Articles & Testimonies

“Shared Death Experiences”

by | Oct 7, 2020

Science and Health, with Key to the Scriptures” by Mary Baker Eddy, page 75-76:

“There is one possible moment, when those living on the earth and those called dead, can commune together, and that is the moment previous to the transition – the moment when the link between their opposite beliefs is being sundered.  In the vestibule through which we pass from one dream to another dream, or when we awake from earth’s sleep to the grand verities of Life, the departing may hear the glad welcome of those who have gone before.  The ones departing may whisper this vision, name the face that smiles on them and the hand which beckons them, as one at Niagara, with eyes open only to that wonder, forgets all else and breathes aloud his rapture.”

Preface:  Part of my 2018 talk to a college student/faculty audience entitled: Life, Death and Our Journey Home — focused on “Shared Death Experiences.”  The end of my talk was based on the seminal work of the “father of near-death experiences,” Raymond Moody, Jr., MD, PhD — GLIMPSES OF ETERNITYan investigation into shared death experiences.

GLIMPSES OF ETERNITY  ~  (Sharing a loved one’s passage from this life to the next)…by Raymond Moody, Jr., MD, PhD (jacket cover) Raymond Moody Jr., MD, PhD, is the best-selling author of eleven books which have sold more than twenty million copies worldwide.  His seminal work Life After Life – [number one on the New York Times Best Sellers List for over a year!] – completely changed the way we view death and dying, and made Dr. Moody the leading authority on the “near-death experience.”   Dr. Moody received his medical degree from the University of Virginia, where he also received an MA and a BA.   He is a frequent media guest and has been featured in hundreds of publications.

“What happens when we die, and can this experience be shared with the living?”

“It’s quite common that the people around a dying loved one seem to leave their bodies and accompany the loved one partway to a heavenly realm,” says Dr. Moody.  “These shared earth experiences open up an entirely new avenue of rational enlightenment on the question of life after death.”

In this first-ever exploration of shared death experiences by this scientific field’s most eminent scholar, Dr. Moody takes a great leap forward and offers comfort to all of us about what lies ahead.

Is it truly possible to share a loved one’s passing from this world to the next?   Based on multiple firsthand accounts and in-depth interviews with people who have had shared-death experiences, Glimpses of Eternity offers a scientific model for how these moments could actually happen.  Dr. Moody reveals compelling evidence of people sharing their loved ones’ first moments of their journey from this life to the next, including a wide range of case studies and his personal experiences during his own mother’s passing

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Introduction by Tom Taffel

The following text was carefully hand-typed. Statements typed in italic are firsthand accounts, quoted verbatim by Dr. Moody.

“Shared death experiences carry with them redemption, hope, grace and transformation.” (page 180)

This is one of the most life-changing, significant and authoritative books ever written!  It answers life’s most challenging questions about life after life, from an objective, medical standpoint by an eminent, respected Psychiatrist and PhD.  A shared death experience, although infrequent, is life’s most cherished, coveted and important experiences which a human being can hope to have on this earth.

…. “Until now, near-death experiences have been considered the best proof of life after death.   But many people believe-and this is the escape clause-that a near-death experience is nothing but hallucination caused by a lack of oxygen to the brain, or fear, or too much anesthetic, or not enough anesthetic.  Some people will go to any length to deny that near-death experiences can provide a view of what we call “the afterlife.”   So, they say the near-death experience is just a hallucination at the point of death – a physiological phenomenon.

“But doubters can’t say that with a shared death experience.  Why?  Because the people who report these experiences are not near death.  They are generally sitting at the deathbed of a loved one when they suddenly have one of these marvelous and puzzling experiences.  And it’s the very fact that they aren’t near death that negates the escape clause.  Shared death experiences happen to healthy people, which is why it is so important to explore them.” (page 135)

“….there can be no speculation that the experience is caused by high levels of carbon dioxide, extreme levels of drugs or even fear.  The fact that the person who has a shared death experience was lucid throughout the experience makes their testimony more valid to skeptical researchers.” (page 178)

“Shared death experiences tell us far more about the after-life than do near-death experiences.” (page 134)

Toward the end of this book, Dr. Moody makes this statement: “I no longer fear life or am I afraid that I will run out of time.  When I crossed over with my father, I could see that life continues on and our consciousness supersedes our physical body.” (page 154)

<<<<  Tom Taffel’s Favorite (Summarizing) Quotes  >>>>

“When he [died], he went right through my body.  It felt like an electric sensation, like when you get your finger in the electrical socket, only much more gentle.

“Anyway, when that happened, our whole life sprang up around us and just kind of swallowed up the hospital room and everything in it in an instant. There was light all around: a bright, white light that I immediately knew-and Johnny knew-was Christ.

“Everything we ever did, was there in that light.  Plus I saw things about Johnny…I saw him doing things before we were married.  You might think that some of it might be embarrassing or personal, and it was.  But there was no need for privacy, as strange as that might seem.  These were things that Johnny did before we were married.   Still, I saw him with girls when he was very young.

“In the middle of this life review, I saw myself there holding onto his dead body, which didn’t make me feel bad because he was also completely alive, right beside me, viewing our life together.

