What Does It Feel Like to Die?
Maybe I'm weird, and maybe it's morbid, but, still, I'm pretty sure I'm not the only living person in the world to wonder what it feels like to die.
It's not a pleasant thought. We don't like to think about dying, or the process. But, the fact is, death is a part of every life. The only thing in question is the how - and the when.
Many people are fortunate to die of natural causes, or to die in their sleep. For some, the journey is quiet, peaceful, and uneventful, while for others, the process of dying is quite a struggle.
Obviously, the only people who truly know what it feels like to die are the ones who have actually died. But, it's a little hard at this point to get any information from them.
Sky News.com reported on a New Scientist Magazine report in which experts give their best account of what it's like to die in various ways, based upon science, and some first accounts of survivors who came close to death but lived to tell about it.
There is initial panic, but survivors of near-drowning episodes have reported a tearing or burning sensation as the lungs fill up with water, but it is quickly replaced with calmness and tranquility.
LOSS OF BLOOD
Being shot to death doesn't seem like such a bad way to go. If you lose enough blood, you feel weak, anxious, and thirsty. More loss of blood results in dizziness, confusion, and finally unconsciousness.
FALL FROM HEIGHT
A study of suicide attempts revealed a good case for instantaneous death from collapsed lungs, exploded hearts, or damage to organs from broken ribs. Some survivors have said they had the sensation of "time slowing down."
This has to be one of the worst and most painful ways to die. There is intense pain, and an increase in the skin's sensitivity. Some feeling is lost as superficial nerves are destroyed, but experts say not much. But, they say most people who die in fires, die from inhaling toxic fumes and asphyxiation.
This is a most curious one, because no one has every survived a beheading. Experts say it is swift and painless, although consciousness is believed to continue for a short period of time after the spinal cord is severed. There have been reports from executions in France that in some cases there was eye and mouth movement for up to 30 seconds after the head came off.