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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100 Responses

  1. Denise McDougal says:

    So true, thank you

  2. J R says:

    I've never had anything like this happen to me. But my grandmother, who is now in her 80's recently told me a story that her best freind told her. My grandmother's best freind was with her own mother at the end. Before she passed, she looked around the room and said, "Wait, I know you, and you. And you!" And she seemed happy to see them and passed away within several minutes after that. When my grandmother heard the story she was very happy. While my grandmother is still relatively healthy she is now at peace with her own impending death. She is a wonderful human being, one of the best ever. I hope when it's my turn to go she will be there to greet me.

  3. Kim Harrison says:

    The comments are more interesting the video..

  4. Bald Bride says:

    My house was a busy place spiritually when I had my last baby- I think when life is also brought into the world- passed on family also want to check in on the baby to see that they arrived.

  5. Douglas Dishroon says:

    Your death is simply another "Ride." I realize this is an old video, but, YouTube just decided to share it with me. This phrase, "End of life experience?" I understand what you mean, although, not sure why you, or, anyone else think this "Experience," occurs only at the moment of someones death. I have been a medium since the age of five. My mother took me to see a psychiatrist in Santa Ana CA. in 1966. She was worried because I knew things she felt a child my age should not know. The doctor examined me and said, "He's very intelligent, knows way too much about things he should not know, he is imaginative and healthy. Take him to Disneyland, he'll be fine." Knowing most people are too busy to read, I will make this short. You and I are much more than this physical body. We are spiritual entities living a physical existence. You have, and will continue for the rest of your "Physical existence." Come in contact with a world inside of your soul/spirit/mind. You may call them dreams, Astral Projection, nightmares, ESP and Daja vu. Every single second of our existence in this physical body makes up what we will one day live with. Your mind does not capture and hold your thoughts and memories, your soul does. I know, it's crazy, but, when you die, your spirit will stand over your lifeless body. You will make yourself believe it's all a dream. You must accept the truth today, or, you will find yourself where many of the dead find themselves. In denial. There are times when this cannot be avoided. I met a young man who had been shot in the back of his head and died. He had no recollection of his actual death, thinking it was all a nightmare. It happened so quick, he was dead before he hit the ground. He thought I was a part of the dream. He died in 1945. He had been standing over his dead body for over 20 years. I would assume he is still doing so. Your death is simply another "Ride."

  6. Douglas Dishroon says:

    Someone you loved will come and get you when you die. Don't be afraid of death, you're going to be fine. Remember this above all else. (No one will judge you other than yourself. So! Do not do anything in life you cannot live with for eternity.)

  7. Lisa R says:

    Such a good talk. It moved me. Actually bookmarking it. I’ve not been present at human deaths, but have been present at many animal deaths. There’s a feeling to it, those final moments, that I can only describe as grace.

  8. Chris Robson says:

    2 words,COMFORTING and THANKYOU god bless you-or whatever is in charge of us.

  9. Ichbinliebe Schon says:

    so do i

  10. rabbit white says:

    When u can't defy it u deny it

  11. Nero II Bautista says:

    my grandpa waved his hand goodbye then after few seconds, died… really weird! there must be something out there, who knows? an afterlife? a transition? a realm where all our spirits go to? hmmmm

  12. Brenda Eulenstein says:

    Did ANY of them talk about JESUS.? Seems like all they had to worry about before dying was earthly problems. The people have forgotten their GOD, our God, our saviour. Woe to them that forget. ?

  13. Patrick Craig says:

    What if you had a family member (like a biological father) that hated you on earth? Why would you be reunited in the afterlife?

  14. Richard Kelbe says:


  15. Kumar Sahani says:

    If a ghost can make a whisper(does that mean it has a tongue?) if yes! Does that mean that ghosts can fu*k with the living ones?

  16. Roger Strom says:

    I Wonder What Mothers See That Aborted Their Children ?

  17. Chance Last says:

    I miss my brother so bad

  18. Kala Spears says:

    I just wont to say im on my wifes youtube acc but idk if its me but i was born on aug 7 1986 and over the years i have saw that there have been alot of things that has haopenc in
    The 1st part of aug from the 1st nuke that we droped on japan down to famliy members dieing it might be me were my brithday is on aug 7th thag see it like this but idk god bless

  19. Arnold Strull says:

    I will stick with the Bible Ecclesiastes 9:5-6 , the dead knows nothing under the sun

  20. olivia martinez says:

    This is just what I needed to hear. I am 22 and have always struggled with religon, but the idea that this world and the people around me are just chance of the universe and science also seems wild. I have been having anxiety attacks about the idea of dying, but this gives me hope that something is out there, and that death isn't a scary monster that will take everything away from me. It can be a cathartic thing. Thanks Dr. Kerr. You should write a book.

