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How it Feels to Die

Posted by Roberta Grimes • July 22, 2014 • 34 Comments
Afterlife Research, Death, Understanding Reality

Every one of us is going to die. Yet our culture offers no real preparation for this universal human experience, and few of us haveRHS Garden Hyde Hall, Essex, UK | A garden with wide ranging hor much understanding of the actual death process. You will be relieved to know that the afterlife evidence overwhelmingly suggests that for most of us a well-conducted death can be the best time of our lives. Fortunately, folks who have gone before have thoughtfully shared their own experiences, so it is possible to have a pretty good understanding of what our death will be like. Based on my reading of nearly two hundred years of abundant and consistent communications from the dead, here is a brief summary of how death feels from the perspective of the person living through the experience.

The Final Few Days of Earth-Life

           A number of people have chastised me for the title of my book, The Fun of Dying. And they have a point. In order for us to transition from this vibratory level of reality to the levels that are occupied by the dead, we have to get ourselves free of material bodies that are fighting to stay alive. And that process emphatically is not fun! Whether we are dying of cancer, an injury, or just old age, unless we are unexpectedly called in our sleep we are likely to find unpleasant the process of weakening our material body enough for death to overtake it. Within the last two or three days of life, though, most of us rally. We are more alert, generally our pain lessens, and we tend to be more accepting of impending death, even if we had previously been fearful.

           It is within the last few days or hours that we first see our deathbed visitors. One or more of the dead people and pets that we are most likely to trust will show up, looking young and healthy. The number of visitors and the timing of their arrival is highly individual: I have seen reports of deathbed visitors coming and going for weeks, and also reports of deathbed visitors showing up immediately before the event. We might see just a spouse or parent or a childhood pet, or we might find ourselves entertaining a crowd. My guess is that the usual interval between the arrival of visitors and the death is twenty-four to forty-eight hours, so let’s assume that is what happens in our case. Our dead loved ones usually first appear in an upper corner of the room, and they might stay there, although sometimes they will come down and take a chair and make themselves at home. Deathbed visitors generally converse with us mentally, and in fact once we are in contact with them we tend to lose interest in communicating with the living. Mom is here, looking amazingly great after a forty-year separation! Now I know that everyone else must be fine, and I also know for sure I will survive my death.

We might have actual glimpses of post-death reality. It will be as if a wall of the room has disappeared, and we will see breathtaking natural vistas with lots of greenery and flowers in unearthly colors backed by snow-capped mountains. We might see a beautiful, ethereal city. This sort of gift is more common if we are alert and not medicated, and anecdotally I would add that it seems to happen more readily for young people. There are reports of children dying a century ago from diphtheria and other now-vanquished diseases who would enjoy panoramic vistas for days before their actual deaths.

The Final Few Hours of Earth-Life

            Our earth-bodies are nested energy bodies. A couple of them – including the one that we think of as our material origin_342069144body – are going to die now. But there are several energy bodies that we will be taking with us, and the process of separation can take awhile. It begins in our extremities, our hands and our feet, and if we are awake we may feel it happening like tiny threads breaking. Bodily separation doesn’t hurt, nor is it frightening; but it is interesting to be aware of the process. Gradually these surviving energy bodies will gather into our chest area and then will leave, either from the chest or more commonly through the top of the head.

Once out of our material body, our surviving nested energy bodies will re-form into a human shape that is still attached to the material body by what is called the silver cord. Being out of our dying body feels wonderful! Minutes ago we were trapped in a frail and decrepit body, weak and ill and at death’s door. Now suddenly we feel young, healthy, vigorous and joyous! Some of the dead even tell us that leaving the body produces a surge of what feels like physical pleasure.

           For our inner energy bodies to travel out of the body during sleep has been routine for most of us all our lives. That silver cord has been tough and infinitely stretchy, but it is fraying now. Soon it will disintegrate. While we wait to complete our transition, our energy replica might lie suspended above our physical body, face down, still attached by that silver cord; or else it might sit cross-legged in the air or tip down to stand beside the bed and interact with our deathbed visitors. When it first forms, our energy body is naked. We quickly notice that, and our mind clothes it.

