Do you believe in Life After Death?

  1. It's about 0245 am. My one and only patient is safely sleeping with her happy little heart a-beatin' (NSR @ 64 bpm).

    So . . . .

    Last night, the heart of a patient under my care stopped. Despite CPR/ACLS, we weren't able to revive him. I didn't know this gentleman. He seemed like a kind man, though. He was already very sick with bilateral pneumonia, advanced COPD, vented, and sepsis. He did "fight the good fight". However, we all felt that if he should code, which he did, he wouldn't make it. He didn't. It was a sad night. Hopefully he's burden-free, dancing with his maker!!!

    I've seen dozens of people die. We all have, I'm sure! It's a humbling experience for me. It's an honor. And it's scary.

    I'm only just beginning to learn how to live and appreciate life for the moment; to live "one day at a time"; to "live and let live". I love life. Life is sacred and precious.

    What happens when we die?

    It is probably THE "universal question". The basis for most religions is, in part, to try to answer or at least deal with this question. This question probably has been asked by everyone on this earth, at least in their hearts, at least once. This question in of itself is profound. I am not haunted by this question. There are times, though, like last night, when the reality of death become more real.

    I believe that it's always good to discuss this topic. Especially for us healthcare professionals.

    What are your thoughts on death? Do you believe in the "here-after"? Do you believe in reincarnation? Do you believe "ashes to ashes, dust to dust" and that's it. . . no more you. . . no more me. . . no more anyone?

    I'm not sure. I would like to think that there is a life after the physical death. Most religions certainly say there is a "here-after". That's an encouraging sign!

    If life does continue somehow after our bodies become "fodder for the earth worms", I believe that this life involves love and a closeness with the "creator of all things".

    How about you? Care to share your thoughts? Your fears? Your faith?


  2. Poll: Do you believe in a spiritual life after the physical death?

    • Yes! I'm going to heaven!!

      29.58% 21
    • Yes! I believe our souls are reincarnated.

      11.27% 8
    • The Soul can either go to Heaven or Hell.

      16.90% 12
    • I do not know.

      4.23% 3
    • No.

      15.49% 11
    • I believe in "life after death" but it is not defined.

      9.86% 7
    • My soul will go to a different universe on a different world.

      1.41% 1
    • I believe I will be reincarnated as the next Elvis Presley!

      1.41% 1
    • I was Elvis Presley in my previous life.

      2.82% 2
    • My soul lives on through the memories of loved ones.

      7.04% 5
    71 Votes
  3. Visit Ted profile page

    About Ted, BSN, RN Pro

    Joined: May '01; Posts: 11,895; Likes: 14,853


  4. by   Sleepyeyes
    I did have a near-death experience. Now I'm not afraid to go. And I'm not afraid to talk about it. I don't even care if no one believes me.

    I've told my husband/kids to please have an evangelist at my funeral to explain where I went and what I'm doing.....
    Last edit by Sleepyeyes on Jun 5, '02
  5. by   jevans
    Was brought up to be a good christian, respecting all forms of life, understanding that there is life after death in heaven.

    But whether due to job experiences or observation of what is happening in the world I have started to question!
    Have examined other religious belief but found them lacking. I seem to have much in common with Druidism but is that because I am a celt with genetic memory.

    I do believe that when it is your TIME no intervention by man can stop it.
    We 've all seen this at work.

    I agree with efiebke it is an honor when I am involved witha truely dignified death. I feel if I can help someone die with dignity, in an environment where they feel secure and love ones are present, then I have performed a job well done.

    Thank you for this thread- its made THINK, Re evaluate my thoughts

    " Nothing here is real without belief"
  6. by   l.rae
    i sat here in front of the comuter for a while debating weather or not to share this.....when l was about 7 yrs old a favorite great aunt of mine became suddenly acutely ill, life threatening, and was hospitalized for about 3 weeks before she died. prior to her death l remember the grown ups having numerous discussions about auntie's impending death and her final after-life destination. seems auntie carried a lot of guilt, and despite numerous visits from preachers and prayers, she just couldn't believe she was forgiven and worthy to go to heaven...she was raised around a very leagalistic hell and damnation religion where everything under the sun was a sin. sometimes the adults would be saying..."yes, she prayed and feels her soul is right with god" time it would be the "she isn't sure, she's afraid to die." i remember after auntie's funeral, l felt the need to know where she every night before l went to bed l would pray and ask god..."let me know if auntie is in heaven." after about a month of this, l went to bed one nite after my usual ritual. my dad came in my room and said, l'm going to take you for a ride in the car." l got up and we drove out to the cemetary where auntie was interred. the gates, which were very tall black iron hinged on stone collums were closed and locked as it was after dark. my dad pulled the car up to the gates and parked and told me to wait in the car...he got out and walked toward the gaits and out of site. suddenly as l was sitting there waiting on him...i saw my aunt walk out from behind the right stone post and just stand there...she was dressed all in white....then the bells started to peel an old hymm..."i just heard from heaven..and it's alright now." suddenly i was back in my bed as thought nothing had happened...was it a dream or a vision? l still don't know...but 35+yrs later, i've never forgotten one detail of this experience or how l felt when l "woke up"...l may not be able to prove it to anyone else.....but l know........thanks for
  7. by   jevans

