Experiences Suicide

Will I Go To Hell If I Kill Myself?

Someone once emailed me this question: “I am depressed and want to kill myself. Will I have to go to hell or reincarnate if I do?” My short answer to this question is that every action has many possible karmic implications resulting from that action. I believe the main factor related to this kind of question is: what is your motive for killing yourself? In this case, the motive is depression. Having suffered from bipolar disorder and extreme suicidal impulses all my life, I am aware of medications which can immediately treat these symptoms. Is the person facing a hopeless terminal illness and tremendous physical and financial devastation? Then I would say gaining control of your end-of-life situation to spare you and your family of unnecessary suffering might be worth looking into. There are certainly more factors to consider which should be evaluated on a personal and individual basis rather than on a general basis. The obvious reason suicide is regarded as having horrible karmic consequences is because of the tremendous grief inflicted upon surviving loved ones resulting from the suicide. On the other hand, sacrificing your life so that others will not suffer has much positive karma. Good examples of this type of suicide include Jesus volunteering to sacrifice his life on the cross to further his message or a soldier falling on a grenade to save his friends.

Table of Contents

  1. The Possible Injustice of Suicide
  2. An Individual’s Right To Life and Death
  3. Questions and Answers About the Right To Die

1. The Possible Injustice of Suicide

Some people commit suicide out of hatred and anger in order to inflict pain and suffering on others. Such actions do have serious negative karma associated with them. The person committing the suicide will probably find themselves in a hellish condition in the afterlife. As the saying goes: hellish life, hellish afterlife. In such cases the person has created a hellish condition within themselves and within others by their act. At death, the suicidal person merely “steps into” this hellish spiritual condition they created during life.

All too often, people kill themselves without thinking how it will affect others. For example, my sister’s father-in-law was bipolar and in a serious depression when he killed himself with a gun blast to his chest. My sister was one of the persons who found him. The bloody horror she discovered inflicted great psychological harm to her which still affects her to this day decades years later. I once saw a documentary about a crime scene clean-up business where they dealt with the aftermath of suicides. It is often not a pretty sight to say the least. From my experience, the consequence of suicide causing the most damage occurs to the person who finds the body – especially if they are a loved one. The horrible “fallout” from such suicides need not happen if the person who wants to end their life (for justifiable reasons that is) first thinks very carefully of the consequences of doing so and prepares an end-of-life plan to create an outcome that does not traumatize people. The problem with this is that people who commit suicide often do it on impulse or, because of a severe mental illness, are too impaired or too desperate to think straight enough to create a successful plan.

2. An Individual’s Right To Life and Death

It is not illegal to commit suicide; but it is illegal to actively help a person do so. For those people who are suffering from a terminal illness or advanced old age and who want to spare themselves and their family from tremendous pain and suffering, there is a right-to-die organization called the Compassion and Choices which has educational resources for people to plan and carry out their wishes. In states where voluntary physician-assisted suicide is illegal (i.e., every state but Oregon) they promote a method of suicide (which they call “self-deliverance”) that is painless and humane. Their method involves using over-the-counter sleeping pills and a plastic bag. Although it may sound bizarre, this method is not only painless and humane, it is 100% effective if one follows the instructions properly. The result does not create a horrible mess for someone to be traumatized over for the rest of their life. It is not a crime to be with someone who kills themself as long as they are not caught actively helping the person do it. Having a friend or family member present can also discreetly ensure the process is carried out successfully. Compassion and Choices also offers the service of having someone present to observe the process. Currently, right-to-die organizations advocate voluntary suicide only for people facing a hopeless and incurable terminal illness or advanced old age where extreme suffering is involved; but not for people with severe mental illnesses. As a person with bipolar disorder who has a psychiatrist that informed me how my condition may get worse and out of control as I grow older, I disagree with such discrimination against people with mental illness by the right-to-die organizations. However, I also understand how very controversial the whole right-to-die movement is politically and how providing help for the mentally ill conjures up “Nazi euthanasia” – especially among religious conservatives.

From some reports of near-death experiences I have read concerning the future, humanity will eventually be able to live long lives and die whenever they desire. This suggests to me that medical breakthroughs to help reverse the aging process may someday become available. It might even be possible that death by natural causes will someday be eradicated as polio was. If this type of utopia does occur someday – one where people have absolutely control over their life and death – I suppose then people will need a method to end their lives when they desire such as voluntary physical-assisted suicide.

It is Compassion and Choices’ mission to have voluntary physician-assisted suicide legally be available to people facing a terminal situation. In such cases, a physician can prescribe the necessary dose of a barbiturate (usually Nembutal or Seconal) that causes the person to fall asleep and die. This is what is called “death with dignity.” It is the same dignity society gives even to suffering pets when their owners have them euthanized. Of course, although pets are not euthanized voluntarily, many animals in the animal kingdom do voluntarily kill themselves under certain natural conditions. Self-destructive behavior is widely reported in nature for some animals under conditions of acute stress-isolation, overcrowding, confinement, or alteration in habitat. Such behavior has been observed in zoo animals including a variety of primate species. You can read more about studies on animal suicide in this article entitled Animal Models of Self-Destructive Behavior and Suicide (Crawley JN, Sutton ME, Pickar D. Psychological Clinics of North America 8:299-310, 1985). Such research proves conclusively how suicide is a natural act evident in nature.

If you believe you qualify for making end-of-life decisions (i.e., have a hopeless terminal illness) and you would like to die with dignity, you can become a member of Compassion and Choices online from their website. After you have been a member for several months, they will allow you to have access to their published information including the suggested end-of-life method.

3. Questions and Answers About the Right To Die

The following are some questions on this topic and my answers to them:

Question: “The long explanation of a method for committing suicide leads me to believe you may belong to this organization for other reasons than helping the terminally ill achieve a peaceful death.”

Kevin Williams: “There are several reason I decided many years ago to post on the NDE mailing list the right-to-die organization’s suggested method for ending one’s life. My primary motive for doing this was to help anyone who was thinking about ending their lives get information on how best to do it. I have since learned this is considered unethical because it might provide an incentive for someone who is thinking about ending their life to do so without thinking about other options such as seeking help from a physician and receiving treatment. However, anyone who wants to end their life strong enough will do so anyway without the method suggested by right-to-die organizations. However, not knowing the ‘time honored and tested’ method to ending your life can result in absolute disaster and make your situation much worse. I also wanted people to become aware of right-to-die issues and to generate discussion about them such as we are having now.

Question: “Some time ago, I heard that you were very depressed and had suicidal thoughts.”

Kevin Williams: “Yes, you are right. I have bipolar disorder which ‘runs in my family.’ Along with this illness, suicide also ‘runs in my family’ as well. I have had severe episodes of depression resulting in long stays in psych wards. Such incidents not only caused me much suffering, it also caused my family a tremendous amount of pain as well. I want to be sure I have as many options to me as possible for the future. My psychiatrist informed me my illness will probably get worse as I get older and shock treatments may be the only effective treatment. This is what happened to my grandmother who had bipolar disorder and lived into her 90’s with severe regular depressions and shock treatments with frequent stays in mental institutions. She eventually developed dementia – a horrible illness for those who go through the last stages of it. Judging from her experience, I have concluded I never want to live so long to develop dementia and put myself and my family through such pain. Ironically, just knowing the suggested method for ending my life has given me more confidence about facing the end and has given me a feeling of having more control over my life and death. This has resulted in my having more hope in facing end-of-life choices which has given me more incentive NOT to end my life.

“I lived and took care of my grandmother for seven years before we sadly had to put her in a nursing home against her wishes. Her life in a nursing home was horrific. Anyone who has ever visited a nursing home can testify how some of them are nothing short of a warehouse for tormented old people. Many of these people, if in their proper state of mind, would probably rather be dead. I know this was the case with my grandmother. People with dementia are slowly reduced to losing their minds, memories and personalities, becoming permanently bedridden and mumbling incoherently. I was horrified as I watched my beloved grandmother go through this process.

“My grandmother lived in the nursing home for over a year before she died. Her death was not a pleasant one either. The bipolar disorder that tormented her all her life became worse with the dementia. She told me many times she wished she was dead. Ironically, she was a devout Christian all her life, taught Sunday School to children for over 30 years and led Sunday services for seniors at nursing homes as an adult. It seems to me the last years of her life of torture was incredibly unjust. In my mind, no amount of karma justified the torture she went through – especially because I suspect this injustice originated from the inhumane laws of society preventing people from voluntarily having the right to die with dignity. Even my grandfather (who I was also taking care of) – a devout Christian all his life – lost some of his faith in divine justice and the laws of society which prevents people from having the right to live and die as they choose to. As a postscript, when the time came for my grandfather to go into a nursing home, he absolutely loved it. However, he didn’t suffer from a severe mental illness, thank God! He especially loved all the attention from the nurses.

“The last years of my grandmother’s life was a living hell for us all – but mostly for her. Taking care of her also contributed to my developing a major depression which resulted in losing my high-paying job and spending time in the psych ward. And her unimaginable suffering was absolutely unnecessary in my view. My grandmother’s father, also a manic depressive, shot and killed himself in front of her when she was in her teens. All her life she was well aware of what mental illness and suicide can do to people and families.

“To this day I believe voluntarily helping her end her life would have been justifiably merciful. Throughout her time in the nursing home, we would pray God would take her away from it all. I even asked her physician if he could prescribe something to end it for her – something right-to-die organizations suggest doing. He replied to me in a holier than thou attitude, ‘We don’t do that kind of thing in this country.’ To many physicians, death is the enemy. Death means defeat. To many of them (especially those with a ‘God complex‘) death is to be avoided no matter what the cost. And I mean this literally. I read a recent study how 40% of all hospital costs go to extending the lives of people in their final years. In the olden days, death was something to be glorified as a “graduation” partly due to religious influences. Death was well understood by most people because most people died at home surrounded by family and friends. Sex was the taboo subject – not death. In today’s society it has completely reversed. Sex is no longer a taboo subject – but death is.”

Question: “Tell me more about this right-to-die organization.”

Kevin Williams: “I initially joined the right-to-die organization because of my own mental illness to have control over my life and death. The years I spent watching my grandmother suffer needlessly in old age made me even more convinced that such people should be allowed to have the option of ending their lives if they choose to do so. I know my grandmother would have chosen death over dementia and the nursing home because she was a Christian and knew death meant being in heaven. I have vowed to never lose control of my life and death as my grandmother had. I also want to have this option available should I ever be diagnosed with a hopeless terminal illness. I see no advantage in living to an advanced age when life becomes a living hell for you and/or your family.

“Although I don’t believe depression, in of itself, is a justifiable reason for ending one’s life, I do believe there are some people who are hopelessly suffering from a mental illness and who should be allowed to end their life if they choose to. I have also observed people in psych wards with much worse mental problems than mine (such as schizophrenia) who have tried to end their life. Because of this, they are kept in institutions for very long periods of time – some for the rest of their lives. Mental institutions are filled with schizophrenics who are hopelessly unable to get relief from medical treatment.

“Should I ever have a valid reason to take control of my life by ending it, I will do so without any reservations. I have already informed my entire family of the possibility that someday I may decide to end my life. Right-to-die organizations recommend doing this many times because it prepares loved ones well beforehand so it would not come as no surprise (or horror) if it happened. I keep my loved ones informed of right-to-die issues when I can. Some members of my family are strongly opposed to this because of their religious affiliation and their right-to-life beliefs. Some people might conclude that by ending my life when I chose to do so, I will be throwing away an opportunity to pay some karmic debt of mine or may be giving up an opportunity to help others spiritually because of my diminished capacity. To this I say: I know of better ways to pay karmic debts which do not involve this kind of suffering on my or my loved ones’ part. Because I am not perfect yet (i.e., I cannot walk on water or raise the dead), I know I will eventually have to reincarnate anyway like most people until I am perfect. I can choose to pay such karmic debts some lifetime in the future. We have this power as sons and daughters of God.”

Question: “I wonder if there are not degrees to which suicide is justifiable in this world and in the afterlife. For example, if someone does it to avoid the pain of a terminal illness – or to end depression – or even to prevent themselves from having to spend a lengthy term in prison. Does the right-to-die organizations look at these moral/ethical issues or does it focus more on technique?”

Kevin Williams: “Right-to-die organizations do not advocate voluntary physician-assisted suicide for just any reason. Their foremost mission is to change current laws to allow only people who want to die as a result of a hopeless terminal illness or advanced old age to have the right to have a physician prescribe the proper medicine to end their life. Ending one’s life with medicine such as Nembutal or Seconal is far more preferable than over-the-counter sleeping pills and a plastic bag. As the current law exists today (except in the State of Oregon where physicians do prescribe Nembutal and Seconal) all other methods for people to end their lives fall short of physician-assisted suicide. If someone wants to end their life strong enough, they will use whatever method have available – even if it is a very bad method such as hanging or shooting oneself. Currently, right-to-die organizations will provide educational material to anyone who joins; but they will not provide any other services such as having another member witness the process. Only people who meet their criteria are allowed that service. But it is the goal of right-to-die organizations to never have people use their method of over-the-counter sleeping pills and a plastic bag anymore. Voluntary physician-assisted suicide is preferred. Despite what some people claim, right-to-die organizations do not advocate involuntary ‘euthanasia,’ involuntary ‘mercy killing,’ or any other ‘Nazi euthanasia’ programs.

“I also don’t believe there is a ‘one size fits all’ karmic consequence for people who end their lives. Everyone’s particular situation, physical condition and spirituality is unique. The notion that everyone who kills themselves goes to hell is about as absurd as believing only those who pledge allegiance to Jesus’ name go to heaven. While right-to-die organizations do not officially sanction physician-assisted suicide for the mentally ill, there are a large number of members who believe it should. Again, I believe the organization must take this position mostly for political rather than ethical reasons. Currently, right-to-die organizations are the only advocate for people who are facing a hopelessly terminal situation and want to end it before their situation gets worse.”

Question: “Many people have lived lives of horrible suffering and hellish conditions. Why should people facing a terminal situation have special rights? Shouldn’t this fact make all suicide unjustified and forbidden? I didn’t realize there are some suicides which might be justified and should be made legal.”

Kevin Williams: “It is the duty of society in general to help people overcome adversity and suffering. Anyone who has visited parts of Mexico, for example, can find poor children begging for food and in need of medical attention. It should be the duty of the Mexican government, religious organizations and aid-workers to help these people. In the same way, it is the duty of society in general to help anyone suffering – whether it is to feed and cloth the poor or to help those with terminal illness who have chosen to end their life. Unfortunately, society in general is mostly ignorant about end-of-life issues (until it ‘hits them in the face’) and are not in favor of physician-assisted suicide for those who need it. Ironically, this ignorant position is mostly held by religious organizations whose duty is to help those who suffer. As I mentioned before, a strong case can be made that Jesus himself chose “suicide by cop” to further his message.[1] [2] [3] Right-to-die organizations only seek legalization for people who have absolutely no hope in an end-of-life situation and want a way out. Some people have many other options to ease their suffering. Others have no choice but to live out the rest of their life in hopeless and unnecessary suffering. Many physicians today already help people in their final stage of their terminal illness with pain by giving them a massive dose of morphine called ‘snowing.’ The primary purpose is to ease pain but it also has the secondary benefit of hastening death. This is what happened to my father when he was dying of an infection related to lymphoma. The morphine kept him in a coma to the very end and certainly hastened his death which is what everyone wanted.”

Question: “Some accounts of near-death experiences describe people being told that it is not their right to decide when their life is to be over. This is a right that should only God’s.”

