The whole idea of near-death experiences is not the issue here, what is of interest to me are the words that people utter just before they pass away. And, have you thought about the many terms we use to describe death? Pass away, expire, lost, transitioned, crossed over and is at peace are frequently used. These are the polite phrases. We'll leave it at that.
Especially amazing is that when extensive writings of over 23,000 people were evaluated, the positive percentage was 2.74. So, those being executed by the state for major crimes are more positive than the general population? Even more positive than those about to commit suicide? Why?
In terms of those who commit suicide, the explanation might be what Rutgers University anthropologist Helen Fisher describes as "emotional priority theory". When we face death, our minds are focused on the important emotions in life which are "love and forgiveness". And, love is so powerful that "it can be addictive like chocolate and cocaine".
I think about Marie Antoinette, Queen of France, who stepped on her executioner's foot while climbing the scaffolding where he was about to take off her head and she asked his forgiveness for stepping on him and explained that it was not her intention to have done so.
Mata Hari, notorious dancer/spy, stood before her firing squad and reportedly blew a kiss to the soldiers and said, "Boys, I'm ready". Class act...of sorts...
I think the motivation for their comments completely depends on the context. The inmates had a very, very, long time to think about their deaths and indeed, may feel that they deserve them, if not for the single crime that put them behind bars, but for the cumulative misery they've caused others. That's different than a person dying of injuries in an accident or a prolonged death from disease.
And then, there was my dear, young friend, only 37, who awoke from a coma as I was leaving her hospital bed where I had laid with her and recalled our times with our sons who were only 7 at the time. She clearly stated, "Don't leave me, Claudie, come with me".
I comforted her by saying that I would be along at some point. It was gut wrenching and scared the daylights out of the doctors and her parents. It was so typical of what she would say. It shook me that she called me Claudie. Only my father ever called me that and she did not know him. He passed 6 years before her. WHAT was going on there?
There are other changes, as well. Older men become more dependent now that they've lost their "itches and urges" and they want to be nurtured while we girls have had it with taking care of everybody else and many of us crave independence and new experiences. Yeah, I like that...ever wonder why older gals don't marry as frequently as older men? Many of us are done taking care of...well, everybody.
Ever been through a cemetery and wondered about the people whose lives are reflected on that marble? What about all of the days that happened between their births and deaths as represented by that "dash"?
Your birth and death don't matter nearly as much as that "dash of days". Your family, friends, job, home, beliefs, values, hopes and dreams are represented by that dash. Make the most of it.
Anyway, do the best you can. Claudia