Brave Enough to Face the Darkness

"Sudden and tragic loss leads to terrible darkness... The darkness comes, no matter how hard we try to hold it off. However threatening, we must face it, and we must face it alone... I had a kind of waking dream shortly after [the darkness set in]...I dreamed of a setting sun. I was frantically running west, trying desperately to catch it and remain in its fiery warmth and light. But I was losing the race. The sun was beating me to the horizon and was soongone. I suddenly found myself in the twilight. Exhausted, I stoped running and glanced with foreboding over my shoulder to the east. I saw vast darkness. I wanted to keep running after the sun, though I knew that it was futile, for it had already proven itself faster than I was. So I lost all hope, collapsed to the ground, and fell into despair. I thought at that moment that I would live in darkness forever. I felt absolute terror in my soul... 
The quickest way for anyone to reach the sun and the light of day is not to run west, chasing after the setting sun, but to head east, plunging into the darkness until one comes to the sunrise.
I discovered in that moment that I had the power to choose the direction my life would head, even if the only choice open to me, at least initially, was either to run from the loss or to face it as best I could. Since I knew that the darkness was inevitable and unavoidable, I dicided that from that point on to walk into the darkness rather than try to outrun it, to let my experience of loss take me on a journey wherever it would lead, and to allow myself to be transformed by my suffering rather than to think I could somehow avoid it. I chose to turn toward the pain, however falteringly, and to yield to the loss, though I had no idea what that would mean."

-Jerry Sittser, A Grace Disguised

When I read this, it really struck a chord with me. In the wake of losing a child, there is so much uncertainty and fear. At the time, I would have preferred for my life to have ended with Lachlan's, but because broken hearts still beat, I had to make the choice to walk toward the east in hopes of eventually coming into the light.

chasing the sun.jpg

This picture, to me, represents those moments when you find a tiny bit of light in the darkness, a ray of hope that eventually the sun will rise and that we will be able to regain some peace and joy. That despite the loss we can find meaning and purpose in life again. That is part of why I chose to start Lach's Legacy. Those glimpses of light brought hope and encouragement for me, and I wanted to be able to share that light and hope with other families who have suddenly found themselves in that all-encompassing darkness. All I have to offer is the tiniest bit of direction on where I found those rays of light on my journey. My prayer is that other families will find comfort in some of the same places that I did, and that the tiny bit that I can offer will somehow bring a glimpse of hope for them too.