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How near-death experiences affect young children

Stories about near-death experiences have increasingly appeared in the media in recent years, but their heroes are overwhelmingly adults. Those who can describe what they felt and saw.

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But with children everything is much more complicated, because they often take it all for granted and talk about what they saw only later and then under random circumstances.

The medical journal Critical Care Medicine described a case in which a six-month-old baby was hospitalized and nearly died. Fortunately, they managed to save him. And three years later his grandmother died and when his parents told him about this, the boy calmly asked, “Did she fly through the tunnel to God?”

This child had never been talked to about the near-death experience, in which flying through some dark tunnel is mentioned by almost everyone who has experienced it, and his parents are sure that he simply had such an experience himself when he was clinically dead in the hospital.

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Other young children also say similar things. 4-year-old Tom from Berlin was hospitalized with an intestinal blockage. The child’s condition was so dangerous that he almost died during the operation and recovered with complications afterwards.

Soon after his recovery, Tom’s dad asked his son where he wanted to go for a walk and he answered, “To that park.” “Which one?” asked his father.

And the boy said: “The one where I went through the tunnel when I was in the hospital. There was a park with a lot of children and swings. It was surrounded by a white fence. When I climbed through the fence, a man stopped me and said that I couldn’t go there yet, and he sent me back into the tunnel and I ended up back in the hospital.”

Most often, children’s near-death visions contain the same recurring components: a tunnel, a bright light, a meeting with deceased relatives, a vision of a beautiful garden or park, approaching some kind of fence, after which someone tells them that it is too early for them to go there, and returning back.

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And very often children talk about how they experienced a feeling of great happiness and the subsequent return from there to the “ordinary world” sometimes has a very depressing effect on them.

According to Dr. Phyllis Marie Atwater, who has collected more than a hundred similar children’s stories of near-death experiences, some children were so shocked by the return from “eternal bliss” to reality that they subsequently even tried to commit suicide in order to return there again.

There were also children who, after flying through the tunnel and emerging into the garden, were given the choice of whether to go back or go further. And they chose the first. But mainly because they were afraid to upset their parents.

If the child was already of conscious age, that is, a schoolboy, then he often returned back because he needed to accomplish something in real life. 33-year-old Natasha from Cardiff was born completely deaf, and at the age of 9 she became seriously ill with whooping cough. Her condition was so dangerous that the doctor said she might not survive the night.

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And that night the girl woke up from a bright light that poured into the room through the cracks along the edges of the door.

“I could hear someone calling my name, even though I was completely deaf. I got up to see what the light was and turned around to see that I was still lying in bed, sleeping (saw my body with sides).

“Then I found myself in a room and realized that someone was standing behind me. He put his hand on my shoulder but told me not to turn around. He said I had to go back because I was important and I had a job to do.”

Natasha survived that night and began to recover the next day. But for a long time she was afraid to tell her parents about what she saw then. She thought they would take her for crazy.

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The experience stayed with her throughout her life, and although she is not particularly religious, she says it gave her inner strength and self-confidence. “It’s like I’m here for a reason.”

Many children, like Natasha, are afraid to talk about their near-death experience, believing that they will be called liars or abnormal, but others do not tell because they think that this is in the order of things and happens to everyone. Only when they grow up do they realize that they have experienced something very unusual.

Back in the 1980s, Dr. Melvin Morse, who worked in an American hospital in the pediatric intensive care unit, began collecting cases of near-death experiences in children. He met with such children several times to understand how their lives changed afterward.

Morse observed 30 such children who experienced clinical death due to cardiac arrest, and 10 years later after their experience, he found out that all thirty were doing well in school, they were mentally stable, happy, they had well-developed empathy and none were addicted to drugs or alcohol.

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According to Dr. Atwater, who also followed up with these children over the years, they tend to have longer relationships with their partners in adulthood. However, for some unknown reason, many people who have near-death experiences as adults often divorce their loved ones.

Also, children who have had a near-death experience often have sensitivity to light and sound, and their blood pressure was lower than average. In adulthood, many began to consider themselves highly spiritual individuals, while separating spirituality from the religion in which they were raised. In some cases, such children began to ask the priests various “uncomfortable questions” that they could not answer.

Reference: the Wisdom of Near Death Experiences by Dr. Penny Sartori

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Zoe Mitchell

Zoe Mitchell is an independent researcher and writer specializing in extraordinary topics. With a degree in journalism, she delves into the mysteries that lie beyond the surface of our reality.