You’re probably familiar with “near death experiences,” in which people seem to visit the afterlife and then return to life. My guest this week is Dr. Sharon Prentice, who describes a related journey called a “shared death experience.” This was a new concept for me, as I’m sure it will be for a lot of listeners, and made for a really fascinating discussion.
Sharon also described the events in her life that laid the foundation for her shared death experience, and the ways it changed her understanding of the divine and what it means to die—and to live. Other topics we touched on from her book Becoming Starlight: A Shared Death Journey from Darkness to Light included:
- The author’s deep sorrow following multiple losses
- How life can beckon us back when we think we’re “done”
- Sharon’s husband’s illness and gradual decline
- What a shared death experience (SDE) is
- Dreams of death
- The difficulty in putting an SDE into words
- The merger between life and death during an SDE
- Her mental and emotional state leading up to the SDE
- What happened during her SDE
- The effects of Sharon’s SDE on her subsequent emotions and beliefs
- How the SDE changed her relationship with and view of God
- What it means to be a “thought of God”
- The illusion of separateness from God
- How her SDE took away the fear of death
- The question of divine judgment after death
- Hell as the separation we create from God
Here’s the link to Sharon’s book: Becoming Starlight.
For more on shared death experiences, see this book by Raymond Moody, MD: Glimpses of Eternity. (A percentage of each sale from these affiliate links will go toward supporting the podcast, at no additional cost to you.)
Sharon Prentice, PhD, is in private practice as a Licensed Clinical Pastoral Counselor-Advanced Certification. She is also a Certified Spiritual Counselor (SC-C) and a Board Certified Temperament Counselor, and holds certificates in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Group Therapy, Integrated Marriage and Family Therapy, and Crisis and Abuse Therapy.
Sharon is a professional member of the American Counselors Association, a professional clinical member of the National Christian Counselors Association, a clinical member of the American Mental Health Counselors Association, and a Presidential member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. She is also a commissioned minister of pastoral care.