First Breath, Last Breath

An Interview with
Dannion Brinkley

by Randy Peyser

As a result of surviving three near-death experiences, including being struck by lightening, Dannion Brinkley, author of Saved by the Light, and At Peace in the Light, has no fear of death. For the past twenty-one years, as a hospice volunteer, Dannion has helped 163 people pass from this world to the next. His foundation, Compassion in Action, trains hospice volunteers, caregivers, and others to provide a loving presence for those approaching death. Compassionate support is offered through the last hours, allowing people to die in peace and with dignity. Visit

Randy Peyser: Dannion, you must be kept very busy, because at some point, everybody gets to die. 

Dannion Brinkley: No, it never happens. Nobody dies. The one true thing I want people to understand is that you’re not going to die. There is a life after death. That means forever is a whole lot longer than you ever thought it was. 

RP: What really happens then?

DB: There’s a process by which you leave this world and go to the next. The process involves lifting out of the body, moving down a tunnel, coming to a place of light and having the panoramic life review.

RP: What do you mean by panoramic life review?

DB: When you have a panoramic life review, you literally re-live your life, in 360 degrees panorama. You see everything that’s ever happened. You even see how many leaves were on the tree when you were six years old playing in the dirt in the front yard. You literally re-live it. 

Next you watch your life from a second person’s point of view. In this life we’re taught to be sympathetic toward others. But from the second person’s point of view, you’ll feel empathy, not sympathy. After that, you literally will become every person that you’ve ever encountered. You will feel what it feels like to be that person and you will feel the direct results of your interaction between you and that person. 

You know the story of the Book of Judgement? Guess what? When you have your panoramic life review, you are the judger. You do the judging. 

Religions, institutions, and governments have taught us that we’re worthless, miserable sinners. I don’t buy it. I think we’re mighty spiritual beings. Many believe this world has to evolve and grow spiritually. Whose job is that? That’s our job. I say, ‘quit waiting to be saved and start saving.’

You are a co-creator with God. In every situation you find yourself in, I encourage you to act as if God couldn’t come today, so God sent you instead. 

When you know you’re a powerful spiritual being, you’ll pay attention to your breath. You’ll also find yourself in situations where someone is leaving this world or entering this world — first breath or last breath. 

Currently, there are 81 million baby boomers. Many of our loved ones are making their transition from this world to the next. But we live in a world of managed care systems — HMO’s, PPA’s, PPO’s — where the value of a person’s life is measured by the profit per quarter in corporate America. 

The corporate profit per quarter determines the strength of a company. And that company is always looking to increase its stock value in case a merger comes along, so those in charge can have a golden parachute; they can sell off their stock or buy stock options...and they walk off. They never stop to realize that there’s a ninety-year-old lady lying in a bed that no one’s ever come to see. They’re only concerned about cutting costs.

RP: Why do you train hospice volunteers?

DB: As a hospice volunteer, you can become a guardian of those principles of dignity, grace, and spirituality as you know it. You will experience greater strength, resolve and empowerment. And every two years you can also become a constituent; you can vote. By volunteering for an organization like Compassion in Action, not only can you help your family and friends, you can help the whole movement toward greater conscious awareness in medicine. 

I also train hospice volunteers because of the magic which occurs. When someone leaves this world, that gateway or veil lifts. You can be in direct communication with the Holy Spirit — the spiritual nature on the other side which is holy. You can communicate with angels, archangels and beings that come to receive and bring that one home. And you are trained to be able to send a part of you with them to the other side and have a part of them stay here with you. The connectiveness to the other side becomes so easy. For me, I think it’s the greatest moment you can ever have in this living existence. 

This article first appeared in Conscious Life Magazine.

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