I See Dead People: Dreams and Visions of the Dying | Dr. Christopher Kerr | TEDxBuffalo


Translator: Hélène Vernet
Reviewer: Denise RQ I read a recent survey, and the title was,
“Survey on American Fears,” and what Americans fear most
is public speaking and dying. In other words, my TEDx talk. (Laughter) If that weren’t tough enough,
tonight’s topic is illumination, and the question is really:
can dying be illuminating? What we know of dying is based on
what we have observed as witnesses. We have all seen grim,
physiological decline and suffering, and we’ve all felt profound loss. So, if there is light
within the darkness of dying, it’s in the experience
not in the observing. So tonight, I’m going to share with you the words and experience
of dying patients. And my hope is that you hear
what I have heard: the dying often describing
their end of life in ways that are actually life-affirming, and rich with meaning,
love, and even grace. Before I go any further, I need
to give a few disclaimers. If it looks like I cannot stand still
and I’m pacing, it’s because it’s true. (Laughter) The second is that, aside from my mother, nobody has ever described me as particularly spiritual
or for that matter, enlightened. And trust me, this talk has nothing
to do with the paranormal. A much harder truth for me
is that I have a deep aversion to the non-physical,
spiritual aspects of dying that goes back to my childhood. On August 6, 1974, I was 12 years old, and I was standing over the bed
of my dying father, who was 42. As he lay in there, he reached out and started
playing with my buttons on my shirt, and he said we had to hurry;
we had to catch a plane. We were going to go up north
and fish like we had before. And that was the last time I saw him. My point here is
I didn’t choose this topic of dying; I feel it has chosen or followed me
throughout my life, personally and professionally. Like my father, I became a doctor. This may sound strange,
but if you have an aversion to dying, medical schools are
a pretty safe place to be. They never mention dying,
let alone the experiencing of it. Medical training is learning
how to defy death, and when you can’t defy it,
you deny it, in whole or in part. This approach to medicine worked for me when I was doing things
like working in emergency rooms. But in 1999, through a series
of unusual events, I ended up at this place called hospice. At hospice, the curative science has not only failed the patient
but has abandoned the doctor who is, eventually,
compelled to be present. And when I was present
at the bedside of the dying, I was confronted by what I had seen and tried so hard
to forget from my childhood. I saw dying patients
reaching and calling out to mothers, and to fathers,
and to children, many of whom hadn’t been seen
for many years. But what was remarkable was
that so many of them looked at peace. In April of 1999, I was in the room of a patient
I was particularly fond of. Her name was Mary. She was nearing the end of her life,
and her four children were also present. One day, Mary starts cradling
a baby that nobody can see. She refers to him as Danny
– a reference nobody understands. The next day, Mary’s sister
arrives from out of town, and explains that Danny was, actually,
Mary’s first child, who was stillborn. The loss was so deep that Mary was unable
to speak of it during her life. Yet, while dying,
this indescribable loss returns to her in some manner of tangible warmth
and tangible love. Mary, like so many dying patients, had physical wounds
that could not be cured, yet her spiritual wounds
were [being] tended to. A few weeks later, I went and saw
a young man named Tom. I came out to the nurse’s station,
and I said, “I think Tom has more time if we just give him some IV antibiotics
and some IV fluids.” Without so much as looking up, a nurse named Nancy
says, “Nope, he’s dying.” I say, “Why?” She says, “Because he’s seeing
his deceased mother.” I say, “I don’t remember
that class from medical school!” She says, “Son,
you missed a lot of classes!” Anyways… (Laughter) Tom ends up dying. What Nancy knew that I did not know was that Tom’s end-of-life
experiences had meaning. They were significant,
and not just to him, but to those of us
entrusted with his care. So, if I were to have any worth, I needed to understand, I needed to learn. I learned that end-of-life experiences are
the subjective experiences of the dying and often refer to
pre-death dreams and visions. Such experiences have been reported
throughout history and across cultures. They are mentioned in the Bible,
Plato’s “Republic”, Shakespeare. In our culture, the richest
and most thoughtful discussions have always come from the humanities
and never medicine but from poets, playwrights,
and philosophers. These observers have commented that end-of-life experiences
are so frequent they are essentially intrinsic
to the process of dying. They’re characterized
as real, intense, meaningful; provide comfort, insight, and in so doing,
help alleviate the fear of dying. So why does medicine has so little to say about something that’s so meaningful,
and actually, potentially therapeutic, not just for the patient
but for the patient’s loved ones? In part, it’s because end-of-life experiences
can easily be dismissed as confusion. And it’s true; many dying patients experience confusion
as they go through the process. However, in contrast to patients’ experience
with end-of-life dreams and visions, confused patients are detached. They have disorganized thinking. They’re unable to figure out
their surroundings, and they are more often than not
terribly agitated and anxious. The distinction is best [understood]
by listening to a patient. The patient you are about to see
in this video – her name is Jeanne – was nearing the end of her life;
and she has since passed. (Video starts) Jeanne: I was lying in bed, and people were walking,
very slowly, by me. The right hand side, I didn’t know,
but they were all very friendly, and they touched my arm
or my hand when they went by. But the other side, were people that I knew. My mom and dad were there, my uncle; Everybody I knew
that was dead was there. And they passed and did the same thing. I thought it was a good dream, but boy, I remember seeing
every piece of their face. I mean, I know that was my mom and dad,
and uncle, and my brother-in-law. I have seen my mother, recently, more. Interviewer: How do you feel
when you see her? Jeanne: Oh…! Wonderful! I can’t say that my mother and I
got along all those years, but we made up for it, at the end. (Video ends) Christopher Kerr: Jeanne isn’t confused, and it would be dehumanizing her
to label her as such. But she shows us so much more. She shows us that dying is this paradox: she is physically declining, yet, emotionally and spiritually, she’s vivid; she’s alive,
and she’s present. End-of-life experiences are not only
tied to our personal meanings but they are tied
to some of our greatest needs: the need to love, to be loved,
nurtured, forgiven. End-of-life experiences
also represent a rich inter-connectivity between body and soul, between the realities we know,
and those we don’t, between our past and our present. But most importantly, end-of-life experiences
represent continuity between and across lives,
both living and dead, so that mothers like Mary
can hold their long-deceased children, and children like Jeanne can be reunited and comforted
