Further to my need to understand further (on Christmas Day), I sought out some reassurance ... and found some interesting (academic/medical) websites which share research about Near Death Experiences. There were no firm conclusions (as suspected), however trials are ongoing, so I am adding the links in my "Useful Resources" section.
Having speed-read through the clinical studies, one paragraph in particular stood out for me, as follows:
No one physiological or psychological model by itself
explains all the common features of near-death experiences.
It is plausible that some features of these experiences may
be attributable to neurochemical mechanisms, whereas others
may be understood better as psychological reactions, and
still others may resist explanation pending the development
of new models of mental function. The paradoxical
occurrence of heightened, lucid awareness and logical
thought processes during a period of impaired cerebral
perfusion raises particularly perplexing questions for our
current understanding of consciousness and its relation
to brain function. As prior researchers have concluded,
a clear sensorium and complex perceptual processes
during a period of apparent clinical death challenge the
concept that consciousness is localized exclusively in the
That will do me for now. Science and technology cannot explain how some patients who suffered heart attacks, experienced NDE's or indeed why their consciousness seemed to become more "fine-tuned", nor can they explain how people remembered information that they should not have known whilst unconscious - e.g. things that happened in theatre.
For ease, here is the link (from where I found the above paragraph).
Right now, it's enough to have a Scientist admit they cannot prove that when we die, that our consciousness, soul or essence, whatever label you prefer ... dies with us. In other words, it is therefore plausible that we live on in another form.
What a way to celebrate Boxing Day!
I've not moved or made those promised phone calls yet and I'm sorry, however, I need this time for him and for me.
Tomorrow is another day.