Kevin Williams: “Yes, I have read some of these reports. In fact, a great number of experiencers are told, “It is not your time yet to die” or some variation of this. On the face of it, it does appear that our days are numbered by God and the time of our deaths are predestined by God. However, this is not how I interpret it. First of all, many people are given a choice to stay in the afterlife or return to life. I believe there are very few things in life that are predetermined and the time of our death is not always one of them. I believe people are told, ‘It is not your time to die yet’ because their mission in life is not complete. It would be safe to assume that people facing a hopeless terminal illness have probably finished their mission. Even if you believe otherwise, should a person kill themself, they would probably be told in the afterlife their mission is not finished and they are returned. But because so many suicides by terminal people are successful, it could be safely assumed that indeed their missions were finished. But again, applying a ‘one size fits all’ answer to this question is probably not right.”

Question: “Has there ever been an NDE where they were told suicide was OK?”

Kevin Williams: “There are many reports of NDEs involving suicide that are heavenly and where no condemnation is given. Nevertheless, many successful suicides result in horror, grief, confusion, and shame by family and friends. This situation can occur if the suicide act was not planned and carried out correctly according to recommendations by the right-to-die organizations or if it was committed for less than justifiable reasons. Suicides resulting from NDEs obviously are rejected because they were told to return. Also, this does not necessarily mean all such NDEs are hellish as Angie Fenimore’s NDE was. Suicides resulting in irreversible death probably mean the suicide’s mission was completed. It may also mean their suicide was planned even before they were born. In other words, part of their mission may have included death by suicide. After all, Christian scriptures state clearly how Jesus himself was on a “suicide mission” from the day he was born. He also voluntarily submitted himself to death even though he could have prevented it. It is also true that suicide experiencers are sometimes told that suicide is not the answer. However, I don’t interpret this as applying to everyone. Even the Bible states:

“For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-2)

“This certainly is true according to a large percentage of NDEs where they are told, ‘It is not your time to die yet’ or ‘your mission is not complete’ etc. So, I believe the time for us to die is not entirely in our hands. This suggests to me that if a person successfully commits suicide, then it was indeed their time to die. Otherwise, it will only end up as an NDE.

Many NDEs from suicide have been documented which are very positive. Here are some links:

a. Eileen’s positive suicide NDE
b. Helen’s positive suicide NDE
c. Dr. Kenneth Ring’s NDE suicide research and Dr. Peter Fenwick’s NDE suicide research
d. According to P.M.H. Atwater:

“Seldom are suicide near-death scenarios hell-like. Contrary to popular notions, most suicide NDEs are positive, or at least illustrative of the importance of life and its living. Although I have yet to find a suicide experience that was in any way transcendent or in-depth, just to have something happen, anything that affirms that he or she is loved and special, seems miracle enough for the one involved. Near-death survivors from suicide attempts can and often do return with the same sense of mission that any other experiencer of the phenomenon reports.” (P.M.H. Atwater)

f. From the International Association for Near-Death Studies website:

“Although it may be tempting to conclude that people who attempt suicide are being punished for trying to induce their own deaths, we must avoid this temptation, as the following paragraph will explain.

“People who are in a distressed frame of mind at the time of their near-death episode and those who were raised to expect distress during death may be more prone to distressing NDEs. People who attempt suicide are almost always in a distressed frame of mind. Usually they are attempting suicide because they feel themselves to be in unendurable and unending emotional or physical pain. In addition, they are almost certainly aware of the widely held belief that suicide is cowardly and/or the wrong way to escape the pain of life. Although they hope for relief from their pain, they may also consciously or unconsciously fear punishment. In a heightened state of pain, as well as of fear and/or guilt, they are highly distressed and, consequently, may be somewhat more prone to having an NDE.

“However, the facts remain that the overall majority of distressing NDEs did not occur in the context of attempted suicide, Many pleasurable NDEs were the result of attempted suicide, and many people who were in a distressed frame of mind and/or who expected judgment and punishment during death had a pleasurable NDE.”

g. According to “Recollections of Death” by Dr. Michael Sabom, p. 51, the following NDE resulted from a suicide attempt:

“I arrived at some place where all my relatives had gathered: my grandmother, my grandfather, my father, my uncle who had recently committed suicide. They all came to me and greeted me…”

This NDE describes an uncle who committed suicide who was not in a hellish state.

h. From Dr. Kenneth Ring‘s book “Heading Toward Omega” (page 44-45):

“In ‘Life At Death‘ I compared the NDEs of three categories of people who differed chiefly in the circumstances that had brought them close to death: illness victims, accident victims, and suicide attempters. On the basis of my own findings, I then proposed what I called the invariance hypothesis to indicate how situations such as how one nearly dies affect the NDE. What the invariance hypothesis states is that there are no relationship: However one nearly dies, the NDE, if it occurs, is much the same.

“Research published since ‘Life At Death’ has tended to lend strong support to the invariance hypothesis. We now have cases on file of almost every mode of near-death circumstance that you can imagine: combat situations, attempted rape and murder, electrocution, near-drownings, hangings, etc., as well as a great range of strictly medical conditions – and none of these seems to influence the form and content of the NDE itself. Rather it appears that whatever the condition that brings a person close to death may be, once the NDE begins to unfold it is essentially invariant and has the form I have earlier indicated.

“Subsequent research on suicide-related NDEs by Stephen Franklin and myself and by Bruce Greyson has also confirmed my earlier tentative findings that NDEs following suicide attempts, however induced, conform to the classic prototype.

“In summary, so far at least, situations covering a wide range of near-death conditions appear to have a negligible effect on the experience.”

Question: “Were the people who jumped out of the New York City Twin Towers when the terrorists attacked justified for doing so?”

Kevin Williams: “I believe they were justified. They were doomed and faced a horrible death if they decided to remain in the Towers. It reminds me of the Jewish people at Masada who heroically took their own lives instead of being captured by the Romans.

“The lesson to be learned here is probably this: Don’t commit suicide unless there is absolutely no hope at all and your mission is not complete. If you don’t meet this criteria, your suicide may only result in an NDE which means your mission is not completed. If a person is in the process of dying because of a terminal illness, it can be safely assumed their mission is complete. If a person finds themself in combat and falls on a grenade to save the lives of others, we can probably assume their mission is complete as well. If you are a 91 years old invalid facing senility or a terminal illness, you can probably safely assume your mission is complete.

“As a side note, the rebuttal that nursing home caregivers are receiving good karma from people who may owe them a karmic debt, doesn’t hold water to me. There will always be a great number of needy people who can generate karmic goodness for toward caregivers.

“If a person is killed while defending their children from being raped and murdered, for example, we can probably assume their sacrifice for their children is good karma and their mission is probably complete. If a person is terminal and ending their life will spare their loved ones a tremendous amount of needless suffering and financial ruin, we can probably assume their mission is complete. Animals such as beached whales, lemmings, ants, bees and a number of other critters including insects chose to end their lives under certain conditions which suggests suicide in many cases is simply a part of the natural order. If a person commits suicide before their mission is completed, it may only result in an NDE.

“People often get killed while doing risky things that often appear to ‘fly in the face of God’ such as mountain climbing, sky diving, hang gliding, etc. These people put their lives in their own hands when doing such things. Aren’t accidents involving these type of sports a form of suicide? I believe so. Where is the line drawn? It would be difficult for me to believe that people who die while sky diving have not fulfilled their mission. Reports of NDEs reveal there are no accidents and there is a reason for everything. This is not to say everything is predestined. Life is filled with risks which have the ability to end our lives. Just breathing the air in some cities is enough to cause our deaths. Isn’t this a type of suicide? I believe it is. Isn’t even the act of being born, knowing it will result in death, itself a form of suicide? I think so. What about my fast food habit? Even this would have to be considered a type of suicide. Where is the line drawn?”

Question: “I just can’t assume there is any reason for someone to kill themselves.”

Kevin Williams: “You are certainly entitled to have this opinion. The problem exists when people other than the person facing such end-of-life decisions (usually a faceless bureaucrat) decides to deny others the right to control their own life and death. There are many well-intentioned people who actively seek to deprive others from having a good death — see the case of Terry Schiavo. As mentioned earlier, such people often belong to religious right-to-life anti-abortion organizations. They constantly fight right-to-die organizations and seek to overturn laws passed by people who want right-to-die laws in place. I am referring to the State of Oregon where a majority of the voting people (with major help right-to-die organizations) passed a right-to-die law. But it took one unelected politician, Attorney General Ashcroft, who decided to go against the will of the people in Oregon by attempting to overthrow their law. Fortunately, Ashcroft’s edict was overturned by the Supreme Court.

“Right-to-die organizations want to educate the general public into changing laws which prevent heroic physicians such as Jack Kevorkian from going to prison for helping the terminally ill.”

Question: “So, when life gets difficult for some, they should be legally allowed to end it?”

Kevin Williams: “Everyone’s life is difficult for various degrees. I don’t know of anyone who is not facing difficulties in one form or another. It’s just that some people are facing much more difficulties than others. Many near-death experiencers become so disappointed of having to return they often fall into a depression. In fact, one study revealed 4% of all near-death experiencers commit suicide because of this disappointment. The most difficult cases whom right-to-die organizations support for voluntary physician-assisted suicide are the hopelessly terminally ill and the very elderly.

“I have never had an NDE, but after reading thousands of beautiful NDE testimonials, I have concluded that if I were to have a massive heart attack – for example – I do not want to be resuscitated. Several decades ago, a women by the name of Nancy Cruzan was thrown from her car during an automobile accident. It took about 13 minutes before the EMTs came and resuscitated her. Unfortunately, she never regained consciousness and was in a ‘persistent vegetative state.’ Her family knew Nancy’s wishes were not to be hooked up to a machine to be artificially kept alive. And it was only after a painful seven-year court fight that her parents were allowed to legally remove the feeding tubes allowing her to die. This event was the ‘spark’ which led many people to join the right-to-die movement.

“For people who do not want to be hooked up to a machine for the rest of their lives and want to refuse resuscitation, there are ways to prevent such things from happening. Most states allow people to have a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order in their living wills. Such DNR order mean that if you are in a supermarket, for example, and your heart stops beating, you will not be resuscitated. But this will only happen if you have a DNR order easily identified by medics. The problem with DNR orders is medics do not look for them when trying to resuscitate people. Fortunately, eleven states (including Colorado and California) permit DNR identification on jewelry obtained through the non-profit MedicAlert Foundation in California. Once a person has a placed a DNR order in their living will, they can join MedicAlert for a small fee. Then you mail them the last sheet of your DNR order. They will then inform you about your choice of necklace or bracelet which clearly states your wishes to “Do Not Resuscitate.” In some states, this jewelry and/or official papers are the ONLY methods honored by emergency medics. If such a notification is not present, you WILL be resuscitated. DNR orders can be obtained by any physician and are available upon demand.

“A tremendous number of NDE testimonies I come across involve the near-death experiencer becoming extremely upset of their being resuscitated and begin brought back to life by physicians. Such cases are another example where some ‘faceless second-party’ person in power decides when someone else must live and die.

“In conclusion, there are no easy answers to such end-of-life questions. Each person should follow their own heart. What I have explained in this article is my own personal opinion. You can take it or leave it.”

Experiences Suicide

Various Near-Death Experience Research on Suicide

The following are the comments and near-death experiences of others who attempted suicide and are profiled on other web pages on this website. I wanted to create this page to consolidate all the experiences caused by a suicide attempt. You will find these experiencers to be heavenly (like most are) and a relatively few experiences that are less-than-positive. These experiences are more proof that suicide NDEs are mostly no different than other near-death experiences.

Table of Contents

  1. Helen’s Suicide Near-Death Experience
  2. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ Suicide Near-Death Research
  3. Lisa’s Suicide Near-Death Experience
  4. Edgar Cayce’s Suicide Dream Interpretation
  5. George Anderson’s Psychic Revelations About Suicide
  6. Nora Spurgin’s Suicide Near-Death Research
  7. Betty Bethards’ NDE Revelations on Suicide
  8. Sylvia Browne’s NDE Revelations on Suicide
  9. Margaret Tweddell’s Psychic Revelations on Suicide

1. Helen’s Suicide Near-Death Experience

In Jean Ritchie’s excellent book entitled Death’s Door, she has documented the suicide attempts and subsequent near-death experiences of a woman named Helen. Her near-death experiences demolish the myths held by many religious people that suicide and homosexuality are one-way tickets to hell. Although today Helen is very comfortable with the fact that she is a lesbian, coping with it has not always been easy. By the time she was seventeen, she was drinking heavily and experimenting with drugs. Over the years, her problems greatly escalated which led her to decide to take her own life. After writing suicide notes and taking an overdose of pills and drink, Helen was rushed to a hospital in very serious condition. Her heart stopped four times, she learned later from the medical staff. The following is her experience.

I remember clearly floating up above myself, and looking down on my body. It was connected to numerous machines. I could see the drip and the oxygen mask. I could see the doctors working to restart my heart with electronic pads. I could see that my parents were there. It felt very peaceful, much better than where I had been before. I was bathed in warmth and light, and the calm was almost tangible. I felt it was up to me to decide where I wanted to be, up there or back in my body, but the peace was so overwhelming that I knew I wanted to stay.

And then I was in a small supermarket, floating between the aisles. It was like any ordinary supermarket, with shelves loaded with goods. My grandmother, who died when I was very young, was at the checkout, and so was my auntie. I knew without anyone telling me that it was my auntie, my mum’s sister, although she had died of a brain hemorrhage before I was born. They were beckoning to me to go to them, but through the plate-glass window I could see my parents and my immediate family, also beckoning and urging me to hurry.

[The next thing Helen remembers is waking from her coma with the oxygen mask pressing on her face and causing some pain. She felt regret at having left the peace behind. Helen’s second near-death experience came a couple of years after the first, after another suicide attempt. This time she took pills and tried to swallow bleach. Her partner found her and called an ambulance.]

I was drifting in and out of consciousness, more out than in, but I remember being wheeled from the flat on a stretcher. Again, I floated above and could look down and see two men carrying the stretcher, and I felt secure and safe in the knowledge that I was walking away from all the chaos of my life. Again, I felt it was my decision to walk away. Then I remember a very powerful force pulling me towards a serene, very beautiful realm, a higher realm. I traveled very slowly along a tunnel toward a bright light, and I could feel an overwhelming sense of warmth and peace and whiteness. I wanted to walk into the whiteness, which was so tranquil and happy. It was like stepping into a vacuum, there was nothing tangible, no scenery to look at, but a tremendous feeling of being somewhere, like nirvana. I felt okay, as though this was where I was meant to be, as if I had arrived home, and I was at ease with myself for the first time in a long time.

I also felt at one with the forces of the universe, as though I was part of something much much bigger, and yet I was also the whole of it. It was a tremendously powerful feeling, and such a contrast to the despair and depression that had led me there.

[This second time Helen did not see any relatives, and although she experienced the same sense of there being an element of choice in whether or not she returned to life or continued in that lovely place, she did not feel any panic when she awoke in the hospital a few days later.]

I knew I had not wanted to relinquish the good feelings the place had given me, but at the same time I did not feel regret at returning. This time, the experience seemed to give me strength. I felt refreshed.

[Helen was told by hospital staff that she was lucky to have survived. Her two near-death experiences have taken away any fear she may have had of death, and she now anticipates that when it comes she will once again experience those feelings of peace and tranquility. She does not believe that her near-death experiences encouraged her to make more suicide attempts: suicide, she says, is born of despair with this world, not a hankering after the peace and serenity of the next. Eventually, Helen was able to beat her alcohol and drug addiction. She is back with her partner, studying for a master’s degree and doing volunteer work.]

2. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross’ Suicide Near-Death Research

My most dramatic and unforgettable case of “ask and you will be given,” and also of a near-death experience, was a man who was in the process of being picked up by his entire family for a Memorial Day weekend drive to visit some relatives out of town. While driving in the family van to pick him up, his parents-in-law with his wife and eight children were hit by a gasoline tanker. The gasoline poured over the car and burned his entire family to death. After being told what happened, this man remained in a state of total shock and numbness for several weeks. He stopped working and was unable to communicate. To make a long story short, he became a total bum, drinking half-a-gallon of whiskey a day, trying heroin and other drugs to numb his pain. He was unable to hold a job for any length of time and ended up literally in the gutter.

