErs report entering a brilliant light that seems  like an all-knowing, all loving being. They describe entering that light as "coming home," with a sense of familiarity, peace, and total comfort.
  • For these and other reasons, most people who have had NDEs no longer fear death or, at least, have significantly reduced anxiety about death.  They say that, because of their NDEs, they now know what happens in death, and they have no fear.
  • NDErs sometimes say they encountered deceased loved ones during the experience. They usually report that these reunions were joyous, and that the loved one was in a state of complete health and well being.
  • Some NDErs have reported that during their NDE, they encountered individuals whom they had never met, but who were later identified as deceased family members.  Living family members may identify these relatives from their description, or photos may confirm that identification.  These kinds of experiences lead many people to believe in immortality.
  • Some NDErs report being sent back, some note they chose to come back, still others explain they were just suddenly back in the body.  This might imply to bereaved family members that the person who did not come back found that it was time to die.

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