The Trigger of
Shared Death Experiences:
Raymond Moody's Research
closely related to DBVs and NDEs is
shared-death experiences (SDEs)
as coined by
Dr. Raymond Moody. In these experiences,
bystanders who are close to a dying
person experience many of the same aspects
of the NDE along with the dying person,
including leaving their bodies, meeting
beings of light, and seeing the life
review of the dying person. These bystanders
are themselves healthy and not dying
yet seem to share these experiences.
This phenomenon casts doubt upon the
materialistic theory that NDEs are caused
by hallucinations of a dying brain.
In his book,
Glimpses of Eternity: An Investigation
Into Shared Death Experiences, Dr.
Moody shares the eyewitness accounts
of those who have shared the experiences
of the dying. His book is filled with
case studies of SDEs and draws upon
his lifetime's research as well as recent
The Shared Death Experience of Johnny and His
In one example of a
shared death experience, Dr. Moody reports about
a woman who experienced a vivid shared life
review with her dying husband named Johnny and
included events she was completely unaware unaware
"I was beside him the whole time
in the hospital and was holding onto him when
he died. When he did, he went right through
my body. It felt like an electric sensation,
like when you get your finger in the electrical
socket, only much more gentle.
when that happened our whole life sprang up
around us and just kind of swallowed up the
hospital room and everything in it in an instant.
There was light all around: a bright, white
light that I immediately knew - and Johnny knew
- was Christ.
"Everything we ever did
was there in that light. Plus I saw things about
Johnny... I saw him doing things before we were
married. You might think that some of it might
be embarrassing or personal, and it was. But
there was no need for privacy, as strange as
that might seem. These were things that Johnny
did before we were married. Still, I saw him
with girls when he was very young. Later I searched
for them in his high school yearbook and was
able to find them, just based on what I saw
during the life review during his death.
"In the middle of this life review, I saw
myself there holding onto his dead body, which
didn't make me feel bad because he was also
completely alive, right beside me, viewing our
"By the way, the life
review was like a 'wraparound.'
This refers to 360 degree vision often experienced
in NDEs] I don't know how else to describe it.
It was a wraparound scene of everything Johnny
and I experienced together or apart. There is
no way I could even put it into words other
than to say that all of this was in a flash,
right there at the bedside where my husband
"Then, right in the middle of this
review, the child that we lost to a miscarriage
when I was still a teenager stepped forth and
embraced us. She was not a figure of a person
exactly as you would see a human being, but
more the outline or sweet, loving presence of
a little girl. The upshot of her being there
any issues we ever had regarding her loss were
made whole and resolved. I was reminded of the
verse from the Bible about 'the peace that passeth
all understanding.' That's how I felt when she
"One of the funny things about
this wraparound view of our life was that we
had gone to Atlanta in the seventh grade, to
the state capital, where there was a diorama.
So at one point we were watching this wraparound
and watching ourselves in another wraparound
- a diorama - where we stood side-by-side as
kids. I burst out laughing and Johnny laughed
too, right there beside me.
thing that was strange about this wraparound
was that in certain parts of it were panels
or dividers that kept us from seeing all of
it. I don't have the words to this, but the
screens or panels kept particular parts of both
of our lives invisible. I don't know what was
behind them but I do know that these were thoughts
from Christ, who said that someday we would
be able to see behind those panels too."
A Dying Mother and Her Daughter's Shared Death
In another example,
Dr. Moody documented the account of a woman
in her seventies who described a shared death
experience while tending to her dying mother.
As her mother died
the light in the room suddenly became much brighter
and she felt a rocking motion through her whole
Note: Such rocking motions are an indication
of an out-of-body experience.] She then
found herself seeing the room from a different
angle, from above and to the left side of the
bed instead of from the right side.
"This rocking forward
motion was very comfortable, and not at all
like a shudder and especially not like when
a car you are riding in lurches to the side
and you get nauseous. I did not feel uncomfortable
but in fact the opposite; I felt far more comfortable
and peaceful than I ever felt in my life.
"I don't know whether
I was out of my body or not because all the
other things that were going on held my attention.
I was just glued to scenes from my mother's
life that were flashing throughout the room
or around the bed. I cannot even tell whether
the room was there any more or if it was, there
was a whole section of it I hadn't noticed before.
I would compare it to the surprise you would
have if you had lived in the same house for
many years, but one day you opened up at it
and found a big secret compartment you didn't
know about. This thing seemed so strange and
yet perfectly natural at the same time.
"The scenes that
were flashing around in midair contained things
that had happened to my mother, some of which
I remembered and others that I didn't. I could
see her looking at the scenes too, and she sure
recognized all of them, as I could tell by her
expression as she watched. This all happened
at once so there is no way of telling it that
matches the situation.
"The scenes of my
mother's life reminded me of old-fashioned flashbulbs
going off. When they did, I saw scenes of her
life like in one of the 3-D movies of the 1950s.
"By the time the
flashes of her life were going on, she was out
of her body. I saw my father, who passed seven
years before, standing there where the head
of the bed would have been. By this point the
bed was kind of irrelevant and my father was
coaching my mother out of the body. I looked
right into his face and a recognition of love
passed between us, but he went right back to
focusing on my mother. He looked like a young
man, although he was 79 when he died. There
was a glow about or all through him - very vibrant.
He was full of life.
"One of his favorite
expressions was 'Look alive!' and he sure did
look alive when he was coaching my mother out
of her body. A part of her that was transparent
just stood right up, going through her body,
and she and my father glided off into the light
"The room sort of
rocked again, or my body did, but this time
backward in the opposite direction and then
everything went back to normal.
"I felt great tenderness
from my mother and father. This entire event
overflowed with love and kindness. Since that
day I wonder: 'Is the world we live in just
a figment of our imagination?'"
| 3. Links to Shared Death Experience Articles,
Videos and Books