“Release from the Dying Body is Unspeakably Beautiful”

What Happens Immediately After Death?

One of the greatest joys you will experience as you enter the afterlife is the realization that bodily suffering has come to an end. When those in the spirit communicate through a medium, they often give vivid descriptions of the way they passed over and give details of the bodily conditions they suffered at the end.

A medium will sense these conditions in his own body, although not with the full ferocity that the spirit person experienced. Considering the thousands of spirit messages I have given in my time, I have died thousands of deaths. The worst one I remember was when the spirit person “overshadowed” me with the sensation of his head being severed by a sheet of glass! It provided good evidence to the sitter but left me with a sore throat for days.

The new entrant to the afterlife has a feeling of exhilaration as the spirit initially leaves the body. Suddenly, all pain and discomfort are gone! We are told through mediumship that this transformation is immediate and complete. Also, spirit communicators have pointed out that the suffering when close to death is not as horrifying as it may appear. As death approaches, the body of light separates partly from the physical body so that the pain becomes distant and remote. The dying person’s consciousness becomes centered on the body of light, which is free of all suffering.

What about our illnesses?

Not only will all the pain be gone once you pass over, but you will also feel awash with the life force. If you die late in life, all those aches and pains of old age are wiped away in an instant. You feel free and vital. It’s like being in the prime of your life–but better!

As the moment of death approaches, most people become peaceful and at ease. Although it is natural to fear death, perhaps we are all instinctively aware that there is nothing to fear. An innate knowledge that life continues comes into effect. For example, our dog William had to be put to sleep to end his suffering. Although conscious during the medical examination, William slipped into sleep as soon as the vet brought out the injection. It was as if he knew that was his time to go and he made the first step into the afterlife himself. Many superstitions claim that animals know when their time has come. The most well known is the European belief that a donkey knows when it will die and hides away. This gives rise to the expression, “You’ll never see a dead donkey”–and if you do, it’s a very lucky sign.

I have no idea how I will react when my time to die comes. Like many others, I may go through stages of denial, anger, bargaining, despair, and resignation. There is no way that any of us can impose our own model for the ideal death. I hope that the doctors tending me will be honest. It is better to die spiritually prepared.  I hope that the medication I receive will allow me to stay conscious and that the people around me will help me to continue my journey, rather than cling to my dead body. It is important to have have courage, equanimity, and clarity so that my spirit can focus on the experience ahead.

After Death according to hippie guru.

The 60s hippie guru Ram Dass (Richard Alpert) tells a sad story to illustrate the conflict that the dying person may experience between the part of them that holds them to the earth and the part that wants to move on: “I was told about a twenty-eight-year-old woman named Michelle who was dying of cancer in a hospital and whose mother, a nurse in that very hospital; was working triple-time to keep her only child alive, sleeping in the next bed, leaving her side only to use the bathroom. During one of these lavatory breaks, Michelle whispered to another nurse, “Please tell my Mom to let me go.” This wasn’t possible, however, and it was not until her mother was persuaded to go out to dinner one night that Michelle managed to slip away.

NDE Experiences

Hospital patients who have had a near-death experience (NDE) report the sensation of release from suffering as they leave the body. During an NDE, the operating theatre instruments show that the patient’s heart stops beating and the brain may be dead for up to two minutes. Effectively, the patient has died and then been resuscitated. Often these patients can recall with complete clarity having left their bodies and even traveling down a tunnel of light to the next world. Many of these remarkable cases have been recorded and investigated by a growing number of scientists; in particular Dr. Raymond Moody, Dr. Michael Sabom, Dr. Karlis Osis and Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross

It has been found that many patients, undergoing an NDE, experience the first release from the dead body as unspeakably beautiful. There is no pain. A great majority of these people report feelings of wonder and elation. According to Dr. Kenneth Ring, sixty percent of people resuscitated describe such sensation. He quotes a subject who came close to death by drowning:

“This incredible feeling of peace came over me…all of a sudden there was no pain, just peace. I suppose it is because it is so completely unlike anything else that I have ever experienced in my life…a perfectly beautiful, beautiful feeling.”