It was during one of my hectic traveling tours, having just finished the second lecture in a day on life after death, that a hospice group in Santa Barbara asked me to give yet another lecture. After my preliminary statements, I became aware that I am very tired of repeating the same stories over and over again. And I quietly said to myself:

“Oh God, why don’t you send me somebody from the audience who has had a near-death experience and is willing to share it with the audience so I can take a break? They will have a first-hand experience instead of hearing my old stories over and over again.”

At that very moment the organizer of the group gave me a little slip of paper with an urgent message on it. It was a message from a man from the Bowery who begged to share his near-death experience with me. I took a little break and sent a messenger to his bowery hotel. A few moments later, after a speedy cab ride, the man appeared in the audience. Instead of being a bum as he had described himself, he was a rather well dressed, very sophisticated man. He went up on the stage and without having a need to evaluate him, I encouraged him to tell the audience what he needed to share.

He told how he had been looking forward to the weekend family reunion, how his entire family had piled into a family van and were on the way to pick him up when this tragic accident occurred which burned his entire family to death. He shared the shock and the numbness, the utter disbelief of suddenly being a single man, of having had children and suddenly becoming childless, of living without a single close relative. He told of his total inability to come to grips with it. He shared how he changed from a money-earning, decent, middle-class husband and father to a total bum, drunk every day from morning to night, using every conceivable drug and trying to commit suicide in every conceivable way, yet never able to succeed. His last recollection was that after two years of literally bumming around, he was lying on a dirt road at the edge of a forest, drunk and stoned as he called it, trying desperately to be reunited with his family. Not wanting to live, not even having the energy to move out of the road when he saw a big truck coming toward him and running over him.

It was at this moment that he watched himself in the street, critically injured, while he observed the whole scene of the accident from a few feet above. It was at this moment that his family appeared in front of him, in a glow of light with an incredible sense of love. They had happy smiles on their faces, and simply made him aware of their presence, not communicating in any verbal way but in the form of thought transference, sharing with him the joy and happiness of their present existence.

This man was not able to tell us how long this reunion lasted. He was so awed by his family’s health, their beauty, their radiance and their total acceptance of this present situation, by their unconditional love. He made a vow not to touch them, not to join them, but to re-enter his physical body so that he could share with the world what he had experienced. It would be a form of redemption for his two years of trying to throw his physical life away. It was after this vow that he watched the truck driver carry his totally injured body into the car. He saw an ambulance speeding to the scene of the accident, he was taken to the hospital’s emergency room and he finally re-entered his physical body, tore off the straps that were tied around him and literally walked out of the emergency room. He never had delirium tremens or any aftereffects from the heavy abuse of drugs and alcohol. He felt healed and whole, and made a commitment that he would not die until he had the opportunity of sharing the existence of life after death with as many people as would be willing to listen. It was after reading a newspaper article about my appearance in Santa Barbara that he sent a message to the auditorium. By allowing him to share with my audience he was able to keep the promise he made at the time of his short, temporary, yet happy reunion with his entire family.

We do not know what happened to this man since then, but I will never forget the glow in his eyes, the joy and deep gratitude he experienced, that he was led to a place where, without doubt and questioning, he was allowed to stand up on the stage and share with a group of hundreds of hospice workers the total knowledge and awareness that our physical body is only the shell that encloses our immortal self.

3. Lisa’s Suicide Near-Death Experience

Lisa had a near-death experience several years ago. After months of depression and physical pain from systemic lupus, one day she took too many painkillers. Her twin sister found her in the morning in a seizure, half-flopped off of her bed. By the time she called 911, she had fallen on the floor and was in a full convulsive state, curling up my hands in a fetal position. Here is what she experienced in her own words:

“There was no tunnel or light. I awoke standing upright in the back of what looked like a large auditorium-type place, without the chairs. The wall were gold and had jewels embedded in them. I was far in the back at first and couldn’t figure out where I was. There were horns playing loud classical-type music and it was a very formal-type ceremony. There were dancers with beautifully colored flags dancing in a supernatural sort of way. I felt my presence coming in closer, but I didn’t feel legs moving underneath me.

“There was a long, wide aisle with 10-15 men seated on each side of the aisle. They were across the aisle from each other, facing each other. They had on robes and gold crowns, like they were kings or judges. The seats were tall, gold chairs and at the end of the aisle was an empty chair. My presence came in very close and then to the left side came a man in a long, white, toga-type robe. He had short brown hair and on his head was a wreath of holly leaves woven together with baby’s breath. He smiled and approached me with his right hand extended.

“He took my hand gently and said, ‘Hi, Lisa. I’m Peter, welcome to the festival.’

“With that, he opened a large door and I entered a large place that was mostly white space. There were large white cloth-covered tables with beautiful, succulent fruit and a large fountain of red wine. There were just a few people there, and they were dressed in normal clothing of today.

“Just then I flashed into a complete space of whiteness, but it was not disconcerting like a haze of fog would be. I was seated on the right leg of a very large, strong presence with huge, loving arms around me.

“A man’s low voice said in my right ear, ‘Lisa, they’re working on your body, you have to hurry. Do you want to go back? Your son needs you.’

“I remember feeling confused like I was not aware of what I had left behind.

“I didn’t say anything and then the voice said louder, directly in my ear, ‘Lisa, you have to hurry, they’re working on your body. Do you want to go back?’

“And even louder he added, ‘Ryan needs you.’

“He put great stress on my son’s name. I immediately realized I had left my 9-year-old son behind and then I woke up in the ambulance.

“They later told me that I said, ‘I wanted to be in Paradise with Jesus.’

“That’s my experience. I’d love to hear your comments. I’ve not read anything like this before. It was like a movie, almost sounds cliché, I know.”

4. Edgar Cayce’s Suicide Dream Interpretation

Many people came to Edgar Cayce to have their dreams interpreted. An example was the dream of a young man about his father-in-law, who had recently taken his own life.

In the dream a voice commented, “He is the most uncomfortable fellow in the world,” and then the dreamer was shown his own baby crying for food.

The image was to convey the dead man’s hunger for guidance and spiritual sustenance, said Cayce. The next night the dreamer heard the man’s own voice, together with “a wandering impression of restlessness.”

The voice said, “I seek rest. I want to leave and be with my family down there.”

Again Cayce said the dream contact had been authentic, showing the dreamer how much his prayers were needed for the father-in-law, who was still an earthbound discarnate. He added that the reason the discarnate was turning towards people in earthly life was that “the lessons are learned from that realm, see?”

It was a point Cayce often made, that souls who had once entered the Earth had to learn their final lessons in the Earth, where will is called into play in a fashion different from existence on other realms.

5. George Anderson’s Psychic Revelations About Suicide Question: Will a suicide progress?

George Anderson: “They can progress. This is why it’s so important that people, no matter what your religious belief or persuasion, even if you’re an atheist, remember to pray for those who have passed on. Because that embraces them in love and encourages them to progress. The problem that the suicide faces in the next dimension is that, when you arrive in the next level, it’s not the pretty sight that the average passing can be. Their problem is that they cannot forgive themselves.

“When someone comes through in a reading and is starting to make me feel as if they’ve taken their own life …You feel like you’re in the presence of a ghost. There’s a chilling feeling. And it’s very important that those coming through acknowledge what they’ve done.

“It’s like getting up and saying, ‘I’m an alcoholic.’

“Coming forward and saying, ‘I have taken my own life.’

“A friend of mine who had recently taken his life came through and did not know how to go into the light I kept telling him to go forward to the light, but he was afraid of judgment. He couldn’t forgive himself. Also, he was having a problem with the fact that after he had taken his own life, his spirit obviously lingered around the scene of the act. He could not overcome the memory of his father’s discovering him, and that was haunting him emotionally to a tremendous degree in the next dimension. What he and many of us don’t understand is that there is judgment there, but it is not done by God on a throne. Judgment rests basically with yourself. And we all know that the greatest enemy we can face is ourselves.

“It can take eons of time as we understand it before they go into the light. It depends on the person. You’re in control. You hold the reins. Those who’ve come through those darker levels have said that they’ve had to face themselves and realize that if they don’t shape up, in other words, learn more about themselves, they’re not getting anywhere.”

6. Nora Spurgin’s Suicide Near-Death Research

Question: What happens to one who commits suicide?

Nora Spurgin: “The death of the physical body is determined by natural law, which is governed by divine law. To take one’s physical life is to break that law, with the result that there must be special care and arrangements made in the spiritual world. In other words, breaking natural law must be accounted for before one can go to higher levels.

“According to some sources, because the person’s life was cut short and her work on Earth incomplete, it will be necessary to live out this uncompleted time in spirit aiding the very ones on Earth who were most hurt by the suicide.

“Since the motivation for suicide is usually to avoid unhappiness, we can assume that the spirit takes such unhappiness into the spiritual world. Any problems experienced on Earth are always better worked out on Earth.”

7. Betty Bethards’ NDE Revelations on Suicide

“Catholics understand purgatory as a place or level of consciousness one goes for further understanding. It is an intermediary state that gives one the opportunity to develop further clarity. At first it is like being in fog, just as many people walk around on the Earth realm in a fog. They don’t have the clarity to understand how they are setting their lives.

“If there has been much negativity during an incarnation, or a suicide, one must spend some time contemplating what has happened.

“It is a holding place where souls who are confused, who do not want to let go of their earthly attachments, or who choose not to grow will remain until such time as they allow themselves to be released to flow once more into the light.

“Purgatory is a place of your own making. We see souls who are punishing themselves here on the Earth realm. This continues after death just the same as it would if they were still in the physical body. Many people must suffer in order to feel worth. When they finally learn this is a negative number they are running, they can move on.”

8. Sylvia Browne’s NDE Revelations on Suicide

According to Sylvia Browne, upon death, most people go through a heavenly process before entering into heaven. Evil people, instead of experiencing the tunnel and bright light upon death, are sent through what Sylvia calls the “Left Door” and enter into an abyss of empty, joyless, nothingness for a brief period of time.

After they have reflected upon their actions, they are reincarnated back to Earth.

People who commit suicide for less than justifiable reasons are sent to a place Sylvia calls the “Holding Place.”

Here they must make a choice to either proceed through the Left Door or embrace God and move on to the light.

People in the Holding Place shuffle slowly around in despair in a gray fog with their heads down until they make their decision. According to Sylvia this is purgatory.

9. Margaret Tweddell’s Psychic Revelations on Suicide

“Persons who commit suicide before the time they are meant to die find themselves in a state of heavier vibration and closer to the Earth than those of us who died natural deaths. They remain in this state of density until the time when they would have normally died. They then may pass into the planes of finer vibration. People who have experienced death through suicide are greatly helped by the prayers and supportive thoughts from those still on Earth. They are also aided by those from the higher planes who are dedicated to help them grow spiritually during the period of waiting.”

Experiences Suicide

The Three Classifications of Suicide Near-Death Experiences

While there exists documented reports of very beautiful near-death experiences resulting from attempted suicide, there also exists hellish reports. This suggests the act of suicide itself is not a factor in determining whether a person has a beautiful NDE or a hellish NDE. However, it is possible for a hellish spiritual condition already existing within a person to be carried over and continued after death. Many suicides are committed by people who are already experiencing a hell on Earth for one reason or another. In this respect, death does not remove a pre-existing hellish spiritual condition unless this condition was caused by the brain. Many people who commit suicide are mentally ill. Because mental illness is a physical disorder of the brain, the mental illness ends with brain death and does not continue after death. This is true because NDEs have been reported by blind people who have regained their sight during their NDE. Other handicaps have reportedly been removed from experiencers upon their death. Religious leaders sometimes tell people that suicide is an unforgivable sin leading to eternal damnation in hell. This is not what the NDE reveals. NDEs do describe life as being an inescapable learning experience. Suicide prevents this learning experience from being completed. Experiencers describe hell as being a temporary spiritual condition rather than a permanent place of torture.

Table of Contents

  1. George Ritchie’s Three Classifications of Suicide
  2. George Ritchie’s NDE Involving a Suicide
  3. Kevin Williams’ Analysis of NDEs Involving Suicide
  4. An Analysis of Sandra Rogers’ Suicide NDE
  5. An Analysis of Angie Fenimore’s Suicide NDE

1. George Ritchie’s Three Classifications of Suicide

Dr. George Ritchie, author of Return From Tomorrow and My Life After Dying, learned during his near-death experience what happens to some people who commit suicide. According to Ritchie, the quality of life a person initially finds after suicide is influenced by their motive for committing it. He classifies suicide in the following three ways:

Three Classifications of Suicide

(1) The first classification are those people who kill themselves in order to hurt someone, get revenge, or who kill themselves out of anger for someone else. They arrive in the earthbound realm out of hatred, jealousy, resentment, bitterness and total distain for themselves and others. Ritchie writes, “I want to make clear that it was impressed upon me that these were the ones who had the same type of powerful emotions which people who committed murder have” (p.25). Ritchie says such people mistakenly believe they are not committing murder which their religious training tells them is a worse sin than suicide. Their motive for killing themselves is, “If I can’t kill you, I will kill myself to get even with you.” According to Ritchie, such people temporarily “haunt” the living by being aware of every horrible consequence their suicide had on others until they are ready to let go and enter into the light.

(2) The second classification includes those who, because of mental illness, confusion, or a terminal illness, take their own life. Ritchie states these people are allowed many opportunities from God to grow in love just as any other person would who had not committed suicide. In other words, there are no negative consequences for them.

(3) The third classification includes those who kill themselves from drug, alcohol, or any other addiction. According to Ritchie, these people can become stuck in limbo trying in vain to satisfy their addiction until eventually something frees them. This condition is also called an “earthbound” condition which is also temporary.

Concerning souls belonging to the first classification, Ritchie writes:

“I understood from what I was seeing that these people and the average murderer also are confined in a state where they are given a chance to realize two very important facts. One, you can only kill the body, not the soul. Two, that only love, not hate, can bring them and others true happiness. I believe once they fully understand this, they are given the opportunity to continue their spiritual and mental growth.”

2. George Ritchie’s NDE Involving a Suicide

Dr. George Ritchie described in his book Return From Tomorrow what Jesus revealed to him during his near-death experience concerning what happens to some people who commit suicide for less than justifiable reasons. In the following excerpt, Jesus is giving George Ritchie a “tour” of one particular afterlife realm known as the “earthbound” realm which is located in the same place as the living. However, earthbound spirits are unseen and unheard by living people except by those who are psychic or mediums. Earthbound spirits temporarily “haunt” the living or particular places they once lived and are what is commonly referred to as “ghosts“.

In one house a younger man followed an older one from room to room. “I’m sorry, Pa!” he kept saying. “I didn’t know what it would do to Mama! I didn’t understand.”

But though I could hear him clearly, it was obvious that the man he was speaking to could not. The old man was carrying a tray into a room where an elderly woman sat in bed. “I’m sorry, Pa,” the young man said again. “I’m sorry, Mama.” Endlessly, over and over, to ears that could not hear.

In bafflement I turned to the Brightness (Jesus) beside me. But though I felt His compassion flow like a torrent into the room before us, no understanding lighted my mind.

Several times we paused before similar scenes. A boy trailing a teenaged girl through the corridors of a school. “I’m sorry, Nancy!” A middle-aged woman begging a gray-haired man to forgive her.

“What are they so sorry for, Jesus?” I pleaded. “Why do they keep talking to people who can’t hear them?”

Then from the light beside me came the thought, “They are suicides, chained to every consequence of their act.”

The idea stunned me, yet I knew it came from Him, not me, for I saw no more scenes like these, as though the truth He was teaching had been learned.

