What Happens When We Die – From An Experiencer’s Perspective

What Happens When We Die – From An Experiencer’s Perspective

Sep 07


By Juliet Nightingale
Toward The Light

Original Link

Recently, I read a pamphlet that is passed out to staff workers at a hospice facility on the dying experience. The pamphlet was written by a nurse — strictly from the perspective of an observer and one who’s in the healthcare profession. This is fine, because people in the healthcare industry do need guidelines for dealing with end-of-life procedures. However, they can only be hypothetical at best in many areas, simply because the author has not actually been there — lying on a deathbed and dealing first hand with the process of dying! At least, this particular author gave no indication that she’s ever been on a deathbed herself or that she’s had a near-death experience (NDE).

What happens to us when we die? This is a compelling question that plagues everyone throughout one’s life. I have been on multiple deathbeds and have actually died a few times — having flatlined and lost all vital signs — commonly known as a near-death experience (NDE). Herein, I will share what one goes through as one dies, and everything involved with the dying process, from an experiencer’s perspective. This information differs widely from what one learned in medical or nursing school, because it comes from one who’s actually been there. It is about the reality of death, and will remove the air of mystery behind the dying process. Hopefully, this will also help change people’s perspective about the individual who is dying and what he or she is actually going through.


Apart from the physical pain and other symptoms that are present when one is dying, there are many other things going on. Dealing with a terminal disease or other life-threatening illness involves the gentle ebbing away of human life as we know it on this plane. In the process of dying, and in death, we literally go through a shift — a change of vantage point, a change of perspective, a change of feelings, a change of frequency, and an upsurge of energy!

When I had colon cancer, I went through intense pain, vomiting, convulsions and the like. However, after awhile, my body became quiet and I started sleeping more. I was dying and becoming more detached and withdrawn from this plane. I was pulling back … and this plane started becoming more translucent — even surreal. I was able to see through things, but not because of the medications I was on. When one is truly in the dying process something occurs that’s very different from the effects of drugs. Nothing appeared ‘solid’ anymore. Colours became more vibrant and luminous. Sound became more acute and I could actually hear beyond the physical plane! Also, printed material no longer made sense to me in my changed state of consciousness, as I was already starting to shift into another dimension — even though I was still simultaneously conscious on the physical plane.

This is what I refer to as the ‘twilight stage’, because it is a very powerful ‘rite of passage’ that is taking place. As a dying person, I wasn’t becoming less conscious, but in fact, more conscious, because I was now experiencing other dimensions — not just this one! It is like moving house where you just change from one vantage point (or frequency) to another. There is also that transitional ‘in-between’ space where you’re still toggling between the two planes of existence. I was always aware and conscious — actually having expanded awareness — but what I responded to would depend on where my centre of attention was at the time and, indeed, I would tend to feel more comfortable and at peace in the realm beyond the physical plane!

So many people observing a dying person will see him or her not responding in the same way one is used to … and they will even perceive the dying individual as seeing something or speaking to someone who ‘isn’t really there’, and so on. One might think the dying person is ‘losing it’ and no longer in touch with ‘reality’. This conclusion is a serious mistake! In truth, this is a state where one is experiencing other dimensions simultaneously while still on the physical plane, because, in reality, we are multidimensional beings. The dying person is not losing his or her mind, but rather becoming more aware — where the consciousness is actually being expanded to include other dimensions! These dimensions are not easily seen or experienced by our mortal mind — especially due to the fact that we’ve been taught not to honour and regard other forms of awareness and other dimensions as real. Some individuals, like myself, have been privy to such ability to tap into higher or expanded forms of consciousness and that’s only because they use and exercise these abilities that, in fact, everyone possesses!

The truth is, we are multi-sensory and multi-dimensional beings who exist on other dimensions simultaneously. Because the third dimension (our physical plane) is so dense, it is very hard to pierce the veil or see through it. We’re stuck with the illusion that matter is ‘solid’, or that it is all there is or is real, but nothing could be further from the truth! There are several dimensions, not just this one!

Providing an illustration will help impart a better understanding of what all this looks like, because this is a vital part of what takes place when one is dying. Envision an onion with its multiple rings and layers. In the very centre is the physical plane or body. The next layer is the astral body, then the mental body and their corresponding dimensions, and so on — moving out from layer to layer until we’ve reached the outer dimension. There is a thin layer that separates these dimensions one from the other. Since the physical plane in the centre vibrates at such a low frequency, one cannot see through the thin layer that separates this plane from the next one. However, (and this is very important), when one is dying and detaching from the physical plane and the physical body — i.e., becoming more removed from the physical — the veil that separates the dimensions starts to become transparent and one is actually able to see into and operate in other dimensions. As one is dying one may see a deceased loved one or friend and start conversing with that individual. Furthermore, the dying person may also see a beautiful garden, buildings, animals and all manner of beings and things that are often invisible to one on the physical plane; but that does not mean that these things are not real! They’re simply occurring on another dimension and on a higher frequency — one that is very real, indeed.