A message of hope.

Of course, loved ones left on earth are unaware of the blissful state that you experienced as you left the body. What they see is the cold, crumpled, shell left. The harrowing sight of your discarded body, depending on the details of your tragic demise, may remain fixed in their minds for years to come.

My father died of bone cancer–which is a cruel and debilitating illness. I watched the undertakers remove his body. As they lifted the thin, crumpled remains of this shattered shell, I thought about my mortality and felt strangely serene that I too must die one day. Though I felt sadness, I was also supported by the innate knowledge that we are not the body. It was not my father himself they were removing. The undertakers were simply well-dressed sanitation engineers.

Naturally, many people tend to visit mediums to find out if their loved ones have made it safely to the next world. A good medium will give them this proof and reassurance. In some cases, the spirit may linger by the body for a while or need to resolve their conflicts before moving on. However, in all cases, this is only a short period of transition. The truth is that all people, even the bad ones, eventually make it to the afterlife, where the process of spiritual self-assessment and reconciliation begins.

Find Out More:


‘What to Do When You are Dead’ explores what happens after death and describes the world we will find there. It is a powerful book that draws on near death experiences, spiritual traditions as well as the mediums direct experiences.

References and Works Cited

38 comments… add one
  • Felecia Sep 29, 2019, 5:52 pm

    I have been seeing auras since I was 9 or 10. I said earlier this year that I give my boyfriend boss till 2020 to live he died two days ago I believe of an overdose.

  • Marcus Apr 10, 2019, 10:56 pm

    Sorry I need to post in a few parts as my post is too long.

    A beautiful article describing the beautiful truth. I have had the privilege of passing over without the trauma of death – I was sitting in a circle meditating when it happened. In brief, the moment I shut my eyes I was walking through a field where everything was alive including colors which were richer than anything I’d ever seen. My wife (who passed away in an accident) was standing there – she looked like she did on earth but she was paler and her skin had an almost pearlescent quality that shimmered and made her seem serene.

  • Marcus Apr 10, 2019, 10:55 pm

    She invited me to sit with her on a bench and as I sat there the beauty of her new reality was overwhelming and completely overloaded my senses to the point I clearly thought cannot be real. It’s just too good. Sensing my thoughts she said in a minute you will hear a train go by this puzzled me and then she said two seconds later a train will go the other way. I looked at her confused because this made no sense in what I was experiencing and again she sensed my thoughts and said start counting – so I did as I reached 58 seconds I heard the approaching train (in the real world on the track outside the house) and after it had passed I reached two before a train went the other way.

  • Marcus Apr 10, 2019, 10:54 pm

    Confused I looked at her for an explanation and she said I’ve proved I can see what’s happening in your world now stop doubting and enjoy mine. The next 10 to 15 minutes were spent sitting in total silence just taking in the awe-inspiring totally intoxicating indescribable world of those that have passed. As in some near-death experiences, it was really difficult to return to my own reality because it is a place beyond our wildest dreams. But it wasn’t my time to stay and I had children and people that depend on me on this side.
    I have written this to say to the people who have posted on here who are in the depths of pain and despair at their individual losses that your loved ones are safe and well and living in a place that can only be described as heaven. So try not to see death as the end but merely a gateway to the amazing place from where we all came and where we all go. X

  • Zz Jun 20, 2018, 12:29 am

    My beloved husband had passed away 3 weeks ago. He was only 47 when a motor neuron disease ended his life. He didn’t want to die in the hospital and wanted to see the Sun. But he never did. I saw him a few minutes after he passed and then once more before a funeral. Did he see or hear me that I was there? I couldn’t say goodbye to him. Will he see the Sun again?

