real life

These 5 people died and came back to life. This is what they saw.

What happens after we die?

It's a question researchers, experts and the spiritually inclined have been trying to answer for, dare I say it, all of eternity.

And look, we may never know the answer. Not a lot of people come back to tell us what happens... although, some do. (Or... so they claim.) Their stories, all totally unique and yet eerily similar, have propelled research into what happens when we do step off this mortal coil, so that we all might know what comes next. Because it's... good to be prepared?

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There's no shortage of people who have died and come back to tell the tale. And of course, those stories make for some interesting reading – as proven on Quora, a question-and-answer website where people go to find information, when one woman put it out there, asking if anyone had ever died and experienced the afterlife.

The answer was a resounding 'yes'. 

Here are five people who claim to have visited the afterlife and came back to tell everyone what it's all about.

'He told me I need to leave, that it's not the right time.'

One of the most popular answers came from a user under the name of Dianna Mallar, who shared that while in the ICU back in March 2020, they were placed on a ventilator for almost three weeks due to a "severe case of pneumonia". 


After the third time, Mallar reported having the "strangest dream".

"... An old trucker dropped me off at this little convenience store. I went in to get some water and I could smell blueberry muffins baking. I asked the clerk how long till they were done and she said just a few minutes and that I could wait out at the picnic tables if I wanted," they recalled. 

"So I wandered outside, but I decided to go around the back of the store to look down the mountain."

While sitting on a boulder and looking at their surroundings, they considered what would happen if they stayed where they were. If they didn't wake up. 

"I can hear voices and laughter floating up from the valley and while I don't recognise the voices, I know I will be welcomed with open arms," Mallar wrote. "I'm sitting there trying to decide what I should do. I want to visit the valley so much but there isn't a path. As I stand up and walk to the edge, the back door of the store opens and this man in a suit steps out. He tells me I need to leave, that it's not the right time, and that I'm scaring people. He tells me again that I need to stop scaring people."

Mallar continued: "That's when I woke up. I found out later that the doctor had called my family and told them to make arrangements. I would not make it. My body was too weak and couldn't keep fighting."


'I was looking down on the scene, watching myself.'

Another story on Quora came from Anna Bee, who shared that after being caught in a riptide, she drowned. She was 19 years old at the time. 

"I remember thinking that I needed to swim towards a large horse-shaped rock so that I wouldn’t get washed out to sea. The sea then threw me against the rocks, drag me down them, and then pulled me down under the waves. I was spat back out, slammed onto the rocks, and then pulled back into the waves. This loop went on and on for a bit."

Bee said that at that point, she knew she was dying as she sank beneath the waves. 

"The next thing that happened was that I was looking down on the scene, watching, but not really watching, like time almost paused. I felt a warmth like the sun was shining on my back and I felt like I was wrapped in it," she wrote. 

"I knew I was with god. (I’m not religious). I understood everything. The point of life, the reason for everything, all of life just felt like, 'Oh, that’s why that happened'. It’s hard to articulate, but everything had a purpose and reason and I understood it all."

Then, Bee recalled telling herself she wasn't allowed to die. 

"I said, 'I cannot die right now, my mum (who had tried to commit suicide two years prior and was emotionally very unstable at the time) will die. My brother (who I swam out to warn about the riptide) will blame himself for my death. I can’t do this to them. I can’t die right now.'"

Miraculously, she was then "slammed" back into her body before a wave spat her back out of the sea.


"My boyfriend was [standing] on the rock and he caught my arm with one hand and he pulled me out of the sea and put me on the rock next to him," she recalled. "We then managed to jump across a jagged line of rocks all the way back along a cliff line, through the sea, back to the shore."

For 10 years, Bee didn't tell anyone her story because she didn't want to be seen as "crazy". 

"But now I tell people because I want to share that when we die, everything is just bliss. Pure love. Everything makes sense. It’s like we return to god, return to a knowing, merge with the deepest sense of love and peace you could ever imagine and feel. That was 22 years ago now."

'I heard a voice that said, "Not yet."'

Emmet Hubarth experienced the afterlife more than 40 years ago after a surgery gone wrong. 

He explained he was on his way to the morgue when he suddenly woke up. 

"I was having surgery for a hernia. This was back when you had to go in the day before and be prepped, then spend at least one night after the surgery so they could monitor your progress," Hubarth said. "I was on the table and they knocked me out. At some point, I remember being above everyone, like I was on the ceiling. They were all pretty much in a frenzy doing all kinds of things to my body, which I could plainly see lying under the sheets on the table."

After a few moments, he recalled feeling himself "rising" and "floating" to the sky.

"I found myself someplace wonderful. I felt completely peaceful and good. It was the greatest feeling I have ever felt. No tunnels. No bright lights. Nothing like one might hear of near-death experiences," he shared.


"I was beginning to settle in [when] I heard a voice that said, 'Not yet'. I immediately woke up on a gurney in the hall with a sheet over my head. I was completely conscious and reached up to pull the sheet from my face. The guy that was pushing me down the hall nearly had a heart attack," he remembered. 

"I spent a long time being angry with God. I could not understand why He would let me enter a place as wonderful as where I had been, just to take it away. I still don't understand. But I'm no longer angry, and I look forward to when my time comes to get called."

'I saw my nan.'

Stella Fullwood was just a small child when she says she died. In her own retelling of her story, she recalled the moment she saw her body in the mirror as she floated above it. 

"The next thing I remember was walking through a long, dark tunnel which had a pinprick of light at the other end. I saw my nan on the other side, so I began running," she wrote. "I get into the white light and stand next to my nan who had died a year before. She gave me a side-eyed look and said, 'What are you doing here? It's not your time... Go back.' I don't remember her lips moving, it felt telepathic."

Fullwood said it happened again when she was 35.

"Again, I found myself walking through the dark tunnel, but I was walking slowly through, and I remember that there were people in the walls of the tunnel," she recalled. "As I walked through, an old gentleman came forward, looked at me, smiled, and then stepped back and I carried on walking. I don’t know if he was waiting for somebody. I don’t know why he was there. I was also not aware of a light at the end of the tunnel."


'I came back for the sake of my daughter.'

"In 2005, I died for nine minutes and went to paradise. Some call it heaven. I talked with God and he imparted many things to me," Bryan Carlile claimed in his own afterlife story.

"During my visit, as they were trying to bring me back by shocking me, I looked down and saw my eight-year-old daughter playing at school with her friends. God asked me to stay [with him]. I told him she needed me more than heaven did. He said I may go, but that I was taking a piece of heaven with me. They shocked me four times. Usually, they stop at three. I returned."

Carlile said he died again later that night and visited heaven once more, where he was asked again to stay.

"I returned to earth for the sake of my daughter," he recalled. "She is heaven to me. During her teenage years, there was a year that I thought I’d lost her forever. She later returned and apologised for causing me such grief. Now, we have the best relationship a father could hope for."

He added, "I am assured that no matter what I do or what happens to me, I will return to heaven someday in the distant future. I have another 50 years left in me, at least."

Feature image: The Good Place/Fremulon.

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