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The Life-Altering Near Death Experience of Dr. Lani Leary

DR. LANI LEARY: “I promised to have Dr. Lani Leary back to tell us about her near death experience so this is it. Lani shares with us the near death experience that occurred during a routine dentist procedure, how she left her body viewing it from above, met and communicated with her deceased mother, traveled through the infamous near-death experience tunnel, and how she became one with the Light (God/Source/Love). After Dr. Lani Leary tells her story with poetic articulation, I walk her through it again to extract the insightful details and life-changing lessons this fascinating trip to the afterlife teaches us.” ~ Bob Olson, Afterlife TV

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Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Hi Everybody, Bob Olsen here with Afterlife TV. You can find us at This is where we search for evidence of life after death and ask the meaningful questions around that subject. Today, one of the more popular subjects of Afterlife TV viewers; we’re going to talk about near death experiences, particularly the near death experience of Dr. Lani Leary.

For those of you who are longtime fans of After Life TV, you might recognize Lani. We interviewed her the first time – I don’t know how long ago that was – about this particular book and the work that she does. We’re going to try to get that there on your frame; No One Has To Die Alone. I remember last time I said, “No one has to die…” I got that wrong. No One Has To Die Alone: Preparing for a Meaningful Death.

This book really is for everyone, and the reason is because each one of us is going to die, each one of us knows someone who’s going to die. We may actually experience the dying process with some of those people and half the book is about that process. There’s a Part One and a Part Two, and Part One – I think this is important, that’s why I’m saying it – is about making a difference through illness, dying, and death. And then Part Two is after the person has passed, making a difference through bereavement. This book covers it all.

I recommended last time everybody go out, grab a book, read it, buy a copy for everyone of their loved ones, and some people actually did that and said what a difference it made. It brought up this conversation about death and dying. So we’re going to welcome her back. Dr. Lani Leary, thanks for coming back to Afterlife TV.

Dr. Lani Leary: Thank you. My pleasure to be with you.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: I’ll tell you I remember last time, it was towards the end of the interview and I said we’re going to bring you back and talk about your near death experience and here we are, we’re doing that finally.

Dr. Lani Leary: Love it, yes.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: I’m excited about it. Tell us a little bit about your background, a little bit about your work.

Dr. Lani Leary: Well, I think I talked about it a little bit in the first interview. I do this work. I was lead to this work early because my mother died when I was 13, and it was such a profound and life-changing experience for me, and the grief was so overwhelming and unanswered that in order to cope, I had to find some meaning. I had to make meaning out of it, and so I vowed; I remember clearly at the age of 13, saying to myself that something good was going to come of this.

So I spent my formative years learning everything that I could about death, dying, and grief in order to understand my own process, but also to be able to pass that around and touch others so that the dying would be different and the grief would be different. I never wanted anyone else to feel the kind of profound confusion and despair that I did, as I was grieving.

So, I did go back to graduate school and earn my PhD in Counseling Psychology, and specifically did all my work around death and dying. And then developed a program, in-depth studies, and taught that. And really, I’ve been taught by thousands of others as they were dying what was important to them.

So I worked in nine hospices across the United States, and was with patients and their family’s as they were going through that transition. They were really my teachers, my mentors showing me and being so generous really in letting me into the most intimate and vulnerable time of their life. And I pass on what they’ve taught me.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: What I love about this – because we’ll transition into you telling us about your near death experience – and it sort of comes full circle right back to where you just started. Because, the near death experience then really allowed you to connect with these people, as they were going through the dying process in a way that if you had not had it, you wouldn’t have been able to connect with a lot of them, right?

Dr. Lani Leary: I think that I certainly would’ve been able to connect with the grief. And of course, we grieve before we die. That’s called, “Anticipatory Grief.” But, as a person is dying many, many things are being lost. Roles are being lost, physical strength is being lost; sometimes relationships are lost. Hope for future dreams can be lost, so I would’ve been able to connect with them about their grief, but what the near death experience changed for me was that there wasn’t any fear, on my part, of being with people as they were dying because there is nothing to fear, because death is such an illusion.

I didn’t need to talk about my experience with most people who were dying because there was an ability to be with them in a way that really communicated, there is nothing to be afraid of.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: And they have experiences, spiritual or whatever you want to call them; other worldly experiences, as well, that you were able to sort of relate to because of this near death experience.

Dr. Lani Leary: And I was able to validate for them. Because so many people feel as though they’re crazy when they’re seeing deceased loved ones in the room with them. The family members don’t have the same experience of that and it’s difficult to validate and support that. To be able to be told, “Of course, they’re here for you, of course you’re seeing them,” is one of the most comforting things in the world for a person who is dying. But also afterward, I was able to have conversations with people who were grieving the death of their loved one and I would ask open direct questions such as, “Have you had an experience of your loved one since they’ve died?”

