Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival, and Transformation
Tricia’s memoir, Angels in the OR: What Dying Taught Me About Healing, Survival, and Transformation, tells the story of her near-death experience, teaching mission, and eventual triumph over trauma in her past. The book also focuses on the importance being of service and giving unconditional love to others.
But after a year of teaching in the US, Tricia travels to South Korea, where she is the victim of a sexual assault. Now, she must use the wisdom she gained on the Other Side to heal herself; and later, guide countless junior high, high school, and college students to greater peace. Through teaching and mentoring others—many of whom are struggling with traumas of their own—Tricia decides to devote her life to bringing the “light” she experienced during her NDE to individuals who are seeking solace, inspiration, and overall well-being.
JDBOOKS has the privilege of an interview with author TRICIA BARKER
What are your goals for this book?
My hope is spread healing and faith with this book. Additionally, I want to make near-death experiences a larger part of mainstream conversations.
How did you come up with an amazing title?
The highly intelligent angels I saw during my near-death experience were extremely vivid and compelling. They taught me a lot about healing. I picked the image of the angels because I was quite shocked to see them because I was agnostic at the time of my death and near-death experience. This moment revolutionized my way of thinking.
Please list up to 5 ideal target audiences for your book:
1. Audiences interested in spirituality.
2. Audiences who enjoy reading about teaching and education.
3. Audiences interested in grief recovery.
4. Audiences who love memoirs and inspirational, true-life stories.
5. Audiences who want to recover from child abuse and/or sexual assault.
About the Book
Why did you write this book? Is there any “back story” that inspired you to write this book?
Ultimately, I wrote this book because I hoped to add more healing to the world beyond the classrooms where I work. People are often drawn to near-death experience stories because they have had a similar spiritual experience or they are grieving the loss of a loved one. Near-death experience stories help remove doubt and strengthen people’s faith.
The consciousness outside of the physical form allows us to understand and experience timelessness, telepathy, energy healing, and deep unconditional love. The angels that I saw after I died showed me a love and intelligence that transcends the physical and can miraculously shift even the toughest of situations, and I titled the book Angels in the OR because the angels were quite a shocking visual. Of all the experiences in the afterlife, the profound feeling of love emanating from God is the greatest healing force imaginable.
I have devoted my life to helping others who have experienced their own suffering. One thing I tell others who are suffering is not to suffer alone and believe that there are quicker ways to heal. Try everything including therapy, meditation, prayer, exercise, better eating habits, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), brain spotting, energy healing, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and any modality that calls to you individually. Believe that God and the angels can work through others to help you heal. Believe that you do not have to be stuck in patterns and that you can break free into a much brighter life.
Is your book based on your own life in any way? If so, please explain:
My book is a memoir, so it is completely based on my life. Angels in the OR begins with the near-death experience which had a profound effect on my world. The biggest change was that I feared death before my experience, yet now I have no fear of death. In those first few moments of my near-death experience, I knew that I was not experiencing a dream and that I was experiencing a spiritual reality. My faith in God and a spiritual reality is unshakable now.
Immediately after my NDE, my priorities changed. I was highly materialistic before my experience, but afterwards I felt driven to help others. Sometimes, I even experienced a great urgency to help those who suffer, and I know other experiencers talk of this desire.
The strongest psychological effects include feeling great love for everyone and a sense of oneness with others. This trait has allowed me to connect deeply with thousands of students from many different walks of life.
For over twenty years, I have worked as a teacher and professor, a mission which was outlined for me in the presence of God. God wanted me to remind others of their ability to transcend difficult situations, often through spiritual power. Service is one of the greatest things we can do, and ultimately that service and unconditional love for others greatly enriches our lives. Love is all that we take with us when we die.
This memoir isn’t just about my near-death experience. The book is about healing. I longed for healing from child abuse and sexual assault, and I knew it was possible mainly because of my experience near the great, unconditional love of God. One of the simplest and easiest things to do is simply to invite God and the angels to help you find the modalities and the information that will best help you. Also, everyone can benefit from practicing prayer and meditation. One of the messages I heard in heaven was to remind others to go to nature. Spending time in nature can certainly bring greater peace into one’s life. Another message I heard was that it is important to be like a little child. Children know how to play, forgive easily, and enjoy simple moments. When you make self-care a priority, you will begin to see changes over time.
What are your FIVE key messages or themes you want
1. Love is all that matters and all that we take with us when we die.
2. Consciousness survives the body and there is much more to explore beyond a materialistic mindset.
3. Go to nature to find greater balance and peace.
4. Meditation and prayer can add healing to your life.
5. When we are of service to the world, we are happier and more connected to the wisdom of the heavens. It is healing for us to love one another and add more love to this world.
If you could give your younger self some advice about the writing process, what would it be?
Be prepared to hire a good developmental editor if you plan to write a full-length manuscript. Have lots of friends who are writers, and get plenty of feedback on your work.
What time do you usually start writing and what do you find the hardest part of the writing process?
I am driven more by inspiration than by a schedule. However, I stayed up very late for a year writing this book. I took another year to rewrite, revise, and edit.
How has writing changed you?
Having a book in the world has connected me to many wonderful people around the world. I have new friendships and acquaintances that mean a lot to me. Everyone assumes writers write in order to “get rich.” Nothing could be farther from the truth. Writing is extremely hard work, and the writer receives very little money for that hard work. The reward is knowing that others have enjoyed reading about your journey and their hearts have opened a bit more for knowing you.
What do you like to do when you are not writing? I love being in nature---meditating and hiking. I also love dance, travel, going to see plays, and spending time with my boyfriend. We go to see a lot of live music.