Who Will Meet You in the Afterlife? What We Know from Near-Death Experiences (NDEs)

Is there life after death? What happens when you get to the afterlife? What do NDEs tell us about it and the spirits who live there?

In my research of hundreds of near-death experiences, nearly every person who’s had an NDE is met by a spirit companion on the other side. They guide the NDEr from the physical world into the spirit realm, typically welcoming and reassuring them, and answering their questions. Grandparents often feature, as William recounts. Following a serious car accident at the age of seventeen years, William’s deceased grandmother appeared before him.[i] He explains how she put him at his ease:

‘She was standing in front of a bright white light radiated love, warmth and [answered] anything I needed to know.’i

The Afterlife and Spirit Guides

In fact, in many instances the person finds themselves in a place and among people they feel comfortable and at home with. It is as if these beings are here to welcome or receive them into Heaven. This comes through strongly in people’s stories of their NDEs as children. Stella was only four years old when she had hers. She describes materialising in a meadow and walking towards an old oak tree through a field of lush green grass.

There was a young boy under the tree, and he appeared to be waiting for her. He was ‘beautiful and dignified’, she said.[ii] The boy was sitting at a wooden table, on top of which was bread and red wine. She loved the smell of red wine because her father made it on Earth, and it made her feel very comfortable. The boy gestured to Stella to sit down, and they talked about her life, and whether she should choose to stay in Heaven or return to Earth.

Although Stella didn’t know who this boy was, she felt very relaxed and comfortable with him. This is rather like the famous case of Eben Alexander, who met a beautiful young woman while flying on an iridescent butterfly wing. She similarly welcomed Eben, reassured him and answered his questions, helping him understand where he was and what was happening to him. Eben later found out that this pretty young woman was a sister he’d never known, who had died several years earlier. Perhaps then, the boy Stella encountered was also a relation or very likely a member of her soul group. At any rate, these spirit companions make the person feel relaxed and comfortable, so that they can focus on important decisions or understand what they need to learn.

Reconciling with Loved Ones in the Afterlife

This was certainly the case for Tracy. Tracy’s spirit companion helped him see a very tragic event in his life from a very different perspective, and ultimately let go of his feelings of guilt. Some years earlier, Tracy’s father had died from an inoperable tumour lodged in the middle of his brain[iii]. However, in the last few weeks of his father’s life, the family had to make some very difficult decisions about continuing life support. Knowing their father well, his children felt he would not want his life artificially prolonged when there was no hope of his returning to waking consciousness. In Tracy’s words, his father wouldn’t have wanted to be a ‘vegetable’.

The family therefore made the difficult decision to remove the feeding tube, while continuing intravenous pain relief and oxygen. It must have been a very hard and harrowing decision for his children to make. Indeed, Tracy still harboured some lingering uncertainty about whether they had made the right choice.

Then some way into his near-death experience, Tracy came across his father on a long white sandy beach. He was dressed in white flowing trousers and top, with sandals on his feet. Tracy’s first thought when he saw his father was:

‘We didn’t know what to do, Dad… I’m sorry.’iii

To which his father replied:

‘It’s okay, son, you did just fine. I am in a good place. It’s wonderful beyond your imagination. It was my time.’

Although Tracy’s father was seventy-three years old when he died, now standing before him, he looked like a young man with a full head of thick red hair. According to Tracy, his father looked perfect, radiant, ‘vivid’, calm and peaceful.

‘Any imperfection or flaw he had was sculptured, chiselled away to a smooth perfection.’

A Happy Healthy Life After Death Awaits

After they spoke and hugged, his father began to slowly walk away. When Tracy tried to follow him, his father said he must go back, he was being fixed and it wasn’t his time. The experience left Tracy without a shadow of a doubt that life does not end with death, rather it is the beginning of something beautiful and bountiful. He awoke from his NDE with a deep sense of peace about his father and was finally able to let go of any lingering feelings of regret and guilt about the decisions he and his siblings made at the end of their father’s life. For Tracy saw with his own eyes how healthy, vibrant, happy and serene his father looked in this wonderful loving divine place.

Dead relatives often feature as our spirit guides who help us transition from the physical world into the ethereal realm. However, in rare cases, a person’s guide might be someone still alive. This happened to William M and his girlfriend. William was in the music business, and had been working long shifts on a number of projects, when he got into his car to drive from Buffalo to Welland (Ontario, Canada), where his girlfriend’s parents lived[iv]. Perhaps inevitably, he fell asleep and the next thing he recalls is holding hands with his girlfriend and being propelled into space. After flying upwards for several minutes, a country landscape came into view. Although it was twilight, William could make out trees and bushes. Then he said four ‘creatures’ intercepted them:

‘…they seemed ten feet in height and were invisible, but we could see a vague humanoid outline.’iv

The beings flanked the two and showered them with overwhelming love and compassion:

‘…that was well beyond anything we could experience on Earth – a divine love. We therefore had no resistance to their effort. I recall feeling like a baby in mother’s arms.’

The beings then gently separated the couple, guiding the young woman upward towards the landscape and tenderly directing William downward back to the car. But William felt so good with them and consumed with such love and peace, he would happily have gone with his girlfriend transcending to the otherworld. However, the angelic beings told him it was not yet his time, and so he woke up in his car.

Comforting Messages from Heaven

Sometime later, while he was in hospital, overwhelmed with guilt and grief, his girlfriend dressed in a white flowing dress, ‘floated’ into his room and comforted him. She said:

‘I shouldn’t blame myself and that everything was as it should be.’

This was very reassuring and comforting to William, to know even though his girlfriend was physically dead, she was now happy and well, and everything had happened the way it was meant to. Indeed, is it possible William made a spiritual agreement or ‘contract’ with his girlfriend to help her pass from this world to the next? The author Carolyn says that we make sacred contracts or agreements with each other before we are born. The main purpose of these is to help us, and those we make them with, grow spiritually[v].

NDErs meet all sorts of beings in the afterlife, not only relatives and friends, but angels and holy figures like Jesus, Buddha and Guan Yin (Bodhisattva of Great Compassion). These encounters will blow your mind…

If you’d like to read more please go to ‘Showing Us the Way Home: The Gift of Near-Death Experiences’ in ‘My Books’.

(Excerpt from ‘Showing Us the Way Home: The Gift of Near-Death Experiences’)

[i] William C NDE 1/19/2017 NDE 8195 Exceptional Archive, Near-death Experience Research Foundation, https://www.nderf.org/Experiences/exceptional.html, accessed 16/11/2017.

[ii] Stella 10/1/2008 NDE 3697 Original in Italian, Translated by Amy, Exceptional Archive, Near-death Experience Research Foundation, https://www.nderf.org/Experiences/exceptional.html, access 1/12/2017.

[iii] Tracy D NDE 9/10/2011 NDE 5352 Exceptional Archive, Near-death Experience Research Foundation, https://www.nderf.org/Experiences/exceptional.html, accessed 28/11/2017.

[iv] William M NDE 2/1/2010, Shared NDE 4269,

[v] Myss, C. (2002) Sacred Contracts, Bantam 1st UK paperback edition.

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