And most people’s response to me – I mean I would say 86% of people respond in such a way that says, “Thank you, thank you for asking me because no one will talk to me about this experience, and I know I heard their voice,” or, “I know I felt their touch on my cheek.” Again, to be able to validate for that person is one of the most comforting, calming, reassuring things that we can do for someone who is in grief.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: And nowadays, I think there’s more and more people who are opening up to this sort of thing and have greater awareness; more doctors and nurses and that sort of thing. But how long you been doing this work?

Dr. Lani Leary: Oh, 30 years.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: So you’ve seen it when – boy, it was a little bit taboo to even discuss it, right.

Dr. Lani Leary: Oh, it was very taboo, and you can imagine being a psychologist and a professor and talking about these experiences, it was pretty risky in the early days. I had to be very careful and really discern who was ready or open to exploring this.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: I was just reading recently, a little bit about Dr. Elizabeth Kübler-Ross and her experience, and how she actually wanted to talk about an experience that she had in the back of her famous book, On Death and Dying. She was talked out of it because she figured nobody would ever publish it, if she had.

Dr. Lani Leary: Right, and when she did speak about it, she was very discredited.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: It was funny because they were talking about like this was the fall of Dr. Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. I never thought of it that way, you know. I was like, “Man this woman has courage. I never thought of it that way,” but from an academic place and certainly in terms of science and everything, I can see how that was their view of it right.

Dr. Lani Leary: Yes, yes.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: And you we’re probably much more aware of it. You were aware of it while this stuff was going on, I imagine.

Dr. Lani Leary: I was aware of what?

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: What was going on with her at that time; I mean you were probably more aware of it then I certainly was.

Dr. Lani Leary: Oh yeah. In fact, I was down in one of the hospices in Virginia when she was there. She was trying to do very, very important work with children with AIDS and they wanted to boot her out of town. It was very sad.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Well here we are, living in a less risky time for you to be able to tell your story, so let’s do it. I know this all started with a dentist visit. Who knew, right? Who could have expected that, a dentist visit? Tell us about your near death experience, how it started, and what took place.

Dr. Lani Leary: Well, I was going for a routine dental procedure. I was almost 29 years old, happily married, and had a beautiful two and a half year old baby. I just took myself to the dentist for a regular procedure. I was in the dentist chair and given nitrous oxide, laughing gas. The first thing I knew, I was lying back in the dentist chair, and the next thing I knew I was up in the corner of the room looking down at my inert body, and I felt no fear, I felt no anxiety.

As I looked at my body, I really felt a fondness for it. I knew this body, but I knew that I was not that body. I felt an old familiarity with it but, as though it was ready to be tossed off and go to the Salvation Army. It was well used and well loved, but I didn’t need it back, I didn’t want it back.

The dentist was frantically working on me and I was trying to communicate. I was trying to talk to the dentist; the dentist didn’t hear me. I just looked at my body with kind of a fond detachment, and I had no sense of time, so I don’t know how long I was up there in the corner of the room. But the next thing that I was aware of was that I was entering a tunnel and my mother, who had been dead for 15 years, was right at the entrance to the tunnel with her arms out. She was whole and she was beautiful, vibrant, and healed. She was healed and that was really important, because she did not die whole and vibrant and thriving in this way. I saw her, I knew it was her, and I went into her.

I was not able to say goodbye when she died, she died suddenly and unexpectedly. I communicated with her telepathically, so it was thought and she received, and she thought and I received. I heard it inside of this being, whatever I was now. I said to her, “I love you,” and she said, “I knowwww,” in such a way that the energy went around me like her arms. And I said, “I miss you,” and she said, “I knowwwww.”

And what I knew in that communication was that all those things, every single day of my life that I had wanted to tell her or I had wanted to ask her, I already had. What I knew is that she had always been with me and there had never been any separation between us. I knew that she knew that I loved her. And all those years I had felt so guilty that I had not been able to say goodbye.

I was 13 years old, a typical teenager, you know, wanting distance and independence. I had felt so guilty, as though, really there was a part of my 13 year old brain that felt so just – oh despair doesn’t even come close to it. But as though she had died believing that her only daughter didn’t love her, because I hadn’t told her that. So in this moment of communication, that was healed. I knew that she would always be with me, and I still know that; I know that now. I know she’s right here.

So the next thing I was aware of was that I was going into this tunnel and I had to go through this tunnel because I could see a speck of light. And it was as though I was a magnet and I was drawn to this light. There was no question that I was going toward it. I was in this tunnel that was so beautiful and magnificent. As I close my eyes now, I can see it and feel it, and it was an opalescent blue, like there was Mother of Pearl all around this tunnel.