by their long-deceased mothers. So, again, the question: why are the words of the dying
not worthier of our consideration? I don’t have all of the answer, but it’s true we live in a time
where seeing is believing, and where data and evidence are requisites
for both understanding and acceptance. Unfortunately, when it comes
to end-of-life experiences, most of the reports were based
on anecdotal reporting. In other words, nobody
had asked patients directly or attempted to quantify or measure. So that’s what we’ve done, and to date, we have
over 1,400 interviews with dying patients. In our first study, we spoke with 66 patients
every day, until their death, and gathered 450 interviews. What we found was
a vast majority, over 80%, reported at least
one pre-death dream and vision, described as more real than real,
and distinct from normal dreaming. The next question is:
what were they dreaming of? We found out that 72%
dreamed of the deceased: family, relatives, or pets, 59% of this theme of going
or preparing to go [somewhere], 29% of the living, and 28%
of past meaningful experiences. So the next question was this: did different dream content provide
different levels of comfort? Here’s comfort on a zero to five scale,
with five being the highest. And of all the dream types, seeing the deceased was associated
with the greatest degree of comfort. The next question was: were there changes over time in either the content or frequency
of dreaming as patients approached death? Essentially, the Nancy question; could you almost predict death
based on changes of these variables? Of course, again, Nancy’s right. Frequency is on the y-axis,
weeks before death are on the x-axis. As patients approach death, they’ve a dramatic increase
in the frequency of their dreaming. They are dreaming,
specifically, of the deceased, which is associated with
the greatest comfort. So, the next question we wanted
to ask in our next study was what did these mean to the dreamer? Were there common themes?
Were there common meanings? The most common theme
was that of a comforting presence. Seeing the dead or seeing the living
was overwhelmingly positive provided a sense of reunion,
and the feeling that one was not alone. Maggie, for example, was in her 80s. She had been harmed greatly
by a childhood friend, later in life. And before she dies, she dreams of this friend,
who comes back to her and says, “Sorry, you are a good person.
If you need help, just call my name.” Kenny was 88 years old. He lost his mother as a child. And before he dies,
he dreams he’s a child again. He is in his mother’s kitchen,
and he says, “I smell her perfume,” and hears her soothing
voice say, “I love you!” Sandy was raised by her sister Emily. And before she passes, Emily returns
to her in a dream and says, “Remember what I taught you.” Many patients reported
seeing the presence of others, and they’re described
as simply being there, watching. Little is said, but much is understood. This next video is Paul. Paul has a terminal illness. In fact, he dies three weeks
after this video. But he’s talking about his deceased wife. (Video starts) Paul: I dream in color, most times. And she always wears
a beautiful light blue. It could be a suit.
It could be a gown. It could be a dress. But it’s always light blue. A couple of times, she’s giving me
the little beauty pageant wave. And a couple of times, she, sort of,
greets… always with a smile. Only once or twice
have I ever heard her voice. She always lets me know that she’s fine. I get that feeling
after a dream like that. (Video ends) CK: As I said, 60% dreamed
of this theme of travel. Jimmy sees many deceased
friends and relatives and says, “I haven’t seen
some of these people in years. I know we are going somewhere,
but I don’t know where.” Others dreamed of the deceased
just there, waiting for them. Sarah says, “There were six dead
family members in my room waiting for me. It’s good to see them.” Less frequently, people
had distressing dreams. These are often relived, past,
traumatic events, such as war. And here again is Paul. (Video starts) Paul: Another thing I’ve dreamed of
quite often, not lately, is I’m back in the service. I’m at Fort Devens up in Massachusetts, where they were forming this company
we were going to oversee; a new company. The guys are all young. They’re like…
I remember them! And I am old. And I’m trying to tell them, “Guys! I’ve been here. I’ve done this.
I’m not going to do it again!” And they’re arguing with me! (Video ends) (Laughter) CK: I have the deep privilege
of hearing many people’s life stories which tend to emerge
or come to surface at the end of life. Sometimes, I’m saddened by the amount
of trauma and tragedy people have endured. But more often, I’m inspired by the strength of the human spirit, and its endless quest to heal
what is harmed, and what is broken. And this brings me to the story of Mack. I met Mack in 2011. When I walked into his room and started
to talk to ask him what was wrong, he gave me three words, and he said,
“A war problem.” His family explained that Mack never spoke
about the war, but in the last few weeks, he was unable to close his eyes
without reliving the horror. He couldn’t sleep that’s why
he was coming into our facility. Mac went on to explain
that he was a World War II vet. He was very proud to be from Texas
and serve on the USS Texas. At the age of 17, he was involved in
the invasion of Normandy, in June, 1944. He was a gunner on a landing craft
that went from the ship to the shore. But his nightmares were about
the return from the shore to the ship. Because that’s when he was
transporting the dead and the dying. He called these nightmares
terrifying and realistic. He says, “There is nothing but death…
dead soldiers all around me.” A few days later, Mack was completely transformed. He looked comfortable
and at peace. He could sleep. He said the horrifying dream had quieted,
and in its place were two types of dreams. There were comforting dreams
and neutral dreams. In the comforting dreams,
he gets to relive the day he got his discharge papers
from the military. In the neutral dream, a dead soldier
comes up to him on a beach. He doesn’t know who he is, and he says, “Soon, they, your fellow soldiers,
are going to come and get you.” Mack was rescued by the dead soldiers
he had tried so hard to save. He had closure. He could close
his eyes. He could rest. He died peacefully,
and he died with his dignity. But just think about it. The human spirit and that courageous
17-year-old boy fought for 67 years to be free, to be released from that enormous obligation,
from that pain, from that horrible injustice. His end-of-life experiences didn’t deny
his reality, didn’t deny him his war, but it recast it in such a way that he was finally granted
his hard-earned peace. I want to end where I began: my hope was that you’d hear
what I have heard from the dying. Their words are compelling and relevant. And I hope they leave open the possibility that there is light
within the darkness of dying. Look back on your own life. Think of your greatest loss, your greatest comfort,
and your greatest wonder – loss of someone you loved, the familiar, warm hug of a grandparent,
the birth of a child. What if, at the end of your life,
at some appointed hour, the lost return, distant feelings become familiar,
and meaning is restored? If any of that is true,
then dying is illuminating. Thank you. (Applause)

