The first stage is characterised by an overwhelming sense of peace, calm and wellbeing, as well of freedom from bodily pain, which may have been acute.
In the second stage the experiencer feels detached from the physical body. The detachment is emotional as well as physical: the self no longer identifies with what it sees as a physical instrument to be discarded when worn out. While the patient is "unconscious" his mind floats around, observing what is going on with their body. The senses are extremely acute, experiencers are even able to mix them. "I saw him think"
In the third stage the experiencer finds himself moving rapidly down a dark tunnel (heading) towards a bright light without a shadow. Some researchers interpret this as the transition into another mode of consciousness.
In stage four the light gradually enlarges until the experiencer emerges into it. It is associated with love, joy, beauty and peace; it may be felt as an encounter with the "Higher Self". At this point, the experiencer may have the impression of seeing his earthly life in review. Experiences, are now felt as if he was at the receiving end; what he has done on others is reflected back on him. Awareness and control of thoughts, feelings and actions become a central concern.
The final and deepest stage is "entering the light" into a transcendental environment of surpassing beauty. There may be meetings with dead relatives and loved ones, who usually make it clear that the experiencer`s time isn't yet up and that they must return to earth. Sometimes the return is symbolically presaged by a door, boundary or river which they are not allowed to cross. People return for two main reasons; either their purpose has not been fulfilled or they must meet the needs of family and dependants.
Many are at first disappointed to find themselves back in their physical body with its pain and limitations. They have tasted of such completeness and peace and fulfilment that they don't want to come back. They are horrified at the prospect of returning to this fragmentary, narrow, almost mechanical life, trapped in a system of three dimensions and whirled along with other bodies in the turbulent stream of time.
A small number of negative NDEs has also been recorded. There are accounts of deep holes of swirling mists and hands trying to pull the dying person down. And there are terrifying wailing noises all around them. A place which can be described as purgatory where you have to repent your sins. But goodness and badness don't seem to have an impact on positive or negative NDEs.
Changes that come over the experiencers when they return to life: They lose their fear of death and are convinced of the existence of an afterlife. They tend to find they have an enhanced appreciation of beauty, silence, the present and the small things of life. Their concern for others is greater; they have more insight and understanding, more tolerance and acceptance. They are less concerned with impressing others, and have an increased sense of self-esteem. It's not important to have but to be. Some record the development of paranormal and healing abilities. There is a quest for meaning and intellectual or spiritual understanding. The change in religious orientation can also be significant. People feel closer to God, there's an openness to eastern religions and the idea of reincarnation. They think that barriers because of race, religion, social and class differences ought to be torn. They are striving for unification.
NDEs are not paranormal but there is a clear scientific explanation: they are caused by shortage of oxygen which occurs when you are about to die. NDEs always follow a coherent pattern.
Dying and death are dyadic events involving both the dying and the
The quality of death affects the quality of grief.
It has been claimed that one can never look directly at the sun nor at one's
Life becomes transparent against the background of death.
NDEs do more to change the direction of people's approach to life than
does any other life event.
There must be a reason for growing and fading.
If death was the absolute end I suppose there would be no God.
Does the idea of dying frighten you? Well, actually not so much since I
experienced my mother dying. Actually the worst part was when we all
knew she was dying and we couldn't talk about it. There was this difficult
period of awful realization that she was dying, and she knew it too. First of
all it wasn't open. There was this kind of awareness in the family. She
became bedridden and just started to waste away. But then was the point
when somehow it became OK to talk about it. She started saying things like
a way of saying goodbye and she'd got passed the point of being bothered
about it. She had just reached the point where she thought she had had
enough. When it had become difficult to look after her doctors suggested
that she be moved to a hospice.
A hospice is like a small hospital but it's specifically a place for people to
die in. That sounds awful but it isn't, because you have people there who are
very caring, supportive, who understand death and who are not frightened by
it. They make them feel comfortable and not ashamed. In a way if you are in
a hospital you feel ashamed about the fact that you are dying because you are
supposed to get better and the doctors don't really show much interest in you
because you are already a lost case. They are only interested in success
stories. But in a hospice everything you have in common with everybody else
is that you are dying. They don't any longer pretend to them that they are
going to get better. What they do is take the pain away, so they get as much
medication as necessary to relieve the suffering. They have a peaceful and
calm atmosphere and they talk very honestly about dying and so dying is
viewed as a natural stage of living, which it is. They are run by independent
charity trusts. And often what happens is that people who die in hospices
leave money to them, but they don't insist on anything. That's their main
source of funding. And these days lots of people don't have flowers at
funerals in England, they send money to a named hospice instead.
vital for stuff to maintain clinical distance: try not to get emotionally
involved, devide work from privacy to be able to think clearly, not think of
patient as person but project, depersonalise, tries not to remind himself
How can he decide there is no hope? Who is he to take responsibility for
saying there is not hope of recovery? difficult to cope with death, that's way
it is, has to face death every day, nothing you can change about it
What staff members would need most when they have to give up a patient for
good is support, encouragement and appreciation because this sort of
experience is emotionally trying for everyone.
How can the message of the death of a beloved person be delivered in an
appropriate way? It's better just to come straight to the point and not to talk
with one's tongue in one's cheek.
Familiarity with death doesn't remove its stings. Death is no topic you get
used to. It strikes you again and again because its something unpredictable.
The unavoidable everyone of us has to face one day. Everybody has to find
his own way to deal with death, to talk about or to suppress your emotions.
Death reminds you of the futility of your life, of the passage of time.
Situation when belief becomes important again for the next of kin. Where did
he go when he didn't go to heaven?!
VOKABELN ZUM THEMA TOD
. Asche .......... ashes
. Aufbahrungskapelle .......... chapel of rest
. Autopsie .......... autopsy
. beerdigen, begraben .......... bury, inter
. Beerdigung, Begräbnis, Beisetzung .......... funeral, burial
. Beerdigungsunternehmen .......... funeral services, undertaker's, mortician's
. Beerdigungsunternehmer .......... funeral director, mortician
. beklagen, trauern um .......... mourn (for), grieve (for)
. dahinscheiden ........... pass away, pass on
. einäschern .......... cremate
. Einäscherung .......... cremation
. Erbe / Erbin .......... heir / heiress
. erben .......... inherit
. Erbschaft .......... inheritance
. Friedhof .......... graveyard, cemetery
. Grab .......... grave, tomb
. Grabinschrift .......... epitaph
. Grabmal .......... monument
. Grabstein .......... gravestone, tombstone
. Gruft .......... tomb, sepulchre
. in den Himmel kommen .......... go to heaven
. hinterlassen .......... bequeath, leave
. Kranz .......... wreath
. Leben nach dem Tod .......... afterlife
. Leiche .......... body, corpse
. Leichenbestatter .......... undertaker, mortician
. Leichenhalle .......... mortuary, funeral parlor, funeral home
. Leichenwagen .......... hearse
. Leichenzug ..........funeral procession
. Letzte Ölung .......... last rites
. Lobesrede .......... eulogy
. Nachlaß .......... bequest
. selig .......... late
. Sterbeurkunde .......... death certificate
. tödlich .......... fatal, terminal
. Totenstarre .......... rigor mortis
. Totenwache .......... wake
. Überreste .......... remains
. Urne .......... (funeral) urn
. vererben .......... bequeath, leave