And as I went through this tunnel, I heard the most magnificent music. I went closer and closer to the light and the light got bigger and bigger and brighter, as though I was looking at the sun, but there was no pain in looking at this light. I was in front of the light and then I was aware that the light was all around me, just like my mother’s arms. Then I was in the light and I was the light, as though there was no separation between a drop of water and the ocean; it was one in the same.

I knew I was home, I was home. I experienced, I felt and I knew a love with a Capital L that I had never experienced on earth. This unconditional love, so that I knew that I was forgiven for anything I thought I couldn’t be forgiven for.
I was one in the same, I belonged, I was loved beyond measure, and I wanted to be there.

The next thing I was aware of was that the light – and you can call the light whatever you want because it is beyond name – the light said to me in the same way my mother and I communicated, “You must go back.” And I yelled with whatever force I had, “Nooo.” And the light said again, “You have work to do, you must go back.” And I still yelled, “Noooo.” And then I felt myself churning back through this tunnel, almost like I was in a blender. And I can say it was emotionally, psychically – my experience was that it was almost painful to come back. And then the next thing I knew, I was back in the dentist chair and my life changed.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: I bet it did. Tell me, how did the dentist react? I just find it curious.

Dr. Lani Leary: Well this was back in 1981-82, and I think that the dentist believed – we didn’t talk about it – the dentist believed he had resuscitated me, and that’s fine. He just wanted to make sure that I was able to drive home, and I did.

I’m not sure he’d ever had that experience before and certainly I hadn’t. I’d never spoken with anyone who had that experience; I didn’t have the language, so I didn’t talk about it for years and years afterwards. Although my husband knew immediately that something had happened to me.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Oh he did, how did he know.

Dr. Lani Leary: I don’t know.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Oh, he just knew.

Dr. Lani Leary: Something had shifted. Something had…

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Well yeah, and some things had changed for you in terms of – there were things about your life that you just decided to do differently.

Dr. Lani Leary: I’m not even sure I decided, I just knew they had to be different. In the same way that I had to go toward the light, my life was going to be different, though I didn’t really understand how. You know, I had received this message that I had work to do. I didn’t have a clue what that meant. And there was a sense, when I got back – I remember saying to myself or out loud, “This better be good,” because I’m missing out on being there.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to be here, and certainly, it wasn’t that I didn’t want to be with my family, my child, my husband, but I didn’t know what could be more important than being in the midst of that love. So when I came back, it was a couple months afterward, that I remember clearly reading the morning newspaper, turning the page and seeing a full page article about hospice and the word, or again, the energy just came up off the page and it was a big, “Yes,” and I knew instantly that that’s what I was to do. I took myself into a local hospice and said, “I am to work here,” and I’ve been doing that work ever since.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Really! And how do they respond?

Dr. Lani Leary: You know, there are people who are there always in our path to help us do what we’re to do. When I took myself in, the hospice nurse that interviewed me, she made it happen.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: It sort of goes along with; people can call it intuition, your gut feeling, or whatever. When you follow that, life just seems to flow doesn’t it.

Dr. Lani Leary: It does, it does when you really listen to that voice inside.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: When we ignore it, is when we often run into obstacles. Because we’re trying to make something happen that maybe isn’t supposed to happen or just isn’t the right time.

Dr. Lani Leary: Right.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: All right, let’s dissect your story a little bit. You covered a lot. So I’m going to ask some questions. Maybe you’ll have answers to these, maybe you won’t, but what I love about your particular near death experience is it has all the elements of your typical near death experience. There was hovering over the ceiling, going through the tunnel, being greeted by loved ones on the other side; it has a lot of the typical stages. And yet with any near death experience, each one is different, each one is unique in itself.

And a lot of it, I think, has to do with your own interpretation. And your own interpretation is based on your belief systems, you know, all this sort of thing; what you’re expecting to happen and maybe it’s a little bit of a shock to you that you’re even there. But each person seems to be a little different for whatever that reason really is and so I like to sort of ask some of same questions to people in these interviews to sort of find out what their answer would be to it.

You know, so often we all hear about hovering up at the ceiling. Now did you experience leaving your body; it sounds like you just were there.

Dr. Lani Leary: So that’s an important point. I did not experience any of the trauma of my heart stopping. I think that’s a really important piece. And when I work with people, particularly hospice, but when I work with the families of people who are dying, it is important to know that what we see and experience of our loved one, perhaps even the death rattle or looking as though they’re agitated; what we see is not necessarily what they experience. And that’s a really important point because I experienced no pain, no anxiety, no trauma in the moment of death.

