Love Letter from God


Dear Everyone,

I’m sorry for all the times you were not loved

by those around you. I’m sorry you were left alone

when all you wanted to do was to make people smile.

It is a shame that others didn’t want your silliness,

your goodness, and your sweetness.

They didn’t see that you were made in my image

and that you are a part of me, a part of God.


I’m sorry that you were born with a sensitivity

that should have been protected, a gorgeous sensitivity

that should have been cultivated and honored

but instead was sent harsh words, gaslighted, ignored,

degraded, and abused.  Your trusting nature and openness

was used against you time and time again,

but you met the world like an open flower,

full of love and sunshine. When you learned to close yourself off,

they called you damaged, as if you were

the one who did this to yourself.


I’m sorry that people were driven by jealousy, greed,

unchecked rage, fear, and other dark places in their minds.

I’m sorry that they lashed out at you without provocation.

You did nothing wrong.  I’m sorry for their torture

and all the moments afterwards that you carried

shock within you.  As much as I wanted to turn my face away

when people yelled at you, hit you, or otherwise abused you,

I stayed with you and observed everything.

I could never leave you.   I am the life that wants to live,

wants to continue no matter the amount of trauma.

When your world was turned to rubble by fire

and you had only a handful of food,

I was the hand and I was the food.

I was the bird in the sky that made you dream of flight.


When people hated you for your religion,

the way you worshiped, your politics,

the color of your skin, your gender, your sexual orientation,

your country, your home, your clothes, your accent, your IQ level,

your school, your car, your age, your optimism, your sadness,

I was never sorry to know you intimately.

I love you without reserve.


I’m glad you invited me in when no one else was there.

I’m amazed by your capacity for love and grateful

for all the times you sent swirling,

beautiful energy in my direction.


You are the love you give, not the love you receive from others.

I see the love you give and remember it.

This is all that I remember.

I want you to love yourself the way I love you–

exponentially always expanding, infinite in potential.

I love you and want to give you complete peace,

joy, wonder, grace, and a miraculous, triumphant life of love.

© 2016 by Tricia Barker


I also made a video to accompany this letter from God.  For years, I have required students to pick images to accompany some of their writing or another person’s writing on a video presentation.  I enjoyed finally trying one myself.  Here it is!

Sexual Assault, Rape Culture, Healing from Trauma, and Anchoring Love in Our World


My memoir, Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival, and Transformationis available for pre-order.  It is a #1 new release in several categories.  I would love your support of a pre-order.  My aim is to help make near-death experiences more mainstream.

I’m excited to have a narrative piece featured in OTV Magazine about sexual assault and the need for change in our society.  Click here if you would like to read it.

Sexual assault and violence against women is sadly common.  Over the years, many junior high, high school, and college students have confided in me about trauma in their lives currently or in their pasts.  As a junior high teacher, I became a quick expert at handling CPS and police officers.  This was a part of my job that I never imagined while taking college classes and planning lessons.

Changing Rape Culture:  In the future, let’s hope more men are caught on tape calling other men out on bad behavior and anchoring a better, safer world for women, other men, boys, and girls, not bragging about assault. At the very least, these men won’t lose as many of their jobs, clients, friends, family members, and elections if they start behaving differently.

Healing:  Most of all, I hope women who have become more aware of all the assault and trauma they have survived find even greater healing. Recovering from trauma can lead to growth and a greater connection to others.  There are many different methods of counseling and healing modalities to consider.

Each journey is individual, but I encourage every survivor to keep searching and trying different modalities until you find what benefits you the most.  Here is an interesting blog piece about healing the chakras through breath work and yoga.  Life-long patterns of fear and anxiety can be unraveled and reversed.  Many people realize that the mind, body and spirit must be healed after trauma. Here is another beautiful piece about holistic healing after sexual violence. 

Love:  Most of all, I am a big believer in loving yourself enough to heal all that has happened to you.  Matt Kahn’s basic message of love as the answer is a message that resonates with me personally as an NDEr.  Our world needs love that is stronger than all the hate we have witnessed in society.

