"What happens after death?" The afterlife still remains a mystery we have tried to solve with religion and spirituality. However, we might finally have more information about the moments right after the heart stops beating, and it turns out we don't just pass over right away.
Scientists might have further leaps into the unknown, and what they found might be unsettling. However, knowing what to expect before death, at the moment of death, and afterwards, can help us face the experience when the time comes.
What Is Death?
Clinically, death marks the moment when your vital organs stop working to keep you alive. However, it's not always that simple. More often than not, death is part of a longer "dying" process where your body slowly shuts down.
First, you take your last breath. Then, your heart stops beating. Then your brain stops working. Soon after that, your organs shut down, and your liver stops. However, this doesn't all happen instantly. Thinking of death as a series of events that transition the body and mind from a state of being alive to dying, really puts our existence into perspective.
The Heart Stops Beating, But The Mind Doesn't
From your first breath to your last, your existence depends on processes your body and mind are always actively engaging in. Think of dying as the last process they carry out for you.
Researchers have recently found that thinking of death as a process means that there is a period of time after the heart stops beating when people are still aware of their surroundings despite technically being dead. They made the discovery when studying cardiac arrest cases across Europe and the US.
An Outer Body Experience
What the research revealed while talking to patients that had needed to be resuscitated after tehir hearts stopped beating was that they still were aware of everything that happened. They could describe the event of their resurrection for some time after their heart stopped beating, including conversations between the doctors and nurses.
"They'll describe watching doctors and nurses working, they'll describe having awareness of full conversations, of visual things that were going on, that would otherwise not be known to them," Dr Sam Parnia, who led the research, explained. "It is all based on the moment when the heart stops. Technically speaking, that's how you get the time of death."
Your Heart's Process After You Die
Until recently, we just assumed that when our hearts stop beating, everything stopped, and we simply ceased to exist. After all, when the heart stops, the blood ceases circulating to the brain, and it begins to shut down.
However, we are now learning that it's not that simple and that the process following our clinic death can take hours until our mind shuts down too. The scary part however, is that despite still being able to see and hear, there is no way for the dead to communicate with the living once their heart stops beating.
The Risk Of Brain Damage
The bad news is that despite being aware of our surroundings in the moments right after we die, we can't use that knowledge to communicate with them. However, the good news is that means that doctors have a chance to resurrect us and bring us back to life for as long as we walk the bridge in between.
However, that also means that doctors need to be extra careful when working with patients following cardiac arrests to avoid brain damage during resuscitation
The Impact Of Consciousness
This finding also raises questions about our consciousness and whether it's entirely dependent on our physical bodies or if it continues to live outside our bodies even when our bodies stop working
"We also study the human mind and consciousness in the context of death, to understand whether consciousness becomes annihilated or whether it continues after you've died for some period of time - and how that relates to what's happening inside the brain in real time," Dr Parnia added.
There Is No Timeline To Death
There is no way for us to know when our time will end. Everyone's timeline is different. There are many factors that go into how long our process of life or death will last between our health, DNA, environment, pure chance, and fate.
Cardiac arrest can happen to any of us at any point, and we just need to make sure that we've lived all of our moments so far in a way that feels fulfilling and rewarding so that as we look around us, technically dead but still able to see and hear the doctors trying to save us ad our loved ones morning us, we feel at peace.
Find Your Purpose While You Still Can
It can be scary to feel powerless to death and helpless to our surroundings when we die despite being aware of them. All we can do is make sure we live our lives according to our purpose until we get there. Are you still searching for your life purpose? You won't believe what the science of Numerology can reveal about you!
That's right, the numerology of your birth date, regardless of what month you were born, can reveal surprising information about your personality.