Actual Death

The breaking of the silver cord is our moment of death. Without our support, that material body which has served us so well ceases to breathe, and its heart stops. This is a moment of danger! People we love who are gathered around the bed will realize that our death has occurred, and especially if we are young and what precipitated the death was unexpected, we may witness agonizing grief. Our instinct will be to focus on the living and try to reassure them that we are fine, but to do that could bring disaster! If we take our attention from our deathbed visitors even briefly, we can lose our ability to perceive them. Stuck there in a limbo outside of time, it is possible for us to become an earthbound ghost for centuries. There are ways to offer help to those who mourn us once we have transitioned to the afterlife levels, but until then they cannot see or hear us. There is nothing we can do for them. How ever hard it is for us to see their pain, we must altogether ignore the living!

Moving On

            We have died. The universal fate of all living things has overtaken us as well, and it has been amazingly easy and happy. There has been no pain and no fear. We have been supported gently through the whole death process, and asWaddesdon Manor Gardens, Buckinghamshire, England | Immaculate N a dead person we feel terrific! We might still worry a bit about the loved ones we are leaving, but we feel ourselves now young and healthy and joyous and wonderfully enveloped in love. Our deathbed visitors are hugging us, feeling as solid as anyone living; our childhood dog might be jumping up on us or happy-dancing at our feet. We turn away from our deathbed with relief and with anticipation of the wonders to come, and we join those who have come for us in together lifting our spiritual vibration and approaching a glorious new world.

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Roberta Grimes

Roberta Grimes is an internationally recognized expert on death and the afterlife. Learn More

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34 thoughts on “How it Feels to Die

  1. Roberta — Very much enjoyed your most recent post! I will be sharing it in my grief and healing groups.

    Thanks for all you do!

    Love and blessings,
    Maria

    1. What happens in cases of unplanned death, tragedies. My son was 24 and passed in a car accident. I would love to hear.

      1. Dear Joan, nearly all “accidental” deaths are planned deaths. For example, Mikey Morgan (you should read Flying High in Spirit) tells us that his auto accident at the age of 20 was his last planned exit point. David Alison’s Davey (Finding Davey) also left in a planned auto accident – he died at 23. In these cases:

        (a) The person leaving was out of his body before the impact, and felt nothing; and

        (b) There were guides there to welcome and comfort the decedent immediately, and to lead him to the afterlife.

        In the case of a (very rare) truly accidental death, people are also protected from pointless suffering, and typically very advanced beings will show up very soon after the person dying is out of his body. So, my dear, all is good, your son is fine, and for certain you will see him again!

    2. Roberta, thank you for sharing your knowledge with us, I have lost two husbands in my life and what you are saying it is true!! I have experienced the things and the events!!! That’s why I am interested in these topics

      1. Dear Liliana, that is why I so much love doing this work. The evidence is all so amazingly consistent, and over and over people tell me that their own experience has been consistent as well! Reality is indeed more wonderful than our most optimistic imaginings ;-).

  2. This was so good to read. My husband passed away two months ago and I miss him so much. I do hope this is all tru what and how death happens and that he is ok. The evening before he passed he all of a sudden started to smile and was looking up towards the ceiling. He passed away a few hours later in his sleep.
    Thank you for this reading.
    Lynda

    1. Oh Lynda, how wonderful – you saw him greeting the loved ones who were coming to take him home! Usually his communication with them would be telepathic, and it’s generally true that once the loved ones arrive (they’re commonly called “deathbed visitors”), people about to make their transition will stop communicating with the living. Yes, of course he is perfectly fine!

  3. Roberta if there was only one thing that I could teach about the Afterlife, this would be it!. I will be reiterating it over and over to anyone who will listen. When I first met you and was introduced to your books, I wondered how it could be fun to die, especially when it is tragic or a long term illness. But now, I understand on a deeper level that death is FUN and shedding the physical body to return to the ethereal body is a blast. Instant weight loss!! This take so much emotional pain out of the ‘ What if’s”. I can’t thank you enough for sharing your wisdom and knowledge with all of us. Sending you big hugs and see you next year at the conference.

    1. Bless you, dear Linda – you are so right! Getting to the point of having a body that is sufficiently weak to “give up the ghost” can be difficult, but if only everyone understood that the actual death process and what comes after it are pleasurable and joyous, so much needless suffering in this world could be avoided!

