3 people who came back to life reveal what they saw on “the other side”
It’s the question we’ve all asked: What happens after death? These people say they have an idea.
Can people really see things when they’re “dead”?
No matter what you believe about the afterlife (or lack thereof), there’s no denying that plenty of people have claimed to see visions or have out-of-body experiences after their hearts have stopped.
Sceptics might brush those off, but researchers have found that most near-death experiences tend to have common themes: Feelings of leaving or returning to their bodies, a sense of peace, bright lights, and encounters with spirits or people.
In fact, medical treatment is good enough now that there’s a difference between clinical death (no breath or pulse, but could still be resuscitated) and biologic death (actually dead).
Even cynics might get chills hearing about these otherworldly visions from people who were clinically dead or close to it.
1. “The most glorious feeling”
In 1994, orthopaedic surgeon Tony Cicoria called his mum from a pay phone during a lake house trip. They’d hung up but he still had the phone in his hand when a blue flash came out. He hadn’t realised there’d been a lightning storm brewing. He felt his body fly backward – and then, confusingly, forward. Cicoria turned around to see his own body lying on the ground. “I’m dead,” he thought. No grief. No ecstasy. Just a fact.
After watching a woman start CPR, Cicoria moved on, floating up the stairs to see his kids getting their faces painted, realising that they’d be OK. “Then I was surrounded by a bluish-white light … an enormous feeling of wellbeing and peace,” he told the New Yorker. “The highest and lowest points of my life raced by me. I had the perception of accelerating, being drawn up… There was speed and direction. Then, as I was saying to myself, ‘This is the most glorious feeling I have ever had’ – slam! I was back.” (Weird side note: The doctor who revived Cicoria became overwhelmed with the urge to play and write piano music.)
2. “Just love. Unconditional love.”
After a four-year battle with lymphatic cancer, Anita Moorjani slipped into a coma in 2006. Doctors were sure it was the end – not realising that in her near-death state, she still had a consciousness. Initially, she felt like she was floating above her body with “360-degree peripheral vision” of the hospital room and beyond, she told TODAY.
She couldn’t see her late father himself, but she did feel his presence, and he had a message for her. “He said that I’ve gone as far as I can, and if I go any further, I won’t be able to turn back,” she said. “But I felt I didn’t want to turn back because it was so beautiful. It was just incredible because, for the first time, all the pain had gone. All the discomfort had gone. All the fear was gone. I just felt so incredible. And I felt as though I was enveloped in this feeling of just love. Unconditional love.”
About 30 hours after falling into a coma, Moorjani flickered back into consciousness. Two days later, her organs started to regain function and the tumours started shrinking. Now she’s cancer-free and is a public speaker and author of books like What If This Is Heaven?.
3. “It was really bright”
Annabel Beam had been diagnosed with two chronic, life-threatening digestive disorders at age four. By age eight, she was ready to give up until something unexplainable happened. She was sitting on a tree branch 10 metres in the air when it cracked; she fell all the way down and into a hollow at the base of the tree, where she was trapped for six hours. She says she died and went to heaven: “It was really bright, and I sat on Jesus’s lap and he told me, ‘Whenever the firefighters get you out, there will be nothing wrong with you,’” Beam told TODAY. “And I asked him if I could stay and he said, ‘No, I have plans you need to fulfil on Earth that you cannot fulfil in heaven.’”
When she woke up, her illness had healed. Her mum wrote the book Miracles from Heaven, which was later turned into a film.
Written by Marissa Laliberte. Republished with permission of Wyza.com.au.