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.
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.’
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.
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.”