I’ll leave you with a quote Marianne Williamson recently posted.  “At a time during which the world seems to be falling apart, the antidote to global chaos is a critical mass of people within whom the unintegrated fractals of life are finally coming together. This collective mutation, this alternative to the maladaptive behavior of our species, is appearing out of the mists even now. And from this ragamuffin, international smattering of souls groping however clumsily for enlightenment, there is emerging a forcefield of love so powerful and lasting that hatred itself will fall away in its presence. It is a light that when having attained full brightness, will shine away all darkness from the world. Our task is to assume this, stand on this, and add to this, with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our might. The light is here because it is always here, but we must be its lamps.”


God and the Afterlife Part II:  Heaven, Hell, Reincarnation, and Religion



I had to make one more post about God and the Afterlife: The Groundbreaking New Evidence for God and Near-Death Experience by Jeffrey Long and Paul Perry because the many subjects covered in the book are certainly interesting ones.

Heaven:  The vast majority of NDErs experience heavenly realms, and one of the quotes that struck me came from a woman who talks about art as something reaching for the beauty of Heaven.  She states, “I realized that everything we create that is beautiful—all paintings, woven rugs, tapestries, carvings—all have their seed from Heaven.  We saw all this before we came to earth, and we try to recapture some of Heaven while on earth.”  The discussion of music that NDErs hear is also well-developed and lovely.  I didn’t hear music during my experience, but I can only imagine that it would be more pure and alive, as the grass seemed to be more pure and alive on that other side.

Other NDErs write about how everything is about love.  I heard the exact statement, “Love is all that matters.”  Another NDEr named Diane sums up this idea by saying, “It is all about love.  We must love ourselves, and in this way we love God.  He is within each of us.  We then can love others, even our enemies.  We are here to love life, and to express back to our Creator our joy at having life and seeing how beautiful our world is regardless of how we make it.”  The heavenly realms described in this section are similar to the one I saw, and the peace NDErs discuss offer readers lovely images and thoughts.

Hell:  The authors of this book reassure us that only a very small percentage, “…of all NDEs shared with NDERF are hellish.”  They point out that these types of experiences are difficult to study, but ultimately end up providing motivation to the NDEr to reconsider their lives prior to the experience.  The authors use the term “a walk through the Valley of Death” instead of hell as many of these experiences are simply just a glimpse at a hellish realm, and some souls choose God or call out to God and move onward in a more heavenly direction.

The authors also make it clear that “bad” people do not only have hellish NDEs, and “good” people do not have heavenly experiences.  Some of the hellish experiences may not be NDEs and could be intensive care unit (ICU) psychosis, illicit drug experiences, and so on.  However, some of these hellish experiences are experienced as real and intense, but many experiencers walk through these scenes and end up heaven.

The vast majority of NDErs experience a God who is made up of a powerful form of love and is deeply compassionate and resides within everyone.  Forgiveness may be the specialty of God and a form of love we can’t fully understand while caught up in the details of these lives.

Reincarnation:  One NDEr profiled in the book talks about the possibility of reincarnation and says that God showed a hall that had “…millions and millions of doorways leading off the hall.”   Basically, these doorways were particular paths back to a life on earth, but God let this NDEr know that souls have the choice to stay in heaven.

Not every NDEr comes back with this kind of knowledge about reincarnation.  I didn’t receive specific knowledge about reincarnation during my NDE, though it has always seemed like a possibility to me, perhaps because certain places in this country and around the world have felt familiar to me and not because of what I’ve read in books or seen in movies.

Books like The Afterlife of Billy Fingers offer greater depth on the possibilities in the extended version of the afterlife.  I know that my communications with my father in the afterlife have let me know that he is willing to return to a form because he loves so much about being human and wants to live better the next time.  Personally, I fantasize about not coming back to form and exploring how I may be able to help humanity on the other side.   This topic isn’t a large part of this book, but since one of the NDErs mentioned it, I feel compelled to address the topic briefly.

