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rebbel's avatar

Have you had a I am going to die in a second experience?

Asked by rebbel (23446 points ) August 20th, 2011

The feeling of real fear that your time was up?

I had.
After the London bombings in 2005, when security measures increased, we were advised to watch for abandoned backpacks and the likes in train stations, and other soft spots.
I went back to my hometown by train, after a visit to my brother, in the middle of the night, when a guy who was sitting some places away from me, went to the toilet (I assumed) and left his bag unattended.
I was sure that he was a terrorist and the bag contained a bomb (they really got to me, the Dutch security services :-) ).
My last seconds on Earth, I was convinced (I said my goodbyes to my loved ones in my head)....
The fear of dying was so true, so real, that I was paralyzed and didn’t do shit to avoid it.
It was a sad moment.

You had similar fears?

The ‘bomb’ didn’t go off and I was fine!

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21 Answers

poisonedantidote's avatar

“The feeling of real fear that your time was up?” .. There was no fear, just acceptance, a kind of “oh, looks like this is it”.

When I was a child I used to swim in a local pool… there was an under water hole that went from the small pool to the big pool. I used to swim underwater thru the hole from one pool to another. Then the hotel closed for winter, I kept growing, and when I went back the next year and tried to swim from one pool to another I got stuck in the hole and drowned. (not the first time I had “died”)

Adagio's avatar

I was once travelling as a passenger by car, I received a wasp sting on my arm, shortly after my vision went white and I really wondered if my time was up, I had never previously experienced any ill effect from a wasp sting and was not carrying any antihistamine, it was pretty scary, I got out of the car and sat on the pavement for some time until everything seemed to come back to normal, I was hugely relieved, I was 22 years old and by no means ready to die.

Jeruba's avatar

I sort of hate to tell you this, but I’ve had it a number of times while flying, without any special incident to prompt it. I was just overcome by abject fear at 35,000 feet and, yes, mentally said my good-byes.

I also felt the same way going up in the Tinker Toy elevator in the Eiffel Tower.

However, my strongest experience of that sensation was while taking my first-ever ride at Disneyland, which happened to be Space Mountain. Whirling around at warp speed in the dark, with lights flashing and everything rocking and rolling, I was certain my life was over. That’s what being a grownup will get you. My sons were 10 and 7, and they loved it. The Mississippi Riverboat ride turned out to be more my speed.

everephebe's avatar

A few times.
Mostly I just made my peace and a beautiful calm came over me, except for the waterfall time…

CaptainHarley's avatar

More times than I care to remember. I had so many close calls in Vietnam that my Spanish-speaking soldiers started calling me “el Gato!” LOL!

everephebe's avatar

As in you had nine lives?^ @CaptainHarley

Cruiser's avatar

Sitting in a plane on 9/11 while planes were being flown into buildings was one of those moments for me….I was pretty convinced we were going to be next.

CaptainHarley's avatar


Yes! LOL! And the fact that I always seemed to jump to where the bullett wasn’t! : D

Allie's avatar

My mom and I were in a car accident. A guy in the fast lane leaned over to answer his ringing phone out of his backpack on the passenger floor, lost control of the car and when he over-corrected he came barreling towards us over in the slow lane. He sent us off the road, through a cyclone security fence thing, over a small hill and into a ditch with water in it. Once we went over the little hill and were sliding down into the ditch with water I was sure we were going to die either of accident injuries or drowning.
We were lucky in the sense that it had rained a bit a few days before and softened the ground a little. Instead of bouncing around on dry dirt, our tires kind of sank into the ground and it slowed us down. We didn’t flip, and we didn’t speed down the ditch. It kind of… pulled back on our car.
The car we were in was deemed totaled, but we were able to get out and walk ok. Despite a few minor injuries and aches and pains for a while after, we’re fine.

CWOTUS's avatar

A few weeks ago, as a matter of fact.

I was in the front passenger seat in a van in India on a (relatively) high speed road. We were hitting speeds of about 90 kph, which is pretty darn fast for India, considering that you share the road with everyone: pedestrians, bicyclists, pedicabs, three-wheeled motorized passenger cabs, motorcycles, huge tour buses and massive single-body trucks. All of the crossings are at grade; not so many bridges over the equivalent of an American interstate highway. And livestock are on the roads all the time, including cows that have absolute right of way over everyone. If a cow sleeps in the road (and they do, sometimes), then you just go around it. Woe betide you if you hurt or kill a cow.

Our driver started to pass a big, heavy, slow-moving truck in the lane next to ours, but the truck started to pull into our lane instead. (When there are cows on the road in India no one wants to hit a cow. The truck driver was making a rational decision for an Indian driver to avoid hitting the cows that were moving into his lane.) He wasn’t going to stop, because we were behind him, and “that’s our problem, not his.”

Our driver didn’t slow down, but started to squeeze over to make room for both vehicles in one travel lane (which happens often enough in India that you try not to worry too much about that). That’s when a cow started to cross the road from our side, too. Now our driver had to move in behind the truck (because he was not going to hit the cow, whatever else he did), and try to slow down. He ended up locking up the brakes, and we fishtailed as we – I – headed right for the outside rear corner of the truck. We were looking at an offset rear-end collision with me in the suicide seat.