  21. jenny taylor says:

    Magnificent talk.

  22. Austin Allen says:

    Fantastic talk. Good job on your research! It must be such a priveledge to learn so much from the experience of others as they prepare to cross beyond.

  23. Taz-on-the-loose Yusef says:

    im sure very busy rich people dont know this, as their schedule and minds are always fully booked by riches and fame

  24. Yahu Yahu says:

    So there are no re births? All those passed away since beginning of mankind are souls?

  25. Danny bailes says:

    This made me tear up a bit.

  26. winter rose says:

    I am my mothers caregiver with my young son.I have several exhausting health isdues Im broke and broken.Two days ago my mother started asking me if Id seen my dead father whos been dead some 30 yrs. Shes been asking this question of everyone more and more each day.Shes seeing him while awake.

  27. John72TB says:

    My Grandmother passed peacefully at home with my mom (an RN) caring for her. She had no ailments other than being weak from old age. On that particular day though she ate a larger than normal dinner and my mom helped her to bed as normal. A couple hours later she heard her talking. When my mom went to check on her she said she was talking with a long dead relative (almost whimsically). 30 minutes later she re-joined her family. My mom (being of that same medical mindset) blamed herself for the rest of her life for not being there to save her in the night. I always felt more on par with this video and that my Grandma knew she was right where she was supposed to be that day. Miss you Grandma. Miss you Mom. See you again someday.

  28. australka25 says:

    I was with my mum until the very end – circle of life RIP mama +++??????❤️️1951-2019

  29. Bahaari TV says:

    I wonder how those who pass very suddenly feel or experience. Like in accidents or planes crashing, war, etc.

  30. justaperson says:

    I’m not afraid to die I died medically 4 times already. I saw things that are beyond explanations. They weren’t good though so, yeah.

  31. Madeleine Gilvey says:

    My Mom talked a about her dead brother before she passed

  32. Mil Els says:

    Before watching this video I was watching Brian Cox he being a scientist does not believe in this kind of stuff only believing in the cosmos etc A very intelligent man But he can't see with spiritual eyes beyond what is going on out there there must be a different dimensions that we can't see now like radio waves you can't see but we know it's there

  33. Black Mamba says:

    I dream about dead people on a regular basis… several times per month. Mostly family members who i was close with, but not always. Most vivid dream i ever had was of my ex-inlaws within a month of my ex-mother-in-law's death. 4D high definition had nothing on this dream.

  34. steve pain says:

    I see live people We are the ones that's dead

  35. Aqeela says:

    I saw my grandmother in a dream, who passed away a year ago. In my dream my sister opened the front door to reveal my grandmother, but she shut the door on her. I put my shoes on and ran up the street after my grandmother. She got lost in a crowd, I couldn't find her.

    To even see a glimpse of her in my dream was so special to me, but it's a shame I couldn't reach her. I love her very much and want to apologise to her for anything I did which upset her. To this day I hear her name and my heart aches so badly.

  36. kernowoggie says:

    Sadly, death isn't always nice, cosy or optimistic. I work on an acute medical ward in a UK hospital & have helped care for dying patients. Some are desperate to go home to die but are denied that wish by those who claim to love them. Death for some is surrounded by strangers or alone in a side room. Frankly, I'd hate to die in a hospital. I'd rather be at home (even if alone) surrounded by my memories & comforts.

  37. Liam Collier says:

    We don't die, we just change!

  38. marie chianca says:

    In early August of 1995, my mother was hospitalized with heart and kidney failure and we were told she had 3 days to live. All of her children were by her bedside. She went into a coma and it’s was the third day. Next two days were the same. We were all crying and my brother wouldn’t stop leaning on top of her crying. Well, she woke up and asked my brother to get off of her. We told her we didn’t want her to go. Shen then told us she wasn’t going anywhere, that my deceased father came to her and brought her wedding gown and said he will be back to get her on August 19, which was the day he died. Well, it brought us peace and on August 19 she passed away with a smile on her face. We a found peace in this.