  • Dave Jun 6, 2018, 6:01 am

    Thank you for your help when my father passed in 1985 my mother asked me if I wanted to kiss him goodbye and I replied, that is not my father in the coffin, I believe his soul had already left his shell and had transcended to the next life

  • Nicole Mar 11, 2018, 9:45 am

    My brother passed away two months ago very suddenly. He was only 30 yrs old. As soon as I knew he was ill I visited him in hospital. But learned there was nothing could be done to save him. Shortly after I saw a silver sparkly light with a silver sparkly long light. It shot into my brother and was approximately 1 cm wide. Very soon after my brother passed. I later researched what I saw and I believe I may have seen the silver chord. Has anybody else experienced this? I am unable to find any blogs or findings on the topic, only beliefs.

  • kim Mar 4, 2017, 8:15 pm

    Just wondering, have you ever had a spirit say to you or the family member I NEVER BELIEVED THIS! But yep, there is life after death!
    I ask for signs all the time and still think it’s a coincidence. Why is that? Also, my family are continually seeing the numbers 11:11 or just 11. My father in law passed away 18 months ago, I remember him saying a few days before he passed away that people that have been dead for years were talking to him and he never believed this stuff.

  • Jacky Dec 12, 2016, 9:22 pm

    Hi Craig – My Dad died 5 February 2015. He was 71. Mom died in 2008, she was only 54. I was hoping that I could get a message from them. I immigrated and did not see my Father for 3 years. I should have been with him before death.-Jacky

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker Dec 20, 2016, 5:49 pm

      I’m sorry but spirit messages cannot be posted via comment tags. I work for free but only now through public events. See the events section of this site for details about my online demonstrations. We also give readings in the chat rooms.

  • annonymous Nov 30, 2016, 2:48 am

    I’m really sorry for this depressing comment, but since you understand life after death, please tell me if you think a suicidal person would have the same joy a person who hadn’t committed suicide would.

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker Mar 20, 2017, 4:08 pm

      I don’t see why not. Obviously they will need to sort out their problems and reasons for taking their own life but then – as in our world – they can move forward.

  • Nug Apr 17, 2016, 7:36 am

    You said that when I die I will be reincarnated, what attributes will I get from my previous life? Will I look the same? What will be my race, sex, religion, family? Will I be born in rich or poor situation? Will my personality be the same?

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker Apr 22, 2016, 10:24 am

      The general opinion is that your future life will be determined by your karma so your situation – such as being rich – if this is what you need in the next life will be decided by your actions in the life you are living at the moment. Your fundamental personality and sense of ‘I’ will be similar except in a future life you may express a different side of yourself. (We need to ask ourselves what we mean by the personality to answer this question properly)

  • lyndsey smith Apr 15, 2016, 10:03 am

    My beautiful mum passed away at 02.20 Monday 11th April 2016, so only a few days ago, I am desolate and heartbroken and so is my dad who had been with my mum for 48 years, I walked into the kitchen this morning and had an overpowering smell of flowers, can you offer me any words of comfort because both me and my dad are distraught without her and are finding it hard to carry on.

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker Apr 22, 2016, 10:37 am

      When my father passed to spirit many of the family in different locations simultaneously smelt Jasmine flowers. We took this as a happy communication that he is safe and well. Your mum has given you a similar sign.

  • Jason Apr 5, 2016, 8:17 pm

    Thank you for providing such a concise description on this matter. I used to be a practicing medium before I nearly died in a medical accident a couple of years ago. Since then, I have had many health complications and been left disabled. I came to question my spirituality, abilities as a medium and developed a fear of death, all at a time when I needed my spirituality more than ever before. Do you have any tips on how I can return to the path (by which, I mean I wish to return to mediumship and help people)? Why have I suddenly become so confused, frightened and disinterested? I know that we have to learn from life’s challenges, but I feel like I’ve been knocked completely off course. Thank you

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker Apr 7, 2016, 11:36 am

      If you are a practicing medium then you will know about spiritual healing and could ask at some of the churches you have served is any healers can come and visit you at home. Just as physical complaints can be helped by healing so too can confusion, fear and distress. I am a believer in karma and that at some stages in our lives we encounter times when karma is being cleared. These times, if approached with the right spirit, can serve to make us stronger and more compassionate to the suffering of others. Mediums usually have a period like this in their spiritual development to help them to enhance their empathy to others who suffer.