3. Kevin Williams’ Analysis of NDEs Involving Suicide

NDEs reveal there is no condemnation from God for our actions. The problem many suicides face after death is difficulty in forgiving themselves for the horror they have put family and friends through by taking their own life. One remedy for helping a suicide cope with this predicament comes from the Tibetan Book of the Dead, an ancient Buddhist book of the afterlife. The Book of the Dead is one of the oldest books on Earth documenting NDEs. In my view, this source should be given great respect. The Book of the Dead mentions people who succeeded in committing suicide and who became imprisoned in the experience of their suicide. Accordingly, they can be freed from this condition through the prayers of the living and by them imagining streams of light pouring on them. Such actions free the person from the pain and confusion of their suicide. The Book of the Dead also mentions how people have no choice but to follow any negative karma resulting from their suicide.

NDEs report people choosing their own destiny in life before they are born. While this is true, it is also be true that we change this destiny by committing suicide. It is also assumed that nobody is predestined to commit suicide. NDEs reveal a perfect universal plan being worked out by God. Perhaps this perfect plan is not thwarted by suicide. I believe there is no reason to believe it is. But if a person cuts short their destined time for life because they have problems coping with life’s demands, their problems may not necessarily go away. Their problems may also be complicated by the added burden of their knowing the full horrible consequences of their action on others.

People who are thinking of killing themselves can learn a great deal from NDEs. Some NDEs suggest how committing suicide may be the worse thing anyone can do because it is rejecting God’s gift of life which destroys an opportunity for spiritual advancement. Not only that, as we have seen, some experiencers have observed the souls of those who committed suicide existing in an earthbound condition of temporarily being slaves to every consequence of their act of suicide. Such souls have been observed temporarily hounding and hovering around living family members and friends trying in vain to seek forgiveness. Some of them have been observed existing in a grayish fog and shuffling around slowly with their heads down. Perhaps these earthbound souls become freed from this condition when their natural destined time for death occurs. Nevertheless, this condition is only temporary. Some experiencers have also observed such souls being helped in the afterlife by spirit guides around them.

4. An Analysis of Sandra Rogers’ Suicide NDE

Sandra Rogers’ NDE is a good example of what can happen when a person unjustifiably cuts short their life. After she attempted to commit suicide, she was given only two choices by the Being of Light. One choice involved being revived and living out the rest of her days. This was the choice she chose. The other choice involved remaining in the light with the condition of having to reincarnate at a future time to re-experience everything that led her to commit suicide in the first place. Sandra’s NDE demonstrates that people must overcome their problems in this life or else face them again in a future life. In Sandra’s case, committing suicide did not solve anything. If we delay dealing with these problems by committing suicide, we may only compound them. It has been said that the greatest enemy we face is self. Our problems may never go away unless we conquer them. NDEs reveal people carrying their non-physical problems with them after death. Perhaps one of the reasons we are born into this world is to overcome such problems. If we don’t overcome them, we may have to reincarnate until we do.

5. An Analysis of Angie Fenimore’s Suicide NDE

Another interesting NDE resulting from a suicide attempt was that of Angie Fenimore. After committing suicide, Angie found herself in a hellish realm of psychic disconnection and torment. The anguish she experienced within herself in life had manifested itself in the spirit after death. A Being of Light, whom she identified as God, asked her, “Is this what you really want?”

Angie realized none of the other suicides in this hellish condition were aware of God’s presence. God told Angie, “Don’t you know that this is the worst thing you could have done?”

She realized then she had thrown in the towel and because of it, she had cut herself off from God and from God’s guidance. She felt trapped. She told God, “But my life is so hard.”

God’s reply was, “You think that was hard? It is nothing compared to what awaits you if you take your life. Life’s supposed to be hard. You can’t skip over parts. We have all done it. You must earn what you receive.”

Angie’s NDE gives us a unique insight into unjustifiable suicide. It suggests that one of life’s purposes is to grow toward perfection through suffering — even as Christ did. It validates the truthfulness of the phase, “No pain. No gain.” It is God’s “tough love” in action.

This principle is also found in the Bible where it describes how suffering creates character, wisdom, perseverance and strengthening of faith. NDEs reveal the fact that everyone has a destiny to fulfill and a “mission” to complete. Part of this destiny may include suffering for the purpose of learning and growing. It probably also includes learning from past-life mistakes, paying back karmic debts and receiving karmic rewards. The fact that experiencers are often told their time for death has not yet come, suggests our time of death is predetermined. Suicide can possibly prevent a person’s mission from being fulfilled. Sandra Rogers’ NDE suggests the remedy for this is reincarnation.

Many people commit suicide due to a mental illness. One of life’s lessons may be to learn how to cope with depression and overcome it. An overwhelming desire to commit suicide is one of the biggest indicators of clinical depression. There are many medications available on the market that can reverse clinical depression. If a person is thinking of committing suicide because of depression, seeking medical help may be one of the smartest decisions of their life. Nevertheless, NDEs such as Dr. George Ritchie indicate mentally ill people who commit suicide are given the same opportunities after death as those who do not.

Experiences Suicide

Steve’s Suicide Near-Death Experience

The following is Steve’s suicide NDE testimony sent to me by email in his own words.

This is an account of my own near-death experience which I am currently working on a book. Perhaps you may find some use for my experience. I wish to share it with the world. Thanks, Steve

As if everything in the preceding chapter wasn’t enough, also due to this unexpected turn of events, for a period of time that in my best estimate was approximately fifteen minutes I had traveled on the most incredible journey. I crossed over the threshold into the realm of the next life. And, in that time I once again became reacquainted with profound knowledge gained through an occurrence known as a near-death experience, or an NDE.

Once back in this physical world there was an abrupt, inexplicable, and almost frightening change inside of me. My experience seemed to have opened up a whole new dimension within my mind leaving an indelible imprint of a completely different view and interpretation of life. This physical world in which we live and nearly everything in it was, oh so different, than before the incident. What was once alien to me had now become familiar and what was once familiar had become alien. But as wonderful as all that may sound, it still presented yet another distressing problem that would cause even more confusion in the coming months. It isn’t everyday that a person undergoes a single experience that abruptly changes a multitude of things in his or her life. And because of this abrupt change everything that I had learned to believe in or thought about life in terms of both physical and spiritual dimension had instantly been thrown into disarray. Now I think that just about everyone would agree, particularly those in the psych industry, that efficiently sorting through information and then processing it properly and effectively toward building an understanding requires a reasonably sound, healthy mind. A department that, because of serious injury, I was clearly at a deficit. Subsequently, in an unyielding effort to build that understanding it was some three years of laboring to get well before I could begin sorting through and piecing it all together. All the same, my journey was the ultimate excursion of a lifetime as I eventually came to realize.

To have actually crossed over the thin fine line that separates us from this reality and then return was an enlightening experience. Limitations in our human language have made it difficult for me to articulate certain aspects of my NDE. It was like returning from a foreign land – a place that no one in my circle of life has ever visited – and then trying to explain to them what it’s like. It seems that words can only scratch the surface when it comes to describing the awesome wonder. And, perhaps if I were to give it a try, the only possible way that I can think of to help anyone understand even the most basic wonder is to try to create a picture.

So, imagine for just a moment if you will a place void of any and all negativity. A place void of fear, famine, dread, hunger, greed, hate, anger, pain, racial and religious bigotry, jealousy, disease, pestilence, violence and all other possible forms of human suffering. A place of total bliss, overflowing with harmony where only complete unconditional love and understanding exists – one filled with such magnificent splendor, color, beauty and wonder that it escapes all human comprehension. A place that at first seems so foreign and almost frightening, yet as you continue, begins to feel so familiar and wonderful – one where nothing is obscure or hidden. Infinite wisdom and knowledge abounds. Barriers or limitations of this physical world simply do not exist – one where there is no measure of time, no days passing, no seconds, minutes or hours ticking away on the clock. Everything is perfect and, everything makes perfect sense. A place that I have come to call “home.”

Can you imagine such a place? Wow, I still get a rush just thinking about it. Even though it wasn’t my intention to end up in this wonderful place, once I was there and aware of what was happening I didn’t want to leave. I didn’t want to come back to this world with all of its turmoil, but, that wasn’t my choice to make. Against my strong desire to stay in this glorious place the message was conveyed to me that I couldn’t. There was a problem with what we in this physical world consider the “ego” and it’s unwillingness to let go, and, there was unfinished business here on Earth. I had more to experience — more to accomplish — more to teach my son — more to learn from life itself, and, I had to set the record straight.

So, in an instant I found myself on another unimaginable excursion. I was shrouded in a layer of warmth like I had never known before — a blanket of intense love — and thrown into a vortex of beautiful colors swirling around me as I spiraled downward with incredible velocity when suddenly, bam! I was slammed with intense force back into my physical body. I can still remember the sudden jolt and the excruciating pain that I instantly felt throughout my entire body. I felt the precious blood of life surging through my head and that first gasp of precious air as I struggled to breathe through the tube that had been inserted into my esophageal airway.

This was all quite puzzling to me afterwards though, how I was able to vividly recall my experience and other details before and immediately following the incident, but have such a tremendous problem storing away new information later. The only plausible explanation that I have been able to come up with from extensive research on my own has been cerebral anoxia, which was later complicated by PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome). At any rate life’s mission wasn’t fulfilled yet and I was afforded the opportunity to come back to this world in order to carry out my life’s purpose. And as a part of that purpose I have to clear up any and all misconceptions on this situation being an attempted suicide. I readily admit on the other hand that in the wake of all the confusion in the aftermath compounded by the physical and emotional trauma sustained I did find myself yearning to return to that wonderful place. Even going so far at one point of hoping, wishing and praying that some sort of tragic incident or illness would come along and take me home. As strong as that desire might have been at times, through perseverance, the healing hands of time, the love of God, and my son, the longing to return has finally subsided. Even though the yearning has dissipated down to nearly nothing it still doesn’t make life any easier and I make no apologies. I had a difficult time readapting to the realities and conformities of this world after being reacquainted with the Other Side. And, consequently due to that fact, as hard as it may have been for number of people in my life to understand, once more I had to learn how to live and function in this world. In some ways I felt like a child living in adult body having to once again go through the process of growing up.

The entirety of this life altering experience has been rather bittersweet I have to say and, for the most part I’m glad it all happened. My life has expanded in so many wonderful ways despite falling from the good graces of people that I have loved and cherished. Besides, the past will always remain the past since it is impossible to turn back the hands of time or re-write history. It is all now just a part of my own life’s experience, therefore it has become only one of life’s memories. Oh, and incidentally speaking, the reality is, memories are an integral part of the Grand Design to this life, and they serve a great purpose.

I’ve heard it said before that experience is sometimes the best teacher. Well, I have to say that from a newly gained understanding of the term “experience,” my near-death experience has been the ultimate teacher. So, at the risk of being harpooned with yet another label or two I feel a certain obligation to share the basic premise of my journey. But, before I actually share this information please let me clarify a few very important points. First of all let me say that I’m not out to influence anyone’s thinking. That is not what I am about. However, I firmly believe that there are some who will understand, gather meaning, and possibly even identify with this information. On the flip side nevertheless, there will be those who don’t and won’t. Yet still, there will be those who may be open-minded enough that you find my experience rather thought provoking.

For those who do find meaning — whether by the grace of God, the miracles of modern medicine or a combination of both you have made your own incredible journey. Or, merely by some transcendental experience that you are able to identify then you may have an idea of what I’m talking about. Life is simply a series of experiences generated largely by choices that we make and the collectively stored memories or data that result thereof. If you really stop and think about life in its most simple form, what do we actually do from day to day besides manufacture and collect memories or data? I mean let’s face it, when our lives draw to a conclusion the most precious things that we leave behind are not the material treasures that we have amassed over our life span, our achievements or even our contributions to society. More important than any of those things we leave behind the effects that we have had on family members and loved ones, those who have wondered in and out of our lives, as well as individuals with whom we have crossed paths. We leave them with treasures far more precious than gold, silver or any other material possession; we leave them with memories and experience. And so, for those who don’t get any of this, perhaps because of a belief system that you cling to so tightly that it won’t allow you to think outside the parameters. Or, possibly you have lost sight of the big picture and become so conditioned to the ways of this physical world — all I have to say is good for you. My advice, which may or may not hold water with you is hold on to your way of thinking because it’s all just a part of your own unique experience, and I wouldn’t dream of trying to change it. And, lastly, for those who I may have provoked into “thinking outside the box” as they say, I firmly believe that should a strong need come along and prompt you to make changes within your own belief system, you’ll take whatever measures are necessary.

Another point that I would also like to make clear is that in no way am I claiming to be an authority on what happens when we leave this world. The only true authorities in my opinion are those who have crossed over the threshold only not to return to their current life’s experience. What I will say with such strong conviction though, is that I had an experience that was, and still remains very real to me — an experience that sometimes seems more real than this physical life itself. I crossed over the thin fine line that separates us from this world and came back. But, just because I went to the Other Side and then came back doesn’t mean that I came back the same way I was born into this world — blind. Once again, for those of you who have had your own experience I think you may know what I’m talking about. And for those who haven’t, please allow me to reassure you that it’s O.K. So please remain seated. Make sure your seat is locked in the upright position. Fasten your seatbelt and extinguish all smoking materials. We’re in position for take-off, so here we go.

We carry our life’s experience home from this world in the form of life data or memories, similar to that of a jet airliner which carries a flight data recorder, or a little black box as it is commonly known. As absurd as all of this may sound each and every one of us has on board our very own little black box. Even though we may be unaware of it, from the very moment that we are born into this world we begin forming, recording and storing memories or life data, right down to the smallest most intricate detail. There are however, two forms of memory. Our physical memory — which is basically subjective and at times can even be faulty — that was designed to aid us in our every day life. And, we have internal memory — which is absolute, unalterable and never faulty — that records all of the information from our life’s experience as it actually happens. And I might add that it does so in detail and from many different emotional perspectives. There are also corresponding energies that are basically attached to these memories or data that are either positive, negative or, in some cases neutral. This is a bit difficult for me to explain since there are some portions that I am unable to put into words, but I will do my best to give you the basic premise.

There is a Grand Design to this world and to this life and a part of the design begins with an act of free will on what is dramatically emphasized as “the Other Side.” Simply put, being born into this physical world is actually a choice that we make on the Other Side. In reality, we choose to come to this world and when we make this choice it is to experience many of the things that do not exist back home. If you remember correctly how I made mention earlier of a place where everything is perfect, a place on the Other Side that I call “home.” Back home, since everything is perfect, so are we to varying degrees — which doesn’t necessarily mean that we are in any way imperfect — we are all merely perfect on different levels. So therefore, in order to enrich our highest form of energy — or our souls — and grow to be more perfect, or in other words, to mature to a higher level of perfection we must first experience many facets of imperfection. The only way for us to accomplish this feat however is by gaining knowledge of what it is like to be imperfect and all of the various aspects involved.

Now, in this case, the only means of experiencing imperfection is to choose to incarnate and come to an imperfect world. And, contrary to my own previous knowledge that we only have one shot in this world, I know now that we may opt to do this many times. Time and again we choose to visit a living mechanical world that was designed and created imperfect purposely for the evolution of the soul, essence, spirit energy or whatever term you prefer. In a paradoxical sort of way you could say that anger, hatred, greed, jealousy as well as all other forms of human suffering were designed to exist in this world exclusively for our benefit because they do not exist back home. Physical life is nothing more than an experience of a multitude of things that do not exist on the other side simply for the evolution and maturation of the soul. In essence, life is a learning and growing experience.

Now, taking this into account, and since there is a Grand Design to this life, love is one of the grand element that is perfect and, in every sense of the word, intrinsic to all of creation. Love is not just a word, nor is it just a feeling or an emotion, nor is it a state of being. Love is a part of our very existence. So when we choose to come to this world we are girded in the very core of our existence, love, in order to help in our struggles to endure such an imperfect place. As we sojourn this world time and again we will unavoidably encounter designated hardship, adversity and moments of despair that will perhaps leave us feeling as though we have failed or wronged God, ourselves or another. Or we may even feel lost, abandoned, mistreated or betrayed by others. It is in these times however, when things may seem a bit hopeless you may rest assured that the love never fails. The love of ONE never fails and we are all an integral part of that ONE Love. In a mechanical world built to change, which is a part of the design for the evolution of experience — a world consumed with growing hatred and violence — one that may seem void of love — at the conclusion of our experience our true home awaits. But first, we must cross a thin fine line — one that many, including myself prior to May 12th, 1998, fear out uncertainty. And that thin fine line we refer to as death is nothing more than another part of the Grand Design which was formulated for ending our experience so that we may begin our journey home with all of our life’s data. Once we separate from this physical world — while carrying our life’ data — we then embark on our journey back.

