The Valley of the Shadow of Death

Another thoughtful reflection on depression and mental illness.

Appalachian Preacher

Tuesday evening, my heart broke twice.

First, it broke when I received the news that Pat, a beloved parishioner, had passed away.  Pat was a wonderful woman who will leave behind a legacy of riotous laughter and chaotic family gatherings. I’ve only known her for the past two years, and she’s been battling one health malady after another since then, but she always did so with a quick, acerbic wit and a smile.

I will never forget sitting in her hospital room after she suffered a stroke and watching her rib the doctors and nurses and orderlies and janitors alike. No one left her hospital room that wasn’t smiling and laughing. That was Pat. She was funny and she always made the most of whatever situation she was in, no matter how bad.

When I got home that evening I sat down to check Facebook before calling it a night…

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