  39. happy2B anoutsider says:

    love this talk. everything he says, brilliant mind.

  40. Scottybeammeup2 says:

    DL Moody's last dying word. Earth Recedes. Heaven opens, If this be death, it is glorious.

  41. Thefruitshowstheroot says:

    …better believe the bible and stop guessin….

  42. Maria Williams says:

    This is just more evidence that there is an after life.

  43. Mary Marshall says:

    My father said when dying he did not fear being dead but just that jumping off point when it happens… he also said life and death run together – u cannot have one without the other….

  44. John Kraus says:

    My mother 90 years old was in hospice being given less than a week to live because of an inoperable bowel obstruction. As she faded away they had a tube in her nose to remove bile from her stomach. She hadn't eaten for a week, no IV just water. As she weakened she started talking to dead relatives and holding conversations with them. She was wide awake and talking to me just seconds before and making sense.

    This went on day and night and I started to greet the visions also to make her feel better. I argued with the hospice nurses that there must be something they could do to try to unblock the intestine. I always look at things from a mechanical view point. I was staying with her overnight in the dark listening to her talk up a storm with people, family. Friends that had passed.I recorded multiple conversations and one night I noticed she would ask a question to the deceased and actually pause for the answer.

    I played it back over my headphones in the dark from an iPhone and was freaked out that during the pauses by her I could hear static like energy then silence before she spoke again. Needless to say, I jumped off the rubber cot and turned on a few lights I had goose bumps and a sense of calm at the same time. She told a nun that her dead sister showed her heaven and she could stay but she decided to stay here. The nun was really freaked out like she never heard that before, a revelation.

    I got more determined to do something for my dying mother. One night I brought in some warm Diet Coke and filled her sippy cup to the top, she drank the whole thing. I did that for three nights and on a Thursday the nurses said her intestines cleared out. One night mom pulled the nose tube out of her stomach and they decided not to reinstall it because they had to have three nurses hold her down to do it. They were still insisting her organs were shutting down and that would speed up the process.

    She had lost 25 lbs by then, and hadn't eaten for nearly three weeks. So I ordered her scrambled eggs and juice. She ate everything. That was on Mother's Day May 12th. She's been eating on her own since then it's been 67 days and no problems. She quit talking to dead relatives, and has even called me on the phone. What I took away from this experience is I'm not afraid of death and believe what I heard was actually happening. I had hoped for a glimpse of acknowledgment of her seeking a deceased relative but she spoke volumes. It especially made me feel good that her 2 cats that passed away over the years came to escort her to the door with the light behind it, but she said she was not ready to go. Mom had open heart surgery 11 years ago and cancer surgery 7 years ago with a 10% chance of survival because the doctor nicked her intestine and had to reopen her the next day and she wound up with a colostomy bag. So she recovered from that and said she just wanted to live to be 90. She recently said, maybe I should have said 100. God Bless Irma.

  45. Morgan Reddy says:

    No doubt very interesting. After life seems a good place. Death brings peace. Fear is the result of ignorance. Why is that no one ever mention angels, fairies, saints or god, its always family, friends or associates.

  46. Magda Rejnert says:

    It is not true nobody have done this research before. How about dr Peter Fenwick?

    It's just medical system is so preoccupied with administrating tons of unnecessary chemicals from lucrative contracts with pharma that they don't see humans in front of them anymore. It's really uplifting that some doctors, like the one in this video, come back to their senses.

  47. Roxann Shepard says:

    Went from trying to find a good oatmeal recipe to reading these comments.. ??‍♀️

  48. Miss Rattray says:

    Once I was really ill and in the hospital. I saw my paternal grandfather sitting beside me he said nothing. Just sat there watching me. My maternal grandmother was also there. We conversed all night. I was not conscious to be having a conversation. As morning drew near my grand mother said it's time to go. My grandfather spoke for the first time and said no you can't take her it's not her time to go. I woke up in was not able to speak I had an oxygen mask on and I was really weak. Talking was just too much energy. A nurse came over to me and asked who were you talking to all night. You spoke all night. I said nothing. I was too weak to speak and I was being prepped for emergency surgery. I was in sepsis pregnant and my organs were failing. I knew that I was dying. I just could not stop it. But I do remember my grandfather saying no its not her time yet.