Religion:  One of the most fascinating parts of the book to me is the section on religion. Some NDErs directly asked God, “What is the right religion?”  One man received the answer, “They all are.  Each religion is a pathway trying to reach the same place.”  He was also told to “…always look at who benefits with regard to rules that religions make.  If it is a particular people or the power structure of the religion itself chances are that the religion isn’t of God.”  I have always loved the parts of the Bible where Jesus speaks directly, but I since I was a child I have resisted the ideas of certain sexist passages in the Bible.

Another NDEr asked whether only one religion will make it to heaven and was given the reply, “…everyone who believes and has faith, even those who don’t think they do, will make it.  It depends on what’s in their hearts.”  Again, this rings true for me.  Kindness and goodness seem to be the true indicator of a person who is on the right path.  Most NDErs, myself included, know how fragile life is and how we shouldn’t waste any of it on anger.  Life is meant to be enjoyed, and we should have gratitude and excitement about our lives.  Faith makes the journey all the more beautiful.

Most of the NDErs profiled describe a God who is powerful and deeply loving.  They struggle to find the vocabulary to describe a God who is everything that exists and everything that doesn’t exist.  One NDEr describes our purpose as learning how to “…experience life and learning how to love, create, and develop to the highest we can be.”  Sometimes, the best we can do is work towards harmony because “..the universe is full of order, so it always finds a way to balance everything because it can’t exist without perfect balance.”

When NDErs are given information about religion, “…they generally understand that no earthy religion is the ‘chosen religion’ or ‘the one true religion.’”  When or if they return to the same religion, they sometimes feel differently about the experience.  One NDEr writes, “Many times I’d like to take over the pulpit and tell people what is really on the other side and that the guilt preached by Christian churches is completely inappropriate.”

During my NDE, I was aware that I judged myself much harsher than the light of God judged me.  I know that guilt isn’t the way to overcome an addiction or an issue in one’s life.  Self-love is the first step that helps.  If we begin to love ourselves enough not to harm ourselves and look for ways to heal the wounds and deep seated pain that is often the cause of addiction, we begin to heal.  The few times I have attended a Baptist funeral or evangelical sermon, I usually want to pick up a Bible and hit the pastor in the side of the head.  Of course, I don’t do that because that wouldn’t be loving or kind, but that is how I feel after experiencing first-hand a love that surpasses all understanding and then hearing harsh judgements in a place of worship.

I agree with an NDEr who writes, “My God is loving and compassionate and lives within me as spirit lives within every one of us.”  God lives inside Christians as much as the Jews, Hindus, Muslims, Buddhists, agnostics, and the spiritual/not religious.  Though this may be a difficult concept for some, it is a concept that makes complete sense if you fill your heart with love for all living beings. That love for all brings you closer to the love of God.

Reflections on God and the Afterlife: The Groundbreaking New Evidence for God and Near-Death Experience by Jeffrey Long and Paul Perry


Update on 1/19/19:  My memoir, Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival, and Transformation, can be pre-ordered now. It is a #1 new release in several categories.  I would love it if you helped me make near-death experiences more mainstream.

Book Review

God and the Afterlife: The Groundbreaking New Evidence for God and Near-Death Experience by Jeffrey Long and Paul Perry is a fantastic book if you are even somewhat curious about conclusions that can be drawn from examining over 3,000 different accounts of near-death experiences.

For some reason, I only recently discovered the NDERF website .  This website allows NDErs to submit their own accounts of their experience and requires them to answer specific questions.  These questions allowed the researchers to compare various experiences and helped in the formation of this book.  I can certainly see how it would be both a long project and an inspiring one to examine so many of these accounts, and I’m grateful to the authors for examining this topic in such great depth.  I will create another post for some of my favorite moments in the book, but I want discuss the experience of God and the purpose driven lives so many NDErs talk about in this first post.