Now I will describe the Other Side a little, as this will help give you a clearer idea of the elements there and how we manifest on that plane. When I was on the Other Side I felt like a bubble — so very light and free — every movement being completely effortless! There was no sense of fatigue, weariness, hunger or thirst. It was almost as if I was hollow inside. The best way I can describe how we look is similar to that of a luminous jellyfish, comet or inverted water drop. The form consists of wispy, almost cloud-like formations that glow and pulsate. Every one is unique — just as we are on the physical plane.

However, when a medium, like myself, sees a deceased person, one will appear in a translucent form resembling the physical form they once occupied. This is not actually what the person looks like on the Other Side, but only how one is projected for the sake of recognition to the observer on the physical plane.

When one is dying, and is in the twilight stage, one can easily see into the Other Side and experience communion with others who have already crossed over. They will appear in a recognisable form and it is also oft times true that a caregiver, friend or loved one who is present in the room with the dying person will be able to see a wispy presence in the room. I know a number of people who’ve worked in hospice care who were able to see the deceased souls that were visiting the dying person. They realise that these souls are there to help the dying person prepare to transition and this is a very important part of the dying process.

When one is in the twilight stage, it’s important to realise that one becomes extremely sensitive. For example, when I was dying, I could never tolerate harsh or loud noises or bright lights — especially overhead light! Anyone who’s dealing with a dying person needs to switch off the TV and the overhead light! Since one is becoming more removed from the physical plane, the TV blaring is insidious to the one who’s in the process of transitioning. The dying person is much more contemplative now and absorbed in things taking place interdimensionally. It is vitally important to regard their space as sacred and give them an environment that’s restful and soothing — a peaceful environment where the dying person can commune with others (both seen and unseen), and be allowed to go through the process of transitioning in dignity and peace and in a space that’s more like a sanctuary.

It’s a shame that medical institutions — hospitals, hospices, etc. — subject the patient to TV and harsh lights and noises. Whenever I’ve walked into a patient’s room, I’ve never found anything except a TV and yet nothing for listening to music! One who is dying needs a very serene environment and one that’s conducive to his or her process of transitioning. Whenever I’ve been deathly ill, I’ve always wanted music and I cannot stress enough how healing and comforting music is. TV, on the other hand, is extremely invasive and is utterly inappropriate for one who is dying and something to be completely avoided. Music — especially instrumental music such as classical or New Age — is very comforting and offers great support in the dying process. I’m pleased to say that there are a lot of music therapy practitioners who routinely visit hospitals and hospices and perform for seriously ill and dying patients. This is becoming ever more popular and relevant in caring for those who are seriously ill or dying. So why are there no music systems in hospitals and hospices and only TVs in patients’ rooms? Hopefully, this will change in very near future, as medical staff and facility management teams become more enlightened about the dying process.

Again, because the dying person is so sensitive to one’s environment, it is also important to have soft lighting and ideally bedside or indirect lighting. This is also true for those of us who have had an NDE (or what I prefer to call an eternal life experience, ELE). It is a given that some of the after-effects of the NDE are sensitivity to light and loud or harsh noises, electrical currents, synthetics, pharmaceuticals, certain foods (especially meat and dairy), allergies, and so on.

Another important point is that, when a caregiver or guest is approaching the dying individual — whether to visit or administer medications, treatments, food and so on — it is vital that one pay attention to the person and approach him or her very gently. The caregiver or guest doesn’t want to startle the dying person and be so thoughtless as to completely disregard the fact that this person may be in a completely different realm than the one the caregiver or guest is in. Always approach the dying person with a soft whisper or touch on the hand. Wait for a response and be sure that he or she is aware of your presence. Then proceed with whatever task is needed. It is very important to be considerate and to regard the dying person with dignity and respect at all times!

As I moved closer to physical death, there was absolutely no sense of fear or dread whatsoever. On the contrary, I felt more peace envelope me as a result. It was profoundly serene. What’s more is that I never lost consciousness! Alas, I did lapse into a coma, so I did have the appearance of being unconscious to an observer, but I never lost consciousness from my own viewpoint. I simply shifted from one vantage point to another, that’s all. I never experienced a ‘jolt’ and then was suddenly ‘dead’. In fact, I had to be told that I had died, because ‘death’ is an afterthought — according to NDErs — if it exists at all! Only the observer experiences or perceives ‘death’. But in reality, we simply shed a garment that we no longer need and, oh, the liberation and freedom that comes with shedding this body! You do not need airline tickets or passports to get around in the Afterlife! It’s absolutely effortless to manoeuvre on the Other Side. When you transition you’re never alone either; someone’s always there to greet you — usually a loved one or friend who’s crossed over before you. You go through an ‘intake’ procedure and then a time of rest…

Oft times, those who’ve been through the dying process and actual clinical death, have compared this transitioning to the workings of a radio. We simply move to a different and higher frequency on the radio band. Just because you switch to a different radio station than the one you were listening to before, that doesn’t mean that the previous radio station isn’t broadcasting anymore. You’re just tuned in to a different frequency and getting a different broadcast, that’s all. When we die, we switch frequencies and move to a higher frequency. It’s really that simple. As with the onion, one has moved into a different layer (or frequency), but one is still very much alive — only operating on another dimension now.