You know, there’s no part of that that’s a memory for me. The other thing that’s important is yes, I was still in the room after my heart stopped, and so I tried to keep the room of the person who’s dying very serene, I want to say low drama, but just really a very sacred space and to continue to relate and connect with the loved one, and so to talk to the person as though there still in the room, because I was in the room.

And then the other things is that I didn’t have an ownership of my body. It was just a vehicle; it was an old car, you know. I’m grateful for the body that I inhabited and I used it well, but it’s not who I was. It’s not who I am now.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Yeah, and what’s interesting is you were only 29 years old, and you sort of referred to it earlier about sort of being worn out, right. It had been through a lot; obviously, it had been through a lot, but that was the way you were perceiving it as, “Boy, this body’s been through a lot, right.”

Dr. Lani Leary: Yeah, and really how different it would be for us as loved ones, to look at this body and just to be grateful for it. And I want to say, that’s what the deceased are also feeling; just thank you, thank you… How different we can make that experience if we come at it from that perspective.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: That’s right, it’s beautiful, it’s beautiful. And even as you’re observing it, like you said, the body’s going through something. The dentist is trying to resuscitate you, but you’re not feeling any of that.

Dr. Lani Leary: I’m not feeling it.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: The spirit has left the body and not experienced any of this.

So you’re hovering up at the ceiling, and we here this all the time up at the ceiling. So many often times I hear they’re in the corner of room. Were you in the corner, or whereabouts were you in the ceiling?

Dr. Lani Leary: My experience was that I was up in the corner of the room.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: I hear this and I don’t know why that is, but whatever, who knows? It’s one of those questions we might never have answered, but you’re up there. Explain how felt about your body?

I had read something that you wrote that you also felt something for the dentist; you felt a lot of compassion for him. And something that either you said or was transcribed or that you wrote, which was in your book; I’m not sure, but you actually seemed to feel more compassion for him.

Dr. Lani Leary: Yes, because he was so scared and agitated and I was really trying to communicate, “I’m okay, I’m okay, it’s okay, it’s all okay.”

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Isn’t that beautiful.

Dr. Lani Leary: And he couldn’t receive it.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: No right.

Dr. Lani Leary: But I want to add that too, that I think that there is so much communication to us, and I think that we might block it because of either our grief, our fear, or our agitation. There is help coming to us. Just because we can’t perceive it doesn’t mean it’s not there.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Yeah, yeah, right. So no fear at all during this hovering experience.

Dr. Lani Leary: No fear and no shock, Bob. So you had used the word “shock.” I felt no shock that I was there. I felt more of a wonder, and again gratitude, and this is so beautiful. Really almost kind of an adventure, like, “Wow, I get to go to Europe for the first time.”

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: I love that. Well this is great; a wonderful peaceful experience, and then there’s that transition to the tunnel. Now how about that? Just like you explained about your body seemed to be in the corner of the ceiling, how about the transition to the tunnel, was there any kind of transition experience or were you just sort of there?

Dr. Lani Leary: Yes, I was aware, I was there and it felt to me like the entrance of the tunnel and my mother was right at the entrance of the tunnel to catch me. It felt like she was there to catch me, and so her arms were open wide and it was a peaceful landing, I might say, but you know, right into the bosom of your mother, you know. It was so clearly a healing moment for me; what I had needed for all those years.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Oh definitely, definitely, and you tell a great story in your book about one of the last interactions that you had with your mother. It wasn’t the most positive thing that you did in terms of human perspective, but obviously we know from her spiritual perspective is she wasn’t worried about at all. But the healing benefit to have this experience and to be able to communicate with her in the way that you did is amazing.

Now one of the things I love, and our audience who are familiar with other video interviews that I’ve done, I talk a lot about sometimes the past life experience, if you’ve had a regression and you go through a past life. One of the things that I’ve always remembered and was amazing to me was that we gain this knowing. So even when I’m telling the regressonist about something that is taking place there’s so much more that I’m aware of. In your particular case, you’re talking about your mother – you said three things to her and three times she just said, “I know,” to you, and yet, there was so much more communication around that, right.

Dr. Lani Leary: Yes, yes. I really felt as though I was downloaded with a wisdom that I can’t even put into words. And I felt that same way downloaded with love and wisdom in the presence of this light.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: You knew all that you needed to know from her.

Dr. Lani Leary: I did, and I still do and it’s distilled into a presence rather than even a language.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Oh I love the sound of the bird in the background. Oh, it’s beautiful. And the luscious greenery behind you – I should let everybody know – I’m sitting here with two feet of snow outside my door here in Maine, and you’re in Hawaii.