“By the way, the life review was like a ‘wraparound.”  It was a wraparound scene of everything Johnny and I experienced together or apart …. All of this was in a flash.

“Then, right in the middle of this review, the child that we lost to a miscarriage when I was still a teenager stepped forth and embraced us.  She was not a figure of a person exactly as you would see a human being, but more the outline or sweet, loving presence of a little girl.  The upshot of her being there was that any issues we ever had regarding her loss were made whole and resolved.  I was reminded of the verse from the Bible about ‘the peace that passeth all understanding.’”

“Another thing that was strange about this wraparound was that in certain parts of it there were panels or dividers that kept us from seeing all of it.  I don’t have words for this, but these screens or panels kept particular parts of both of our lives invisible.   I don’t know what was behind them but I do know that these were thoughts from Christ, who said that someday we would be able to see behind those panels too.”  (pages 11-12)

The Light

“….the room seemed to get lighter and lighter, but a different light than from a light bulb … from some other source.  It was bright but it did not hurt your eyes at all. The room also began to vibrate a bit, or maybe to shake a little; at the same time it seemed to change shape.” (page 155)

“There was a light of sorts that emanated from him-a clear light – and I felt like I was seeing into his soul.” (page 31)

“At that moment, we saw vivid bright lights that seemed to gather around and shape up into…I don’t know what to call it except an entranceway. The lights looked a bit like clouds, but that is only a comparison.  We saw my mother lift up out of her body and go through that entranceway.  Being by the entranceway, incidentally, was a feeling of complete joy.   My brother called it a chorus of joyful feelings, and my sister heard beautiful music….”  (pages 13-14)

“… ‘in a flash’ – his patients disappeared in a field of ‘bright golden light.’ (page 31)

“….to see a ‘golden ball of light’ rise from his chest and pass through the ceiling.”  (page 34)

“He saw it as ‘the brightest light I’d ever seen,” yet at the same time, something that seemed more like ‘plasma or the kind of light you see when you get snow-blinded.’”

“Then, he told David, he could feel her pass through him and into a bright light that glowed at the end of the tunnel.  (pages 32-33)

“The first thing that happened when my mother passed was the light changed intensity and grew much brighter real fast.  All kinds of things started happening at once, such as a kind of rocking motion that went through my whole body. It was like my whole body rocked forward one time real quick and then instantly I was seeing the room from a different angle from above…”

“I felt far more comfortable and peaceful than I ever felt in my life.

“I was glued to scenes from my mother’s life that were flashing throughout the room or around the bed.”

“…and my father was coaching my mother out of her body.  A part of her that was transparent just stood right up, going through her body, and she and my father glided off into the light and disappeared.” (pages 36-38)

“The next thing Tom knew, the room began to change shape ever so slightly and the light – which had been subdued – became very bright and gave Tom a sense that it had substance to it.

“I saw this film or transparent envelope of light close up and lift off her body going upwards and out of sight,’ he said.”  (page 24)

“The light that surrounded and illuminated his life was Christ – that much I know.  But personally I didn’t have the feeling that Christ cared whether anyone called him by that name or not, only that they know the love that was present and fills us all regardless of whether we realize it.”  (page 93)

[“I stared in astonishment as the brightness increased coming from nowhere, seeming to shine everywhere at once.   All the light bulbs in the ward couldn’t give off that much light.  All the bulbs in the world couldn’t!   It was impossibly bright: it was like a million welders’ lamps all blazing at once.”]   – – – Quoted from Return from Tomorrow  – – –and highly recommended.

Return from Tomorrow by George G. Ritchie, M.D.  – – –  “At the age of twenty, George Ritchie died in an army hospital.  Nine minutes later, he returned to life.

What happened to him during those minutes was so compelling, it changed his life forever.  In Return from Tomorrow, he tells of his out-of-body encounter with

other beings, his travel through different dimensions of time and space, and ultimately, his transforming meeting with the Light of the world, the Son of God.”

In the FORWARD by Raymond Moody, MD, PhD., he stated that psychiatrist George G. Ritchie’s near death experience is one of the most

“well-documented ‘dying’ experience known…”

The Room

“As her breathing became more labored, the room began to ‘light up,’ said one of the sisters.   Both of them told of how the room began to swirl, quickly at first before slowing to a stop.   Then the two women found themselves standing with their mother, who looked decades younger.” (page 14)

“…. The room was closing in and the walls had turned to rubber.” (page 34)


“…common elements that seem to make the shared death experience more likely.  A well-developed sense of empathy is one such element that most of the experiencers seem to have.  Another such element is a sense of acceptance or surrender that the love one is going to die.”  (page 160)

“I am willing to say that empathy and surrender are definitely among the keys that can lead to the marvelous experience.”  (page 163)

“Surrender requires tremendous strength.  It is not giving up.  Joseph Campbell summed it up nicely when he said:  ‘We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.’ Achieving surrender opens you to a divine energy, one that many know as grace.  By opening to the power of grace, one opens themselves to a number of new and powerful spiritual experiences.”  (page 164)