Think about the process of going to sleep. You lie down, close your eyes and then slowly ease into another state of consciousness. You are still conscious, but simply on a different plane. You actually leave your body when you sleep and that’s why our bodies need to sleep, because there’s a lot that we need to do and experience that is not possible from the physical waking state. Our bodies go to sleep, but WE do not. Death is really no different than the body going to sleep, but you still carry on.

The point I want to reiterate is that WE do not die or perish; only our bodies do. We never lose consciousness and we never lose our selfhood. We simply ‘graduate’ and move on to a higher plane of existence. And that’s why so many of us who actually have physically died, have been brought back in order to share with the world that life is, indeed, eternal! The beauty of this is, when we transition there are no harsh judgements levied upon us; we judge ourselves. You can read any NDE or similar account about the Life Review and all that it entails. We are enveloped in unconditional love and a peace that, indeed, surpasses all understanding. I remember experiencing no fear whatsoever. I cannot think of a more precious gift than the total freedom from fear and knowing without a doubt that only love is real.

Alas, it is very difficult for any of us to watch a loved one’s body deteriorate and wither away, but it’s very important to remember that, what you see is not the person. It is only his or her body or ‘shell’ that houses the person. When the person transitions, there is a beautiful world and reality that awaits that individual. And he or she will take on a form that’s vibrant and beautiful. Even if you allow yourself to see into other dimensions, that individual may appear to you, but you will not see one in a decrepit state. Instead, that person may appear young or even as a child. He or she will manifest in a way that’s recognisable to you. This is what is referred to as an After-Death Communication (ADC), and it is a wonderful and reassuring experience, indeed.

When one is in school and approaching graduation, it is truly a time to celebrate. The student has fulfilled one’s term and is ready to move on to bigger and better things. The same is true for the dying person; he or she is approaching Graduation from this school we call ‘life’ on the physical plane. Once the individual has transitioned, it is all right for you to grieve. That’s natural, because you’ve now lost a form that is familiar to you. But please remember that the individual who’s transitioned is still very much alive and conscious — but just operating on a different frequency now. Celebrate that person’s Graduation, which has brought a true liberation and freedom to that individual.

Death is merely a shift into another ring in the onion, another frequency, another dimension, and another realm. The soul can never die; the self can never die — only the garment or the shell that is no longer needed is discarded and dies. You still exist. You always have … and you always will! We all live forever.



Pulse on Near-Death Experiences
Pulse on Death & Dying



  1. Simon C. Limbrick

    During my tenure as a hospital porter, I witnessed death many times. I was with my own father when he died; he deteriorated over three weeks. All that is left is the physical body, the shell. Like a dead battery, the energy that gave it life has gone. The person you knew had left.
    There was no television on at that time, but every room has access to piped radios. He died peacefully, I believe.

  2. Hi Simon. Thanks for sharing. BTW, I’m planning to answer your letter to me on NHNE NDE, just haven’t had a chance yet…

  3. David

    I’m a Registered Nurse while working a night shift at the hospital a patient’s son asked me if he could have some family members come to the hospital because he felt his mother was going to pass away that night I said yes of course. A little while later he went down to the lobby to meet them so I went into the room and held is mothers hand. She was having difficulty breathing and was very anxious but after about 30 seconds she looked at me smiled and said ” I saw Vinny ” knowing a little about NDE’s and that these things happen when people are close to passing I was not supprised I just smiled and felt connected to her for a moment its was a nice peaceful yet joyous moment. When the family members came into the room a little while later I asked them who is Vinny they replied he is her nephew that passed away a few years ago. Curiousity or the need for confirmation got the best of me and I asked does she say that she see’s Vinny often and they repled “no” It never ceases to amaze me when connections with the world of spirit happen and over the years I’ve heard many similar stories like this from health care providers and sometimes patient will tell me of a relative that was very sick and had a visit from a deceased family member or friend and some say they have seen a glimps of what they call heaven saying ” its beautiful ” its very comforting to hear these stories and has definatley helped me to be more compasionate and understanding of others.

  4. Nice story, David. Thanks for sharing it!

  5. David

    your welcome

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