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Comments

  1. Very great talk. I work at a nursing home and have been in this line of work for twenty years. Having seen and heard much from the residents I have learned a lot from them about life and death. An RN once til me “life is a gift and often death is a gift also”. Both have a place and meaning to us and are not to be feared. It’s all good.

  2. My mom worked for 25 years in Hospice as an RN and Administrator (as a nurse in the hospital for about 10 years prior to that). Hospice is the bridge between curative medicine and the time when someone moves on from this world to where ever we go afterward…My mom died unexpectedly in her own bed on April 5 of this year. What was amazing to me was the slight smile she had on her face. She looked peaceful, comforted, restful. She always told me, "people die the way they lived"…The look of acceptance and peace on her face was exactly the way she lived. Never out to change the reality of a situation–but accepting of it. I am heartbroken that she's not with us, but find comfort in talks like these because it reminds me of the amazing work my mom and all of her colleagues did. It is an honor, a privilege, to be present as another human being moves from this world into the next. They're going somewhere, they just don't take their physical body with them.

  3. Thanks to my faith in Jesus Christ, I know I will be with Him in eternity- reunited with my mom. Jesus loves you!

  4. I had an experience with my mum the week before she died which I found comforting and listen to this vid has given me a deeper understanding. However, what about people who are not dying but are suddenly killed say in a car crash etc are there any stories about them experiencing any of the phenomenon mentioned before they are killed?

  5. TEDx has, sadly, become the Walmart of critical thinking, but this one, this beautiful testimony is a rare exception. May God bless you Dr. Kerr.

  6. Death is leaving those behind we
    once knew, family, friends, the known
    and unknown. A new family and
    gathering awaits in heaven.

  7. There is no peace or calm for me. Scientists say these things are just a part of your brain shutting down and deathbed hallucinations. I've had dreams that I am having dinner with my grandparents when logic kicks in and I remember they are dead. I guess the atheists and scientists have killed any inner peace I may have had.

