Jeff Mikels » August 15, 2007

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What goes through your mind when you die?

I was amazed to find this account online of what it feels like to be nearly fatally shot with a bullet. George Orwell, the famous writer, was a soldier during World War II, and recounts what it was like to be hit with a bullet. It’s amazingly vivid, interesting, and thought provoking.

Here are a couple quotes from the essay:

Roughly speaking it was the sensation of being at the center of an explosion. There seemed to be a loud bang and a blinding flash of light all around me, and I felt a tremendous shock – no pain, only a violent shock, such as you get from an electric terminal; with it a sense of utter weakness, a feeling of being stricken and shriveled up to nothing… The next moment my knees crumpled up and I was falling, my head hitting the ground with a violent bang which, to my relief, did not hurt. I had a numb, dazed feeling, a consciousness of being very badly hurt, but no pain in the ordinary sense.

. . .

There must have been about two minutes during which I assumed I was killed. And that too was interesting — I mean it is interesting to know what your thoughts would be at such a time. My first thought, conventionally enough, was for my wife. My second was violent resentment at having to leave this world which, when all is said and done, s me so well.

It’s a great question. What will go through my mind when I face death? Will I think about my family, my God, my work? Will I feel resentment, regret, anger?

Here’s the link to the full article.

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