Contrary to things we’ve read in popular literature, your life does not “pass in front of your eyes”; at least, mine didn’t. What did occur to me in about a quarter of a second was “my knees are hard against the dashboard of the van, and when we hit the corner of that truck, they’re going to be shattered; but maybe I can save my head”. I dove for the driver’s lap. Anyone would have thought I was going to give him oral sex. I couldn’t twist enough, or quickly enough, to really put my head in his lap, or I would have. I had one eye fixed on the back of that truck until it blotted out the sun. We kept fishtailing (and slowing), and the truck didn’t stop completely, so… we managed to stop about a foot-and-a-half from the bumper of that truck as he lumbered on ahead.

We told the driver after that that we didn’t need to win any races, and would he please keep the speed down just a bit.

mrrich724's avatar

A couple, when you ride motorcycles this is actually not as rare as for those of you who don’t ride motorcycles.

But on example non-bike-related, I was on a 747 (or the like, don’t remember) on a trip to Puerto Rico, the dumb-fuck pilot didn’t tell us that he was landing (AT ALL), and I guess he had to land VERY QUICKLY (WAS HE ASLEEP UP THERE?!).

Needless to say, we decended VERY QUICKLY, and since he didn’t announce that we were landing, and didn’t turn on the fasten seatbelt sign, we were like WTF, the moment we landed HARD TOO BY THE WAY, we didn’t know we were landing. We thought we were dead.

Contrary to what I thought would happen, no one screamed. Everyone just sat, wide-eyed, I held my aunt’s hand, and I just thought “thank you for the life I’ve lived.”

There was no fear, there was SHITLOADS of panic, but there was this underlying feeling of calm, and just a “so this is it,” kinda thought.

Then we landed… lots of people laughed audibly.

mazingerz88's avatar

Everytime my gf would nag me to the point of shooting myself in the head. Lol.

To answer the question, yes, twice. First was when a drunk guy suddenly pointed a gun to another guy’s head which happened to be an inch away directly in front of my own head! I tried to think which is worse, brains splattered on my face or a bullet slamming in my forehead.

Second was, well…maybe next time…

Symbeline's avatar

I’ve had some few utter fear moments, but none that had incited any apparent I’m gonna die moments. They had more to do with what I may have concluded as a result of what was happening at the time, but death didn’t happen to be involved in those conclusions. That must be freaky shit when you think you’re gonna die though. :/

augustlan's avatar

Preface: For years, I’d had a recurring dream of being hit by a car, knocked down, and then run over by the next car. I’d wake up just as I “died” in the dream.

When I was 15, I was walking across a major road (6 lanes, with a median in the middle) before school one morning, and got hit by a car. The impact spun me around and threw me to the ground. The instant I hit the ground, I ‘knew’ I was going to die. Without any thought at all, I jumped up and hopped like a mad woman, using my one functioning leg to get to the median, where I collapsed.

I had another experience a year or so before that, where I opened up the curtains to my patio door in the middle of the night and saw a man directly on the other side of the glass. He had something in his hand, and my first thought was “GUN!”. I immediately hit the deck, screaming as I crawled away as fast as possible. It wasn’t a gun… he was just trying to break in, not shoot me.

Before either of these events happened, I’d always wondered what I’d do in a life or death situation. Would I freeze? Would I even be able to scream? It was kind of a relief to find out that I could react in a split second. The will to survive is a powerful thing.

Symbeline's avatar

@augustlan GA. I always wondered that, that like, if death faced me, if I would freeze or act. I denno what would happen to me, but I’ve always thought that the survival instinct was a strong thing, and prolly primary.

Now let’s go find that bugger who hit you with their car and fuck em up. :D

mazingerz88's avatar

@Symbeline Your survival mode would most likely kick in visualizing any threat as a zombie and immediately try to bash his head in with your bare knuckles screaming, “Die Zombie, die! You motha…”

Mariah's avatar

For the whole two months I was on IV nutrition when I was seventeen I went to sleep at night fully expecting I might not wake up in the morning. I was so sick.

Then at the end of those two months I got an infection on the IV site that went septic, and I went into septic shock one morning. Funnily enough, I wasn’t scared and did not think I would die. Whether this was due to my not understanding the seriousness of the situation or something else, I’ll never know.

GialloBubble's avatar

I had two most scary experince. First one was I end up being with wrong group of people, so one day I upset one of them with something I should have not saId. He took me out in the woods where no one could hear us. I was so scared, he pulled out a gun and started talking. At that moment I knew I wouldn’t live, since I’m in the middle of the woods and no one might hear the gun go off. I stood there just waiting, he pointed the gun at me but then he moved the gun away and just shot a tree and told me to never come around. I never went anywhere near those people.

Second one was I was in a car with four other friend of mine. The guy was driver his girlfriend’s car, I was sitting in the back seat behind the driver. It started with another guy in a black truck driving by and flip the bird at us. My driver was confused and then he drive pass him and flip the bird too. Now both of them were mad, my driver’s girlfriend was telling her boyfriend to slow down. Of course he didn’t listen so he speed up ahead of him, and we were going around the curve till we realized there was traffic there. We were at least going 60 and then he slam on the brake, but we couldn’t stop in time. He moved to the side almost hitting the other car and end up driving on the curve, hit a stop sign and then car finally stopped right near the lake. My heart was pounding like crazy, and the black truck guy drove by and got his last laugh.

mazingerz88's avatar

@GialloBubble Wow, that was a hair raising debut in Fluther for you…and me! Lol.

rebbel's avatar

Thank you all for your contributions!
I am glad you all lived to tell it!

CWOTUS's avatar

I also rolled a car into a ditch at high speed once, but I didn’t have the same feeling of impending doom then. (Maybe because it happened at 2 AM over 30 years ago, and I had just woken from a pretty good sleep… at 60 mph.)

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