Every one of us is going to die. Yet our culture offers no real preparation for this universal human experience, and few of us have 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 body – 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.
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!
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 as 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.