American Morning

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October 21st, 2010
10:28 AM ET

Do people see dead loved ones when they die?

Director Clint Eastwood's newest movie, "Hereafter", starring Matt Damon, is getting a lot of buzz for it's supernatural subject matter. The movie, which opens nationwide on Friday, tries to explore the question "what happens after we die?"

Author David Kessler's latest book, "Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms: Who and What You See Before You Die," attempts to address some of the similarities in visions that people report before they die. His syndicated column on, titled "Do the dead greet the dying?", has also gotten a lot of people talking on this subject.

Kessler spoke with John and Kiran about the similarities in people's last moments and people's fascination with the afterlife on today's American Morning.

Filed under: American Morning • Entertainment • Pop Culture
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. Dee

    I can definitely believe this, given all the anecdotal evidence of dying people being greeted by dead friends and relatives. But what I long for most of all is to be with the Goddess and the Horned God in Summerland. That's much more important to me than being with lost friends and family. The Gods have been here for me in life, so I trust that They will also be there for me at death. I would also like to see my family, of course; and especially my dear departed Wiccan friends from my coven. (Every Samhain, we invite our beloved dead to join us in the ritual circle, to commune with us in spirit as we honor the the Gods.) But the Lord and the Lady come first and foremost, and I long to be with Them and worship Them in between lives; and then to be guided to my next incarnation. Death is a sacred mystery, but I do believe that we get fleeting glimpses behind the Veil. Thank you for covering such a fascinating topic here.

    October 21, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  2. PB

    My beloved mother passed away 2 weeks ago from dimentia. As my husband, sister and I kept vigil at her bedside along with a hospice nurse my mother suddenly started to speak excitedly as she looked up into the corners of the room. She did look at me and said "I love you Patti. I love you." and then continued to look up again and speak. The hospice nurse said,"Someone is in this room.Your mom sees them and is talking to them." My late father adored her and I believe it was my dad's spirit or 6 of her 7 sisters that preceeded mom in death who were helping mom make the transition to the afterworld. The hospice nurse also recommended that we read, "Visions, Trips, and Crowded Rooms: Who and What You See Before You Die," My mother never spoke again after this incident, only slept deeply and lived an additional 18 hours. After witnessing this I believe people who lived their lives treating everyone with dignity, love and respect are angels whose spirits are welcomed and embraced by those who loved them during their lifetime. I am no longer afraid to die.

    October 21, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
  3. Brian

    Pretty bad he considers himself an expert on death and doesn't even talk about DMT.

    Oh wait – then the American public would go nuts, as they would realize each person has a Schedule I drug in their brain. Think the prisons in this country could hold everyone? Or maybe our drug war is a complete HYPOCRISY.

    To anyone that cares about real facts, DMT is released in massive amount right before death. DMT is released naturally every night as we dream which causes the dreams, visions or "trips". It is a psychedelic drug, which completely overlaps with reality (hence why it's so hard to become lucid in dreams). People who don't understand what's happening, may think they are going to heaven and then perceive angels and such, as it is what they are expecting to see. You can do the same in dreams if you can become lucid and force visions upon yourself.

    I'd like to believe in afterlife, but I also don't want to ignore science and put my faith in something that is all guesswork.

    October 21, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
  4. Livelystone

    In December of 95 I flat lined and crossed over for 15-20 minutes before I returned to life. When I did it caused quite a stir both with the paramedics and the local highway patrol because they had already listed me as DOA.

    The staff at the hospital kept on asking me if I remembered anything from when I had been "unconscious". However I told them that I had not been unconscious and had been conscious the whole time as well as I could recollect everything from the time that I hit a stalled semi while going sixty miles an hour to arriving at the emergency room.

    I soon had to quit telling the story of what I experienced because people would look at me like I was crazy. But 5 years later when I repeated the story to a neighbor he told me that everything I had seen was recorded in the Bible in the Book of Revelations.

    That made sense to me because I always knew that I had been in the presence of God. Before the accident my belief in God was sort of 'if someone could prove it then I would believe in Him". But when I went to look in the Bible to see if my neighbor was telling the truth sure enough what I saw and went through is recorded in Revelation 20:11-13.

    Why God sent me back is only known by him but since the accident I have had some remarkable visions that have been both good and bad. What I do know for sure is that when we die life still goes on for us but not within our bodies. However we will be held accountable for what we have done while on earth.

    Hopefully the next time around something will be said for my benefit because I have no doubt that I will participate in the same scene again...... and so will everyone else.

    October 21, 2010 at 12:39 pm |
  5. Anibal Cardenas

    YES! we cannot imagine what happens in the Other World, but I truly believe that we the alive human beings may contact dead people and viceversa. The movie GHOST depicts this perfectly well. Ancestors, friends, who died, DO eventually protect us and may be present in our lifes! This is a fascinating subject

    October 21, 2010 at 11:02 am |