16. Most individuals who have had a near-death experience describe the existence of a bright white light and a tunnel that seems to lead to the afterlife.
Near death experience (NDE) is classified by Kenneth Ring, Professor Emeritus of Psychology at the University of Connecticut, into five stages: peace, body separation, entering darkness, seeing the light, and entering the light. According to Ring, while 60 percent of patients experienced the first stage, only 10% experience the fifth. There have been several attempts at research and proposed explanations for NDE. In 2010, researchers at University of Maribor hypothesized that the excess CO2 in the bloodstream alters the chemical balance of the brain and tricks it into “seeing things”. Another explanation is the increase of serotonin in the brain triggers NDEs. Another study suggested that brain has the capacity for neurophysiological and neurochemical activities, and can cause internal states of consciousness at near-death.(source)
17. QR codes have been popping up in cemeteries. When you scan a code on a gravestone, you can read an obituary and see photos of the deceased.
Smart cemeteries are now a reality. Just like GIS (Geographic Information Systems) provides digital accessibility to historical and archaeological sites, QR (Quick Response) codes now provide a means of organizing and archiving information for others to use. Several cemeteries have already started using this feature. La Paz, a Jewish cemetery in Uruguay, has QR codes on every headstone to link the visitors to information about the specific graves. Living Headstones, a subsidiary of a gravestone and monument company called Quiring from Seattle, provide technology that links a “particular gravesite in one geographic location to a virtual public space” that can be accessed by visitors from afar providing them a shared experience.(source)
18. The “Lazarus sign” is a reflex movement in brain-dead patients which causes them to briefly raise their arms and drop them crossed on their chest in a position similar to some Egyptian mummies.
The Lazarus sign is said to be an example of a reflex mediated by a reflex arc, which is a neural pathway that passes through the spinal column and not the brain. Even though a patient is brain-dead or has a brainstem failure, the movement still can happen. The reflex starts with slight shivering of the arms or goosebumps, after which the arms flex, lift themselves over to the breastbone and often bring themselves towards the chin or neck and touch or cross over. The reflex is named after the Biblical figure, Lazarus of Bethany, who was raised from the dead by Jesus, and is considered criteria for determining brain death.(source)
19. There is a gypsy tribe in India that celebrates death as one of the happiest events in their lives while treating births with great grief.
The Satiyaa Tribe is a group of twenty-four families scattered across the state of Rajasthan. They live in temporary shelters along the roads and rely on harvesting the dead bodies of cattle from the roads and prostitution. The funeral and cremation in the tribe is an event of celebration. They wear fresh clothes, buy sweets, local fruits, and local liquor. The dead body is taken in a procession of dancing groups and drum beats. After the funeral, they feast on their liquor and dance until the body is reduced to ashes. They celebrate death as it “liberates the soul from its physical prison, while birth puts the soul in one and so a great punishment by the god to sinful souls.”(source)
20. One of the top things people regret when they are dying is that they worked too hard.
Bronnie Ware, a palliative nurse who has counseled many dying patients, has listed down some of the top regrets most people have at the end of their lives. She reports that the most common regret overall was “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself”, while the most common regret in almost every male patient she nursed was “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.” Other regrets include a not having the courage to express their feelings, not staying in touch with friends, and not letting themselves be happier.(source)