“……there is a feeling of ‘empathetic joy’ rushing through the area around his body.” (page 31)

Leaving the body

“….deathbed visions have common characteristics such as radiant lights, scenes of heavenly beauty, beings of light, and feelings of great peace.”  (page 124)

“I leaned over to hug her and felt her pass through me like a pulse of energy.   It was genuinely an outburst of happiness and release.”  (page 40)

“A shared death experience frequently begins with the subject feeling a surge of unnatural energy or hearing a rushing sound.  Then the subject finds himself suddenly looking at the physical scene below from a distant perspective, usually one near the ceiling or in an upper corner of the room.  From that viewpoint they are able to watch their interaction with the person who is dying.”  (page 88)

“Often the person who has died looks much younger in their spiritual body, and usually much happier.  The subject has the sense that the deceased was pleased to have shed his or her physical body and is looking forward to the next stage of existence.”  (page 89)

“As she approached the bed, she noticed a mist arise from his chest, as if off a still river.” (page 26)

“…. I saw a plume of smoke rising, like the vapor that rises from a snuffed-out candle, but on a bigger scale…it was being thrown off by a single blade of phosphorous light … it hung above Dad’s bed, about eighteen inches or so long, and was indescribably beautiful…it seemed to express perfect love and peace.” (page 129-130)

Life Review

“I saw every important even that had ever happened in my life from my first birthday to my first kiss, to lights with my parents.  I saw how selfish I was and how I would give anything to go back and change.”  (page 92)

“You could say that the scenes from his life were flashes, or almost electric discharges, utterly indescribable.” (page 93)


“This was the most beautiful and intricate music I had ever heard.   Every note was a piece of glitter. I was seeing music.” (page 87)

There were perfect plants and colors that were indescribable – greens, reds, blues – all of the colors that are around us every day except they were so perfect that the colors I see now seem dull.  But beyond the view was the music!  The music was like nothing I have ever heard.  It was clear and deep and came to me through some other way besides my ears.”  (page 98)

“Suddenly there was the most brilliant light shining from my husband’s chest, and as this light lifted upwards there was the most beautiful music and singing voices, my own chest seemed filled with infinite joy.” (page 128)

“The last four hours of his life, I kept hearing a distinct hum or vibration, like a musical note. I have never heard this not before or since.

“The note was pleasant with no vibration, but it felt like music.  It was unmistakably music.  The note was not coming from my father; it was more like music was coming through him.  I felt like he and I were bundled together carrying on our conversation in some other place, kind of between worlds.

It was plain that he was seeing things that I could not perceive, for example, talking to his mother who had died.  The hum was something on the order of a hum in electrical equipment and literally seemed to fill the air with energy.”  (page 144-145)

“….beautiful music like I’ve never before heard started to play.   It was like dance music, but it was completely unique in that I’ve never heard anything like it since then.  As the music became higher in pitch, we began to climb higher above the city.   Above us was a bright light, and we were headed directly for it. The light was beautiful and vibrant and powerful.  I felt comfort and joy being close to it and Jim was smiling and staring directly at it.” (pages 89-90)

[“We entered a studio where music of a complexity I couldn’t begin to follow was being composed and performed.   There were complicated rhythms, tones not on any scale I knew.  ‘Why’ I found myself thinking, ‘Bach is only the beginning’”]   p.70.   – – – Quoted from Return from Tomorrow  – – –

Return from Tomorrow by George G. Ritchie, M.D.  – – –  “At the age of twenty, George Ritchie died in an army hospital.  Nine minutes later, he returned to life.

What happened to him during those minutes was so compelling, it changed his life forever.  In Return from Tomorrow, he tells of his out-of-body encounter with

other beings, his travel through different dimensions of time and space, and ultimately, his transforming meeting with the Light of the world, the Son of God.”

In the FORWARD by Raymond Moody, MD, PhD., he stated that psychiatrist George G. Ritchie’s near death experience is one of the most

“well-documented ‘dying’ experience known…”

The Five Basic Senses… “Sight, touch, taste, smell and hearing.  It was Aristotle who categorized these in the third century BC, so it’s no wonder that modern science has since added even more, including a sense of balance, pain, temperature difference and even direction.  Scientists have added even more, including such senses as chemoreception, (the body’s ability to detect chemical change and react to it) and photoreception, (nerve cells in the eye that turn light into sight).

“Shared death experiences deal with the notion of a variety of extra senses, including telepathy, clairvoyance, remote viewing, astral projection, spontaneous out-of-body experiences…” (page 167-168)

“Perhaps nothing sums up the work of Elisabeth KüblerRoss better than a comment she once made to me: ‘I always say that death can be one of the greatest experiences ever,’ she said.  ‘We realize now that we don’t have to cure to heal.   We need only provide pain relief, kindness and friendship.”  (Page 20)

P.S. from Tom Taffel

The ultimate question we must all answer:  “WHAT DID YOU DO WITH YOUR LIFE?”

Are you prepared to answer THE most important question of your life, the very reason you are here?  The key to your answer should not be mere facts, but rather values!   How did you spend the precious years you were allotted on earth? ….. “That is THE question” ~ my friends.