Inside the Shadow: A Grief Journey
Can a mother continue to live when her child dies? I thought not. I believed this sorrow would bring my death. The years of cancer treatment had been filled with a mixture of uncertainty and hope, an unshakable hope in God’s healing. Yet now, the heart beat that had been formed within me had stopped and the gaping wound it had left would surely cause my own heartbeat to cease. Somehow, my lungs continued to take in air and my heart continued to beat.
When a child dies, a parent undergoes a rapid free fall into the valley of the shadow of death. Whether through tragic accident, suicide, or prolonged illness, such as Kristen’s, the descent into the valley is a headlong dive into the solitary, expansive valley of grief. To me, the valley appeared to be bleak and sunless; I realized I was inside the shadow that death had created. This was a place that could not possibly traverse on my own. I did not wish to be inside the shadow yet I could see no way out.