Experience Someone Else's Near-Death Experience
of the strangest type of near-death experiences
(NDEs) involve people who are not near-death
at all. However, because they are in close proximity
to a dying loved one, they often experience
a portion of their NDE. Such experiences are
called "shared death experiences" (SDEs).
While this type of phenomenon does not provide solid scientific
evidence for the reality of out-of-body existence,
they do provide excellent circumstantial evidence
- especially if more than two people are involved. The following
information comes from some of the top near-death
researchers on the subject of SDEs.
Dr. Raymond Moody's continuing research
of NDEs, led him to a completely new phenomenon
called the "shared death experience"
which he documented in his book,
Glimpses of Eternity: An Investigation Into
Shared Death Experiences. This is a phenomenon
where an NDE is actually shared by someone who
is not dying, but who is emotionally connected
or in close proximity to someone who is concurrently
in the "life/death transition." These kind of
NDEs attain a higher validity when it occurs
where there is significant physical and/or social
distance between the two individuals. At no
time is there any indication that the experiencers
is himself in any discernible medical distress.
Typically, the experience accompanies an individual
who is dying through sudden and unexpected means,
the sense being that of rendering assistance
to an otherwise confused individual.
P.M.H. Atwater has this to say about
cases in which several experiencers
seem to share in each other's
episode; that is to say they have
the same or similar elements,
scenario type, or basic storyline.
Usually these are encountered when
two or three people are involved in
the same accident at the same time
or are in the same general section
of the hospital at the same time.
Sometimes these states are
experienced singly (one individual
is not aware of the other during the
episode, but later learns that both
apparently had the same scenario).
Sometimes the people involved are
aware of each other, and are able to
confirm the extent of that awareness
after they are able to compare their
separate stories." (P.M.H. Atwater)
Table of Contents
1. Dr. Melvin Morse's Case of Shared Death
The following experience
is described by
Dr. Melvin Morse in his excellent book entitled
Parting Visions. Morse described this experience
as "one of the most beautiful experiences of
its kind that he has ever read.":
was one of Germany's most noted poets.
During World War II, he had an NDE. He
and his best friend were huddled together
in a foxhole during an artillery bombardment.
The shells hit closer and closer until
one finally hit close to Skala's friend
and killed him. Karl felt his friend
slump forward into his arms and go limp
with death. Then a strange thing happened
to Skala. He states that he felt himself
being drawn up with his friend, above
their bodies and then above the battlefield.
Skala could look down and see himself
holding his friend. Then he looked up
and saw a bright light and felt himself
going toward it with his friend. Then
he stopped and returned to his body.
He was uninjured except for a hearing
loss that resulted from the artillery
Melvin Morse, Parting Visions, page
2. Sussanna Uballe's Shared Death Experience
In the Summer, 1996,
edition of the
Journal of Possible Paradigms, Issue 4,
an unusual shared NDE is described by a woman
Sussanna Uballe. Here she describes what
"The experience of co-experiencing death
is, I feel, much like an NDE. I did not
have a near death experience, but did
travel part way up the tunnel with my
husband as he left this dimension.
"On Memorial day (observed), May 27,
1979, I was five months pregnant with
my son, Christopher. My husband and
I rode bicycles and ran errands around
town, and it was a very hot day for
Minneapolis. I lay down after dinner
and was so exhausted that I could barely
move. As my husband went to the corner
store about 8:00 to buy something for
his lunch the next day, I fell into
a very deep sleep.
"I dreamt that I was walking with my
husband, Herb, up a dark and shady forest
path. It was a heavily wooded path,
which was enclosed by a thick canopy
of trees overhead. The path was slightly
inclined, and at the crest of a hill
I saw the sky, somewhat like the light
at the end of a tunnel. Herb and I had
been in deep conversation, about what
I could not tell, but I suppose we were
reminiscing about our relationship.
I felt our very closeness and felt totally
"He began to tell me about what it was
like to die; at first filled with rage,
pain, and frustration, and upset that
the clerk didn't seem to understand
his pleas to call an ambulance, that
he had been stabbed in the heart and
needed help. He said that after a short
while, which felt interminable while
he was experiencing it, he left his
body and floated above it and saw the
body below him, and felt detached from
it, like it was just a body. He was
filled with peace and love. And he felt
"After telling me this, he then said
that he had to go. His feet started
to move very fast, and he began to leave
me behind on the path. I told him that
I could do that too, and put some effort
into "powering up" my feet to make them
go super fast. I actually started to
rev up and move along the path quickly,
and felt as if I was traveling up a
tunnel of forest toward the sunlight
at the top of the hill. As I began to
keep pace with him he said "NO!" in
a very powerful voice, and I woke up
in my bed, feeling hurt at being told
"I looked for him, to tell him about
my dream. He wasn't there, and his side
of the bed showed that he had not slept
in the bed that night. It was dawn.
I began to get irritated, thinking that
he must have gone off with some friends,
and feeling upset at how irresponsible
he was behaving. I went to where we
kept our bicycles, to see if his was
there, and it wasn't. I was so angry
that I broke the bicycle lock and chain
off of my bicycle with my bare hands,
(he had taken both keys with him), and
set off down the street toward the corner
store. His bicycle was near the store,
and a patrolman was standing next to
it. I asked him where my husband was,
and why his bicycle was sitting there.
He asked my name and address, and refused
to tell me anything more. He suggested
that I go back home, and that someone
would explain everything to me later.
In about fifteen minutes a police officer
and a clergyman came by and told me
that Herb had been killed the night
"The dream braced me for this news,
and although I was in shock, I felt
assured constantly that he was not in
his body, and a comforting presence
was with me throughout the next few
days of viewing the body, the funeral
and other unpleasant business.