  8. All i know ppl here living on this planet bearly to none invite ppl to there house for a Simple BBQ and even more rare for them to inv there own families, even in movies ppl dont want to see families or in-laws so let alone theres a place were a whole party filled with everyone you ment who died is waiting to throw you a party! None of this is mentioned in the Bible so i would be worried who is “really” coming to these ppl before they Die. But if you want to know who i think all these dead ppl are coming to see the person on their Death bed . . . Demons! And no i am not a crazy person or a extrem religionist person its just basic knowledge to know as a person who grew up in churches and studied the Bible to know that these are signs of Demons!

  9. Just weeks before my father's passing he sat up right in his hospital bed and was smiling when I asked him what he was looking at he said "Can't you see it" I said see what daddy? he replied that big gold fish he keeps swimming up here and laughing at me then he swims back down under that log floating in the creek. All I could think was I was happy for him because he was seeing good things. Then one night around 2 AM I was sleeping on a cot in his room and I woke up because he was moving his arms over his head like he was trying to reach something. I got up and turned on the light and asked him what he was doing he said this child keeps playing with his ears when I asked what child he said a girls name I didn't know anyone by that name but, later that day my older sister came to visit and I told her what had transpired in the early morning hours she turned white when I spoke the child's name. Turns out she was a great grand baby who had passed at birth. I didn't remember her name. I took my father home where he spent about a month before he passed away. The night he left this world I had picked him up and held him on my lap like he was a baby again. It was so hard to believe this person was once 6'4 and 225 pounds now he was only 130 pounds. While holding him I turned myself in a way so that he could look out the window at the snow falling the street lights made just enough light everything was so beautiful. Then, he said his friends were here asking if he could come out and play, I assume kids from his childhood that had already passed. I said daddy do you want to go play in the snow? he looked at me and shook his head yes and I said go have fun daddy go play… Right away I felt him turn loose of his body and what I was holding was just a empty shell where a good man once lived. It's very hard to let go but, that's the greater plan. We all must let go.

  10. I remember when my grandmother was in her last few days… she was staying with my parents in my sisters old room as my mum was caring for her in the last stages of cancer. During the middle of the night she started yelling out for my mum so my mum went into her room. She was a little panicked because she said there were 3 women in her room standing at the edge of her bed. My mum of course couldn't see anything and told her there was nobody in there. I didn't find out until afterwards that my mum told me she had 3 siblings that were all sisters and they had all passed over many years ago…. I'd never known my grandmother to have siblings. She passed away about 2 days after she saw these women. I've read lots of stories since about loved ones that have passed coming to visit people in the days leading up to their death.

  11. My mother described seeing fairies flying around and under her bed days before her passing. My mother never would have said this when healthy.

  12. I find this comment section so interesting. Better yet im in nursing school so I may have some interesting experiences of my own someday.

  13. I honestly don’t care at all about family and friends, as long as I get my dog when I pass I’m fine.

  14. My mom woke up one night with the feeling that someone had died. In the morning she called her 98 year old father to see if he was okay (he was) and she checked on a few other people- who were all okay. During the day she received a text from her friend's son that they were putting her friend on hospice. She died soon after.
    I had a vivid dream once after my friend/neighbor died. We were at a neighborhood block party. I was shocked to see her because I knew she was dead and shouldn't be there. The sun was shining on her, bright and warm and she told me not to be upset that she was dead (I was) because she was happy. It was a good dream.

  15. First off, Buffalo ❤, my home town. I miss many things about it. It's cool to see TED Talks happen from there. Second off, many people have experiences with people's spirits after they leave. Usually by accident and often unaccepted even by the person themselves. Third, I wondered. I had my own experiences here and there from young childhood on and wondere. Overactive imagination? Magnetic energy bringing about weird sensations or whatever scientist and Dr's say may he happening in the mind or in the molecular environment at the time of such experiences. Then in mid 2001in to early 2002 I encountered and became friends with two separate people who did not know each other and also never met as far as I know, over two various times over that year time period I'd say, who ended up spontaneously sharing with me that they had each had outer body after life experiences. Different causes of death and various things they experienced when leaving but also some very similar things and how it changed their lives and in one case it was truly like a miracle. I mean they were all miraculous in thier own right, but one of the experiences involved a real 100% against all odds comeback and recovery that shook even the doctors involved in the case according to my new friend. This also happened to be during a time when I was going through a tough patch in life. Recent loss of what I considered at the time an important and valuable relationship, starting a new job. living in a new place …..and potentially not being my very best self in some ways. These were/are all good, sane, rational, reliable people with families and children and steady jobs and just normal down to earth people. I didn't really think much about it at the time outside of : That sounds amazing, and how do they explain that (though they seemed to need no explanation because they were very comfortable with the knowledge of knowing what it all was and currently being aware of what awaits them after this) and then as he second and third accounts where just shared with me out of the blue I thought: Huh…this is kind of weird? All these people telling me these things so close together. Went on with my life, but then looking back I think it may have been like a nudge from the universe or something letting me know or trying to inform me that it's not really over once we leave here (which I knew anyway, but like I said, I was not in the best place of my life at the time. Things felt exceptionally hard and somewhat hopeless at the time)….and I mean, maybe it was some kind of message of hope or important truth or something. IDK, but their accounts where just too detailed and sincere for me to buy that it was all just a figment of their imaginations or crazy brain exit physiology. How do these people see and hear conversations in other rooms from above, know exactly what happened all around them or with loved ones when playing gone with eyes closed. How are they so sure of their purpose before coming back and so positive of the other things they know await them after when it's time to go for real. One of them, the guy that was a miracle of miracles situation shared with me that he wanted to stay, but knew he had to come back even though he just wanted to stay, but then once he was back he knew he was meant to be here for a reason and now he never questions things because he knows things that happen are meant to be. It freaked me out a bit and I think I took a two day break from talking to him even when seeing him around work, but then he was such a nice person and good friend I started talking to him again as normal.