Dr. Lani Leary: Yeah, I’m in heaven.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: The contrast of life; this is beautiful. So now you’re in the tunnel. You’ve had this experience with your mom. I know that when it was time to leave her, I know from other things that you somehow were ready to let her go. Talk about that, like how can you explain that?

Dr. Lani Leary: Now that, I would say, is still surprising and it’s surprising to my ego, my personality even now. Because before I had this experience, if someone had said to me, “If you could have any miracle in your life what would it be?” It would be to see my mother again. And if they said to me, “Well what would you say to her if you had this opportunity?” My response would be, “Well, do I have 15 years, because I have 15 years worth of questions, experiences I want to share with her. I want to tell her about my first date and my marriage and my child. There’s so many, so many questions.”

So it’s so surprising to me that when I did have the opportunity to be with her and to say anything, to ask anything, that I really only needed to say three things, and that was from the soul level, I think, not from the personality level. Because again, what was downloaded was this wisdom of everything that you’ve needed to ask has been answered, everything that you needed to know you already know. Everything that you need to have confirmed is confirmed.

That kind of deep knowing. So yes, it took three exchanges to get what I needed, and then what I knew was to let go of my mother that’s an illusion. She had always been with me, she would always be with me, and so yes, it was just easy to let go.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Because it wasn’t a letting go.

Dr. Lani Leary: That’s not quite even the accurate way to say it. I went to the light because I was pulled towards the light, because I had to go.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: All right, well let’s go there. Interesting is something else. You had given a talk once for IANDS, right? Was that who is was for and they transcribed it?

Dr. Lani Leary: Yes.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: You were telling a story and you were talking about you were kind of going head first down this tunnel.

Dr. Lani Leary: That’s what it felt like.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Can you describe that, because at least in my mind and I imagine other people, you know, you’re kind of like this and then you’re just sort of hovering through this tunnel. I’m sure it wasn’t like that.

Dr. Lani Leary: Right. It’s kind of like the Olympian toboggan experience. You know maybe as a better of describing it, is saying that the orientation was…

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Yeah, because really you’re being of light now.

Dr. Lani Leary: I wouldn’t say that I had a body. I didn’t have a body, I had a perspective, I had an orientation.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Yeah okay, which is great. I’m glad I asked that question, because that explains a lot to us. You’re being drawn to it, you know. A lot of people worry about when someone passes – this is sort of a little bit of a traumatic event. I mean we don’t know for sure right, but I’m assuming you were allergic to the gas that you were given.

Dr. Lani Leary: That’s what I’m assuming. In my youth I had never smoked, I never drank, I never took drugs, I didn’t even take aspirin. I do not think it was the dentist’s error. I had this shock reaction. I think my body just went, “Whoa what it this?”

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Right, and so you had this experience. Some people worry about the inability, this maybe getting lost, you know, those sorts of things that people talk about. In your case, and many others that I’ve talked with who have had near death experiences, you don’t need a map; you’re just drawn in the direction that you’re supposed to go.

Dr. Lani Leary: Yeah. You know, and actually, that’s a really good metaphor because we don’t need a map, we just need to follow our heart. I would say that the magnet was kind of heart to heart.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: That’s beautiful, that’s beautiful. And you’re aware of the light at the end of the tunnel.

Dr. Lani Leary: Oh, very aware.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: The feelings that you had – and I’m going to ask you what those are in a moment – well, you can explain that now. But the feelings that you had from it, did they grow as you got closer to it.

Dr. Lani Leary: The light grew, as I got closer to it. When I had just gone into the tunnel and let go of my mother, you know, it was as almost though it was a speck of light. And then as I went through the tunnel, the light got bigger and bigger and brighter and brighter. And maybe that’s a reflection of my feeling.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Did the tunnel get bigger and bigger.

Dr. Lani Leary: That wasn’t my experience.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: I just have to go back a little bit. So you leave your mother. I understand this is hard to explain, but does it seem like you sort of left her behind and she sort of stayed there when you went.

Dr. Lani Leary: No, I didn’t experience that she went with me. See here’s the difference, when we use words like “left behind,” the feeling that’s attached to that is maybe one of fear or anxiety. There was not one – fear is not in the vocabulary at all here, okay.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: So I’m really thinking more in terms of placement, you know what I mean. So if we were literally in a tunnel, like in a train tunnel or something, “Alright mom, see you later. I’m going this way, and you stay here. I don’t know where you’re going, but I’m going this way.”

In terms of placement, I know there’s no space, so is there any comprehension of that sort of thing, or is it just you’re with her and you’re not with her.

Dr. Lani Leary: The best I can describe it is an awareness. I was aware I was with my mother, and the next thing, I was aware I was moving through the tunnel, and the next thing I was aware that I was in this light, and of the same energy of this light. So that’s where my focus is, you see.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Yeah, and thank you for indulging me in all these silly questions.