There are sort of what I consider “transitional phases” involved, and the first for me is what I call the realizing that I was no longer living in the physical phase. In the initial process, I was not completely aware that I was separated from this physical world yet and I was still relatively vulnerable to all of the conformities of my physical life. All of the knowledge that I had gained, along with all of the emotional energies and attachments that I had accumulated over my life span, both positive and negative, remained with me and they kept me tied to this world. This initial phase was a bit terrifying at first since everything around me seemed so strange and unfamiliar.

Nonetheless, my first thoughts of the place where I landed after being sucked through a long dark tunnel was that this is either one hell of a lucid dream, or this is in fact hell. But then it occurred to me that this can’t possibly be a dream. For a brief moment just before being sucked through the tunnel I saw what I had always recognized to be me. My physical self clad in the usual blue robe with my significant other running around in hysterics. And there was this pungent odor of fecal matter lingering about in the air. Huh, I could smell. I couldn’t recall ever being able to smell anything in a dream before, which was another indication that this wasn’t just a dream.

Even so, as I entered into a lighted area, I could see a number of what appeared to me as mysteriously strange beings roaming about. Some laughing and giggling while others were weeping, moaning, groaning or making strange noises. I somehow gained the impression that most if not all of these beings were being taunted, either by themselves or by some sort of external force. I also heard the most extraordinarily spellbinding music. It was an unusual melody of some sort which was being played by an instrument that I have definitely never heard in my present life. While in the midst of what I interpreted as hellish-like surroundings I suddenly found myself in the company of a number of what I quickly distinguished as higher energy forms. These magnificent forms of energy were very different from the ones that I encountered initially. They were so bright and illuminating in contrast to the others, which had more of a drab physical appearance with distorted human facial features. I tried to keep my attention focused on these higher energy forms because of the love, power and warmth that emanated from them. The others seemed cold and frightening. But, knowing that the others were there made it difficult not to occasionally glance in their direction.

I noticed that there was one of the higher energies that seemed to stand out above the rest, this particular one felt more powerful. Not only was he/she larger in size, but also the love and warmth that I felt from this one was on a much grander scale. That’s right, I felt, and wow did I feel. I had never felt so alive yet felt so out of place. All of their radiance combined penetrated me in such a way that I am unable to describe. It was pure bliss. And as that was happening, I began feeling quite warm and comfortable in their presence. Almost immediately a deep sense of security came over me which in turn allowed me to relax and become more receptive to them. They turned away from me and began slowly walking and, somehow, I knew that I was supposed to follow.

We were surrounded by darkness with only shimmers of what looked like distant torch lights; but the shimmers of light were of no comparison to the glow of these magnificent energies. Their radiance lit the way as they led me down what appeared as a sandy beach with dark murky waters that would occasionally splash up on shore. They abruptly stopped and the higher energy approached me, then spoke, but not in words. I suddenly realized that I was no longer in my physical body. My senses seemed to all be intact, but there wasn’t anything for me to touch. I could smell, but I wasn’t breathing — there was no need for air. I could hear, but there were no audible sounds or words being spoken. I perceived myself as having had some sort of form or body, but I couldn’t feel anything tangible — skin, hair, nor anything else like we are able to feel while in physical form. There was only my truest, but not yet purest, form of conscious energy. And I was seeing and experiencing all of this through my conscious energy’s eye.

Realizing all of this wasn’t really that frightening because everything was beginning to feel so familiar and wonderful. Even though I was caught up in the moment of realizing that I was no longer in physical form, I was still able to interpret the message that the higher energy was conveying to me. He/she must have been sensing that I was frightened of the others, so the message that I received was that I shouldn’t be frightened of them. They didn’t pose a threat to me. They, like myself, had departed from our physical world or the other side. But, because of their ignorance in refusing to forfeit their negative emotional and physical energies and attachments to the world they were not permitted to continue beyond this point. In other words, by use of their own free will they refused to break the chains that bound them to this world. And consequently due to that they had to remain in this place that some refer to as “hell” until they came to terms with whatever it was that was holding them back and then agreed to let go of it. Perhaps I should explain in more detail.

Everything in our world as well as everything on the Other Side is in essence a form of what we term “energy.” Even inanimate objects in our world hold their own form of energy, just on different levels of vibration. And since energy is required for virtually everything to exist in our world, we therefore invest portions of our own personal energy in our feelings and emotions. It actually requires a great deal of our own personal energy for hate, anger, self-centeredness, obsessions and so on. It also requires a great deal of our energy for physical and or psychological addictions and attachments that are associated with these maladies. Now, if these negative energies aren’t dealt with appropriately before departing from this physical world, then the negative energies, like our positive, remain with us on our journey home. Before reaching our final destination, however, both the positive and the negative must first be reviewed, dealt with appropriately, the knowledge or lesson extracted, and then the negative energy itself must be released and expelled. Only the purest most positive form of energy is allowed to continue. If for any reason an essence refuses to give up something that is negative or isn’t permitted back home, then they can’t “pass go and collect $200.” There is a myth that has been circulating for centuries — and just for the record, I used to be one who put stock in this myth — that if we are not all good little people and follow God’s word and seek salvation, then in the afterlife he will condemn us to eternal hellfire and damnation. Contrary to this very popular belief, it isn’t a wonderful and loving God that condemns us by any means, but rather by the use of our own free will that we choose to — in a sense — condemn ourselves. Free will is a very important and necessary element that we will always possess no matter which side of the fence we are on.

The next phase for me, nonetheless, is what I refer to as the reflection and reorientation phase. In this phase the darkness quickly disappeared and there before me was the most beautiful ocean of many different colors swirling about as the tide rushed up on shore. The sky also seemed to swirl about with many different colors that were beautiful beyond all my imagination. And it was here that I would reveal all of my life’s data that I had bought with me. Every aspect of every experience that had occurred from the moment I was born until the moment I departed from the world was made visual before me and it was done so in a reflective manner. And adding to the awesome effect that in our linear time spanned nearly four decades were the emotional view points of all who were involved in every single instance of my life. It was all so very clear: I was my own critic, my own evaluator.

There were many visions where I felt joy and happiness for having touched someone’s life in a positive way — helped a person in need — raised a lowly spirit — turned a frown into a smile — made someone laugh when they felt like crying. But interlaced with the positive were also many moments where I was utterly grief stricken, feeling shame and sorrow for the negative impact that I had on other lives. I had caused so much unnecessary pain, conflict and strife, and as much as I wanted to. There was no changing what was already done. I saw everything through their eyes. I felt their pain and their emotions. I experienced their experience. And I became very critical because of it holding myself in contempt for having done such horrible things. Part of me wanted to run and hide, but I couldn’t. There was no escape. While a higher part felt compelled to continue and learn from it all — I somehow knew that it was for the best.

But as the grand finale rolled in front of me (there are no words to describe how I felt near the end when the reflection began to grow dim), as the image began to grow dim, I saw before me the lifeless body of a man whose existence had drawn to a conclusion with a consciousness filled with anger, resentment and bitterness because of everything that had transpired just shortly before his departure. And that man in the mirror was a reflection of me.

In contrast to the enormous amount of love or positive energy that I was carrying for my son, his mother and all of the other close people in my life, I was also carrying all of the negative energy that I had invested in the situation just shortly before my departure. And because I was still vulnerable to the world both the love and the anger continued to grow. The anger was intense and continued growing toward myself because of the stigma that I personally would be placing on one very special person, my son. And it would all happen as a result of my own actions. Since this was just the second stage, I was still very much connected to this physical world through my emotional ties, which were predominately to my son and his mother.

All of this seemed to take place in an instant, but at the same time it seemed like it lasted for hours or even days. Perception of time is so different in a place where there is no measure of time.

And while all of this was taking place my consciousness was regaining knowledge that had always been there, just not readily accessible. It almost felt like an awakening — a waking up to a higher level of awareness that had been asleep or dormant for what seemed like a long, yet short period of time. At the conclusion of my reflection and reorientation, the larger energy form asked — but again not in words — if I was willing to release all of the negative baggage I was carrying so that I could move on. And I agreed to. I wanted so desperately to stay in this wonderful and glorious place despite everything that I was carrying. I wanted be free from all of the oppressive negativity. I wanted to feel the love and not the hate. I wanted to feel peace and not anger, resentment and bitterness. But just because I wanted all of this, didn’t mean that it was going to happen.

Remember how I said that nothing is hidden or concealed in this place? Nevertheless, since I agreed, the next phase of my journey was to cross what I have come to call the “cleansing waters of no return.” This is where all of the collectively stored impurities were to be filtered from my conscious energy so that only the purest form of my energy could continue the journey home. Suddenly, everything in view began to cascade around me, almost as if it was melting, and I was immediately swept away into the warm beautiful waters as they enveloped me. At first I felt apprehensive because I knew that beyond this point there was no turning back. In the twinkling of an eye, however, the fear was gone and all I felt was complete peace, serenity, and most of all, the tranquility of pure unconditional love.

I was swirling about basking in its entire splendor preparing to return home when all of a sudden I was told that I couldn’t continue. I was receiving two separate messages at that point: the ego’s unwillingness to let go and my life on Earth wasn’t finished yet. At that precise moment, I felt it all come rushing back — all of the negativity. I couldn’t let go of the anger that I had been harboring towards myself over being separated from my son before he knew the truth. My son had chosen me as his father and I had ultimately let him down. I was still carrying an enormous amount of anger because my departing from the world in the manner in which I did would unjustly be ruled a suicide. And that conclusion would inevitably alter my son’s own experience. Furthermore, to complicate matters was the involvement of the anger that had brought me there in the first place. It felt like a double edge sword cutting me with both sides. The anger was cutting me over the legacy that I would be leaving my son, in contrast to the intense love that bonded me to him. He would ultimately struggle with this, and it would only cause him a great deal of pain. A pain that he would have to endure the rest of his physical life. And sadly, it was all because of my own doing. Again, I remind you that nothing is hidden in this place. Thus, against my strong desire to stay in the illustrious place I was told that I couldn’t, my conflicting emotional energies and ties to the world were too strong, and I had more to do.

That’s how and why I found myself back among the “living,” which after my experience I consider a contradiction of terms. Personally, I don’t believe it was purely by coincidence that after much painstaking deliberation my former significant other finally chose to attempt to save my life. Nor do I believe that the paramedics were able to arrive just in the nick of time to revive me. I do however, believe very strongly that it was by God’s loving Grace that the Almighty enabled everything to happen just the way that it did.

One of the most important things that I have learned from my experience is that there are no accidents. Everything happens for a reason. Besides, the alternative was that if I hadn’t found myself back in this world — as emotionally attached as I am to my son — I would have been roaming about in that hellish place or some of the other dimensions between here and there. Just like the others that I had encountered in the initial phase who were also bound to this world by their own emotional and physical ties.

Since my untimely journey to the Other Side, I have encountered numerous people who were so steadfast in their beliefs about life and the afterlife that they seemed to consider my experience outside the logical mind’s thinking. All the same, my own knowledge and experience has as much value, and has brought just as much meaning to my life as theirs has to them.

In conversations with friends, acquaintances, and not so friendly people, regarding my experience, there have been two basic reactions. There were only a few who seemed to have been a little more open-minded and accepting. While on the other hand the majority seemed to take on a more fixed, non-accepting attitude usually saying something along the lines as I remember one man’s bitter words, “I’ve heard enough! You’re gonna burn in hell for believing that crap!”

Needless to say, the more judgmental people wanted very little if anything to do with me afterwards. But that’s O.K. To each his own I say. It’s all just a part of their own experience and they are certainly entitled to their views and their beliefs just like everyone else experiencing life on this big blue marble — as long as no one gets hurt that is.

Discussing my NDE has been quite a learning experience in and of itself — learning about people and their prejudices — such as those who were respectful enough as true friends to accept the changes that my NDE brought about, as opposed to those who blindly defined our friendship strictly according to their own beliefs and reality.

As controversial as this whole issue has been though, I am quite pleased to say that even if I could, I still don’t think I would change a thing. And I’m happy to say that my experience was permanently embedded in my memory and has never faded. It still remains as wonderful and vivid today as it was in the moment, and I have learned to rely on it in times of difficulty in such a world of uncertainty.

I would like to take this opportunity to offer up a little piece of advice, if I may, and of course you can take it for whatever it is worth. If at all possible, I strongly petition you to make amends or settle your differences as best that you can. Whether they lie within you or with another it would be to an unselfish advantage to do so. My advice is, don’t allow you or anyone else to rob you of precious energy that could otherwise be used in creating more positive experiences. By the use of one very powerful word you can eliminate a lot of negativity and, in doing so, perhaps change your whole experience and attitude toward life. I had learned in the earlier stages of my own life just how important it is to apply this one specific word on a daily basis. But, it wasn’t until a couple of years after my NDE, when I was capable of thinking more clearly, that I was able to find a more practical, and deeper spiritual meaning.

Forgiveness has such tremendous healing powers and capabilities and when exercised properly is, in and of itself, a truly wonderful experience. All of the oppressive negative energies that we sometimes accumulate and store away because of our own life’s experiences tends to drag us down. Also, replenishment and recovery is as easy as not only saying, “I forgive,” but you must also feel it deep within the reflection of your soul as well. Usually, unbeknown to ourselves as we forgive and release all of the negative energy that we have invested in these emotionally challenging situations the healing process begins to work its magic the moment we make the choice. Granted, it may be a difficult task to forgive someone, or even one’s own self for that matter because of all the emotional pain that may be involved.

Taking this into consideration I strongly suggest that you look deep within and summon the Love inside of you, and do your best to make it happen. You may want to remember one thing though: we live in a reciprocal world. And consequently, due to that fact, in certain situations involving reciprocal differences forgiving someone else doesn’t necessarily mean that they, in turn, will be willing to forgive you. Ultimately, that is a choice that they and they alone will have to make. You and only you have the power to choose to forgive — no one else can do it for you — and it only works when you choose to use it. And so, by affording yourself this unique — design of the Great Divine favor — it will help alleviate a lot of energy depleting emotional pain, and thus help make your life in the moment more fulfilling. And furthermore, in the scheme of things, as your present physical life draws to a conclusion, by ridding yourself of as much oppressive negative energy that you possibly can, it will help make your journey home a much less complicated.

Experiences Suicide

Sandra Rogers’ Suicide Near-Death Experience

On April 30, 1976, following a previously unsuccessful suicide attempt by drug overdose the night before, Sandra Rogers placed a .38 caliber pistol to her chest, aimed it at her heart and pulled the trigger. During her darkest hour, Sandra attempted suicide again and expected to die; but instead, she found herself in the presence of a brilliant light. Instead of the oblivion she sought by committing suicide, Sandra was given an amazing understanding about life and infinite wisdom about the Other Side. The Being of Light gave her the choice of remaining in the Light, with the provision that she reincarnate and experience once again all that brought her to suicide; or she could return to life and live out the rest of her life. Sandra chose to return to life. What she learned on the Other Side profoundly changed her. On April 28, 2000, Sandra Rogers finally made the transition back to the Light due to complications resulting from her suicide attempt in 1976. The following article are excerpts from her wonderful book, Lessons from the Light, reprinted by permission, describing her near-death experience and some of the insights she learned while in the light.

