Maybe you’ve heard of people who are close to death and seeing life “flash before their eyes.”
They recount the memories of their loved ones, experiences, and the friendships they made along the way, all in an instant.
But is that true? Is that really what happens before you die?
Scientific evidence of brainwaves suggest that we do in fact see life “flash before our eyes” before our death.
When an 87-year-old patient developed seizures after receiving surgery due to a fall, doctors used electroencephalography (EEG) to monitor his condition; unfortunately, the patient deteriorated and sadly passed away while these recordings were taking place.
Due to the do-not-resuscitate status of the patient, and with the family's consent, the unexpected event allowed scientists to record the electrical activity of a dying human brain. While simplified EEG recordings have been captured from patients withdrawn from life support before, the full placement of recording equipment in this case made for an unprecedented level of detail.
Just after the patient suffered the cardiac arrest that led to his death, his brain activity revealed a relative spike in gamma band power that was interacting the most with alpha waves – a pattern not dissimilar to memory recall.
"Given that cross-coupling between alpha and gamma activity is involved in cognitive processes and memory recall in healthy subjects, it is intriguing to speculate that such activity could support a last 'recall of life' that may take place in the near-death state," the team writes.
The constant media coverage of the war raging in Ukraine has me thinking more about this lately, and of death in general.
“When my last moments of “memory recall” are felt, what do I want to see?
Who do I want to see?
Are there enough of those people?
Those lasting experiences?
Is there still more I can do?”
I always feel as if there’s more I should be doing, and thoughts like this can fill one with anxiety, but there’s also another way to think about your current situation in life.
“What are the things I already have?
Can I take a moment to cherish them now while I’m living before I witness my life flash before my eyes?”
There is always more to do, more to worry about, more hills to climb, but there is also always time to take a step back and take stock of the things you’ve accomplished. The people you’ve met and can’t wait to meet, the people you’ve helped, or the great experiences you’ve had.
You can’t take your worries with you when you’re gone.
Josh Brown knows what I’m talking about.
There’s a time for getting shit done, and a time for sitting back and saying “no complaints.”
It shouldn’t take death and destruction in another country to remind us of all the wealth we have already.
So let’s enjoy it, and appreciate what we have today.
Thanks for reading!