  16. so was it the ativan that sent me to the glowing people….warmth and utter love and peace… so much so that i remember telling the nurse to send me back when i awoke?

  17. Reading all these comments and I cry and cry and cry. I'm not into religions at all, but I truly believe that death is not the end and to hear all this stories touches me on a very deep level. I can't even tell if my tears are happy or sad ones right now.

  18. I've seen the departed all my life I see the victims of horrible accidents brutal murders or just natural causes I've talked to them helped as many as I could

  19. I'm so happy that I caught this episode. Such true words on life and death. Our souls know the truth about the beyond, but sometimes our minds keep questioning what we don't understand.

  20. My mom died two years ago from MS complications. She lost consciousness and while she was able to breathe on her own, she never woke up. I'd like to think that she spent that time in dreams filled with good memories and loved ones and was at peace.

  21. My Dad passed in 2015, we were very close and I have not been able to process it yet. He seems to visit me in my dreams sometimes and gives me a hug or just talks, and I know it is him because I can smell him, it fills me with such loss, but greatful I get this moment with him and I wake up sobbing. Is this just my brain digging up forgotten details and making it a memory or handful of buried memories making a DAD character in my dream? I don't know….. It just feels so dam real when it happens.
    When you are WITH the dying you try and keep their spirits up and you DO NOT talk about DYING because they are afraid and in need of HOPE, so you put on a happy face and keep things positive, and the things that should be said… don't. I really hope there is more….. we a dispatched so easily and life is very short.

  22. I lost my husband suddenly in 2013, on Valentine's Day. He was 50 years old and healthy. My life, as well as the life of my two boys, was turned upside down. I see that day as a way for him to show me the enormous love he had (has) for me. I always dream of him, it's a way of staying together. I still feel him at home, which is where he should be. It's not at all easy, but looking at the positive side of these heartbreaking events helps us live in serenity and maybe, who knows, our loved ones also.

  23. It seems our body has a defense for pretty much everything. Goosebumps so are hair stands up and we appear bigger when scared, hiccups, a runny nose. Why wouldn't we have a defense for dying too.

  24. Hope you are no longer lonely Kevin ….. what is your star sign ? law of attraction does not always work + that has been said by some who teach the method , the lady you meet should be a great conversationalist, well mannered + warm, maybe a gemini ?? Keep up the wonderful interviews Kevin thank you 😉

  25. I am 70 and a born again Christian. I am a Christian song writer and I do testimony's of what Jesus has showed me. Including seeing him 2 times 2014 & 2018. Well I'm very sick 6 life threating illnesses. I'm 70 born 48 I never dream 6 in my life. End July this year. Had a dream Jesus asked me if I wanted to join the celestial angelic band. I said what is it he showed me. The guitarist playing I assume is dead. Wow there is no one that good down here. They have more notes in the scales, bend nots octaves . well I said yes. And I woke up.
    Is that a message I'm going to die. Or when I finally get up there. Last night asked Jesus to help me with my pain. In morning went to feed birds there was a dead sparrow. Bible says God even knows when one dies. So he knows my pain?
    God bless ty for listening God bless
    Tom Tracy

  26. My experience holding the hand of my father when he passed, then father-in-law a couple of years later, when he passed, completely agrees with and identifies with your talk and experience here. Thanks so much for sharing your experience with us here.

  27. Jesus Christ says I am the way the truth and the life and no man comes to the father but by me. Why take another route when the way is so clear and he is love. Pure love

  28. I’ve also grieved a lot for my grandfather. I dreamt of meeting him while crossing a street, in the middle of the street. Picture a very sober man who always had his tie on even many years into retirement for breakfast. Then in the dream, very content with himself, he starts doing this cool “Joe Pesci”-like walk as if saying to himself upon seeing me “Look who we have here.”
    I hugged him and it was overwhelming, I started crying. Probably from past dreams experience with him I said, wait, I’m gonna lose you again, right? It always ends this way, I know I’m gonna lose you again.” At which point I start crying really hard still hugging him.
    His state of mind didn’t change however. It was I’d say 80 % contentment and 20% compassion for me. And at the end he said “See, that’s why I don’t come more often, because you always get so upset over this, and you cry, when there is no reason to.”

