Matthew Perry Recalled Encounter with the 'Presence of God' Before His Death

Friends star Matthew Perry, who died at the age of 54 at his Los Angeles home on October 28, recalled in his 2022 memoir, “Friends, Lovers, and the Big Terrible Thing,” a time when he encountered “the presence of God.”

In his memoir, Perry talked about his addiction issues and substance abuse, as well as recalling a near-death experience he had after his colon burst due to opioid abuse. The actor had undergone 14 rehab stints and 15 stomach surgeries.

“God, please help me, show me that you are here,” Perry recalled praying when he was at his lowest point.

After that, Perry described having an encounter with “the presence of God,” which caused him to cry uncontrollably.

“I started to cry. I mean, I really started to cry – that shoulder-shaking kind of uncontrollable weeping,” the Fools Rush In star wrote. “I wasn’t crying because I was sad. I was crying because, for the first time in my life, I felt OK.”

“I felt safe and taken care of,” Perry added. “Decades of struggling with God, and wrestling with life, and sadness, all was being washed away, like a river of pain gone into oblivion.”

“I had been in the presence of God. I was certain of it,” Perry wrote. “And this time I had prayed for the right thing: help.”

“God had shown me a sliver of what life could be,” he added. “He saved me that day, and for all days, no matter what. He had turned me into a seeker, not only of sobriety, and truth, but also of Him.”

Last year, Perry divulged that his first prayer to God was a shallow prayer that he was not proud of.

In a 2022 interview with Diane Sawyer, the Ron Clark Story star revealed that while dealing with substance abuse, he had asked God to make him famous, believing that fame would be the answer to his problems.

“That was the first time I ever prayed, and I look back at it as a dumb prayer, like a prayer of like a really young person,” Perry said.

In another interview last year with reporter Tom Power, Perry said, “That prayer was, ‘Please, God, make me famous. You can do anything you want to me; just make me famous.’”

“Three weeks later, I got Friends — and God did not forget about the second part.”

His memoir, released on November 1, 2022, Perry chillingly opens the book with the line: “Hi, my name is Matthew, although you may know me by another name. My friends call me Matty. And I should be dead.”

A little less than a year later, Perry was found dead under the water in his hot tub by an employee at his Los Angeles home.

Early reports speculated that the actor may have drowned. Others surmised that the Whole Nine Yards star might have taken illicit drugs, given his history of addiction, but according to Perry, he had been sober the two and a half years leading up to his death.

An initial toxicology test showed there was no fentanyl or meth in Perry’s system at the time of his death, which tracked with the actor’s claim that he had become sober after decades of substance abuse.

Perry’s official cause of death is yet to be revealed, pending a report by the Los Angeles County Medical Examiner.

You can follow Alana Mastrangelo on Facebook and X/Twitter at @ARmastrangelo, and on Instagram.


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