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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

What do you do after you're sure you're going to die, but you did not?

Asked by Adirondackwannabe (36630points) March 30th, 2012

What do you do after a near death experience? I was absolutely positive I was going to be killed in a car accident this week. I knew it was all over without a doubt. There weren’t any other options. At the last minute another driver made a great move that saved me. It was a full sized SUV versus a small car, so it was pretty obvious what the odds were. But what do you do after you’ve made that conclusion? It’s still messing with me pretty good. We didn’t collide and I’m fine physically. It’s just got me thinking a lot.

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17 Answers

Hawaii_Jake's avatar

Breathe. Meditate. Process. Feel.

Let the emotions wash over you and through you. Feel them. All of them. And release.

Light a candle. Make a little ritual of saying what you’re grateful for.

Smile in the mirror.

Face the back of the elevator when riding.

Put vanilla pudding in a mayonnaise jar and eat it with a spoon in public.

Clap every time you see a bird take flight.

Sleep naked next to a lover.

Return something borrowed and thank the lender profusely.

Dance to music by John Cage.

Laugh at babies.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Hawaii_Jake Thats pretty damn good stuff. It does make you think.

wilma's avatar

I have also had the “sure this was it” moment in a car accident. I didn’t die, but I was injured.
I also had my two month old baby in the car with me. In those moments that I knew it was going to happen, I thought of my baby, and how just minutes before I had tucked him into his car seat in the back seat, and even though I was in a hurry that day, I had taken a few moments to snuggle him and talk to him and he had smiled at me.
I thought of my other children who were not with me, and who I knew that I would leave behind, still not all grown up. My family and husband who would grieve and be left to keep things going without me.
We were on the top of an overpass and the person about to hit me was passing a semi-truck in a no passing zone. She was coming toward me in my lane. My first indication of what was about to happen was the look of horror on the face of the truck driver as he was looking in his mirror. I moved to my right as far as I could and was sure that when she hit me my baby and I would be going over the side of the bridge. We scraped along the side of it on two wheels, but we didn’t go over the side.

I have had a little different attitude since that day. No everything isn’t always perfect, but I got another chance.
I was so glad that I had taken those few extra minutes enjoying my son. That is what sticks with me. Take those minutes, if not you might wish that you had.

Mariah's avatar

You don’t waste a second is what you do.

Had you had more time to think while the car was careening towards you, what would have been going through your mind? Regret for all the things you left unsaid, the experiences you never got to have?

Those are the things you need to be doing in the aftermath of a near death experience.

I nearly died when I was 17 and the first thing I did when I got home from the hospital was write letters to all of my friends. I didn’t watch TV or do other “time-killing” activitiesfor several months. I was really shaken, but in a way the effect on me was good; I realized how precious time was. The effect did wear off after a while and I went back to my normal routines, but I won’t ever again take things for granted quite the way I did before.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

I would be disappointed.

King_Pariah's avatar

Get up and walk (hobble in the case of getting hit by a car) on like nothing happened. I’m fully aware of how fragile life is, why fret it?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Thank KP. I’ve been hit by a truck. That’s no fun. This was far worse. I had a chance against the truck.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

You know what the funniest thing was? One part of me is driving my ass off trying to buy us some time. I’m so tuned into the moment. The shoulder is 18 inches and I’m using it all. A completely different part of me is apologizing for getting killed.

Earthgirl's avatar

Adirondackwannabe It’s one of those things that make you happy just to be alive ,right? It’s only natural that we stress out over all kinds of small every day kinds of things until we are brought face to face with “THE ABYSS”!!! I am so glad that it turned out the way it did. You are still here and life goes on….as to your question, what do you do? You sit back and think, if I knew tomorrow was going to be the last day of my life what would still be important? What would fall away?

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Earthgirl That is such good advice. I’m just still getting my head around the idea of knowing I’m dead. I’ve never had that thought before. It messes with your head a bit. I’m going to smell every flower and enjoy every sandwich. RIP Warren

cazzie's avatar

Wow, @Adirondackwannabe that is pretty scary. I had a very bad experience hiking once. I was with someone who I trusted knew the way and he got us into almost fatal trouble. This was before the days of cell phones in every pocket (god, I am old), We got lost and he tried to lead me down the mountain, but the terrain got really steep, no path and we both nearly slid to our deaths into a raging river. Getting off the place we slid too almost killed us as well. I almost think, today, that that should have been my fate because nothing good has come of the past years but pain. I am weak and a coward and I never did anything to put my life on a good course. I threw my smelly mud-drenched clothes away, took a bath and went out for a crappy chinese dinner and barely spoke of the incident again, for fear of upsetting the person who lead me into it. See, weak, cowardly life. Perhaps, don’t do what I did.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Thanks for all your answers. This is still messing with me pretty good. I was apologizing to a loved one, thinking I’m so so sorry for doing this to you, meaning me getting killed. I was that certain of it. It gives you a strange view of life. Family has asked why I’m so quiet. I’m still thinking it through.

Earthgirl's avatar

Adirondackwannabe Last night I was watching Titanic. I had been determined and looking forward to going to see the 3D version coming soon to theatres near you….but then watching it last night, thinking of how I would have felt if I were the Captain, knowing the ship was doomed and trying valiantly against all odds to keep her afloat, I felt so stressed out! I was feeling so much anxiety from my empathizing with those people just seeing it on tv that I don’t know if I could take seeing that movie again especailly in 3D! How powerful the idea of our own death is, when it is a real fear and not just a hypothetical “someday”!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Earthgirl I knew with 100 percent certainty I was dead. I didn’t quit trying, but I got off 4 I’m so so sorries for getting killed before I saw the second car dart to the right and give me a chance. I can see how the Titanic movie would hit you. I wasn’t scared though, I was so bummed. I can’t stand hurting people.

Earthgirl's avatar

Adirondackwannabe A few days ago in my neighborhood a 24 year old driver crashed into a tree DWI. His passenger was killed. Thank God you survived and no one was seriously injured. I guess you will cope with it and maybe it will take some more time. You still seem a little shook up. Confession time for me? I don’t drive. This is part of the reason.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Earthgirl I was saying my good byes. I thought it was done. Yeah I’m shook up. I was thinking I don’t want to drive again. I don’t have a choice. i didn’t nearly hurt someone so that’s okay.

Earthgirl's avatar

Most places not driving really limits your independence. I guess the best thing is not to let it get a hold of your mind, the fear that is, and just get back on the horse!

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