  4. Hello my Mom passed a little over 4 years ago. My brother and I were with her when she passed.I so didn’t want her too go but she was so sick.Now after reading this article I’m afraid she might not have passed and be stuck here. I pray that didn’t happen. I feel she didn’t want to leave me

    1. Hello Leana! Please don’t be concerned – of course your mother is just fine! The fact that she was so ill indicates that this was one of her planned exit points (it wasn’t accidental, in other words) so your mother’s most treasured departed loved ones would have come for her during those last hours and would have been waiting as she left her body so they could escort her to the next level of reality. Of course, it is NORMAL for most of those keeping a deathbed vigil NOT to want their loved one to transition! If your wish for her not to leave had the power to keep your mother here, then at least half of those who have died must still be here! It is normal, too, for those who are dying not to want to leave this level… that is, until they see arriving at their bedsides loved ones who died even many years ago, and who now look healthy and happy and young and wonderful. Wow! Then they all want to leave – Katy bar the door! – and go to wherever these folks have been living.

      Please be comforted, and please be joyous to know that your mother is young and healthy again, busy and happy and having more fun than any of us can even imagine in a place where the very air she breathes is love!

  5. My son died very unexpectedly,
    Matter of fact I still have no closure on how he actually died.
    I have tried to have communication with him through spirit boxes, mediums, etc. and haven’t been able to communicate with him. He was 20, any suggestions please

    1. Hello Nancy! I’m sorry about your son’s transition, but depending on how long ago that happened you should indeed be able to communicate with him; and as with anything else, the more you practice, the better these communications will be. It can be difficult at first to make contact, which is why most mediums will require that you wait until at least six months after the transition. The reasons why it is harder at first will vary from person to person, but many of us will spend some time initially in what amount to counseling hospitals or retreats, being lovingly tended and counseled by people who are helping us get past earth-traumas, earth-illnesses, earth-disappointments and mental issues. We are, of course, already whole and perfect! The task of these wonderful beings is to help us to feel and know for certain and express in our post-death bodies and minds the full certainty of our perfection. Once six months have passed – or perhaps a bit longer – your son may begin giving you signs of his survival if you ask for them. Say aloud each night before you go to sleep, “(name), please let me dream of you and remember the dream.” Then pay attention to the first things in your mind the next morning – it can take awhile, so be patient! Say as you begin your day, “(name), please give me a sign of your survival and make sure that I notice it!” Again, be patient. Learn what the most common signs are and watch for them (my The Fun of Staying in Touch is one resource); and if you see what might at all be a sign, say “Thank you – I see that – please do it again!” Say it aloud! If they think we aren’t noticing, they soon will stop doing anything.

      Your son is very eager to comfort you, dear Nancy, so please give him the chance to do that! You can try using mediums, too; or you might try Dr. R. Craig Hogan’s self-induced afterlife connections technique, which works well for many people: http://selfguided.spiritualunderstanding.org/Self-guidedAfterlifeConnections.pdf.

      Best wishes with all of this, Nancy! But whether or not you manage to hear from him, please know that your precious son is fine!!

      1. Thank you Roberta, he passed away August 24,2016
        I have been to several Mediums that have all told me different stories of how he died.
        I dont know what to believe anymore. I just know that I miss him so much and just want to know the truth about what really happened to him. I even talked to a famous medium and I still have no answers. Is there anyone that you would suggest?

        1. The only medium I really trust is Susanne Wilson (carefreemedium.com). She takes few to no new clients now, however. There are two other pretty good mediums at the “Mediums” tab on this website – people have had good luck with both of them. But the whole area of mental mediumship is a very tricky one, since most practicing mediums have gifts that are marginal at best. The induced afterlife connections idea may work better for you.

  6. Hi Roberta – Literally, 1/2 hour ago I had to put my last beloved schnauzer to sleep. I hope she isn’t trying to comfort me, but has gone on to be with her brother (litter mate) who passed away 2 weeks ago. I hate to think that she wouldn’t go straight to the light! And yes, my first little one has already gotten in touch with Susanne (the only one I trust, also).

    1. Hi Terri! Wow, if there is anyone who can get in touch with schnauzers, it would be Susanne Wilson! I’m so sorry about your loss, but please know that EVERY animal that we ever have loved transitions beautifully and is waiting there for us, now young and healthy! Animals altogether lack human-like neuroses, and their love is perfect: she would not have stayed on this level to comfort you – or for any other purpose – but she would have gone straight to the next level of reality and reunited with her brother. So please don’t worry about anything, and just look forward happily to what is going to be a great reunion!

