An interesting article in the NY Times today about the range of reactions people have after near-death experiences on airplanes.
Some, as expected, are traumatized and experience post-traumatic stress.
“But others come through the trauma re-energized, with new sense of living and vitality — they’re very grateful, and feel blessed to have survived.” This according to Kenneth Manges, a clinical psychologist in Cincinnati. The article goes on to point out that this mirrors what researchers call near-death experiences, in which people — surgical patients, heart attack victims who have been resuscitated — report transformational experiences, in the fogged cleft between life and death.
However, still others feel burdened by the expectation that they should have had some sort of epiphany about life come out of their near-death experience.
What the article points to most, I think, is that, what was happens in the heads of people who survive plane crashes varies wildly, despite certain expectations that are often put upon them.
An excellent, step-by-step account from an O'Reilly interview that goes trough what Flight 1549 survivor Fred Beretta was experiencing and thinking/feeling. It overgeneralizes more than this article would suggest is accurate, but it gets at what Beretta is thinking very well.
And another survivor of the same flight who seems a little more rattled.