In the shadows ... Like glooming clouds hovering over the dying
or perhaps some of the better gimmicks and directions in an Alfred
Hitchcock movie, we tend to stand afar off from the shadows of
life and death. Even as caregivers (we sometimes fool ourselves
into believing that we are simply showing respect for the journey
of another person) we tend to skirt the shadows and reside more
safely in the light.
The book begins in the shadows, the reality of our own life
story, meaning, expectations and mortality! The issue, as is done
throughout the book, is presented to us through cleverly captured
stories by way of interviews/summaries. An Army Green Beret with
a tumor asked, "Have you ever thought you might die?"
Another person speaks of the timing of death. Another shares a
dream. The second section explores the importance of cultural
values. Others, as we especially see if folks seeking meaning
and celebration in their accomplishments, discusses the importance
of life's work. Other "importance" chapters include
relationships, religious values, being a caregiver and, finally,
standing in our own shadow of death.
Concluding with Psalm 23, a theme throughout, the epilogue has
this important thought. "Each experience of new beginnings
and their ending cycles teaches us to face the next cycle of the
living experience. Each cycle brings new learning and growth experiences.
We learn from facing the shadows of deaths in our lives and we
can learn to live from each of our dying experiences." (p.