  7. Thank you Roberta for all I have just read here. I truly know it is all so true what you have written for the past year two relatives passed exactly how you described. One elderly female 96 told me on her death bed that she had so much fun playing cards with her sisters. She was so happy to all be together. They had passed many many years ago. My brother whom I was extremely close to the last 6years of his life, on his death bed in Hospice was looking up trying to focus on something. I asked him what he saw and he paused and said energy. The next day the day of his passing he was looking up his head going back and forth like following something and giggling. I was so interested in this part of my brothers passing I taped it on my phone so was This wrong to Do?

    1. Oh Lily, of course that wasn’t the wrong thing to do! And thank you for sharing your stories here – you will be comforting so many people. I love the story of the sisters playing cards together! And I haven’t heard of anyone seeing energy on his deathbed, but it makes sense that your brother would see what looked like energy to him because of course all that exists is energy and those that we used to think were dead will often appear to us on earth as orbs of light with energy visible and coursing inside them (few people can see orbs with the naked eye, but some can). Perhaps he is a bit more advanced in his gifts, so he saw his visitors arriving as orbs, before they lowered their personal vibrations enough to appear to him in bodies? No one ever dies, and the beauty and joy of those moments as we are preparing to return home will surprise and delight us!

    1. Hello Karen! What a great question. Thank you for asking it! After an experience of light at the age of eight, I spent half a century immersed as a hobby in reading nearly 200 years of abundant and consistent afterlife evidence, including hundreds of communications from people that we used to think were dead. That’s how I know. As to how you can know, the results of my research are in my book, The Fun of Dying – Find Out What really Happens Next, and the work of many other researchers is listed in an annotated bibliography to that book that references some seventy others. The only way that you ever will develop certainty about what is going on will be for you to do enough of your own research to develop your own certainty. And fortunately, thanks to the work that we researchers have been doing for your whole life, for you to develop that certainty shouldn’t take you more than a year or two of dedicated reading!

  8. Hello Roberta,

    I found you while internet searching in February of this year (2018) for information on pets in the afterlife. Our beloved family dog passed away at that time. I wrote you in the comment section on the blog post and your answer really help me a lot to heal. It made me happy to think my dog was young & healthy again (he was almost 17 years and very ill).

    Last night my father passed away. He was almost 85, very ill, had spent the last 2 months in the hospital but has had the effects of a devastating stroke for the last 2 years. Some of the behavior you speak about when one is dying he exhibited – he stopped communicating with us and just closed his eyes like in a sleep, the last day he had his eyes wide opened looking up near the ceiling as though he saw something up there.

    I so want to believe in the afterlife as you and others who research this, present it to be. I am very confused on some points that I have read either by you or some others:

    1) Earthbound spirits – I am worried about my father (and / or dog) being earthbound – but since none of us were there with my father (he died in the middle of the night) I am hoping his visitors were there for him. and there would be plenty for him: his parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, co-workers, and our dog, all whom he cared for and who have gone before him – I pray he went on to the next level with all who knew him – how can I be sure he did?????

    2) I read somewhere that spirits will reincarnate – come back to earth in another life – but this isn’t done for decades in our earth time; so my fathers father died 21 years ago and his mother 46 years ago – will they still be there to greet him or could they have re-incarnated by now???? I am hoping they are still there for him, like I am hoping he will be there for us (my mom, sibling, myself) when it is our time – do the spirits intentionally wait until their at least immediate family passes to next world???

    3) which leads me to my next worry/confusion – when all members in a family do re-incarnate to our next earth life – do we all lose each other again???? we lost each other once when one by one each dies and leaves earth – but to me when they one by one return to earth it seems like they are gone again from our lives only this time it is the spirit life – can you help me understand what happens here????

    Thank you for trying to get the word out.

    1. Dear Suzye, please don’t worry about any of this! Here is what we know:

      1) The chance of any reasonably good person becoming earthbound is infinitesimal, and I have never heard of an animal becoming earthbound. The risk seems to exist only for those who are of low spiritual vibration, and also alcoholics and drug addicts who might stay behind to continue to indulge in their substance of choice. Your dad is fine!