Table of Contents

  1. Sandra Rogers’ Near-Death Experience
  2. Insights from Sandra Rogers’ Near-Death Experience
    a. Sandra’s Insights About God
    b. Sandra’s Insights About Love
    c. Sandra’s Insights About Spirituality
    d. Sandra’s Insights About Religion
            I. Sandra’s Own Experience With Religion
    e. Sandra’s Insights About Evil and Sin
    f. Sandra’s Insights About the Physical World
    g. Sandra’s Insights About Death and the Afterlife

1. Sandra Rogers’ Near-Death Experience

“Before the ambulance arrived I had what is now commonly called a near death experience.“I came into the presence of a brilliant, wonderfully warm and loving Light. While I was in the presence of this Light I was shown a review of my life and all the events that brought me to that point.

“I was fascinated as I watched my life unfold, that I was aware not only of my own emotions, but also the feelings of those around me as well as those whose lives we touched. I experienced their pain or pleasure and understood what motivated their actions toward others and me…

“As my life review continued, I encountered again all of the pain and hopelessness of my next several years; a series of bad relationships, pregnancies, miscarriages, broken marriages and suicide attempts. I saw myself as a young woman of twenty-five, married and divorced three times and hospitalized for drug overdoses six times. I felt how I hated my existence and could not understand how a loving God could allow these things to happen.

“I was aware as I relieved each of these terribly painful events in my life that the light, which was with me as I watched, felt all of my pain and sorrow and never judged me, but instead understood and loved me.

“The love I felt from the light was overwhelming and I never wanted to leave it. While I was in Its presence I had unlimited knowledge about anything I wanted to know. I was given the choice of remaining with the light, provided I return later to the physical world and experience all that brought me to the point of shooting myself, or I could return now and pick up my life where it was. I was told that I would eventually have the family and love I so desperately yearned for. I was also told that I could only take back the knowledge I needed to sustain myself, although I would be given insights to help others and me along the way as I continued my life journey…

“During my NDE I followed my angel guide into the light. The angel was absorbed by the light and so was I. While in the light I learned that everything in existence was created from the essence of God, the light.”

2. Insights from Sandra Rogers’ Near-Death Experience

a. Sandra’s Insights About God

God is Love, Light, and energy in all. God is the source of perfect Love and all life.

All you do and think is known to God, and God understands everything perfectly, and loves everyone just the same.

God loves and forgives you, and expects you to love and forgive others.

All the pain we feel or cause is felt by God.

Our soul is a part of God and God is a part of us; therefore, our souls are immortal and eternal.

Just as the smallest atom of your physical body is part of you, you are a part of God.

We are all one with God, and to hurt even the smallest part of God hurts us all.

Everything is a part of God.

Light is the single source through which all are united.

God does not punish, He only loves. He has given us free will to grow in knowledge and find happiness. Every thought or action causes a reaction by which we must live with the consequences. As an example, if I choose evil over good I suffer the natural consequences which I may perceive as God punishing me.

God sends truth through many channels to those who ask.

God is in all places at all times.

Listen to that small inner voice in your thoughts; it is the voice of God.

b. Sandra’s Insights About Love

Love, being God, is too immense and profound to ever be fully understood or experienced in the physical world.

The only thing that lives forever is Love.

God’s paradise for us is Love. We can create paradise again if we learn to Love one another as ourselves.

Life is a road full of lessons teaching Love. When Love is learned, you will forever be home.

To have an abundance, do what you do with Love, and Love what you do.

In the search for truth and understanding, all paths lead to Love.

Where Love dwells, God is there.

God transforms the results of man’s sins into opportunities to learn Love.

When we work for God, we create Love.

Every action of Love has a reaction of joy.

The greatest joy is to share Love.

Love at its best is Love motivated to action.

Indifference is the opposite of Love.

Forgiveness is the capacity to give Love in the most difficult circumstances.

Forgiveness shows God’s Love in action. It is as close as we get to God’s nature in this physical world.

Love in the physical world is a reflection of Love throughout eternity.

c. Sandra’s Insights About Spirituality

You are much more than you think you are. Others are much more than you think they are.

If everyone knew their true nature, there would be peace on Earth.

In order to become one with God, work must be done to remember or find the truth. The truth is this: your true self is a spirit and your spirit is one with God.

When you do unto others, you do unto God and yourself.

Those who seek to do good are on the quickest path to God.

If practice makes perfect, why not practice being good?

What you think is where your heart will be.

We can only gain what we are willing to accept.

If you want to find happiness, look for those in pain and help them.

A simple act of kindness, like a ripple on a pond, radiates from the giver throughout eternity.

Kindness finds its way back to you.

React to the faults of others as kindly as you do with your own faults.

That which you loathe in others is the very aspect you forbid yourself.

Others judge us by our actions; God judges us by our motivations.

Our character is built by our dominating thoughts.

Sleep is a time in which our spiritual body connects in a focused manner with God to recharge our energy.

Dreams are messages from your subconscious in the form of a puzzle. To comprehend your dream, piece the puzzle together.

Dreams without action remain dreams.

d. Sandra’s Insights About Religion

There is one God who is worshipped through many different teachings of many different religious faiths.

God is in all of us. God is male and female, all races, and the reason for all religions.

Even those who say they do not believe in God believe in energy and/or a life force; therefore, they do actually believe in God, they just have not figured out the name for “God” yet.

The gods of one faith are the angels, saints, or supernatural beings of other faiths.

Angels only need to be asked to intervene in your life.

God created differences in religion because of the different lessons we all need to learn.

There are only two true religions – the religion of love and the religion of fear.

A wrathful and threatening god is a god of man’s creation.

The universe is God’s cathedral.

The problem with institutionalizing God’s church through religions is that each religion tries to limit that which is limitless. God created differences because there are different ways to serve God, and different lessons we all need to learn.

The more spiritually evolved one is, the more one sees truth in different religions; one less spiritually evolved sees only differences.

To be fixed in beliefs is to try to make the infinite finite.

The belief that we are limited is an illusion. We are limited only by our beliefs.

Cries, wishes, hopes, desires, and thoughts are all forms of prayer.

Prayer is talking to God. Meditation is listening to God.

I. Sandra’s Own Experience With Religion

“During my youth I grew up believing that God is unfair. I was taught that when Jesus said, ‘I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father, but by me,’ this meant that only those who publicly profess their faith in Christ go to heaven. I felt if this were true, God is unjust because not everyone wants, or has the opportunity to be exposed to, Christian teachings. I asked the light, which I call Christ, how people from other religions get to heaven. I was shown that the group, or organization, we profess alliance to is inconsequential. What is important is how we show our love for God by the way we treat each other. This is because when we pass to the spiritual realm we will all be met by him, which substantiates the passage, ‘No one comes to the Father, but by me.’

“The light showed me that what is important is that we love God and each other, and that it isn’t what a person says, but the love in their being that is examined in the afterlife. In reviewing and reliving your life, your acts and thoughts of love bring you and God great joy, and your acts and thoughts of indifference, selfishness, and anger bring you and God deep remorse. We are all part of God’s family, and are all interconnected. Those organizations, or religions, which claim some singular relationship with God, claim superiority over others, or exclude people for various reasons, go against God’s law that we love one another as we love ourselves.”

e. Sandra’s Insights About Evil and Sin

Satan and demons are what you make them. Evil only exists because we fear and think unkind thoughts.

The beginning of all sin is seeing self as separate from others and God, creating the illusion that the deeds of self will not cause harm to others.

Anger is not the opposite of love. Indifference is. Anger is an expression of our free will, often manifested as a result of feeling controlled and feeling the need to assert our willpower over others.

There is no unforgivable sin. It is best to think of sin as the mistake of forgetting our oneness with God.

Anger is love’s energy misused.

Bigotry is self-hate.

When we hate others, we hate ourselves.

When you see someone full of hatred or anger, treat them with love so that you can be an example they may later reflect.

As long as you are a child of rage, you will not find the power to know your potential as a child of God.

An act of hostility, like a ripple on a pond, radiates out from the giver until eternity.

f. Sandra’s Insights About the Physical World

The physical body that the soul enters into is chosen prior to birth.

Souls choose to be born to parents who will help their spiritual advancement as well as the spiritual advancements of the parents.

Souls who choose lives which end in childhood deaths often feel the need to comfort the parents with after-death visits.

Most younger children have memories of their life before their birth, but those memories are dismissed as imagination by parents and others.

Those born with mental or physical afflictions are more spiritually advanced than others, born to help others evolve spiritually.

Hardships are necessary for the growth of our soul.

Obstacles are opportunities in disguise.

The greatest desire of your heart, when granted, can become a burden.

The greatest burden of your heart can become a blessing.

Life in the physical world is a struggle to find true happiness.

Pleasure is of the physical world. Happiness is of the spiritual world.

God wants us to have abundance. You will have physical abundance if what you are doing is spiritually fulfilling.

If an addiction isn’t conquered before your physical death, it could keep your spirit earthbound.

Moderation during physical life is the key to a successful transition to the spirit world.

The forbidden fruit symbolizes the spiritual body entering the physical body and starting the spiritual body’s desire for things of the physical world.

Earth is just one realm of learning; there are many.

Knowledge is more valuable than gold. It is something of value you can take with you to the spiritual world.

Using knowledge is far better than having knowledge.

From the point of view of our conscious mind, life’s not fair, but our spirit being knows there’s a purpose to our dilemmas: to experience in order to gain knowledge.

In our physical life we continually search for answers to the “whys” of life. When we die we will know the “whys.”

A society that asks, “What’s in it for me?” instead of “How can I contribute?” is a society that is doomed.

g. Sandra’s Insights About Death and the Afterlife

After death, you take with you what you are, not what you own.

Communication in the spiritual world is telepathic. Your thoughts are answered as rapidly as your mind can send and receive them.

When you die, everything you have said, thought, or done will be known by all.

Souls with like thoughts are drawn to each other in the afterlife.

There are no secrets in the afterlife.

Souls with evil thoughts avoid the light because they are too ashamed to have their life revealed.
You will eventually know the motivation of others who have touched your life.

Hell is a state of being we create by being away from God until we choose to return to him. It is a state totally devoid of love.

You will be judged as you judge others. Your prosecutor will be yourself.

That which controls you in the physical world (such as an addiction) will control you in the spiritual world.

We can help a deceased loved one’s spiritual transition through prayer. Prayer helps because our connection of love with that person.

Grief for a deceased loved one is like the pain felt by mothers who experience “the empty nest syndrome.” It is only a temporary loss, because they have only gone to their next stage of life.

Death, as the end of life, is an illusion.

Death is only a change from one state of existence to another.

Experiences Suicide

Rod Cooley’s Suicide Near-Death Experience

The following is Rod Cooley’s suicide NDE testimony sent to me by email in his own words.

In May of 1974, my brother, Eugene, along with a couple of his friends had left school and gone to a nearby irrigation pond where they went swimming. The only thing is that Eugene did not know how to swim.

I remember coming home and getting out of my school clothes. Mom and dad were not home, so Eugene and I would always go into the living room and play the stereo. This was the only time we could play it because we were not allowed while our parents were at home. Actually, they did not want us to touch it while they were away either, so mom placed quilts on top of the cover.

I went into the living room and removed the quilts carefully and began finding our favorite radio station, WCIG in S.C. As I sat on the edge of the couch listening to the music, Eugene came in and sat down as he usually did. I can’t remember if we had a conversation or not, but I do remember him being in the room with me. As I was getting into the music, a car pulled up in our driveway. It was Brother Graham, along with his wife, from the church that we would frequent. I got up and went outside to see what they wanted.

When I got to the car, Brother Graham told me that he had heard that my younger brother had slipped into a pond about a half mile from the school yard. I became numb for a minute, until I saw Harvey and Harris walk out to see what was going on. When they walked outside, I felt much better because I knew Eugene was inside listening to the music on the radio. Eugene was my youngest brother and I was next to him, then there was Harvey and Harris. Now I knew that everyone was accounted for.

When Brother Graham told Harris what was going on, Harris asked where Eugene was and I told him that he was in the living room. Harris told me to go get him so that Brother Graham would know that it was none of us who had slipped into a pond. I ran back inside, hoping to find Eugene where I had left him but there was no Eugene anywhere in the house. I called out his name as loud as I could, but there was no answer. When I got near the kitchen, it’s like this voice told me that there was no use looking any further. My heart dropped.

I went back outside without Eugene and the look on everyone’s face changed. I remember Harris asking me where Eugene was, but I told him that I could not find him.

“But you said he was in the living room!” Harris exclaimed. I did not know what to say at that time. I became numb with fear that my baby brother had drowned.

We jumped in the car with Brother Graham and his wife and rode down to the irrigation pond where the incident occurred.

The rescue squad was already there dragging the pond with hooks. When they found Eugene’s clothes on the other side of the pond, I knew that it wasn’t looking good. I was still hoping that he may have somehow ran into the woods when he saw others coming, because he did not have any clothes on. So I walked into the woods and called his name in a whisper. If he was hiding, and I find him, I was going to get his clothes and take it to him secretly so that he wouldn’t be embarrassed.

I never heard an answer from so, I started walking out of the woods. When I came out of the woods, I saw a member of the rescue squad grab hold of something with his hook. Then I saw an arm. I was still hoping at the last minute that it was someone else, but when the naked body was lifted out of the water, I saw that it was indeed my baby brother, lying there lifeless.

Words can’t even begin to describe how I was feeling at this time. I felt as if I was having a bad nightmare and was hoping to wake up soon, but this was reality. Eugene had drowned.

They put his body into the ambulance and pronounced him dead at the scene. There were so many questions running around in my head that I couldn’t even keep up.

As the ambulance drove off, we headed back to our car. Just before getting to the car, mom fainted. Curtis caught her before she hit the ground. This was our first loss and it was very devastating to me.

We rode back home in my dad’s car. I remember him talking about what happened, as if nothing important had happened. Then, out of nowhere, he asked if we were hungry. No one said anything. He went to Hardee’s and ordered burgers for everyone. This was just like him to do the right thing at the wrong time. I felt that he had no love for Eugene and it angered me terribly. When I got home, I tossed my burger to the dogs and went outside to grieve alone. I knew from that day on, things would never be the same again.

Later, the following day, I found out the reason Eugene had left school. It was because the teacher dismissed them from the class. I was told that Eugene and two of his friends did not have money to pay for a party that their class was having that day, so the teacher told them to go outside in the hall. She was a terrible teacher.

Eugene had also gotten his haircut by dad and everyone was making fun of him, so he really didn’t want to be there in the first place. My father really messed our hair up when he cut it. It seemed he did it just to bother us. He would cut all of our hair off and expect us to go to school without being picked at. We never knew what a barber shop was. My father had strict rules about hair and if you were a boy, you could not wear your hair long. He wouldn’t even let us cut our own. He wanted to do it so that it would be messed up. Sometimes we would look like something had gotten into our hair and taken bites out in certain areas.

So, instead of Eugene hanging around the school grounds that day, he, along with his other two buddies, went back in the woods to the pond. Eugene did not know how to swim, but he was always the curious type. Apparently, the two other guys knew how to swim a little, so I guess he thought he was protected in case something went wrong. Well, something did go wrong. Eugene fell into the pond while floating on a crate, but instead of his friends helping him, they ran to get help. By the time help arrived, it was too late. My baby brother had drowned.

After six months of continuous grieving, I felt that I could not live without Eugene anymore. We had shared everything and now I was forced to face life without him. I come from a family of 16 including my parents. We kind of branched off in pairs. Everyone had a closer brother or sister and Eugene was mine. At first, I thought that someone would accept me into his or her clan, but that did not happen. Feeling as much pain as a young teenager could feel at this time, I decided that I no longer wanted to live.

One night when my parents were gone, I sneaked into my father’s medicine cabinet and took some pills, and then I went to lie down and await death. Thirty minutes went by, and I started to feel kind of strange. I began to panic and thought, “I’m really killing myself!” I started to become panicky. It seemed to be taking so long and my mind started playing tricks on me, so I got up and called an ambulance.

