There are many accounts of people sharing the experience of transitioning with the person moving on to the life after this life.
Raymond Moody, who coined the term “near-death experience” in his book Life After Life[i] in 1975, introduced the concept of shared-death experiences in his 2009 book Glimpses of Eternity: An Investigation into Shared Death Experiences.[ii]
Dr. Moody described being at the bed of his transitioning mother with other family members waiting for his mother’s transition. Dr. Moody said he saw their deceased father in the room, and all reported seeing an unusual light, “like looking at light in a swimming pool at night,” he wrote. “It was as though the fabric of the universe had torn and for just a moment we felt the energy of that place called heaven.”[iii]
View a video of Dr. Moody talking about shared-death experiences at www.earthschoolanswers.com/shared/.
Peter Fenwick, MD, and Elizabeth Fenwick, RN, who research end-of-life phenomena, have collected hundreds of shared-death experiences in the United Kingdom and Northern Europe.[iv] They describe one account by a wife at her transitioning husband’s bedside.
Suddenly there was the most brilliant light shining from my husband’s chest and as the light lifted upward there was the most beautiful music and singing voices, my own chest seemed filled with infinite joy and my heart felt as if it was lifting to join the light and music. Suddenly there was a hand on my shoulder and a nurse said, “I’m sorry love. He has just gone.” I lost sight of the light and music. I felt so bereft at being left behind.[v]
Dr. Pim van Lommel, who has written extensively about near-death experiences, refers to the shared-death experience as an “empathetic NDE.”[vi] Dr. van Lommel describes a shared-death experience of a man whose loving partner, Anne, had been killed in a traffic accident. Her seven-year-old son was severely injured in the accident and was not expected to live. As the boy’s transition neared, Anne’s family gathered at the hospital to console each other. The man stood at the back of the room by a window. This is Dr. van Lommel’s account of what happened.
The moment he died, when his EEG flatlined, I “saw” that his mother came to collect him. You must bear in mind that she’d died five days earlier. There was this incredibly beautiful reunion. And at one point they reached out for me and included me in their embrace. This was an indescribable, ecstatic reunion. Part of me left my body and accompanied them to the light. I know this must sound very strange indeed, but I was fully conscious with Anne and her son as they went to the light, just as I was fully conscious and in the room where all the relatives were incredibly sad because their nephew and grandson had just died. And I joined them. We were heading toward the light, but at a certain point it was clear that I had to return, so I fell back.[vii]
[i] Raymond Moody, Life After Life (New York: HarperOne, 1975).
[ii] Raymond Moody, Glimpses of Eternity: An Investigation into Shared Death Experiences (London: Rider, 2011).
[iii] Moody, Glimpses of Eternity, 49- 50.
[iv] Peter Fenwick and Elizabeth Fenwick, The Art of Dying: A Journey to Elsewhere (London: Continuum International Publishing, 2008).
[v] Leslie Kean, Surviving Death: A Journalist Investigates Evidence for an Afterlife (New York: Crown Archetype, 2017), 140-141 (citing Peter Fenwick, “End-of-Life Experiences”).
[vi] Pim van Lommel, Consciousness Beyond Life: The Science of the Near-Death Experience (New York: HarperCollins, 2010), 41.
[vii] Van Lommel, Consciousness Beyond Life, 41-42.