With love to my late grandmother Margaretta, this is an extract from Dr Elisabeth Kübler-Ross‘s book Death Is Of Vital Importance, published in 1995.
There are three reasons why no one can die alone. (And this also includes someone who dies of thirst in a desert hundreds of miles from the next human being, or an astronaut missing the target and circling around in the universe until he dies of lack of oxygen.)
Patients who are slowly preparing themselves for death, as is often the case with children who have cancer, prior to death begin to be aware that they have the ability to leave their physical body and have what we call an “out-of-body” experience. All of us have these out-of-body experiences during certain states of sleep, although very few of us are consciously aware of it.
Dying children, who are much more tuned in, become much more spiritual then healthy children of the same age. They become aware of these short trips out of their body, which help them in their transition, and help them to become familiar with where they are in the process of going.
It is during those out-of-body trips that dying patients become aware of the presence of beings who surround them, who guide them and help them. This is the first reason why you cannot die alone. Young children often refer to them as their playmates. The churches have called them guardian angels. Most researchers would call them guides. It is not important what label we give them. But it is important that we know that from the moment of birth, which begins with the taking of the first breath, until the moment when we make the transition and end of this physical existence, we are in the presence of these guides or guardian angels who will wait for us and help us in the transition from life to life after death.
The second reason why we cannot die alone is that we will always be met by those who preceded us in death and whom we have loved – a child we have lost, perhaps decades earlier, a grandmother, a father, a mother or other people who have been significant in our lives. Some people are very frightened about this because many of them have had several husbands and they worry which one is going to be there. They do not have to worry about that because after death there is no more negativity. Negativity is only a creation of man.
The third reason why we cannot die alone is that when we shed our physical bodies even temporarily prior to death, we are in an existence where there is no time and space. And in this existence we can be anywhere we choose to be at the speed of our thought. A young man who dies in Vietnam and thinks of his mother in Chicago will be in Chicago with the speed of his thought. If you die in the Rocky Mountains in an avalanche and your family lives in Virginia Beach, you will be in Virginia Beach at the speed of your thoughts.