  29. I had a lucid dream a couple off weeks after my mum died and in this dream so told me she loved it where she was and said I would too when my time came. Mum than told me to wake myself up as dream was going on too long I told her I didn’t want to leave her yet but she insisted so I did. Just like my mum to get worried like that bless her I know she’s happy wherever she is.

  30. But what about those who die instantaneously in a tragic accident? Or those who die while all their relatives are still alive, to the point anyone deceased they see they wouldn't know? I was in a medically induced coma once for a week to stop seizures. The doctors all thought I wasn't coming out or that I'd be brain damaged. But I woke up. And while recovering, I saw shadows and hands on the ceiling and kept saying "the people are here again". But I attribute that part to whatever drugs they had me on. HOWEVER, I do recall one thing odd:

    I remember talking to somebody, somewhere. I don't know where I was or who it was. It was just a voice of comfort. And I can't recall any details, but I could swear that I was told about my future and filled with a most unusual sense of energy and will to live. And when I got back to consciousness, I had a desire to live life as much as I could, which was the opposite of the suicidal thoughts and attempt that caused the seizures. But the fact I can't recall anything lucid makes me question if it was just a drugged out dream. But it's as if I shook a hand and made a deal to live some more at the cost of losing all I just learned – as if I was given a choice to live this life as originally planned, or choose the other option, whatever it was.

    I know it's hard to believe. But it confuses me when I try to remember. Unfortunately, that zest for life faded again 3-6 months later and I fell into usual depression routines. But at the time, all of whom I ever knew and loved aside from one great grandma were still alive, so I definitely didn't see any dead people I knew. But I very vividly remember the shadowy hands all on the ceiling and walls, and very vaguely the comforting conversation with someone in some void somewhere. Kind of scares me a little to recall.

  31. I lost my beautiful 28 year old son 10 days ago, on the 8th of August. He left the house with friends and my daughter to ride jet skis and it was 'just a normal day' here. He landed wrong on a cliff dive and didn't come back up. My daughter couldn't find him after searching under murky water over and over. He was recovered 4 hours later by the dive team. My strong willed, lovable, daredevil son, gone in a just a moment. I am so lost right now. I will never get over this, ever. He will be forever missed. And I am left with so much to wonder and worry and fear for him. And it hurts so deeply.

  32. My father died in my arms at the age of 51. I cradled him like a child as he stepped into the arms of Christ. Immediately after he died I looked up and to this day I know he watched me as he left. Its only a tent we reside in folks.

  33. At 72, I consider the issue of death more often and more fully than I did when I was younger. It's closer, whether one wants to admit it or not. And, perhaps it's better to avoid embracing death too fully, lest one lose a demonstrably tenuous connection to life. At it's base level, living is about getting food, air, and water through our personal bag of blood and guts as effectively as possible and with as few of life's embarrassments as possible. Five years ago I had to admit to myself that I had not died. It was my father who had passed, the last of my parents. Without recognizing the transition, this somehow signaled in my mind that I had entered the last stage of my life. I sank (plunged, fell, dropped, descended) into what medical science now calls depression and severed as many of my connections as possible with the wider world. Maybe I needed time to heal. Some of us weather the storms better than others. But it's only now in 2019, the year of the birth of my great grand daughter, that I'm feeling the tug of belonging again. But I'm tender, know what I mean?

  34. This doctor, I take it he's a medical doctor? He has great foresight and greater understanding of the fact that we humans aren't just flesh and blood, we are breathing, feeling beings. Amazing video. Thank you for it. 🙂

  35. omg you foolish man…the spirit world is real… stop with your mechanistic Newtonian materialistic DOGMA/ You are brainwashed

  36. Dr. Kerr. It sounds like these dying individuals are working thru their unfinished business in their dreams. The business involved seems to be far past, those involving the long dead. If Dreams involve your subconscious dealing with things your conscious mind can't handle then it would make sense to make peace with or get comfort from the dead. It's something your waking mind doesn't handle very well. You cant really interact with the dead while awake but in dreams, anuthings possible. Facing your own mortality leads to taking inventory of your life. Folks work thru it one way or another. I lost my first patient at 16, I'm now 53 and a hospice nurse. In my experience, those that find their peace have a much more peaceful death, those that don't experience the opposite. Thank you Sir for being a Doctor that cared enough to study and care for these people. As you said, doctors don't learn much about death. In my humble opinion, med school should have a significant rotation thru hospice. It's very hard to explain to a hospice patient that they are probably not going to die in the time frame the doctor has given them and their focus should be on enjoying their time and loving their families not waiting with baited breath for their doctors incorrect prediction.

  37. I’m just 1 of over 2000 comments..
    Here’s my story,
    While sleeping one night, what I call my angels came to me (they were my family elders) actually I was in their presence so technically I went to them in a room with a warm glow. I couldn’t see their faces, but I knew them all..
    First thing I asked was about my father who had committed suicide ..on the end closest to me was a man in a dark shroud unable to speak
    They said he had more to learn.

