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.
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.