Even though death is a universal experience, we don’t know a whole lot about what it actually feels like to die. What happens to your body and mind throughout the transition of being alive to being dead? The good news is that there is some research on this and when you learn about what we do know, it makes the whole thing a little less terrifying. What happens to your body Dying can vary quite a lot, so, for the sake of this piece, let’s assume you’re dying of natural causes and that you’re on your way out. First, it’s important to know there isn’t a precise “death moment.” Dying is a process, and one where there are a lot of gray areas because there’s still a lot we don’t know. That said, we can legally define death in two stages. Right now, your body is gradually approaching what’s known as “clinical death,” which occurs when your heartbeat, breathing and circulation stop. But your body’s cells are still alive after that for the next four to six minutes until “biological death” occurs. At that point, your brains cells have begun to die and resuscitation is impossible. Okay, we know what death means legally now, but let’s not get too ahead of ourselves here. How does that process feel? Well, according to James Hallenbeck, M.D., a palliative-care specialist at Stanford University , your last few days on earth are what’s known as the “active dying” phase. You rapidly start to […]