- If you are soft hearted or an over-thinker, please avoid reading this article. I as a writer of this post am not responsible to any issues that might occur after reading this article…
- This article is based off of all my readings about how it feels to die based upon different researches conducted by different researchers around the world.
Answer to the question, “How dying feels like?” is extremely personal event. Although we know what happens to the body when you die, like oxygen to your body goes down, you are unable to breathe, blood circulation slows down and your chemical death occurs. “Death rattle” as it’s called.
But as far as answering to how it feels? we don’t have specific answer to this question. I’ll try to answer this more practically based off of what I understood after reading few research papers on the topic.
The feeling of death as said is very personal and matter of the fact, it depends upon how you die. People who die because of illness aren’t able to describe how it feels mostly because at their last moments, they are almost at at a stage where they go drowsy, they can’t talk or they die.
The only way to really know how it feels like is to understand what people who have gone closest to death and has come back from it remember about their experience.
There’s a phase during dying called “active dying” in which person gradually starts dying. The scientific explanation of how it feels during such death is you tend to loose your senses in particular order. This is how it feels like :
- As days pass by, you start loosing huger. You start loosing thirst. These two are first two senses to go.
- Immediately after that you loose your ability to speak.
- Your eyes stop supporting gradually and you loose your ability to see. At this moment you are around gone.
- Your ability to hearing starts going down followed by sense of touch.
- Hearing and Touch senses hold longer.
Research on real life explanations of people that were clinically dead to describe what they felt during their experience concludes that most of the times, when you start dying, your brain starts dreaming.
About 88% of the people in the same situation described that they had extremely vivid dreams that sometimes involved all their life and even carried over into their work hours. lot of those dreams were around their loved ones ( which seems obvious but it’s not). Strange thing to note was that those dreams although involved experiences, emotions of their loved one, but those were the people who were already dead. As if somehow your brain, your soul knows that you too are gonna be there in a matter of few minutes…
Comment from Reddit thread asked 4-5 years ago by a researcher to describe how such people felt, goes something like this .
One of the patients shares:
“To me it felt a bit like sleeping into a dream. Everything in the dream looks bright and colorful and feels like it lasts hours, but when I came back, i had only been gone for three minutes. The subject of the dream, or anything about it I didn’t remember. I knew none of it made sense, but it felt peaceful, almost uplifting. When it came to, it sounded like I was in a large crowd for few seconds, but woke to nearby silent room. Then my vision came back. It was slow. almost like what an old CRT TV looks like when it turns on. dim at first, very fuzzy, then everything got brighter and more defined. That’s when I noticed my whole body has been numb from the neck down and slowly started radiating towards the center of my body. I was very disoriented. It was very hard to remember what I was doing before I went out, or even who the people around me were or even where I was. After about 5 minutes, everything had come back to normal, except for the pounding headache.”
Research at University of Michigan explains that your brain experiences a surge of activity right before death. This surge might be responsible for making your brain dream. This surge might cause you to perceive your life flashing before your eyes, or a bright light that you are heading towards, or even your consciousness leaving your own body.
According to the research conducted at one of the universities also depicted that just few moments before your death, you psychologically go inactive. All your senses, your body organs stop working but your brain is hypo-active. A study examining participants experiences during the period of time in which they were officially dead also reported that although those people were dead, they had a perception of awareness. Their brains were completely functional.
In fact at that stage, they were able to hear the conversations around which was later confirmed by people who were there around the patient.
The same Reddit thread which has the above quote resulted into other experience of death that went something like below:
You see different stories because the cause of death for people who came back from were different.I suffocated. it sucked, was painful, the allergic reaction that caused it was unbearable, and it was damn scary.
Heartaches, drownings, operations, car accidents, whatever will all play out individually. Dying is very personal experience. It is also very unique experience.
I died when I was 14. I was dead for two minutes. I’m 41 now and barring accidents I expect to live a long and healthy life. I don’t expect my experience will be same the next time I die.
is worth reading in which she had written all she felt as a part of dying with pancreatic cancer. She wrote about the pain that has resulted from areas of the body shutting down from the cancer.The pain and feelings she has described are one of the most horrible thoughts I would have ever read.
Death still is — and will likely remain for some time — the undiscovered country; but although much of it is a mystery, we’re still doing what we can to unravel it. We may not know much, but what we do know is at least something. Right?