'This Is It': People Who Have Come Close to Death Share Their Last Thoughts

Whether or not you believe in an afterlife, mediums or paranormal encounters, you'll likely have heard of a "near-death experience" or "NDE."

A new study classifies NDEs as "unexplained lucid episodes involving heightened consciousness and awareness" that take place when a person is on the brink of death.

The study claims to have found evidence that physiological and cognitive processes do not immediately stop after a person dies, and that like most beliefs about the afterlife, NDEs cannot be conclusively proven. A popular theory as to the cause of NDEs is a malfunction of the brain's processes as blood circulation diminishes.

Some five percent of people claim to have had an NDE, and a few took to Reddit to share their story, responding to a post by u/Mynameisnowbob on the popular AskReddit forum.

The callout, which was upvoted over 14,000 times, said: "People who have came close to death, what were your 'last' thoughts?"

Over 7,300 users commented, sharing a mix of NDEs, last thoughts, and gruesome tales not for the faint-hearted.

In a comment upvoted nearly 9,000 times, maloneranger said their last thoughts were: "'Of course this would f****** happen.'

"Choking on lots of blood after a vein in my throat was cut and burst after surgery. They were panicking because no surgeons were there to seal it."

Murkfury shared a similar experience: "I was having a heart issue / medication complication which I would find out at the hospital later.

"I could feel my heart pounding out of my chest but I kept getting weaker and weaker. I fell to my knees and pulled out my phone to dial 911.

"I kept thinking 'is this really happening?'"

Pricklypear_ow had a slightly more chill reaction to impending doom. They said: "Okay, this is it I guess."

"I was fished out of the pool as a little kid after realizing I couldn't swim in the deep end and going under while clawing at the surface.

"I was apparently still breathing and moving and came to while the lifeguard was still bullshitting with his teenage friends.

heaven, sky, stock, getty
A stock image shows the sun shining from behind a set of clouds. Five percent of people claim to have had a near-death experience. And, many more have described their experiences online, both good and bad.

"No disrespect to him, he was the one who got me out in time, and I thought I was gone for good. And would have been!"

Disneys_Frozen_Head shared their own terrifying brush with death: "A streetlight fell on the roof of my car after I skidded off an exit ramp and hit it head on.

"I didn't realize that they are intentionally constructed to be lightweight and hollow for instances such as this—I don't run into lampposts much.

"I was relieved when it merely dented my roof and unceremoniously rolled off my car and landed in the grass beside me."

Pseudocultist's experience made them a big fan of epidurals.

They explained: "I went into a semi-conscious pain coma after getting my lung resectioned. I was allergic to the post-op opiate they gave me, so things got really weird for about 18 hours.

"I remember being lost in the pain, it consumed me, and I was very tired. So tired that nothing else mattered. The pain would stop if I could find a way to let go, I could stop being tired too.

"I wasn't like, coding out on a crash table but I definitely felt the call of the abyss for what felt like eternity.

"The lesson here is, if you're ever offered an epidural, take the epidural."

BigKP's "last thoughts" were of surviving for their loved ones. They said: "I was in a low-speed accident on a scooter where the other driver didn't see and pulled out in front of us. We couldn't stop in time and crashed into the side.

"Time slowed down wayyyy down. I remember being in the air, falling backwards, thinking over and over 'no matter how you feel when you land, you have to get up immediately.'

"We had a very young daughter and I was so focused on not orphaning her. We were both wearing helmets and luckily I popped right up. I had some mild scrapes and bruises and a wrist sprain."

Other users echoed their sentiment, with Hadfield1981 commenting: "nothing really mattered aside from my kids being taken care of [and] it was an incredibly freeing experience.

"I learned at that point, that really, very little in life actually matters, in a good way."

ToBePacific's run-in with the weather is the stuff of nightmares.

They said: "Just as the tornado engulfed my car, my thoughts went something like this.

"'F***! That tree branch just smashed my windshield!

"'Did the car just lift upward?! WHAT THE FUCK?! WHAT THE F***?! INSIDE THE CAR IS NO LONGER SAFE! Open the door and jump? F***. F***. F***.'

"And suddenly, it was over. It lasted a few seconds. I drove home, still screaming my head off the whole way."

YoongiMin__93 remembers being told to "go back."

They explained: "Decided I was fat and didn't eat for about four weeks.

"Ended up fainting in front of my mom. I remember hearing her yelling to me to wake up but I couldn't talk at all no matter how hard I tried.

"Then this voice, to this day I'm not sure who, told me go back next thing I knew I was awake and taken to urgent care.

"Was last time I ever deprived myself of food."

Capital-Pickle-3493 was just glad not to end up in hell.

They wrote: "I just felt really tired and was confused about why the doctor was yelling at me to look at him and breathe.

"Everything just felt cold and my vision was going dark, I didn't see any bright lights or god, but I also didn't see any fire and brimstone either.

"ETA: Blood donations saved my life, straight up. If you can, give blood."

Newsweek has reached out to Mynameisnowbob for comment.