Early in the book, the authors sum up the significance of the similarities of the many NDEr’s accounts by saying, “It is highly unlikely they could all by lying or tricked by a subjective experience, since their reports are so similar.  Can these people be wrong?  For the evidence of the reality of God in the God Study to be dismissed, each one of the NDErs would have to be mistaken that they were aware of God…”

I have always looked at my near-death experience and encounter with God as the most real and important moment of my life.  When I was in the hospital and given heavy doses of morphine, my biggest fear was that I might somehow forget those moments outside of my body.  Quite the opposite occurred, and the memory of the experiences outside of form have stayed bright and clear over the years.

Accounts of God:  This book covers many accounts of God and the light, especially focusing on the unconditional love and mercy so many experiencers describe.   I still get emotional talking about the beauty of the light as I neared it, and I struggle to find the words to accurately describe a love that is both familiar and a part of me, but also incredibly immense, powerful, free, natural, and merciful. The light is love, knowledge, peace, and understanding.  When I struggle to describe God and the light, I am apparently not alone.  Many NDErs in this book mention the struggle to find the words to accurately describe an experience that lies beyond the scope of what we understand while in these bodies.

Many NDErs also want others to understand certain key concepts about this love.  At the basis of my experience, love seemed to be a deep, calming, complete acceptance, and I am also not alone according to the reports. Love is described as not judgement but as a profound, enveloping kind of love.  The authors sum up these experiences by saying, “…God’s love for each of us is complete, deep, and without reservation and extends to everyone and everything.  It is probably worth imagining what would happen if this revelation where embraced worldwide.”

Perhaps if this revelation were embraced, people’s energy would be spent on ways to make this life experience beautiful, peaceful, and happy for all of us.  That might seem like a far-fetched proposition, but it actually isn’t.  Life is meant to be enjoyed in simple, beautiful ways.

God’s Appearance:  NDErs experienced God’s appearance differently at times.  I experienced the afterlife as a place where form is easily mutable.  Since it is such a shock to be out of the body, the light/God seems to want us to feel at ease; thus, people and experiences may take on forms to put us individually more at ease in that environment.

The idea that God may take on different forms was repeated by many other NDE accounts. After telling a few people about my NDE, I was told by agnostics that what I experienced was a dream or the brain shutting down, and I was told by a few Christians (including some in my family) that my experience was “of the devil.”  Nothing could be farther from the truth, and God and the Afterlife might be the very book to open a few of the minds and hearts of people who continue to rely on these worn-out refutations.  The environment outside of my body was more real than this reality, and the love I encountered from God surpasses all human experiences, beliefs, creeds, religions, and philosophies.   That love seemed to be my true home, and I can only assume it is the true home for everyone.

NDErs Missions on Earth:  When NDErs have a moment where they must make a choice or they are told to return to earth, their reactions vary.  Some experiencers were lucky enough to ask what they should bring back to their lives with them.  I briefly saw that I should remind others of the light (which is knowledge, love, joy, appreciation of the moment) and to dispel fear in others while I worked as a teacher.  Other NDErs had longer conversations about the purpose of life, and this section of the book is fascinating.

One NDEr writes about our purpose for returning by saying, “I was told that I was here to learn how to love and to gain knowledge.  This wasn’t said with words, but by thoughts, with all connotations of the words “love” and “knowledge” shown to me.  I knew this wasn’t just about book knowledge or physical love.  It was about learning how to accept every race and have no prejudice; I was to keep expanding and learning about earth, nature, animals, and people.  And this was the mission of all humankind, not just me.”

This statement ties in perfectly to the idea of God’s profound love extending to each and everyone one of us.  There are other aspects of this book I hope to cover in another post, but for now I will leave you with these ideas.  It should be encouraging for everyone to realize that we are loved more than we can imagine, and that as we continue to grow in understanding we are more in touch with a loving God.  I highly recommend this book for those who are interested in the conclusions of extensive research based on the accounts of near-death experiences.

Unlike the Stephen King quote below, I have been interested in this topic since I was twenty-two and had a life-changing couple of minutes outside of my body.  I hope more people might become interested in this topic at younger ages.  I believe that most NDErs only want to share the peace and love they have experienced.

If you want to read my next post about this book, here it is.