      • Jason Apr 7, 2016, 4:35 pm

        Thank you so much for your reply. This makes perfect sense. It’s so funny that you say this because it is not just me who is experiencing this particular distress at the moment. I know of a couple of mediums who are experiencing the same. I am reasonably young in earth years (28) and I hope that I will still have plenty of time to practice this new empathy I now feel for others. I too am a great believer in karma but I don’t feel I fully understand how it works (does anyone?!) Onwards and upwards…

  • Emily Apr 5, 2016, 4:33 am

    Lately I have has huge fear of dying I don’t know if it’s because I’m pregnant and thing just get to me or if it’s a newly found fear. I am afraid of dying and there be nothing, that I wouldn’t see my family ever again. I’m afraid to die and not remember the awesome experience. When we die will we be able to see our kids again or husbands and parents? How do I find the realization of feeling at peace and knowing that I will be able to see those I love again?

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker Apr 5, 2016, 4:19 pm

      Fear of death may be triggered when things are uncertain in our world we feel emotionally vulnerable in daily life. However to know for certain that there is life after death requires investigation. Read the books and watch mediums working and you may gradually realize that there is life after death. If you go an investigate Spiritualism you may even get personal proof.

  • Hazel Nov 11, 2015, 2:40 pm

    I lost a tiny baby 1 lb 7 to being born premature its coming up for 6 yrs is she ageing or if not are babies aware of their mothers and fathers missing them?

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker Nov 17, 2015, 2:53 pm

      Spiritualists usually concur that a baby will grow in the spirit world and will be aware of their earthly parents.

  • Janice Oct 6, 2015, 8:34 pm

    My mother died while I was going through chemotherapy for ovarian cancer. She had a stroke and my brother authorized the seniors residence to put a port in her and they pumped morphine into her for 9 days until she died. I couldn’t travel and never got to say good-bye to my mom. I wonder if she can rest in peace knowing how she died and having died before she was ready to go? I would appreciate a response when you have the time. Thank you.

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker Oct 26, 2015, 1:37 pm

      The fact that you could not get to her bedside at the end will not be a problem. You Mum’s spirit will be aware of you now and the thoughts that your send her. People in the spirit can sense our thoughts and feelings so she knows your heart.

  • Alexander Oct 6, 2015, 1:45 am

    What about Jesus? Many would think this is all bs. Honestly, I find it hard to believe in God, we all evolved, that’s been pretty much proven by science. How can anybody believe your claims?

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker Oct 26, 2015, 1:51 pm

      You need to look at that word: ‘God’. God is not something separate from us and needs no intermediary. One way of looking at the idea is that everything that exists is consciousness in differing forms. I have explained these ideas in detail I my new book Messages from the Universe.

  • Holly Sep 2, 2015, 3:23 pm

    When you speak about ‘God’, is this the same God from the Bible? Also, do you think anyone can develop the gift of mediumship and if so, how? Thank you very much for your time.

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker Sep 23, 2015, 1:57 pm

      There are many interpretations of God in the Bible from ‘Creator God’, ‘Man in the Sky God’, ‘The God of Love’, ‘The Vengeful God’ and so on. This is too big a question to answer here. I have addressed it in great detail in my book ‘Messages from the Universe’ as well as the Christian misconceptions about the nature of God. Question Two: Not everyone can become a medium.

  • Monica Aug 10, 2015, 2:37 pm

    When we die are we reunited with our loved ones and do we get to spend eternity with them? I would love to think that when I die I’ll be reunited with my father who passed away nine years ago and that he’s waiting for me in heaven. What’s heaven like? Do we get to be with the ones that we love? Do we have to be reincarnated? Not sure that I want to be reincarnated.

