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Ever been close to death ? (no NDEs, please)

Posted: Wed Jan 31, 2018 6:11 am
by jukai
Have you ever been in a situation that brought you close to death ? Examples of what I mean are:

- A severe car crash that you walked out of
- Being lost in the wilderness and being rescued
- Starvation/dehydration that almost gotcha
- Tried to end your life but failed
- A serious illness that almost gotcha

If so, what happened ? What, if anything, did you take away from the experience ? Did you appreciate or hate life more after you survived ? Did you make changes to how you lived after you survived ?

I kindly ask that you do not start an NDEs discussion here. I am not interested in NDEs, and there are other threads here (I saw one specifically titled as such) that address the subject. Thank you.

Re: Ever been close to death ? (no NDEs, please)

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 1:44 am
by smiileyjen101
Forgive me Jukai, I'm just the very naughty little girl around here who pops in now and again and dances amid the topics (I'm also the OP of the 'titled' NDE thread but don't let that scare you or put off, I'm extremely harmless :wink: )
If so, what happened ? What, if anything, did you take away from the experience ? Did you appreciate or hate life more after you survived ? Did you make changes to how you lived after you survived ?
The answer to the broader question is many times, in different degrees, I've led an 'interesting' life.

Specifically though the first one - what happened ? - I was 10 years old and jumping on a bed with my sister and cousins, and my sister tickled me and I fell off the bed and my foot slipped through the flimsy 'guard' on a two bar electric heater contacting with the bars. It first electrocuted me and then thankfully exploded.

By exploding it shorted the current (albeit in a ball of fire). It threw me up in the air and I landed back upright onto the bed, my flaming foot (covered unfortunately with a nylon sock) searing through a quilt, a blanket, the sheets and scorched my footprint into the mattress before panic catapulted me to run downstairs - instinct. Complications because my aunt who was caring for me also panicked and delayed efforts to call an ambulance, and she coated my searing foot with butter to keep the air out as she'd learned as an ambulance driver in WW2 in the London Blitz.

(edited: just noticed what a good luck-bad luck-good luck-bad luck tale that is :wink: )

What, if anything, did you take away from the experience ?
- Firstly, not to jump on beds and that sometimes adults were right.
Secondly, so much about fear and pain and consequences of all of our thoughts > actions > experiences coming together in each and every interaction.
Thirdly, and forgive me for this 'it just is' and I refuse to deny it life - how pretty raindrops are flying through the air when coloured with a revolving red light on top of an ambulance - I cannot deny that somehow my awareness included this at some point on the journey to the hospital, and that I also have the awareness in the memory that my hearing was gone - temporarily thank goodness, and how strange, but kind of calming, silence is.

Did you appreciate or hate life more after you survived ?
hmm good question - I think I both appreciated, and feared it more afterwards. hate is not a concept that came anywhere near. But I also think I appreciated the degrees of it, each moment unto their own. It did involve immense pain and fear in the suffering afterwards, and physical elements of the consequences affect me still.

Did you make changes to how you lived after you survived ? - To this day I haven't jumped on a bed if a fire / heater is on the floor. I am much more aware of my surroundings and consequences of choices I and others make. But, I have still jumped on beds :lol:

Why do you ask? What are you looking for?

Re: Ever been close to death ? (no NDEs, please)

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 8:14 am
by jukai
LOL, great story Jen :) Admittedly, I was trying to picture baby Jen's little foot going into the heater :P

I ask because the subject of death fascinates me.

Re: Ever been close to death ? (no NDEs, please)

Posted: Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:18 am
by aware4ever
One early morning I went swimming in the sea, and quickly found myself being carried into the depths and unable to swim back against the current. I tried calling for help to people walking on the beach, but they couldn't hear or see me. I quickly exhausted myself, and then just tried to float, and in that moment I was pretty convinced that I was going to die.

It was an interesting experience, in that I was convinced that I'm almost certainly going to die, and I also had time to think about things. I wondered about the people in my life who would have to experience this loss and how it might affect them. Confirming a believe I've held before, I didn't really fear death itself, only the process if it painful or difficult.

I did not experience any kind of special calm or anything like that, such as people sometimes describe, but I was mostly accepting of it. I also wouldn't say it changed me in any significant way, like be more appreciative of life or anything like that. It was a powerful experience, but I don't think it had much meaning or lasting effect, except for confirming my belief that I do not fear death. And yet, who knows, even that is just a belief, based on some limited experiences and who knows what I might actually feel like in some different situation in the future, encountering the possibility of death. Although for the time being, I pretty consistently mostly feel life as not being anything special or particularly meaningful or valuable, no great loss in the scheme of things whether I live or not. And following these sentiments, it seems always too easy to consider death as a much better alternative when things get tough. What's the point of struggling and fighting and suffering, only to live a few more years or decades, get old and die anyway?

