Meeting Deceased Loved Ones
One of the most common elements of a near-death experience is the presence of deceased relatives and friends. People have also reported seeing figures that they don't recognize but feel a connection to. These meetings are often described as being surrounded by love, compassion, and understanding, even if the entities are not recognized.
It's not uncommon for someone else to recognize the unidentified figures once the NDE is over and the person describes it to others. Often, friends and relations can identify a relative who died without ever meeting the NDE participant. This happens often with younger children.
According to Michael Sabom, MD, in Light and Death, “It used to be thought that the point of death was a single moment in time. But it is now thought that death is a process, not a single moment.”
The loved ones encountered seem to be there to help with the transition of the spirit from the physical to the nonphysical realm. Many report a sense of being home. The environment sometimes appears to be a past residence. The powerful awareness of these connections is a common trait of a near-death experience.
Those who have had a near-death experience sometimes report encountering religious figures, angels, or guides. They may feel as if they have known this entity for a lifetime or even more than one lifetime.
Family pets have also been observed in these surroundings. The feeling of being reunited with a well-loved and missed pet brings great joy to the owners.
People say that contact with deceased friends, work associates, and distant relatives can have a tremendous positive effect on them, even if they were never previously close. These people often provide insight into ongoing events or reassurance that a reunion with loved ones will happen at some time in the future.
The Life Review
The life review is one of the most interesting parts of a near-death experience. Of course, it's different for each individual, but the experience shares common themes among many who have had an NDE.
A panoramic review of an entire life seems like an overwhelming concept, but people who have gone through an NDE say that it can be a learning experience, and many people describe feeling surrounded by support and unconditional love.
The experience of a life review has been described as watching an intricately detailed movie in an instant. People say that they seemed able to relive every thought and every encounter they ever had. They also felt as if they experienced the reactions and emotions they caused in every person they ever came into contact with. This complete empathy makes people realize how influential their interactions have been to others.
People also report a sense of judgment, not by others, but by themselves. Dannion Brinkley, a participant of multiple NDEs, says in his best-selling book, Saved By the Light, “you are the toughest judge you will ever have.” The review seems to give individuals the opportunity to reprioritize their lives in the future. After such a profound experience, many people say they have lost their fear of death and have become more compassionate, caring individuals.
Not all reported NDEs have the traits of peace, love, and understanding. Some people report coming into contact with a dark void, lacking any compassion or light. They feel as if they're surrounded with negative energies that are filled with anger and arrogance and lacking the concept of love.
Some people say that they were given the choice to stay and continue their existence or pass to the other side, while others report being told “it's not your time,” followed by a reconciliation with their physical bodies. People who have reported having the choice often say that they were torn between choosing this peaceful loving state or returning to the physical realm in order to care for their children or other loved ones who may need them. For those whose time has not come, there seems to be unfinished business, things to be learned and experienced, for either themselves or others they might interact with at a future time.