I was rushed to the hospital where my vital signs were taken and a doctor observed me. As the doctor left me in the room, a vision appeared right up on the ceiling. There were three men discussing what I had done. They were discussing why I was trying to kill myself. I could not believe this was happening. At first I said to myself, “It must be the effects of the medicine that I had ingested”, but the whole conversation they were having seemed too intelligent. I have hallucinated before, but never have I experience anything like this.

The funny thing about this was that whenever the doc would come in and check on me, the apparitions would disappear and about 10 seconds after the doc walks out, they would reappear. The apparitions never talked directly to me, they just talked about me as if they were studying me.

Later, I was found to be O.K. I did not have to get my stomach pumped and was released when my parents arrived.

When I finally went home and tried to adjust to life without Eugene, I slipped into a web of depression once again. I began thinking suicidal thoughts all over again, but this time, I wanted to plan something that would be quick and I had gotten up enough confidence to do it this time.

As I started thinking of a way to release myself from this world, I just remembered going blank for a while. I remember becoming very light, then I started rising up further and further into open space. Then out of nowhere, I seemed to be traveling faster than the speed of light. I had a chance to see myself leaving the Earth. I’ve always been afraid of heights, but this was so peaceful and I felt so secure.

I came out somewhere beautiful and saw people greeting one another with pure joy. They were having such a wonderful time. It was like a continuous party. I started walking and Eugene appeared out of nowhere. I ran over to hug him, but he disappeared whenever I got close to him. I heard him tell me telepathically, to wait a while before I come to him.

After about what seemed like a minute, he reappeared and I was able to go over and hug him. It was such a happy occasion! Wherever I was, it took away all of my insecurities and I instantly knew the answers to the questions that I had always wanted to know the answers to. I actually found the answers to be quite simple, but whenever I came back, I did not remember any of them.

Eugene and I walked around this big place as we talked about everything. He then took me to this room where I was able to look back down on Earth and see our family gathering for my funeral. Everyone was very sad. They had lost Eugene earlier and now me. I could see how it was having a bad effect on them, but I wished that they could see just how happy I was and that I was not really dead. I felt so much love and joy at this place and I really wanted to stay there forever.

After viewing my funeral and my family, Eugene turned to me and asked, “Are you really ready to come here right now?”

I looked at him and remembered that I was going to say “Yes!”, but before I could utter a single word, I awoke on the floor in my bedroom. I tried to close my eyes and go back, but I couldn’t. I was so upset.

Why did I have to come back? When I finally realized that I had to be here a little longer, I got up and walked outside. Within an hour, my depression had totally disappeared and I was having fun like everyone else. For some reason, I wanted to live now. I tried to keep myself busy.

Within three months, I had begun to realize how sad and worthless it would have been for me to kill myself and I don’t even understand how I came to that conclusion.

Experiences Suicide

Roberta Misikin’s Suicide Near-Death Experience

The following is Roberta Misikin’s suicide NDE testimony sent to me by email in her own words.

I had a near-death experience in 1989 from a suicide attempt. I was in a psychiatric hospital and I hung myself. Well, to be honest, it happened after I came out of the coma I was in. Very short and simple message that has had a profound effect on me.

I woke up strapped down in four points. I didn’t understand why, so I asked the nurse why was I strapped down like this. He told me I hung myself, and I laid back thinking, “Oh no. Now what is my boyfriend going to think of me now?” At the time I was dating a very mean guy.

All of the sudden the room exploded with millions upon millions of diamond like objects, each with a rainbow inside each of them, and the most incredible love, a love beyond any description I can think of, it filled the room.

I then heard a male voice say to me, “Who cares what he thinks! I have given you your life back to you, this is my gift to you, go forward and live your life to its fullest.”

It is as real now as it was then, and I get chills all through my body just thinking of it today.

I am writing today because of a concern of what is going on very recently, and have many people concerned with me.

I am used to strange things happening and I view it as normal. However, recently these experiences are becoming apparent to others, which is unusual, and to be honest, it is downright scaring them to death, no pun intended.

It would appear that when I am near any type of electrical anything, it is affected. At least that is what it seems to me and everyone else. TVs turn on and off, change channels by themselves, have messages appear on them, lights blow out, computers blow up, blackouts in the room I am in, microwaves turn on by themselves, etc.

To me, I am not scared in the least. I just ask the Spirits to please leave them alone or turn them back on — whatever. Now, because I live with other people and they see this happening on an on-going basis, it is scaring them into believing that I have a “Poltergeist” or something weird like that.

I have tried to explain to them that it is okay, that there are no Evil Spirits around, or that I am not evil myself, and that it is just that they (the Spirits) like to do this with me. But it is of no comfort to them, and to try to explain even more only scares them more, so I just quit trying to explain.

Is there anything you could tell me that I could tell them that would make them feel a bit at ease?

Oh yeah, is this common among other NDEs? How about hearing my name being called out when no one is around? Someone sitting on my bed? Tapping on the windows? Things being moved around? I am quite sure you have heard this before, but this is happening so much now, what am I to do? Do I answer them?

Roberta Misikin:

Kevin Williams’ reply:  Roberta, it is widely known in NDE circles that experiencers return and discover that watches no longer work when they wear them. Electrical and electronic things go haywire around them. NDE researchers speculate that NDEs can dramatically change a person’s electromagnetic energy field around them – aura if you will – such that they have these kind of electromagnetic things happen. You probably also have become psychic and this too can be an unusual thing for NDErs. There are some excellent pages on the Internet about this on the IANDS website.

Also, because I am manic depressive, I know what these intense suicidal thoughts are like. One of my passions in life is to help people understand depression and suicide, and to dispel the myths surrounding them which have been around for a long time, especially the religious myth about suicide being a one-way ticket to hell. At some point in my NDE research I became flustered about all the nonsense concerning suicide and how it relates to NDEs and religion. I have received heartbreaking emails from people about a loved one who committed suicide and their added burden of this religious fallacy gnawing at them about the possibility of their loved one burning in hell for eternity. NDE research overwhelming provides evidence that it is not how we die that determines our afterlife circumstances; it is how we have lived our entire life.

Experiences Suicide

Dr. Peter Fenwick’s Suicide Near-Death Experience Research

According to a study by Dr. Peter Fenwick, no one submitted to him an NDE resulting from a suicide attempt that reported a hellish experience. They usually experienced what provided a great reason for continuing with life. The NDEr’s mental state after the experience bears no resemblance to the NDEr’s mental state before the experience. People who attempt suicide are generally known to be in a depressed emotional state at the time of their experience. Yet such NDEs also show that these depressive feelings vanish when the NDE begins; then there begins an awareness of peace, of something beautiful; there seems to be a healing of the broken spirit.

Here Sheila Berry describes what happened to her fifteen years ago:

“I had taken an overdose of aspirin and alcohol and had been pumped out at the hospital. It was late at night and I was put into a ward. I don’t know whether you would call this an NDE but at the same time my spirit was so low I felt that I could die if I really wanted to. It could perhaps be classed as a case of broken spirit if there is such a thing.

“I was lying in the dark and felt myself drifting. I felt as though I was in a warm cocoon. I became aware that I was moving down a dark country lane with high hedges. At the bottom of the lane there was a cottage with a light in the window. I wanted to reach the cottage but a voice in my head said that I had to go back. I can still remember someone taking my hand and I had a feeling of great peace and a oneness with what I can only describe as the universe. I can remember returning to the weight of my body. For some time after this happened I kept hearing the most wonderful music. I feel since that time that my life has a spiritual dimension, although I do not practice any established religion.”

Anne Thomson attempted suicide in the winter of 1972 when she was very depressed:

“I could cope no longer with three small children and one dreadful husband (whom I later divorced). I took a massive overdose of sleeping tablets and was not found for four hours. I was rushed to the nearest hospital by ambulance from the RAF base in Wales, where we lived at the time. I very nearly died and was unconscious for four days. On the fourth day I was slipping away. I had a cardiac arrest and the doctors and a sister were working on me.

“I left my body. I went up and up very slowly, not looking back at myself in the bed. The peace was beyond what I can explain; it was so beautiful, I felt so light in weight and I saw I was going towards a white light – not the white like this notepaper I write on, but a spiritual white. I almost reached this light, when suddenly I was pulling downwards very fast and did not stop till I was back in my body. I was heavy, everything seemed so dark and then I came to and slowly came to realize I could not be taken as three children needed their mother.

“I always did believe in God but only because it was bred into me. But since that experience I have a lot of faith towards God and towards life beyond our lives on Earth. I firmly believe he made me well and helped me through all my time of rearing three children alone in the years that followed.”

Only one of the descriptions of NDEs which occurred during suicide attempts had elements that might possibly be construed as hellish. It is one of the very few in which the feeling is one of descent, into a pit, rather than upwards, and in which the light seen is red rather than white or golden. Although there is a presence, this is not perceived as friendly, but not as hostile either. In fact, the whole experience has a neutral quality – not hellish, but not positive either, except for the compassion the returning self feels for her body in the hospital bed.

Here is another example of an NDE resulting from a suicide attempt:

“In 1963, I nearly died from a suicide attempt. I went down into a deep pit, slowly, like Alice in Wonderland, as if I were in a lift.

“At the bottom it was light and quite busy and bustling. The other people were strangers and although they didn’t speak and neither did I, somehow I asked the way and I was told to follow the red light.

“I moved off in that direction. Gradually I found myself in a warm, dark tunnel, alone apart from a sort of presence – not hostile, not friendly, just there.

“Then the red light grew dim and began to flicker and I knew I would have to go back. It was absolutely dark and I was quite alone.

“My body was surrounded by a panicky crowd round the hospital bed. It seemed silly of the people to be making such a fuss. The body had been crying in its sleep and I felt a great pity for it momentarily as I returned.

“I told no one about this as they thought I was a loony anyway, but the experience has stayed with me all these years and I have tried to make sense of it. If it is just an innate limbic response, well … interesting.”

Experiences Suicide

Nadia McCaffrey’s Near-Death Experiences

Our condolences to Nadia over the loss of her son Patrick who was killed on June 22, 2004 while serving his country in Iraq. Visit Patrick’s Memorial website. Nadia is a Coordinator for GoldStarsSpeak which is a Peaceful Pro-People Organization that works with Gold Star Mothers (Mothers who have lost a Son in the Iraq War) They are working actively to bring our troops home and to stop the war.

Nadia McCaffrey is a perfect example of how an NDE can dramatically change a person’s life. After being bitten by a snake when she was a child, she had a very beautiful NDE. Having to return to life from her NDE was a tremendous disappointment to her. Her desire to once again be in the spirit world of love and peace caused her to attempt suicide on two occasions. These attempts only resulted in two more NDEs. Her final attempt and resulting NDE eventually led to a dramatically changed life. In fact, it resulted decades of service to the dying and promotion of near-death experiences.

Her NDEs are profiled in P.M.H. Atwater‘s excellent books entitled Children of the New Millennium (1999), The New Children and Near-Death Experiences (2003) and We Live Forever: The Real Truth About Death. Nadia is the president and founder of the Angelstaff volunteer and formerly headed the Bay Area Chapter of Compassion in Action, an organization that trains hospice volunteers. She is the facilitator for the San Francisco-Bay Chapter of IANDS and directs her own organization, Changing the Face of Death, a not for profit organization dedicated to public awareness, consciousness and service towards the dying.

My Near-Death Experiences by Nadia McCaffrey

It is July 7th, 1952 and I am seven years old. I am a lonely child with a lot of questions and an immense desire for learning. Every year I spend my vacation from the convent school with my mother’s parents at Le Prieure de Beauvezet, their estate in the Province d’Auvergne in France.

The main building of Le Prieure is at least four centuries old. It was first a chapel and later became a monastery with its surrounding cemetery. Some of the old walls are 1.5 meters thick. Over the centuries, the monastery became a large, elegant house encircled by an interesting park of lilacs, rare plants and trees.

The master house, now occupied by my grandparents, is located on the very top of a hill built by human labor. Here was once a “tour de guet” – a tower designed to provide a view of anyone or anything coming from far away. There is still an underground passage which was once a means of escape in case of an invasion.

At the foot of this steep hillside is a grove of wild cherry trees. Next to it is a dry stone retaining wall built with the stones once used for the watchtower. This is where I am standing, just at the edge of the wall. I have been playing in the meadow, picking flowers here and there. I simply love flowers, especially the wild sweet peas that are growing in colorful profusion among the tall golden stalks of wheat. I am looking out into the wheat field, seeing the bright spots of color – red coquelicot, blue bachelor’s buttons and the sweet peas which seem to beckon me into the field.

Feeling overwhelmed by the wheat, which seems to tower over my head, I am debating whether I can get to the flowers. Of course I can! I can’t resist. I run into the field, into the tall, thick grasses. Suddenly, I stop. I have disturbed a red aspic or asp viper – a deadly snake once used by Cleopatra to exit this dimension. It stays perfectly still for a long moment, then curls on its tail in a perfect circle. Its upper body stands straight up and its two piercing eyes stare deep into my soul. I am petrified! I want to scream but I can’t move. A horrible pain suddenly floods my senses and as the snake undulates away very fast, two tiny spots of blood appear on my left ankle. I start screaming long, piercing and extremely loud sounds of death.

Fear is not present but only the recognition of the fact that I know. I just know that death is near. I try walking up the steep hillside, but my steps became so difficult… and then impossible. I drop down upon the grass. At this moment, my grandmother comes running down the hill. Not wanting to frighten her, I say, “Un serpent m’a mordu.” (A snake bit me…) But she knew.

She sat next to me, took off her long black apron and with her two hands made long narrow rags. With one hand at each leg she began twisting them into tourniquets. She then circled my upper leg with the twisted cloth and made a knot. She then grabbed a stick lying nearby on the ground. She used the stick to twist the cloth tightly around my leg, slowing the flow of blood to the heart. After making the tourniquet, she removed my sandal, raised my left ankle to her mouth and began sucking out the venom. By this time I was drifting in and out of consciousness.

Having done what she could, my grandmother picked me up, carried me to the house and gently laid me on a chaise lounge after which I began vomiting without stop.

In 1952 my grandparents did not have a telephone or a car so at the sound of my horrible screams, my grandfather Leon had left the house on his bike. He rode like the wind to a public telephone at the other end of the village, more than two kilometers from the house.

Overcome by the poison, I slipped into an unconsciousness state. When I regained consciousness for a short time, I found myself in my grandfather’s bed and the bedroom was dark.

I could see the two doctors attending me who had come as a result of grandfather’s urgent pleas. On doctor, Dr. Nenon, insisted on giving me an injection of vaccine Pasteur, while the second and older doctor (Dr. Fayolle) felt that it wouldn’t do any good.

After a long argument, the younger doctor prevailed and they gave me the injection. As one held me down, I felt the sting of the needle in the lower right side of my abdomen just below my belly button after which I slipped into a coma that lasted for 10 days.

While in the coma, I was oblivious to the real around me, but I was oddly award that I had left this dimension. It was then that I saw a beautiful being of light: the Lady of Light, hovering above in the room, who introduced herself to me as:

“Je suis ta petite Maman du ciel.”
“I am your little mother of the sky.”

She was so beautiful. I still see her so clearly, as though she was standing in mid air, glowing with an extremely bright and powerful light. A wondrous light that filled me with loving and warm sense of serenity. Mere words fail me when I try to describe the feeling of well being and love I felt in the presence of her light. Somehow “I Knew it all,” the universal mind of creation, the infinity of it all, I was part of it, I am part of it. The Love that the Lady of Light give me is so powerful and peaceful that it must be passed on to others. Some how I understand that this Love is what will save us, we must care for one-another and spread compassion in our world of sadness and destruction.

Leaving my body in my bed, I began floating in her direction. She then smiled very softly and opened her arms. She held up the palms of her hands helping me to understand that I should not come towards her. I could see that she wanted me to listen to what she had to say.

