Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings Fairfield & Southern Litchfield Counties

Returning from Beyond:: A Message of Hope, Peace, and Kindness

Jul 03, 2014 01:31AM ● By Natasha Michaels and CJ Golden

CJ Golden and Tracy LaCroix - Cape Charles, VA

When Newtown, Connecticut-based writer and speaker CJ Golden met Tracy LaCroix by seeming happenstance on a journey through the Delmarva Peninsula of Delaware, Maryland and Virginia in 2013, the meeting changed her outlook on life. A strapping fifty-one-year-old man with a big presence, both in physical size and charm, LaCroix explained to Golden that he had come to Virginia via New Hampshire and Springfield, Massachusetts. Springfield, Massachusetts is the home of Baystate Medical Center and that is where, on June 5, 2012, LaCroix’s heart flat-lined for an hour-and-a-half.

LaCroix is an “experiencer,” a term increasingly used to describe those who have been through a near-death-experience (NDE). During the time his medical team frantically performed CPR, LaCroix was taking a spiritual journey to what he described as the gates of Heaven. NDEs are not religious experiences per se (many atheists are experiencers), but rather are spiritual awakenings which may call into question the experiencer’s previously held beliefs. During LaCroix’s journey he did not see those who had passed before him, nor did he see a higher power. But he did “experience” what he called God and was offered entrance into a place he described as Heaven. He was also offered a choice: the opportunity to stay in that heavenly realm or return and finish his life’s work. LaCroix made the choice to return - without real understanding what his life’s work might actually be. He exercised his free will to consciously re-enter the physical existence he had known before, but he returned a changed man. 

A man who had been a seeker, often searching for “something” to hold onto, LaCroix came back to life with a transformed spirit, renewed faith, and eagerness to share the lessons he had received. Foremost among these is that we are on Earth to bring hope, peace and kindness to each other; that each of us is tasked with bringing kindness into the world in any and every way we can. This message of hope from LaCroix is meant for all who have suffered great loss, knowing that while we mourn, those who have gone beyond are already safe and in a very beautiful, peaceful place.

When LaCroix learned Golden lives in Newtown, Connecticut, he believed she was brought to him, not by accident, but by Universal design to write this book and share his message with her grieving neighbors. 

Spreading this message of hope, peace, and kindness is the reason LaCroix believes he was offered the opportunity to come back from the gates of Heaven; he believes this is the life’s work he has yet to finish. Through the book written by Golden about his experience, LaCroix is bringing healing and peace to many more people. And, when the time comes for him to go back to that other realm he will not be afraid. He has already been there and knows it is beautiful.


CJ Golden resides in Newtown. She is a motivational speaker and author of Tao of the Defiant Woman, Tao-Girls Rule! and the recently published Reflections From Beyond. Visit her at and


Natasha Michaels is a contributing writer to Natural Awakenings Fairfield County.

Coming in May
Deadline April 12th. Email: [email protected] today for details and yo reserve your space.

2024 Editorial Calendar