Dr. Lani Leary: Oh, I don’t think they’re silly at all, I think we’re all trying to explore and make meaning of it.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: I know at first you’re in the arms of your mom, right; you’re in the arms of her. Did that feeling ever go away?

Dr. Lani Leary: No. You know when people talk about going to their safe place, or they’re meditating, I can close my eyes and go right back to that experience. I can see it I can feel it; it’s so experiential and so I’m in the arms of my mother and I can that, and then I can feel being in the light and it’s profound.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: I love that. I love it because everybody agrees it’s the same thing. In their mind, they can just sort of go right back there. It’s that dream you had last night, you know. If you had it 30 years ago, it’s just like you had it last night, sort of thing.

You saw the light. Some people would call it God and the Source, and we have all kinds of possible names. You say it doesn’t matter, whatever you want to call it it’s right. You call it the “light.” And you said at first, it was spatially in front of you, then it was all around you, and then you were within it. There’s not much more else you can say about that, is there?

Dr. Lani Leary: No. If you can imagine diving into the ocean and becoming liquid, it’s as though there was no separation between my water skin and there was just no separation. Can you imagine no separation? Boy words just really limit me, but the experience of being immersed in love. So yes, sometimes I’ll call it light. It’s liquid love, but it’s pure – bliss doesn’t even come close to it, but it’s a tangible – I can feel it.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Maybe one of the biggest challenges probably for us humans, as physical beings, is not understanding the reality that we are that anyways; we’re part of that anyways, all the time, but we can’t feel it the way you felt it. Wouldn’t you say that’s one of the greatest challenges of the human condition, the human experience.

Dr. Lani Leary: Yes. I think one of the greatest challenges is not believing this illusion that we are limited, that we are separate, you know, that’s the illusion. That we are not loved, that we are not worthy and accepted. To have even a momentary experience of the illusion dropping, the separation dropping, and to really feel, even for a moment, how overwhelmingly loved we are changes you.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: When you’re in the tunnel you described it as like a Robin’s egg blue. You said it was opaque. Is it sort of translucent?

Dr. Lani Leary: It was not opaque it was opalescent.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Opalescent

Dr. Lani Leary: If you can imagine a kind of sparkly Mother of Pearl blue; beautiful.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Does it seem to go on and on type of a thing, or is there like a wall type of thing? Silly questions.

Dr. Lani Leary: No, you want to experience, I understand. I didn’t touch it.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Was there a smell to it? Was there a smell, an odor?

Dr. Lani Leary: You know I didn’t smell. I didn’t have that sense open to me, but I did hear, and I heard this music that was just incredible.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: And this is where you heard the music; or did the music continue throughout the whole thing.

Dr. Lani Leary: I would say, I was aware of it in the tunnel.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Okay, well let’s talk about that now. You found some music that reminds you of it.

Dr. Lani Leary: So that was an interesting story. My husband and I were going into one of those nature stores. We were walking in and all of a sudden he turns to me and says, “What is wrong with you?” And I’m not feeling any distress, I said “What! Nothing.” He said well – big crocodile tears were rolling down my face – so I paused for a moment, I listened and I heard this music and it had just washed over me and triggered this response.

I went up to the counter and I said “What is that music?” She told me, I bought it, and I have been using it ever since for the past 30 years when I work with dying patients, when I’m doing some calming and healing exercises with them. And not surprisingly, the music is called Angels of Comfort.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Something just occurred to me. We were going to play it and I just realized – I put these on YouTube, and YouTube is like really against playing anybody else’s music; you have to have all kinds of rights and stuff. Let’s just tell people how they could find this. They could probably go on iTunes or something like. What’s it called again?

Dr. Lani Leary: It’s called Angels of Comfort, and the artist – I’m probably going to butcher his name so forgiveness please – it’s, Iasos, which is spelled Iasos. I’m so sorry that we can’t play this in the background. It is so enveloping and almost as though you could just fall right into it.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Well that’s great, and most people will know how to look that up. I’m sorry too, because I was excited because we were going to play that music, and then I realized that YouTube might take it down if they found out about it. We don’t want that to happen either.

Dr. Lani Leary: But I use that music for my own meditation. I used that music all the time when I was going to see patients and just as an example, I was working in a pediatric hospice in Virginia, and I would see children. I would get calls in the middle of the night from mom who would say, “Donald is in excruciating pain, can you get here?” And I’d say, “I’m on my way, but it’s going to take me 20 minutes. Put on the music.” And because I had used the music every time I was with these children, and they calmed and we reduced their pain, they associated the music with reduced pain and they would almost be in certainly an altered state, by the time I got there.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: That’s amazing! If I find the music on iTunes or something, I will link to it below this video.