"Two days after the funeral, I was preparing
for bed and contemplating suicide to
join Herb, so that we could be together
on the other side or in our next phase
of incarnation or whatever. I consciously
thought a question, "Should I kill myself
to join Herb, or stay here."
"I then went to bed. I was just falling
asleep when I felt a presence by my
right side, and looked to see Herb,
naked and glowing with a soft, beautiful
white light. He looked beautiful and
I felt filled with love and happiness
to see him. He spoke mentally to me,
and said, "This is our son," indicating
my womb, "Take good care of him." I
had no question then about my purpose,
and have tried to do the best possible
job taking care of my son ever since.
It did not at all seem strange that
he used the word "son", and, of course,
although these were the days before
ultrasound, I did give birth to a boy."
3. An Anonymous Shared Death Experience
The following the shared
death experience of a person who wishes to
"Here is my story of an NDE I had on
Thanksgiving evening at my apartment.
At that time (around 1991 and 1992),
I had a friend who was diagnosed as
terminally ill from AIDS complications.
Six months before, the doctor told him
he had three months to live. So, basically
he was on borrowed time. In the early
90s, there was no medication for advanced
HIV or AIDS. Once you got sick, you
"I was not planning on preparing a huge
Thanksgiving dinner that evening. But,
for some reason, I woke up and called
all the people in my address book. I
left messages on their phone machines
and said that anyone who had no place
to go for Thanksgiving could come to
"I began cooking shortly after that.
I cooked all day and fed people as they
strolled in. Then, around 11 p.m. that
night, Phillip showed up. He was the
guy who was terminally ill. He told
me he had nowhere to go that evening
and was thankful I had called him.
"All the guests for the day had gone,
so Phillip and I began to eat together.
I had not eaten all day because of the
several people that came over and my
entertaining them. So, I was quite hungry
"At this point, Phillip explained how
six months ago, he had three months
to live. He decided he would try to
make it to Thanksgiving and then finally
"So there we were and we were laughing
and joking about how he would die after
eating dinner. He'd already lived three
months longer than he was supposed to
and he was quite accepting of the whole
situation. He was no longer afraid.
He told me that his liver was so weak,
at that point, that really he wouldn't
be able to eat all the rich salty and
sugary foods on the table. If he did,
he probably would actually die. But,
that would be OK. At least he made it
to Thanksgiving and would die happy
knowing he had a place to go and a friend
who cared for him. So he decided he
would eat the dinner - everything -
and if he died, then it was God's will.
"Well, he began eating and the food
made both of us really high from the
tryptophan in the turkey. Especially
because both of us did not eat all day
long and we were making all these jokes
about dying. Then he actually started
to fade away in front of me. He turned
pure white grayish and slumped over.
I thought, 'Oh my God! He really is
"Then I saw this incredible white spinning
light appear on his left shoulder as
he was falling over toward me in his
chair. I thought, "My God! I can see
his soul leaving his body! Maybe it
was an angel who had come for him!"
"In any event, the light was so beautiful
and lovely, that I stood up without
thinking and thought, 'Take me! I'll
go and he can stay!' I so desperately
wanted to go into that light and be
with it. Suddenly, I was having an NDE
with Phillip in a space that I can only
describe as heaven. It was simply a
pure whiteness of light just like in
the movies. No visuals at all. Just
white light everywhere.
"Then, I was back in my body. Phillip
sat straight up and was back in his
body. He was muttering that he guessed
he just couldn't die.
"Then next day, when I awoke, I felt
two powerful presences. It was like
four pairs of hands on my shoulders:
two on each side holding me in my body.
I felt two very powerful angels or spirits
behind me just resting their 'hands'
on my back and shoulders and grounding
me back into this reality. I cried,
even sobbed, that I had come back here.
I was actually depressed for some time.
I was thinking how wonderful death was
and how awful it was to come back.
"Phillip lived many years after this,
I might add. Then we lost touch, so
I can't say if he is still around or
4. Dr. Joan Borysenko and Her Son's Shared
Death Experience of Her Dying Mother
following account comes from
Dr. Joan Borysenko, a psychologist and author,
who had an interesting experience with her son when
her mother lay dying. She and her son had a
shared death experience with Dr. Borysenko's
mother. Their experience was profiled in
Eliot Jay Rosen's documentary entitled,
Conscious Dying: Preparing Now For A Healing
Passage. The following is the experience
in Dr. Borysenko's own words:
"It was about three in the morning at
the time of her passing and we said
'goodbye' to each other for the last
time at about midnight and then she'd
gone to sleep. And my son, Justin, who
was about twenty at that time, and I,
were sitting with her. We were on opposite
sides of her bed. I was having a quiet
time. I was just praying, meditating,
and my eyes were closed. All of a sudden,
I had a very vivid vision. I opened
my eyes after this vision and the whole
room seemed to be made out of light.
I know that might be hard to understand,
but it was like everything was made
of particles of light: my mother and
the bed and the ceiling. Everything
was so beautiful. I looked across the
bed and I saw my son Justin. And Justin
was weeping. Tears were just streaming
down his face and he had this wonderful,
soft look, this look of awe on his face.
"And he said to me, 'Mom, the room is
filled with light. Can you see it?'
"And, boy, I said, 'Yeah, I see it.
I see the light.'
"And he said, 'It's Grandma. Grandma
is holding open the door to eternity
for us, so that we can catch a glimpse.'
"And then he went on, he looked at me
with so much love and he said, 'You
know, Grandma was a very great soul.
She came to this world and she took
a role. She took a part much smaller
than the wisdom in her soul, so that
you can have something to push against;
you can have something to resist and
become fully who you are.'" (Dr.