  49. Brenda Rodriguez says:

    I had a stillborn, and it's very difficult to talk about, even now 11 years later. I saw her once when I was on shrooms. Not only did I see her, but she was me. I saw my life in her life, and at the end of my experience, she reassured me that she was with me, that my mistakes are not defined to who I am.

  50. P kumar says:

    Did no one had a light bulb pop up in their head from the fact that all these experiences are of people who are still alive?

    "Dying" is no state. One is either living or dead.

    Will no one take away from this that they can have these experiences consciously, in good health too? If not, then the entirety of this witnessing is a waste!

  51. Healers sanctuary says:

    Thanks for doing this especially as you don't love public speaking

  52. Line Rasmussen says:

    Beautifully told, and it's true

  53. Cheryl Mekarski says:

    I am a very pragmatic person that only believes what she can see. But my sister, days before dying of cancer, in her hospice room surrounded by her chatting family, said “Be quiet! Mom is trying to talk to me!” Mom had passed away a few months earlier.

  54. anna russell says:

    Yeah, but; those people KNEW they were dying. Their minds were trying to process and deal with the fact they were going to die. They go through all the stages, denial, anger, grief and then acceptance. The visions of those past are the minds way of coping.

  55. Jamie Starr says:

    I have lost my entire immediate family – 6 people in a 10-year span. I have vivid dreams of them 3-5 times a week. Sometimes I hear and feel them, but I can’t see them. They all look healthy, young and happy. Sometimes they tell me funny things and I wake up laughing. I’ve been having these dreams for more than 20 years. I live for the nights I see them in my dreams and I do believe it’s really my family coming to see me. How will I know if I’m going to die when they come to me constantly? I’ve never seen them in waking hours – just dreams.

  56. Captain Nemo says:

    Get you some help

  57. emagneticfield says:

    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.

  58. Michael Bellis says:

    As soon as he mentioned the "bible" I'm switched off………………….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  59. Diana Mcmullen says:

    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.

  60. Kim Brooks Miller says:

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

  61. lockergr says:

    Boy, that intro–hope you're not wearing headphones. R.I.P. ears.

  62. Red Madrell says:

    Sorry… and it's not his fault…. but the whistle in his speech (voice) is soooo painful with head phones

  63. kitti McDonald says:

    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?

  64. stephen jones says:

    i do too

  65. SysterEuropa says:

    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.

  66. Janice Harden says:

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

  67. Scott Collins says:

    Yes, life after death, you’re eternity depends on it, figure it out, God wants you there.

  68. Indecisive Explorer says:

    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.

  69. David Costello says:

    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!

  70. Prentis Goodwin says:

    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.

  71. frankmat says:

    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.

  72. Marina Rassin says:

    Dr Kübler -Ross, read her books

  73. Bajoobie Cuzican says:

    Thank you for this! I'm no longer afraid.

  74. J S says:

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

  75. simpleminded1uk says:

    Not Dara O'Briain's funniest set, but still interesting.

  76. rachel hatton says:

    Doloros Cannon

  77. Ryland Warren says:

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

  78. david sasina says:

    this tittle of this video should be i see demons,,, and i a complete liar.

  79. Derek Vande Hey says:

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

  80. EE RG says:

    Is anyone else crying?

  81. Anne says:

    what if i dont like my family at all, i dont wanna see them after i die

  82. EE RG says:

    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.

  83. kickinrocks 926 says:

    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.

  84. Cmore Butts says:

    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?

  85. Mel_van_Hel says:

    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.

  86. Marty Mcmannis says:

    Not afraid of death. That means I'm ready for death. This doesn't mean that I want to, just ready.

  87. rob wallace says:

    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

  88. Lima Longkumer says:

    Really made me cry …thanks

  89. Andrew Stevens says:

    Physitical 🙂 hehe

  90. Galimah says:

    isn´t this wishful thinking?

  91. Tania Smith says:

    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.

  92. Jade says:

    So many wonderful and touching experiences in the comments. I am dabbing my eyes now.

  93. Jaded One says:

    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.

  94. Matt M. says:

    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.

  95. Rose Baglieri says:

    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.

  96. RanByMonkeys says:

    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.

  97. Lorraine Lavin says:

    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 😉

  98. Janice Tracy says:

    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

  99. meyersonfire says:

    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.

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