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker Sep 23, 2015, 11:51 am

      In my books “What to Do When You Are Dead” and “Messages From The Universe” I argue that we spend time together in the Spirit World but need to reincarnate together later so that we can grow towards perfection. The goal of life is to be able to escape the wheel of reincarnation. It took two books to explain this idea!

  • Cameron Jun 2, 2015, 9:45 pm

    What happens to the bad people when they die? Do they go to a different spirit world? Is it the knowledge their spirit wished to gain that makes them “bad”

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker Jun 4, 2015, 12:03 pm

      Evil people are all part of God’s plan for they spur good people to work to become better people. They add momentum to Creation. Even the evil people are eventually released from their karma and also move to become God conscious. Bad and evil people are part of the one afterlife but their influence is limited and most will quickly reincarnate to take another earthly life before they have changed enough to be able to sustain a life in spirit. I have explained these ideas in detail in my book What to Do When You Are Dead.

  • dr.viraj pradhan Apr 10, 2013, 11:08 am

    I am worried about my mother who passed away on the 3rd of this month. The detailed reading can be given by you when you do choose but I am worried like hell despite knowing about the Afterlife phenomenon. I needed to know if the soul completely separates from the body within say 10-15 minutes from our perspective or some part lingers till the body is cremated (as we do in India). Does the soul become fully conscious till the cremation, say 4 hours after clinical death, or there is a chance of the same remaining partially conscious? My questions seem strange but till I am satisfied about her safety (there has been no contact with me yet.) I hope you understand. Regards, Dr.Pradhan

    • Craig Hamilton-Parker Apr 10, 2013, 11:42 am

      None of us know for certain what happens after death but mediumship may sometimes give some clues. During a demonstration of mediumship at a Spiritualist church I gave someone a message from their dead father who explained that he was lying on the slab and that they were shaving him as we spoke. The recipient of the message replied that they had just come back from the morgue and indeed they were shaving the corpse in preparation for burial. It struck me at the time that the communicating spirit was completely unconcerned about his body. The messages given were full of fun and jokes – considering the fact that the man was dead on a marble slab!

      So in answer to your question, I would say that although the spirit may be aware of their discarded physical body, what happens to it does not affect their spirit. Whether buried, burnt or dissected it will not cause pain or suffering to the spirit of the deceased. I would also anticipate – and other examples of spirit communication back this up – that at the moment of clinical death the spirit would fully separate from the body in an instant.

      Your mum would not have suffered if the cremation took place sooner than tradition dictates.

      • Ken Cameron Dec 25, 2015, 7:46 pm

        I have to disagree with Craig on his prognosis for Dr. Pradhan. There is evidence from the Theosophical society that Cremation is not to be countenanced by Families as it destroys the ‘Astral Body’ or counterpart. I myself have had three animals who have returned to me vividly .. one even telepathing with me. All three were buried in the ground. The other animals I have had were all cremated and none of them communicated with me.

        There is a good reason for leaving at least three days for complete separation of the body and soul as one might say. Looking at the caterpillar and butterfly … the Greek word for butterfly is psyche … and psyche is also the word for the ‘soul’. There is a definite time for the butterfly to emerge from the chrysalis … definitely. One Naturalist said that he tried to ‘ help ‘ a butterfly to emerge in the very last stage of birth as it seemed to be struggling. To his chagrin the creature did not make it. He felt that the struggle is part of the process and interfering interferes with the final outcome.

        Ken Cameron.

        • Jason Apr 22, 2016, 2:06 pm

          Ken, from my own experience, I have had no problem contacting loved ones who were cremated (including my own grandmother). What you say is not true. The universe is perfect and no soul goes missing. Remember that we are souls with bodies, not bodies with souls. What happens to the body after death is completely irrelevant. I’m sorry that you have found it difficult to reach your animals but any lack of ability to reach friends, family or animals who were cremated is purely coincidental.

          What you are saying might frighten people into believing that relatives who were cremated had simply been lost. This is NOT possible and I assure anyone that NOTHING prevents spirit from ascending to the spirit world.

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