I have heard from some who have had a near-death experience that they are met by loved ones who have passed and then guided through a tunnel to a light filled place, accompanied by a feeling of peace. I've also heard of a few near-death encounters where the person experiences nothing but darkness, like a black out. Which of these experiences is the actual experience of death?
Either of the experiences, as mentioned by you, are a possible scenario. Where a traumatic or tortuous event leads to death, the person enters a state of recuperation and emotional healing — experienced as the "black out" type of scenario you've described. When healed, that person will eventually pass through the tunnel to the soul world — just like others do who anticipate or even welcome death, who pass peacefully without regret.