    They told me my husband was going to die…well I argued as he was only 55, exercised, ate well..this can’t be possible..
    They chuckled at me and again stated he was going to pass.
    They told me I would have a rough time for a while and that I would find love again and after some time I’d
    join them when it was my time..and it won’t be my fault..(I’m accident prone so you know I’m going out in style)
    I had this dream 2 weeks before he had a massive heart attack and passed..Jan 2000.

  38. My maternal grandmother passed away last month. My mom was there with her in the hospital as she died and said my grandmother kept saying, "Mommy, is that you?" And just kept calling to her mother. My mom thinks she was just confused as her body was shutting down. I'm sure now that she truly was seeing her mother.

  39. I see spirits, not dead people. as a medium I hate that term, just isn't true. no one dies that is just a human illiusion

  40. Yes but it's still all illusory, surely? A lot of people get taken out instantly in road accidents or sudden death. Or people die of drug overdoses, in an alcoholic stupor and so forth. And where do the countless tens of thousands of aborted babies go? Is the child waiting on the other side for the mother for whom it was inconvenient? It may be comforting to think that death isn't an eternal blank but a lot of this afterlife material really doesn't add up.

  41. My grandpa went for a haircut and shave the day he died. He later at the hospital, asked for his kids to gather around his hospital bed, to eat watermelon. As they'd done on the hot summer days. And passed holding my dad's hands.

  42. The slight chance that i would be able to see the deceased family members at my death bed once again gives me so much hope and makes me so happy.

  43. I would love to hear more from this incredible doctor! I truly love this talk and appreciate evert single word he said.

  44. My father, who suffered from dementia caused by years alcoholism, was placed in hospice for his last moments few months on earth. He and I had a strained relationship as a result of the disease and we didn't speak for many years until near the end of his life. Conversations were difficult where he would repeat a lot or you couldn't understand him. My step-mother didn't want to tell him he was dying in hopes to spare him any difficult feelings because he had always feared death. A couple of days before he passed, he somehow knew he was going to die and that he wanted to see my brother and I. When we got there, it was as if I was talking to my old father back when he was sober. He was articulate and coherent which allowed us to a lot about the past. He wanted us to stay the night and being that I had a young son at the time I couldn't stay and he had been holding on for over a month at this point. I truly didn't think this would have been the end and I had no previous experience with end of life care so I was ill-equipped to fully understand it. He went to sleep that night and stayed that way for another day and then passed the following day. I wish I would have spent that last night with him but I will forever cherish that last gift he gave me which was a conversation and an opportunity to say I love him.

  45. This Summer of 2019 the last aunt of my mother's side of the family was about to die. I went to visit "Rosie" and her daughter was there. The daughter told me that morning Rosie pointed up high on the wall at the foot of her bed and said "Look, Mamie and Carmella have come to see me." Mamie was Rosie's sister and Carmella was my mother; all deceased. The three of them grew up together and for a time were inseparable shoppers."

    I returned home which I shared with my mother as she aged and eventually died. That night after visiting Rosie I went to sleep and was awakened at 2:25am by a song playing on a desktop computer in the den next to my bedroom. The song was "We're Back in Love Again" an old Country Music ballad I had loaded in the browser and left there as is for several days as I am learning the song to perform. The song started playing all by itself. As we know YouTube videos do not start playing by themselves. The mouse has to be used to click to play.

    My mother stopped by.

  46. I can’t relate this, my father passed away and I had a dream of my father in his birthday and the day he died, he hugged me tightly and to this day I still feel his hug, he gave me peace, the thing is I alway worried and hoping he was ok, after that dream I feel in heart that his fine

  47. Long comment here…my father is a math Dr David s Johnson doesn't believe in God and is no way spiritual he's a man of science and is nothing short of a genius (look him up) so he had a surgury due to cancer where he lost his right leg during surgury which was completely unexpected he was never informed of this until he woke up from the surgury…so after the surgery he told me that while he was under anesthesia that he was in some way conscious and that he was able to somehow see his right leg (which was the one amputated) in some sort of corner of his consciousness during full anesthesia which seems impossible but that's what he told me and then continued the rest of his life still dismissive of any and all spirituality…that's my dad he is who is is a man of science and concerned with everything else and not lofty spitual stuff

  48. Dr. Kerr was the dr who was in charge of my dads care when he was in hospice care in 2004. He was a compassionate and very warm person in caring for my dad. I’ll be forever thankful for his presence during that time.