“Sois forte aimons nous les uns les autres. Cet amour que j’ai pour toi seme le a la ronde. Il y a beaucoup de facon d’aimer. N’ai jamais peur tu seras guidee. Je serai toujours avec toi. Tu ne peux rester pres de moi maintenant. Tu devras montrer le chemin. Tu vas etre l’espoir. Au milieu d’un jardin tu verras une rose plus rouge et plus belle que toutes les autres. Lorsque le temps sera venu tu feras connaitre mon message. Me parler est prier. Prier est aimer.”

“Be strong and let’s all love one another. Please share this love I have for you with others. There are many ways to love. Do not fear, as you will be guided. I will be with you always. You cannot stay with me now. You will show the way. You will be hope. In the middle of a garden you will see a rose, more colorful and beautiful than all the others. When the time will come, you will open yourself to others and share this message of love. To speak to me is prayer and to pray is to love.”

Before returning to my body, I remember looking upon gray, sickly state and feeling no pain or discomfort.

Later, while still in the coma she again visited me and just as before I left my body to join and she held out her hand and again repeated the same exact message as before but with one additional thought:

“Il faut maintenant nous separer et toi revenir a la vie. Tu as beaucoup a apprendre et beaucoup a accomplir. Mon amour sera toujours avec toi, n’oublie jamais.”

“And you will now return to life. You have a lot to learn, and a lot to accomplish. My love will always be with you. Never forget.”

Looking back one last time, I saw a long white gown with a cord knotted around her waist. Her head and shoulders were draped in blue material. There was a live green snake at her feet and a tear shaped drop of blood on her right foot. Both her arms were extended toward me with her palms up and her head was slightly bowed to the side. Slowly both her arms came to rest on her chest crossing each other.

I wanted so very much to curl up in her arms, to remain with her rather than returning to my body, but I had no choice! My body claimed me and was immediately overwhelmed by pain and sadness.

I was unable to completely understand what had happened to me and had to stay in bed for several weeks. My leg had swollen to three times its normal size, which frightened me because it was the same mottled color as the snake that had bit me. Consequently, I refused to talk with anyone. I hated being back in this dimension and I was filled with resentment and longing to slip out of my painful and disfigured body.

Later that year, after my recovery, I learned that an adult will survive only twenty minutes after being bitten by the asp and that I had stayed over two hours without the serum.

My grandmother was a healer and applied several natural remedies and herbs on my leg, which helped. After the swelling went down and I could finally stand up again, and it was a great victory. People said it was a miracle that I had survived.

I finally learned how to walk with a cane, but my body took months to recover. However, my spirit did not heal as quickly.

Once I had fully recovered, the Institute Pasteur of Paris sent a crew of herpetologists to investigate the incident. Asps were known to be in the south of France, but not in the center where I had been bitten. I asked if I could accompany them and watched as they captured some of the snakes.

They used a forked stick with a wire noose, which they slipped over the head of the snake and pulled tight to prevent its escape. Holding the asp tightly behind its head with two fingers, the men forced open its jaw and the two deadly hooks let forth a stream of creamy venom into a glass container.

Over thirty snakes were captured, put into bags and taken to a laboratory for further study. One huge serpent was found a few steps away from the house in an ancient rosebush. He was the last one captured and brought the total to thirty-one snakes.

After some time passed I started asking Therese for some explanation about the beautiful Lady of Light. I desperately needed some information about my experience.

She seemed startled by my account, and was filled with fear and horror by what I had told her. She cautioned me, “people would not understand. They would put you away forever if you tell anyone about this.” From that day on, she thought that I was possessed and never let me forget it until the day she died.

It is now 1960 and I am 15 years old. People think that I am beautiful and bright, but what they do not know is that I do not want to be alive.

Although I was very popular, I pushed people away from me and felt that my experience made me different and isolated me from other people. I was not able to share the way I felt with anyone and ended up hurting people as I rejected their offers of friendship.

After seeing the Lady of Light, being back was anything but easy. I was all right at first, thinking that she would be back. I wanted desperately to return to the light, to her and to her total love.

In a tree in the park there was a hollow spot where a limb had been removed and into it I placed a statue of the Virgin of Lourdes. It comforted me to visit her there where I could recall her memory and express my love by bringing her flowers. On the wall in my grandmother’s bedroom was another picture of Mary that reminded me of her and I talked to it, keeping hope alive, wishing that she would speak to me or show me a sign.

My teenage years were neither happy nor good. I was a rebel fighting everything and everyone. The sisters at the Catholic school I attended didn’t know what to do with me and my grandmother constantly fought. I was also very resentful of my own mother who I seldom saw, and was determined not to accept any comfort or support from her.

In 1960, after this years of unhappy anger and resentment that I could never share my experience with an empathetic soul, my desire to return to the light became so powerful that I attempted suicide. My suicide attempt was with pharmaceutical drugs. I had found bottles of pills and syrups marked with red skeleton warnings on the labels. They were hidden in my great grandmother’s house. These drugs had belonged to my great-grandmother, Marie Vauru, who had long since passed away. Her medicine had been forgotten on the dark top shelf of the pantry.

I swallowed the entire contents of approximately 15 bottles and became violently ill. I vomited and lost consciousness. One of my family members found me and took me to a local hospital where the doctors pumped my stomach. After recovering from the physical effects, I was returned under the supervision of a psychiatrist.

A few months later, I discovered that several bottles of my great grandmother’s pills still remained. Apparently, no one in my family had thought to remove them.

As the saying goes, “if at first you do not succeed, try again” and that is exactly what I did. However, I took a more sophisticated approach and methodically calculated the dosage necessary to end my life.

Oddly enough, a girlfriend, Antoinette, from the village came to visit, hoping to borrow a schoolbook. Her boyfriend Daniel drove her to my house and waited for her outside while she ran up to my room. When she opened the door, she found me on top of my bed and dressed in the most beautiful ball gown. I showed no signs of life, but I did have a feeble pulse. Antoinette and Daniel quickly bundled me into the car and to the Clinic Jeanne D’Arc, a small local hospital in Vichy.

From the moment I had taken the poison until the moment I arrived at the hospital was approximately two hours.

Orderlies had just wheeled me into the emergency room when once more; I was out of my body. I floated there for awhile, and looked down at lifeless body on the gurney. However, the real me had become a comfortable glowing shape.

For a while, I watched on as the nurses and doctors worked quickly to revive me. Then, I lost interest and my attention turned towards a long dark tunnel. At the end of the tunnel was a very bright light and I floated to the opening. Once inside, I moved with what seemed to be an extraordinary and effortless speed, and finally reached the light.

My thoughts were dominated by one clear thought: “Oh, the light, the peace, the extraordinary feeling of love. Once more I am in it.” Then an extremely powerful and loud man’s voice told me to go back because I had work to do. Then, I began going back and there was nothing I could do to stop it.

My next moment as a conscious realization of terrible pain and sadness as I lay upon the gurney. One of the nurses, an older kindly woman, was crying because she thought that I had died (without coming back).

I later learned that the doctors could not detect a pulse for approximately ten minutes and that they had given up on me. They were actually removing the tubes and needles from my body when my vital signs returned. Surprised, they quickly resumed their efforts and worked feverishly to stabilize my condition.

In the hours that followed, the fog of pain that dominated every breath could not prevent my sadness. Not sadness for what I had done, but for what I had failed to achieve. From the outside in, I was young beautiful intelligent woman with all the promise of springtime. However, from the inside out, I was a prisoner in a gilded cage made of flesh and bones.

The sense of isolation we feel as humans is a lonely experience. Our serenity comes to us in small pieces. Like hungry animals we must savor each morsel with gratitude, knowing that beyond this life we will find limitless serenity and love. As much as I wanted that, I was forced to realize that I had been tasked and that I would not be allowed to shirk from my responsibility. My choice was simple. I could live a twisted life full of bitterness, or I could accept my responsibility with an open heart.

One might think that such a decision would take many years of agonizing, yet it was as though I simply thrown a switch and turned on a new light — the light of my own responsibility. Since that day, I’ve not once contemplated suicide again.

This experience changed my life completely. Once I understood that I couldn’t go back, I stopped fighting with the world and began trying to pass on the love that I received to those around me.

In my work with the terminally ill, I draw upon my own experiences for the benefit of those who are making their transition to another dimension. Having lost my own fear of death long ago, I know with every fiber of my being that love can never fail us. It is this certainty that I can pass along to people who are dying and to those that are troubled and in turmoil.

Experiences Suicide

Dr. Ken Ring’s Suicide Near-Death Experience Research

Dr. Kenneth Ring, in his book, Life at Death, analyzed the near-death experiences of 24 people who attempted suicide. Among them, no one reported the tunnel phenomenon, or saw a brilliant but comforting light, or encountered a presence, or was temporarily reunited with loved ones who had died, or entered into a transcendent world of heavenly beauty. Instead, the suicide-related NDE tended to be truncated, aborted, and damped down. It began with a feeling of relief or peace and continued with a sense of bodily detachment to the same degree as non-suicide-related NDEs. But it tended to end, if it got this far at all, with a feeling of confused drifting in a dark or murky void – a sort of twilight zone. Dr. Ring’s research strongly suggests that the suicide-related NDE does not reach completion; instead, it tends simply to fade out before the transcendent elements characteristic of non-suicide related NDEs make their appearance. The following are excerpts from Dr. Ring’s research into suicide from his book Life at Death.

One young man tried to kill himself by taking an assortment of pills – Librium, Demerol, Valium, Dilantin. As a result of this ingestion, he remained unconscious for four days. He remembers finding himself in a gray area:

Young man:  “The only thing that I can remember about this is just grayness. Like I was in gray water or something. I couldn’t really see anything. I couldn’t see myself there, either. It was just like my mind was there. And no body.”

While the young man was in this state, he said he felt good:

Young man:  “Normally, I’m a very anxious, a very nervous person – a lot of fears and things like that. And during this, all the fear was gone. I had no fear whatsoever. Almost an adventurous feeling. Excitement.”

Dr. Kenneth Ring:  “Did you want to stay in that condition?”

Young man:  “Yeah,” the young man replied, “It was a very good feeling.”

He also was aware of music:

Young man:  “I also heard music – different music.”

Dr. Kenneth Ring:  “Tell me what it was like.”

Young man:  “It was usually like classical music; I like classical music. It wasn’t exactly the music I’ve heard, but it was along that line.”

Dr. Kenneth Ring:  “Do you recall how the music made you feel?”

Young man:  “It made me relaxed. The fears went away when I listened to it. Again, the feeling of hope, that there’s something better somewhere else.”

He also reported that everything, including the music, sounded “hollow and metallic – echoey” and that these acoustical sensations were associated with the watery grayness. He felt the grayness going through him, filling him and this felt good to him. After a while, he became aware of a voice:

Young man:  “I think [it was] a woman’s voice, but (pause) I didn’t recognize the voice.”

Dr. Kenneth Ring:  “Do you recall now what she said to you?”

Young man:  “No. I just remember that it was a soothing voice. I kind of remember that with the grayness — her voice kind of calling, my moving toward it.”

Dr. Kenneth Ring:  “This was a friendly voice, a reassuring voice in some way?”

Young man:  “Yeah.”

Dr. Kenneth Ring:  “And you felt drawn to it?”

Young man:  “Yeah. Right. Like that was the place to be.”

The young man tried to get to where the voice was:

Young man:  “It seemed like I kept trying to get to where the voice was, but something was holding me back. I know I wanted to be there; I knew once I was there everything would be fine. I was sure of this. No question about it. But there was still like something holding me back from getting there.”

During his experience he had seen images of people he knew. These people somehow seemed to represent the possibility of a good life; they seemed to care. He described this as “like playing back a recording of my life.” The issue was joined:

Young man:  “It felt like the woman’s [voice] was stronger. I wanted to get there but there was just some part of me that wanted to (pause) go back with these images.”

And resolved:

Young man:  “The thing I remember most is a falling feeling. Like I was coming down really fast and then hit. And then I woke up with a jolt.”

And afterward:

Young man:  “When I woke up, the first thing I thought was Oh, God. Thank you. I made it, and I was extremely happy. (He had been severely depressed before his suicide attempt.) I was just sitting there thinking about it and I felt this – I don’t know – warmth filling my body. I was very happy, very excited, but then (pause) it was more than contented – it was rapture, I guess. But I couldn’t explain it to anybody at the time. It was just beyond words.”

This testimony sums up the essential features of his experience. In the course of his interview, he also indicated that although he never clearly saw his physical body on the bed, he did have a sense of bodily detachment and felt he had no weight at all — he was just pure mind. Neither did he have any sense of time. When he momentarily returned to body consciousness (before drifting back into the grayness), he found the sensory world greatly enhanced — the colors were clearer and more vibrant. The only thing scary about his experience was his fear (which was eventually vanquished) of returning to his body. His experience in the grayness was decidedly pleasant and, judging from its immediate aftereffect, very positive and powerful in its emotional impact.

This particular experience includes many features that are common with non-suicide attempt experiences: drifting through a vast space, feeling good, hearing music and a comforting voice, hearing sounds magnified, seeing a series of flashbacks of one’s life, and so forth.

In Dr. Kenneth Ring’s study, he found that no one who had attempted suicide reported that it was predominately unpleasant. The only possible exception is that a few people did describe some unsettling hallucinatory images, but these appear to have been qualitatively different from the feeling-tone of non-suicidal experiences. Certainly, no one felt that he was either in or was on his way to hell. This is not to say that suicide attempts never lead to unpleasant experiences, only that there is no strong evidence for this proposition among the 24 suicide NDEs in Dr. Ring’s study.

Dr. Ring draws six conclusions from his study into suicide near-death experiences and identifies five stages of the NDE: (1) peace, (2) body separation, (3) entering the darkness, (4) seeing the light, and (5) entering the light:

The evidence bearing on the qualitative aspects of suicide-induced near-death experiences is clearly complex, but it leads to a number of interesting conclusions:

First, the descriptions from our suicide attempters tend, relative to other categories, to be weakest in core experience elements: No recall is greatest here, and when experiences do occur, they do not penetrate beyond stage 3 (entering the darkness or void).

Second, there are, however, a number of factors that make the suicide attempters noncomparable to other respondents in such a way as to lower the likelihood of the occurrence of core experiences.

Third, therefore, the data on qualitative aspects of suicide-related experiences are ambiguous and inconclusive.

Fourth, nevertheless, some evidence suggests that certain transcendent features associated with the core experience may occur in suicide attempts, although these features may manifest themselves in distinctive ways.

Fifth, when recall exists, the suicide-related death experience tends to be reported as predominantly pleasant.

Sixth, the death experiences of a number of non-suicide attempters (and the opinion of one suicide attempter) all implied that the consequences of a successful suicidal act were likely to be unpleasant.

Can these six conclusions themselves be interpreted to point to a general conclusion? Probably not – our data are simply too fragmentary and contaminated to warrant any single conclusion. However, I want to offer my own opinion here in the hope that it might lead to further research that will eliminate some of the ambiguity surrounding this issue. If the offending factors could be eliminated or sufficiently reduced to provide comparability among conditions, I would speculate that the initial stages of the core experience would be invariant across modes of near-death onset. I would also hypothesize, however, that there would come a point when the suicide-induced experience would begin to show a distinctive qualitative difference. This would, according to my view, come during the decision-making phase, when there would be no hint of transcendent glory (for example, the light phenomenon) or of immediate reunion with loved ones. If an individual were to pass beyond this stage, either because he was, in some sense, “permitted to” or because his suicide attempt was successful, I am tempted to believe that the admonitions expressed at the end of this section might prove warranted. This aspect of my opinion can, of course, never be evaluated scientifically, but its other components could be in an adequately designed study. If such an investigation were undertaken, it might not only be able to resolve some of the empirical issues, but it would also furnish us with a more extensive basis from which to extrapolate the later stages of the core experience when it is induced by suicide.