What Did It Feel Like to Die?

As I continue to work on writing my book about my Near-Death Experience (NDE), one thing  crystallized in my mind: how easy it was for my body to die. And I mean "easy" in the sense that it seemed somehow not as traumatic as I thought it would be. It's a strange thing to be given a clear glimpse of death then come back to ponder it and share the experience with others. But I think if I share what I felt as I approached death, it just might help other people too in dealing with the loss of a loved one or working through their own fears of mortality.

Like most of us humans, I used to contemplate my own mortality from time to time, but always came up against fear - that it would be painful, terrifying, difficult, or emotionally wrenching. The more years I had under my belt, the more I grew to fear death and dying. I knew it would come someday, but I got to the point where I preferred not to think about it because it seemed bigger and darker than I could face.

During my bike vs. truck crash, detailed in my earlier post, a vehicle hit me while I rode my bicycle through town. From the moment of impact until after the paramedics arrived, I literally felt no physical pain, and very little physical sensation anywhere in my body. In hindsight, this really surprises me. I would have expected to be in unspeakable pain from the moment the truck impacted me, but that wasn't the case. I physically felt pretty OK during those minutes, or at least I had no physical sensation of pain. Actually, I had almost no physical sensations at all including pain, touch, pressure, impact, etc. Would everyone going through a trauma like this be immune to pain and physical sensation? I have no idea - I just know what I experienced.

I suspect this lack of pain was a result of my body's own painkillers, endorphins and the like, kicking in to high gear. But besides removing the pain, whatever was going on also seemed to calm my mind. While I did feel a level of fear, it wasn't as all-consuming as I would have thought. The fear felt somewhat detached - as if I was listening to thoughts from someone else. The fear was mine, but not quite mine, all at the same time. And even more interesting, the fear was manageable. My brain seemed to put it into a little compartment, separate from the rest of my thoughts. My thinking was still pretty clear - "I wonder how my family will react," "Hold on to that license plate," "Hold on to that axle," "Get up and run" - even though I did feel some fear.

Pain and panic didn't really kick in until after the paramedics arrived and prepared me for transport to the ER.

Coming to grips with what happened to me makes it a little easier to deal with the traumatic deaths of some of my friends and loved ones. I suspect, or at least hope, that they lost their sensation of pain during their bodies' final moments. The last thing in the world I want for someone is to experience pain or terror during those final seconds.

And as my consciousness effortlessly split into the "watcher-me" and the "animal-me," all felt as it should. The split just happened - one microsecond I was one "me," the next I was in two places, experiencing the accident from two vantage points. There was no anxiety about this split - it seemed natural and "right." The "watcher-me" (the one outside of my body) felt a little sad I was going through this trauma, but she also Knew with a grand knowing that everything would be A-OK. That even though it was traumatic, I was experiencing something that I needed to experience and all was Fine.

The "watcher-me" felt like the real me - the timeless me, the part of my existence that doesn't die. My soul or spirit. I now know that it really does exist, that we aren't simply our bodies, that there is more to life and living than this beautiful embodiment of DNA we call humanity.

My Near-Death Experience (NDE) in surgery was also effortless and felt "right." One second I was drifting off into unconsciousness and in the next, bright light and warm breezes surrounded me. And that place was so captivating and so much my Home that I didn't want to leave. The process of going There was not painful, traumatic, or terrifying. It was easy. It was right.

This effortless split of my higher consciousness/spirit from body (at least that's what I believe happened) helps me to understand the process of death a little better. For me, it wasn't painful or overwhelmingly scary. And experiencing what I believe is a glimpse into the realm of Spirit has completely taken away my fear of death. I no longer fear it - I know it's coming, though, and will choose to truly live my life fully and with passion from here on out.

More details, including my thoughts, are in the book: Awakenings from the Light.

All content copyright Nancy Rynes, 2014. Please read disclaimer and Legal Notes here.