      2) Reincarnation does happen, but virtually always people will reunite there in multi-generational family groups before the oldest might think about another lifetime. I am 72, and my welcome party will be happening on my grandfather’s farm. He died more than sixty years ago! It seems to be only when everyone has arrived home that was known on earth by an older generation that they will think about making another go of it on earth.

      3) We NEVER lose one another! For one thing, nearly everyone reincarnates repeatedly as part of what is called a soul-group, so many of those we have loved before we will love again in different bodies. For another thing, we are eternal beings and from the perspective of our eternal lives these individual lives seem to be about as brief and inconsequential as a trip to the gym might be for us here.

      I hope this helps!

      1. Thank you Roberta. This helps a lot. I appreciate the reply – it is very comforting in this difficult time. Thank you for all you do.

  9. Very comforting to read this…truthfully, I am not afraid to die. I have an incurable illness and going on 25 years of debilitating symptoms. My brother died very young and I cannot wait to see him again. My dad died in his 60’s and had suffered a painful death. I believe Earth is our hell. I have two questions to ask? Do you believe that we chose our journey here on Earth? Do you believe my dad and brother are watching over me?

    1. I’m so glad this has helped you, Sharon! To answer your questions:

      1) The evidence is overwhelming that each of us writes a lesson-plan for this lifetime that includes the primary people in it and also includes much of the painful and difficult stuff that happens to us here (believe it or not!). We choose to go through a serious illness, the death of a child, and so many other things that make us wonder if there could be a God who loves us precisely because it is these experiences which can help us to grow the most spiritually!

      2) Those we love who have gone on ahead generally do watch over us. They empathize with the problems we have, but – again – they see them as great opportunities for spiritual growth and they know that they are not going to continue for long. From where your father and your brother are now, earth-life seems blessedly very brief!

      I’m sending you a hug, dear Sharon. Of course, you know that this too shall pass ;-).

    1. You are very welcome, Debbie! I feel more blessed than you can imagine that I get to do what I do each day ;-).

    1. Dear Laurie, this is really up to the person who committed suicide! There is no post-death condemnation, but instead there is lots of counseling and help; and typically, those who kill themselves as sub-adults and those who are elderly or are terminally ill don’t blame themselves at all, and they transition just fine. The only people who seem to have trouble forgiving themselves are those who killed themselves at midlife because they didn’t want to face some setback that they themselves had planned into this lifetime as a basis for spiritual development. They typically do have trouble forgiving themselves, and occasionally their inability to forgive can land them in the Outer Darkness for a time; but there is lots of effort made to comfort them and to rescue them and help them forgive themselves, so the setback generally is not long. You can help by sending love and prayers!

  10. Hi Roberta, my mum died 19yrs ago and she died hating me because I couldn’t look after her the way I nursed my dad till he died. I was going through some very stressful personal issues while looking after dad and when he died there wasn’t even any time for me to grieve for him as I had to look after everyone else!!! About 2mths later mum was told she had an incureable cancer I tried my best for the first 3mths but I just couldn’t do it again so my sister came and moved her down to her place to look after her. I wasn’t allowed to to see her after that and I only got to speak with her the one time before she died but she made it very clear that she hated me for not taking care of her and that she would never forgive me in this life or the next. Do you think she will forgive me? I ask her all the time to please forgive me and how will I know if she has? My guilt eats at me constantly.

    1. Dear Cathy, your mother has long since forgiven you! One of the first things that happen for each of us is that we get to experience every event of the life just completed from the viewpoint of each of the people we affected, as well as from our own point of view, and we are asked to forgive everyone. AND WE DO!! Died in the Holocaust? Being asked to forgive your murderer? Or the one who killed your child? No problem at all! Because once we are back home, we realize it was all just a play. No one was harmed, and everyone is fine! The hard part for some of us – and I suspect your mother might be one of these – is that our next task is to forgive ourselves. And it is possible that your mother had a hard time of that, once she understood how hurt you were then and how hurt you continue to feel by the way she treated you. So, please completely and wholeheartedly forgive her now! forgive yourself, and forgive her as well. Then know that you are forgiven – really feel her forgiveness and your own! – and then just move on. Tell her you love her each day of the rest of your life, and when your turn comes to go home the two of you will be falling with joy into one another’s arms.

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