I was very ill as a young girl and died at one point when I was ten. As I lay dying, I was lifted and began slowly floating upwards. I looked back and saw my bed as small as a match box with my tiny body in it... my were parents on either side of it weeping. I felt no pain and there was a lightness about me as I went higher and higher until I was called back by my parents. Suddenly, I was back in my body... I could feel the painful wheezing again.
My husband had undiagnosed peritonitis years ago. It is fatal in 24 hours and had remained undiagnosed for over 60 so his chances of survival were less than 1%. As he lay there, hearing all that was said in his conscious/unconscious presence, he felt no pain even though he could hear himself moaning. He was in a 'place' and knew that passing over would be so easy... it was such a small step. He heard my voice begging him not to leave and during the long night I saw a blue white light hovering above his feet. Slowly it traveled along his body, stopping at his head where it disappeared. I heard a voice as though through a thought that he would be allowed to stay. He awoke at first light and said to me, 'Help me up, I am going to live'.
Years ago I attended a 49, the Cheyenne ceremonies honoring the living warriors who returned from battle. As the evening deepened and the drum beat mesmerized, I had a trance-like vision. The ceiling to the building opened and my astral body traveled beyond the building, above the forests, to the mountains, the sky and further still into the star filled universe. Along the path, I heard the drum beat which echoed my heartbeat... it was the same heartbeat that emanated from everything that I passed along my journey. It is a continuum which connects all things with the beat of a single heart. I saw it all with awe and when I came back I felt peace, perfect peace, for three days. I have never felt such an emotion as I did then... the memory has faded over the years and I often wish I could feel that way again. Days later an elder told me I had received a blessing... and I do believe I did.
I have not been afraid to die since that time for I know that the energy that is 'us' unites with the universal energy of the whole. It is so far beyond earthly imagination of a heaven with golden streets or unification with loved ones. None of those human emotions are necessary... for uniting with the whole of everything is a joy beyond earthly comprehension. Death is not some terrible unknown to be feared, it is part of the journey... and such a small step over.