The question of what exactly happens after we die has plagued mankind for thousands of years, and we have been striving for just as long to answer it. Those that have had near death experiences may come as close to answering that question as we can get. Actual Reddit users detailed their near-death experiences in a few threads, and it's simply unbelievable.
This goes beyond the "white light" and beyond the "just nothing." Some of the things these Redditors saw during near-death and out-of-body experiences defy explanation. Some of them are haunting. It is truly a wild, mysterious, and terrifying universe we live in.
From the comforting to the terrifying to the even occasionally funny, a few of the most outlandish and beautiful experiences talked about have been rounded up below. Is there something after death? Is there nothing? No one can be sure, but if these responses are anything to go by, whatever is out there is weird.
A Conversation with God
"I had been very depressed for a while and decided it was time to go. I downed a sh*t ton of pills and washed them down with a ton of rum. While 'dead' I was in a completely dark area all alone. The peace I felt in this area was amazing. I found myself talking to a mysterious voice who told me he was God. We talked for what felt like an entire lifetime. He told me my heaven was this dark secluded area where I could finally be at peace. We also talked about nearly everything that had to do with anything. He ended with telling me that I couldn't stay because I still had business to take care of.
"Before I awoke he told me I couldn't tell anyone of what we spoke about. When I woke up my body felt healthier than I have ever felt and I had this peace about me that hasn't gone away. I feel like I can remember what we spoke about I just can't put it in words. I equate it to trying to describe a new color to someone. Anyways I haven't been nearly as depressed since then and I completely took control of my life for the better."
Death Is Tempting
"I was 15, had been through about 3-4 months of chemotherapy. I'd had a nosebleed on and off throughout the day and then after I went to bed it just kept on going. I couldn't sleep, just had to keep lying there, mopping my nose and sneezing out these rubbery little blood clots. At about 2 a.m. I started to feel sick so I reached for the container (I always had one by my bed because the meds I was on gave me really bad morning sickness) and threw up. It was a thick, dark red.
"After that, I only remember what happened in short bursts. I think my mum had got up to go the bathroom and I managed to hit the wall loud enough for her to hear, she came in and there was blood everywhere, coming out my nose and mouth, all over the bed and on the walls. Real horror show. Then I remember a paramedic being there, trying to help me out of the bed. I must've collapsed against the wall after that because next time I came round I was strapped to a stretcher and they were taking me downstairs.
"Then I was in the hospital, surrounded by about 6 doctors with these huge lights pointed right at me. It was to try and keep me warm because I'd lost so much blood. I could feel myself sweating but I was still cold, it was a weird feeling.
"One of the doctors cauterized my nose and I definitely felt that, it hurt like a motherf*cker even compared to my insides tearing themselves apart with sepsis and C. Difficile. The doctor who did it was so nervous that he pushed the white-hot material they use for cauterization right through my septum, I still have the hole today.
"The worst part of it all, looking back, is how peaceful it can seem. When I started vomiting blood, I went into shock. Hitting the wall to get my mum's attention was a subconscious thing, the rest of me just... stopped caring. When the doctors were trying to save my life, I just wanted to black out again. I didn't want the lights to hurt my eyes and the doctors to hurt the rest of me anymore, the unconsciousness seemed easier. And that's how it felt when I was in the ICU for a few weeks after that, doped up on ketamine and slipping in and out of life. Being asleep was easy, being awake meant more pain and less dignity.
"So if you want to know what it's like to be that close to death, it's tempting. It's like wanting to hit the snooze button on your alarm at 7 a.m. And maybe you do hit it once or twice but then you remember that you have work or school and that sleep can wait because you've still got sh*t to do."
Midnight in the Garden
"I had an allergic reaction to something I ate and passed out while I was splashing water on my face. At some point my heart stopped and got restarted while I was in the ambulance on the way to the hospital.
"I remember a feeling of being sucked backwards extremely slowly like being pulled through water and this blackness fading in and out. At one point it faded back in and I was staring out at a garden. It wasn't filled with flowers, just dust and patchy grass. There was a playground with a merry-go-round in the middle and two children running around it. A boy and a girl.
"It's difficult to describe but I got the feeling that I could choose if I wanted to stay or leave, but every time I tried to go back I was held in place. I went through all the reasons I wanted to go back, and when I told the presence I didn't want to abandon my mother whatever held me finally let go. I snapped back into my body. Heart had stopped for six minutes."
"Growing up, my father used to tell me of an experience he had while having open heart surgery. The doctors had to stop his heart for about 20 or 30 minutes while they inserted a mechanical valve into his heart. At the time, he was in his early 20s and was involved in a lot of bad activity that he says he is ashamed of now. Anyway, while my dad was 'dead' he said he was in a very dark place and as he wandered around, he started running into very scary people who were deformed and screaming at him. He ran for his life into a corner and hid. And just before the people got to him, he looked up and saw his deceased grandmother reach her hand down and grab him. The next thing my dad remembered, he was back in the hospital. He's convinced he was temporarily in hell."