People who have returned from near-death experiences (NDEs) know that every day of life is a gift. They died and saw how suddenly our earthly lives can end; they returned with gratitude for more time to finish fulfilling their purposes here. While they may have been afraid to die before their NDEs, they no longer have any fear of death because they’ve already experienced it and know that the process isn’t scary. For the rest of their earthly lives, they exemplify the courage it takes to live every day fully and well. All of us can learn well-being lessons of courage from NDE survivors.
After returning from NDEs, people who went to heaven report miraculously losing their fear of death. The end of their earthly lives no longer scares them, since they’ve already experienced the peaceful transition of dying and the wonders of the afterlife. But their calm, confident view on death — which is one of the most common and powerful human fears — astonishes others. Here’s why NDE survivors say they’re no longer afraid of dying.
Overcoming Reasons to be Afraid
People who haven’t died yet are usually afraid of death, for a variety of reasons. But many of those reasons are surpassed by newfound confidence for those who have died and come back to life again during an NDE.
If people fear death because it’s the great unknown, they overcome that fear after going through an NDE and discovering exactly what happens during the dying process. NDE survivors often describe their experiences as being so vividly real that they’re even more powerful than anything they’ve experienced during their regular, earthly lives.
Memories made during NDEs are incredibly detailed and make lasting impressions on those who have returned from them.
If people are afraid of their soul being annihilated after death, they’re no longer scared after an NDE because they’ve learned that they’re eternal beings who will always exist — and not only that, but they’re fully conscious and treasured by a loving Creator for who they are.
If people are scared of death separating them from loved ones, they find out during an NDE that family and friends reunite in heaven.
The only reason that NDE survivors give for being afraid of death is that they fear going to hell to suffer and be separated from God. But those who visited heaven during their NDEs generally have no fear of death at all.
Discovering that Consciousness Continues
NDEs show that the most common reason for fearing death — the obliteration of consciousness — doesn’t actually happen. NDE survivors say that the death of their physical bodies wasn’t the death of their souls. Even after they leave their bodies behind, the true essence of who they are (their conscious souls) continues into the afterlife.
“When NDEers say they have lost their fear of death, they most often mean that they no longer fear that obliteration of consciousness itself,” writes pioneering NDE researcher Raymond A. Moody in his book The Light Beyond.
An NDE survivor interviewed by Kenneth Ring and Evelyn Elsaesser Valarino for their book Lessons from the Light: What We Can Learn from the Near-Death Experience declares: “There is no such thing as death per se. Death in our three dimensional space/time view of things is simply a biological event that has nothing to do with consciousness, which is continuous…”.
Breaking Free of Pain
Experiencing complete healing and relief from pain in heaven also reassures NDE survivors that they don’t have to be afraid of death.
In Lessons from the Light, Ring and Valarino quote an NDE survivor who says that after her experience: “I now have no fear of death. Let me tell you from personal experience, no matter how bad that pain gets, it does end, and you will find yourself out of the body, in another dimension, still very much alive, and in no pain.”
Death feels positive, not negative, says an NDE survivor who Mally Cox-Chapman interviewed for her book The Case for Heaven: Near-Death Experiences as Evidence of the Afterlife: “I enjoyed feeling the freedom of death. I wish I could describe it. But not being afraid of dying is like saying riding a bicycle is easy. Until you’ve done it yourself, you don’t know.”
After losing their earthly lives and then regaining them, NDE survivors return with a renewed appreciation for life that also gives them the confidence they need to prepare for their permanent death (whenever that happens) without fear.
An NDE survivor Moody interviewed for The Light Beyond recalls: “For the first 56 years of my life, I lived in constant fear of death. My focus was on avoiding death, which I regarded as a terrible thing. After my experience, I realized that by living my entire life in fear of death, I was blocking my appreciation for life.”
Moody explains that the many NDE survivors he has studied have told him, “… that the experience makes life richer and fuller than ever before. The ones I know want more than ever to continue living. In fact, many feel they are living for the first time.”
“We can live each day with grace and dignity, with an assurance that we’re going to be in a better place,” writes NDE survivor Don Piper in his book Heaven is Real: Lessons on Earthly Joy – from the Man Who Spent 90 Minutes in Heaven.
Ring and Valarino write that many people who have returned from NDEs celebrate life by volunteering to help terminally ill patients approach death with peace “because they have come to feel such an affinity with the dying and know they can help such persons more easily make their transitions and with less fear.”
The key to approaching both life and death without fear is focusing on God, Piper writes in Heaven is Real: ” … the end can come at any minute. We need to be prepared. I look forward to that transition. I can’t choose the time or the place of my death, but I can choose how I cross over that final bridge. I don’t know how or when it will happen, but here’s one simple thing I want and for which I pray: I want to be a faithful witness to God’s love and grace and to die in a positive way.”