Dr. Lani Leary: That would be great.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Yeah, I’ll do that. So now we get into you’re at one with light and you’re told you have to go back.

Dr. Lani Leary: Painful.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: I imagine. And you just said earlier – I don’t think that I saw it anywhere else, but you just let us know that this voice came from the light. It was the light that told you to go back and not some other being, right?

Dr. Lani Leary: I knew that.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: And yet, the little rebel that you are, you questioned it.

Dr. Lani Leary: Yes. I mean it was such a reaction to say no. And you know, I wasn’t saying no to my child, no to all of that; I was saying yes to all of this – yes to home, yes to love, yes to uh…

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: I’m sure when your there you understand that we’re eternal beings, so you see the human experience from a very different perspective, that sort of a thing. A lot of people have talked about this same thing who had young children. And it’s one of the most difficult things that some of my audience members have tripped over, is understanding how could you leave your children behind? I mean you covered a little bit at the beginning, but this is basically what it is, seeing the human experience differently and knowing that life is eternal. It’s not like, like you said earlier, “You’re not leaving them behind. It’s not that situation, right?

Dr. Lani Leary: No. It is why I didn’t come back and share my story. Though in part, I could imagine me telling this story to mothers and they would’ve banned me from the neighborhood, you know. How dare she; she doesn’t deserve to be a mother.

When I was in the light and saying no, what I knew is that my child would be okay and my husband would be okay. It’s all okay. And also that I wasn’t gone from them. There’s always that influence, that guidance, that love that steers us, you know.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: I think it’s so important, the emphasis on this because of the depth of it. If you weren’t leaving anybody, in terms of, they were going to lose you physically and then have to live without you physically for a certain period of time. If you didn’t have that, it wouldn’t have the same message that you have today to tell us about what you just said, you know. The fact that you’re always going to be there. You know, you hear it a million times that a human life is like the blink of an eye type of a thing. Did you sort of have that perspective during this NDE?

Dr. Lani Leary: I think I did, and the awareness of how important it is to use this time that we’re given. So it is a blink of an eye, but it’s that knowing that there isn’t separation between loved ones, again that this is just an illusion and here on earth we have the fear, and I think that the fear creates the illusion. And how differently we would live, how different our experience would be here, if we didn’t have that fear.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Yeah, wouldn’t it.

Dr. Lani Leary: How different our decisions would be, our responses would be, if we didn’t have that fear.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Yeah, no question about it. I’m not sure it would still be the human experience, if we didn’t. And I think it’s one of the reasons having the physical experience is so intriguing to souls because they don’t experience fear, we do and that makes it a completely different experience.
After you’ve said a no a couple times, and now you come back; the same thing. You talk about this churning experience, like being in a blender. It sort of reminds me of the old Twilight Zones, you’re like, “Ahh…,” spinning around and the next thing you know, you’re in your body. Any more to say about that, or is it – it’s obviously a very fast experience – boom, and you’re back in your body?
Dr. Lani Leary: Yeah, I was aware that it was a fast experience, and again, with limited words, the best I can put it is feeling as though I was churning. So it was almost the opposite of this beautiful music that I heard in the tunnel, to hear almost the sound of a blender, coming back. Again, that may be my interpretation, but it was how I experienced it.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: And then your back in your body; what was that like? Because you had this allergic reaction, was there any pain or anything involved?

Dr. Lani Leary: No, there was no pain. What I did know now was the difference between being without a body and being just energy, and now being in this body. What happened was I had a real profound new experience beyond appreciation. But a real awareness of how hard it is for us humans to be in this body, because the comparison is like we’re walking through mud. So it’s difficult to be here, it’s difficult to do the work, it’s difficult to be in this body. We have limitations here. So there was such an appreciation for everybody, no matter what we were working with, and just a profound gratitude for people being here, because this is where we do so much work.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: You know, a lot of people are told they have to come back because they have work to do. And obviously, that means something different for everybody. Did you know what that meant or was that something you had to discover.

Dr. Lani Leary: No, I had to discover that. When I came back my reaction was almost talking to this light, “Well this better be good,” you know. Again, I suppose a little bit of the rebel in me, but this better be good, and feeling disorientated and confused about what in the world that could be. And that I couldn’t make that happen. You know, it wasn’t up to me; I had to find it or it had to find me, I don’t know. But we found each other when I did read that newspaper and the hospice story came up to me, and I was relieved.

And I do know, in one capacity or another, in one venue or another, my work is to lower anxiety and fear, and to show a different way of being with the end of life. I am so grateful, profoundly grateful, to be invited in to the bedside of people at this last time here, it’s just a very, very sacred intimate time, and I get to be with them.

