What happens after the worst happens?
Before May 31, 2008, September Vaudrey’s life was beautiful. But on that day, with one phone call from the ER, her whole world―everything she knew and believed―was shaken to the core. Katie, her 19-year-old artist daughter, had been in a car accident and would not survive. How does a family live in the wake of devastating tragedy? When darkness colors every moment, is it possible to find light? Can God still be good, even after goodbye?
With the depth of C. S. Lewis’s A Grief Observed and the poignancy of Joan Didion’s The Year of Magical Thinking, Colors of Goodbye offers a moving glimpse into a mother’s heart. Combining literary narrative and raw reflection, September Vaudrey walks through one of life’s worst losses―the death of a child―and slowly becomes open to watching for the unexpected ways God carries her through it. It’s a story of love and tragedy in tandem; a deeply personal memoir from a life forever changed by one empty place. And at its core, Colors of Goodbye calls to the deepest part of our spirits to know that death is not the end . . . and that life can be beautiful still.
As a parent, one of the things I fear the most is something happening to one of my children. As they grow older and start driving, each trip out the door is followed by a prayer for their safety on the road. Vaudrey loses her daughter in a terrible car accident. This book is the story of what comes next.
The thing that this book captures so perfectly is the feeling of loss after a death in a family. The feeling of lack of purpose and fogginess seems to be universal. Vaudrey’s description of the ordeal of the time in the hospital, organ donation, and arranging for the funeral was very difficult to read about. I appreciated her sharing the progress through all of the awful “Firsts”. Anyone who has lost someone close to them is familiar with the awful “Firsts”.
This book is for anyone who has experienced loss. Readers acquainted with grief can empathize with Vaudrey’s journey through grief and loss. However, we can take heart as she moves through the darkest valley and emerges with hope in her heart.
Grief is not an easy road to travel, but it is unfortunately one that we encounter throughout our lives. Vaudrey’s book is a story of her grief, but it is reflective of the universality of grief in the face of terrible loss.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale Publishers in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.