Clarissa Johal: Thoughtful Thursday-Coming Back from the Dead

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday-Coming Back from the Dead

I read a news story recently about a man whose pacemaker gave out and was pronounced dead. While in the morgue and due to be embalmed, his pacemaker started up again. The poor man woke up in a body bag. My thoughts go out to this man and his family--something like that would be a gift, but there had to be lingering trauma.

What would it be like to wake in a morgue and know you had been pronounced dead? This isn't the first time something like this has happened. In 2013, an Ohio man's heart started beating after having stopped for 45 minutes. Also in 2013, a baby born in Toronto was declared dead. Two hours after the call, the officers waiting for a coroner noticed that the baby moved. The baby, it turned out, was alive.

Many years ago (and on a personal level) my mother had a heart attack and was pronounced dead. The doctors were dumbfounded when her heart started beating again, some minutes later. My mother woke to say she'd experienced a white light, a feeling of peace, and was surrounded by loved ones that had passed. This was surprising to me, because my mother isn't religious in any way.

I find it interesting that near-death experiences are similar, regardless of religion or culture. The pattern seems to be as follows:

An out of body experience
A feeling of peace
Traveling down a tunnel and seeing a light
An intense feeling of unconditional love
An encounter with deceased loved one/s
Receiving knowledge of one's life
Having to make a decision about whether to "cross over" or not

Likewise, there is a pattern to a negative near-death experience:

Barriers that separate certain zones from others
An experience of a void or nothingness
Dark or menacing entities who maliciously taunt the subject
Explicit, violent images. A sense of falling.

*Those who have experienced a negative near-death experience, may still go on to have a positive one.

Whether or not these experiences are hallucinatory and caused by a neurological process is debatable. Cross-cultural similarity can be used to support both religious and physiological theories, for both rely on demonstrating that the phenomenon is universal.

Is this random chance? Do these people have unfinished business? We'll never know, but it gives one pause for thought.

Further reading for those interested in this subject:
Near Death Experiences and the Afterlife
Near-Death Experience Research Foundation


Cait OSullivan said...

Pause for thought is right. I had a similar experience once after trying to knock down a car when on my bicycle :). Perhaps I feel a blog post coming up...!! Nice one, Clarissa!

Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Looking forward to that post, Cait! Thanks for stopping by :)

Anonymous said...


As always, an interesting subject.


Clarissa Johal, Author said...

Thank you very much, Stan!