You know, it’s why I wrote the book, hopefully, to change the dying person’s experience at the end of their life. But also to tell families, loved ones, and professionals that we can make a difference at the end of life; we can do it differently. And some of that is how we bring our self to the bedside and how we open ourselves without fear to being of service.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: So many people fear the death experience and therefore want to avoid it. And I’m talking about other people when they’re dying; a lot of relatives and friends disappear. This book, teaches people how to wrap their minds around what their loved ones are going through in the dying experience, so they understand it better. Education and understanding dissipates fear, but also it teaches you the right and wrong ways of helping those people and walking them through it. And of course, we talked about this in the last interview, which people can watch below this video, but you were able to help your father through his dying experience, which is a beautiful story.

Dr. Lani Leary: Yeah. That was a full circle opportunity. So when I couldn’t help my mother, when I didn’t know what to do and felt so distraught at not being able to participate with her at the end of her life, I was able to do that for my father. And it meant all the difference in the world to him and to me.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Yeah, yeah. It’s such a beautiful story.

Just a couple last questions about it. So through all your experiences; you had such an amazing experience in working in this field, so how would say near death experiences help us face our own mortality, or that of our loved ones? I mean it’s documented in here. Not necessarily in reference to the near death experience, but your wisdom is in there, and a lot of it comes from all your experiences. How would you answer that question, though?

Dr. Lani Leary: Well, first of all, I guess I would start by saying it’s not my wisdom, it’s the wisdom that was shared with me and from so many people who were willing to open themselves and talk about their experience. But I hope that passing on the story of the near death experience, and other people’s experiences that you may not have had this experience, but knowing that it is on the map per say, gives you hope and is a road map to another way of just considering.

Let’s consider the possibility that death is not painful or separating. Let’s just consider that, and if we consider it, perhaps we can go in and get closer to it. And by being closer to it, we more fully participate. And when we participate, what we learn is that I can cope and I can make a difference, and it changes the experience. But the near death experience, the best analogy that I have is that whatever 300 years ago, we did not know that Tahiti was on the map. The first explorer who went to Tahiti, came back and was ridiculed and disbarred from the nautical society of whatever.

But as hundreds and hundreds of people found Tahiti, in the same place, described it in similar words, described how they felt and what happened to them as a result of going to Tahiti. Whether you have ever seen Tahiti or not, you know now that it is on the map, and it can be your experience, too.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Yeah, exactly. That’s’ beautiful.

Dr. Lani Leary: So when you’re in the middle of the snow in Maine, you can close your eyes and know that there’s a different place out there, and it too can be yours.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: That’s right. That’s beautifully said, and it’s a great metaphor for life. You can use that in so many different ways. I love that and it’s true. And we’re certainly not talking about hundreds of people here. I don’t even know; do you know the numbers?

Dr. Lani Leary: Millions. Millions of people.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Millions of people. And I know so many of our viewers here on Afterlife TV, have said that they’ve had a near death experience.

Dr. Lani Leary: From all over the world.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Yeah, and many of them – more than one – yeah, all over the place. It’s a shared experience. It’s amazing that anybody’s still questioning it, but that’s what it is. That’s okay, if that’s what they want to do.

One last time. Your website is, right.

Dr. Lani Leary: It is, yeah.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: I got a link to it below. Doctor with DR, Lani Leary, L-A-N-I-L-E-A-R-Y. You can link to that below. We’ll have a link to the music below, if we have it and the other interview that I did with you. Anything else you want to talk about, as far as to promote.

Dr. Lani Leary: Yeah, I just want to remind people that your loved ones are not dead, they’re just in another realm and the door is open.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: That’s true. Again, I recommend everybody read her book, No One Has to Die Alone. One last look at it there.

Sharing your experience with us is just amazing. I know a lot of people are going to love it and want to watch it more than once. I’m grateful to you for doing that with us. Thank you, so much.

Dr. Lani Leary: And grateful to you.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: You take care of yourself, Lani.

Dr. Lani Leary: Aloha.

Bob Olson, Afterlife TV: Bye.

Dr. Lani Leary: Bye.


Afterlife TV is presented by Afterlife Investigator & Psychic Medium Researcher Bob Olson, who is the author of Answers about the Afterlife: A Private Investigator’s 15-Year Research Unlocks the Mysteries of Life after Death.

Check out Bob Olson’s other sites: (a directory of hundreds of psychics & mediums by location with reviews & Instant Readings) & (his personal recommended list of tested psychics and mediums) or visit Bob’s Facebook Page. Bob also has a popular workshop for psychics and mediums at

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