Re: Ever been close to death ? (no NDEs, please)

Posted: Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:13 am
by jukai
aware4ever wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:18 am
One early morning I went swimming in the sea, and quickly found myself being carried into the depths and unable to swim back against the current. I tried calling for help to people walking on the beach, but they couldn't hear or see me. I quickly exhausted myself, and then just tried to float, and in that moment I was pretty convinced that I was going to die.
Wow, scary ! So, how did you make it back to shore eventually ?
aware4ever wrote:
Sun Feb 18, 2018 11:18 am
Although for the time being, I pretty consistently mostly feel life as not being anything special or particularly meaningful or valuable, no great loss in the scheme of things whether I live or not. And following these sentiments, it seems always too easy to consider death as a much better alternative when things get tough. What's the point of struggling and fighting and suffering, only to live a few more years or decades, get old and die anyway?
If I understood you correctly, I think we have similar beliefs about life/death. I think life is often made out to be some super sacred thing when in fact a lot of people who are suffering would rather just be struck by lightning and call it a night. And no one will lose a wink when that happens.

We really are infinitesimal in the scheme of things. The astronomer Carl Sagan once said something quite profound about this:

(Referring to an image of the Earth taken from space, showing the Earth as a tiny blue dot)

Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there--on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

...

It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world.


Re: Ever been close to death ? (no NDEs, please)

Posted: Tue Feb 20, 2018 2:43 am
by aware4ever
jukai wrote:
Mon Feb 19, 2018 8:13 am
Wow, scary ! So, how did you make it back to shore eventually ?
It's actually a really interesting story. It seems just so unlikely the sequence of events and coincidences that unfolded...

A few years prior to this incident, I had been in another sea, on a small sail boat with a friend, and at some point, it flipped over. At that moment, we were still having a good time, I was actually wearing a hat, and my main concern was that I don't lose the hat. We started trying to pull the boat and swim back to shore, and about a minute or two later, someone came up and hooked it up to tow it back to shore. I didn't even consider that maybe I should get back with them as well. And so we kept swimming back, the two of us.

After a couple more minutes of swimming I started feeling like I'm getting tired but not making much progress, and it's becoming more difficult to swim. At this point, as I guess happens with many people in similar situations I started panicking somewhat, and swimming faster, which only resulted in feeling much worse, very fast, and like I am very near the limit of my ability to stay afloat at all. I alerted the friend who was with me, but he didn't really know what to do with me, and so that went on for about one or two more minutes, I guess, but I felt like i'm beyond any physical capacity to hang on and that any moment now I will go under. It's quite a terrible experience. And then some lifeguard pulled me out.

One reason that things unfolded this way, was that I had some breathing issue, where I would get terribly sick under intense physical exercise; feel nauseous, unable to stand, throw up, etc. But if I pace myself, I can do physical activities for hours.

Anyway. Starting with the next day, I started going out for long swims, swimming slowly along the same boat as we went much farther into the sea and back, than that day I almost drowned, and so I learned that the worst thing a person can do in this situation is panic and especially for me, as I would quickly run out of air and get sick, and unable to continue.

We also had some talks after the fact where someone asked why didn't I just try to float on my back or something...

And so, a few years later, one early morning, I found myself awake at a very early hour and decided to go for a swim in the sea. I left my stuff next to some signpost and started walking in a straight line into the sea, until it got deep enough to swim. I had to walk more than I expected as it only got deeper very slowly. At that point I swam inward for only about a minute or so, and then headed back.

After swimming back for a few minutes, I noticed that I'm actually really far, and also way off to the left of where I left my things. At this moment I remembered a talk I had with a relative who told me about some article he read about how dangerous this particular sea is, with very strong undercurrents, that even very accomplished swimmers might have trouble swimming against. And what one should do is try to swim diagonally, and not straight back for the shore.

Now if not for these 2 experiences I described, the prior near drowning and the talk with the relative. At this point, just as the previous time, I would have let the panic take over, the adrenaline rush make me try to swim fast toward the shore and then in a few more minutes, totally exhaust myself, get sick, and it would all be over.

But as unlikely as it all seems to me, that I had these two separate prior experiences, because of which, I now knew not to panic, and instead of trying to swim back, just try to float, with a minimal effort at directing myself back, in a diagonal to the beach.

At some point I tried screaming for help, to people I could see walking on the shore, but they couldn't see or hear me... So I thought it was all over, and even wondered at some point, if I should try to just get it over with, but I didn't really see how I could painlessly go about it, so I kept floating, and somehow, 20 or 30 minutes later I found myself still quite a way from the shore, but somewhere I could nearly reach the ground and stand.

After screaming and waving for help failed, and knowing that there were no lifeguards in that area, I was pretty convinced it was all over for me. And then I had some time to contemplate my imminent drowning.

Re: Ever been close to death ? (no NDEs, please)

Posted: Wed Feb 28, 2018 9:58 pm
by smiileyjen101
It's interesting that it takes us a while to figure out that sometimes we need to tune in to where we are in this moment, rather than where we want to be. That's a great lesson to learn from the mighty ocean. But how often we struggle and fight - even with life itself before we realise it.