    It made my skin tingle

    thank you for sharing
  8. by   duckie
    On one of the bulletin boards at work someone wrote.....Live today as though you will meet God tomorrow. That says it all. Yes I believe in Heaven and Hell, just as I believe in Angels and Demons. I prayerfully live each day and ask God to make me what He wants me to be. I'm human and I slip from time to time cause I can have a temper when I can't cage it, but I know God looks into my heart and knows that I love HIm and to me that is all that matters.
  9. by   LilgirlRN
    Not quite sure what I believe anymore. Yes I believe there is life after we leave this one. I believe we leave our physical bodies behind, discard them and move on to another place. I think we have a choice once we leave here of staying in "heaven" or coming back. I read somewhere that people will continue to come back to earth as long as they are needed. Have you ever met someone and you were sure you knew them, or despite how you were treated by a person you were drawn to them and you KNEW you were supposed to help them, but you didn't know what you were supposed to do? Did we know these people in a past life? Who knows? I do believe in the Golden Rule. I believe that what goes around comes around. I also figure that if I am ever really bad and I am condemned to hell, there will be BIG, FAT, HUGEASS ROACHES crawling allover me!! EEEEK Wendy
  10. by   delirium
    I believe in reincarnation, in a sense. Its the only thing that really fit out of the options.
    I was raised a Catholic, I now jokingly say I am 'recovering', I can't see myself as part of a religious tradition that rejects me, and people like me. (By that, I mean homosexual)
    I have found the most comfort and meaning in earth-based religions, and so I can say that I believe my soul is older than my body, and will live on after my body returns to the earth.
    I have had paranormal experiences (mostly pleasant or soulful ones with one really creepy one that my sister says is 'ate up with strange', whatever that phrase means). I believe that death is more of a 'changing form' than an end.

    On another note... Ted... did I scare you away with my writing sample? Haven't heard from you since... you're not planning an exorcism or anything are you?
  11. by   Ted
    Thank you for the sharing, folks.

    Respectfully to all . . .

  12. by   hoolahan
    Deep! I do believe there is an after-life, a heaven, but I don't believe in hell. I think that is just too scary to think there is such a place, and I think God is too forgiving to actually send someone to hell.

    For those who believe in an after-life, or who have been "good", I think they go to Heaven, and possibly can choose to be reincarnated. I kind of like the Religion, I always confuse Hinduism w Buddism, but the one that believes your sould keeps coming back until you have learned the lesson you needed to learn, then you achieve Karma. I like that idea. For those who are lost souls, I think they are in limbo somewhere, maybe like a ghost.

    I also agree that when it is your time, you can't stop it, and neither can medical science or technology. I have done a lot of research into near death experiences, not because I've had one, but because I was so curious. I totally believe in this phenomenon, and I found tremendous comfort in the reading I did for my research.
  13. by   LasVegasRN
    Wow! l.rae, thank you so much for sharing! I think that's wonderful!! :angel2:
  14. by   Whisper
    I was rasied with Christian beliefs, My parents though usually only went about once a month, and then stopped and it never seemed strange to me. Recently though I stopped going to church as I got a job on Sundays to help pay my way through nursing school. And some of the comments from people I would have counted as friends made me seriously re-think my beliefs. (sorry to wander off topic)

    I do belive in an after life and a heaven, and I used to belive in hell, allthough I am no longer sure, Angels are real to me, so I supose an army of fallen angels and the concept of hell should be as well.

    Organised religion (CE, very similar to Catholic) looking back seemed almost cult like yet I still feel guilt for not going, and I know I should be able to walk back into a church yet the fear or rejection or ridicule from those inside keeps holding me back, I want to but at this moment can't.

    I have lost my faith, but not my beliefs in God, So I supose if hell does exist then that is where i am destined for.... just waiting for my time to come.

    Thankyou l.rae for sharing your truly touching memories.
  15. by   Tiiki
    It has been really enlightening to read others thoughts. I believe that there is "life" after death. There is an old archaic law here that states when a patient dies in hosp, you are not to disturb the body for 3hrs so the soul can be permitted to be released. I have been present when death occured. Any nurse will tell you that something profound happens.

    I was raised to believe that my deceased grandfather was my guardian angel, and in time of crisis I was to turn to him. Well my Grampa never failed me, whether it was a bad dream or something I needed to get thru. I knew he'd protect me always. When I had my 2nd daughter, she got quite ill, was put in NICU and I was told I would be leaving the hospital without her. I was devestated. I prayed and prayed to my Grampa to protect and make well this precious gift. I was lying in my hospital bed, the day of my supposed discharge when I felt a presence. There at the end of my bed, touching my foot was my Grampa. He just smiled at me. I knew then my daughter would be ok! Within the hour the Dr from NICU said that my daughter was fit to be discharged!! Co-incidence? You decided. My grandmother (also a nurse) passed away when my youngest was 3 months old. I have seen her several times when I was in personal crisis or one of the girls was ill. The are my guardian angels.

    Thanks for letting me share!