  49. very boring…..now i know who to avoid the audience to walk out…i do not agree with that…….BUT if u have 22 people comng, do you want 7 strangers walking in and walking out/ NI WAY.OUCK UP YOUR GAME

  50. the kind of comment section i love the most. it has lots and lots of stories and i am reading all of it. just like a short stories book. wish youtube had comments like these everywhere and not the hate ones

  51. I have seen spirits from a small child and grown up with them! They can become solid just like you! We cannot die! You are living in a 3rd dimension realm, higher dimensional beings are spirit, they don't speak to me they look at me and smile information is telepathic or pictures like running a film. This is true love to you all 😊 💜

  52. My father, Rev. Robert D. Herzog, was told he had 2-4 months to live when diagnosed with cancer. As a Christian who specialized in death and
    dying throughout his 44-year ministry, it was time to practice what he preached. He died exactly 100 days later and throughout his dying he spoke of being in the presence of God with others and God asking what they thought the meaning of life was. He also spoke of being in the company of the apostles, but said "Andrew" wasn't there." He saw colors, and light that he couldn't describe because he said there were no words for it. And he said, "we have everything we need", and that "God is in charge." I chronicle the most transformative, sacred journey filled with lasting gifts in the book, "100 Days | Dying to Tell His Story" @t.

  53. My father, Rev. Robert D. Herzog, was told he had 2-4 months to live when diagnosed with cancer. As a Christian who specialized in death and
    dying throughout his 44-year ministry, it was time to practice what he preached. He died exactly 100 days later and throughout his dying he spoke of being in the presence of God with others and God asking what they thought the meaning of life was. He also spoke of being in the company of the apostles, but said "Andrew" wasn't there." He saw colors, and light that he couldn't describe because he said there were no words for it. And he said, "we have everything we need", and that "God is in charge." I chronicle the most transformative, sacred journey filled with lasting gifts in the book, "100 Days | Dying to Tell His Story" @t.

  54. find and read the book 'proof of heaven'

    when you think about it, consciousness is just senses of interpretation of the brain. Without the brain and it's interpretations there is no reality, our consciousness creates our reality. Without it, the world doesn't exist, nothing does, the world and everything in it needs your consciousness to exist

  55. My dad was an atheist as well as my Mom and I. He had thyroid cancer and before he died he was in a hospital. As he was laying in the hospital bed passing out form time to time since he was very weak, one of the times he woke up he told my Mom "Listen, it's ok, I've already been there." He passed away the next day and after a few days I had two dreams about him.

    One where I was opening the door to my home and I saw him coming up to the stairs, he looked at me as if he was checking who is coming in and he went upstairs without saying anything. Fun fact about my mothers side of the family: it is very common for them to dream about the deceased person and they NEVER speak – my grandma often dreamt about my grandpa and my Mom dreamt about her Mom when she passed away and in both cases the ones that passed away do not speak.

    The other time my dad came to me in my dream, he sat next to me by the table, I was shocked and asked him how is it possible he's here since he passed away, and he said he was just visiting, so I asked how he was doing and he replied "I'm better, they are fixing me, so my cancer is going away. Their medicine and technology is far better".

    I am still an atheist but it gives me great hope that I will meet him again, and that this life is not final.

  56. Question 1 : How did this doctor lose his license to be a real doctor?

    Question 2 : Is the guy trying to make money from other people's grief to offset his financial losses after losing his medical license?

    Question 3 : Evidence?…………I mean any at all? That a "soul" may go on or not, is not conclusive one way or the other scientifically. Science doesn't even offer a definition of what consciousness actually is whether or not it transcends death. But this guy seems to be a Gypsy Rosie Lee con artist with all the answers.

    Poetic allusions to death regularly have absolutely nothing to do with physical death but with allegorical psychological death or transition.

    Dreams are not death experiences, unless the dreamer dies before telling anyone.

  57. My mother always tells me how her grandma said to her granddad: "Alright, I'm going to bed now, I'm going to die."
    He ran to call a doctor, but as he returned she was already dead.

  58. "In our culture, the richest and most thoughtful discussions have always come from the humanities and never medicine, but from poets, playwrights, and philosophers." ~ Dr. Christopher Kerr, 2015

  59. "She shows us that dying is that paradox: she's physically declining, yet, emotionally and spiritually, she's vivid, she's alive, and she's present."

  60. People are lost… they let their parents grow old without them being on their side. My father is 65 and looks after my grand parents which are +90 years. He makes food, cleans them. my mother helps him too. This is how it goes tomorrow I will do that for my parents… people lost touch with reality and are so fixed on their jobs and status

  61. A few years after my Nanny (grandmother) passed, I had a dream where she appeared vibrant and illuminated. I had never had a dream of her before or since. She only said two words "Its True"! And so I was racking my brain as to what exactly she was referring to. After about a week or less, I remembered I had had a conversation about God and Afterlife with her. She knew I was a believer in the Afterlife and asked me what made me so sure. I told her (at the time she was in her 80s) I was pretty sure, but that is more likely that she would know for certain before me. So we both made an agreement that whoever found out the Truth first would try to tell the other one!

  62. This really puts me at peace when I think of death now. I hope I get to live out my life and die old. But I will always take car of the ones who took care of me in their passings. This is very interesting. But gives me hope there is an afterlife.

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