Grief is a strange thing. It is unlike and alike for each person who experiences it. It can pull the grief-stricken into despair and darkness that will seemingly never end. September Audrey is keenly aware of grief–having experienced the unexpected death of Katie, her teenage daughter.
The Colors of Goodbye chronicles September Vaudrey’s grief journey following the death of her daughter. Grappling with deep loss and heartache, Vaudrey is authentic in writing about her grief.
“The pit we now feel is bottomless,” Vaudrey says of her family’s emotions as Katie is lies in the hospital. “I cannot begin to comprehend better days ahead without my daughter. But I have always found God to be faithful. And I know what it takes to climb out of pits, no matter the depth” (77).
September recounts the better times and the low times as she and her family traverse what is life after the death of a daughter and sister, climbing “out of pits” (77).
“To my surprise, I realized that as my capacity to face pain had increased, my capacity for joy had grown deeper, too,” September says.
Vaudrey takes readers along on the journey of coming to terms with the death of Katie, and she allows readers to journey with her as she goes to the prepare her daughter’s body for a viewing, sits by her daughter in the hospital, and visits her daughter’s crash site.
Though experiencing deep grief and irreparable loss, September Vaudrey’s story shows that while we cannot change the past and bring back those we have lost, we can move forward into the future where new joy awaits–for those who are grieving, that is great comfort.
“Through the unfailing partnership of my pain and God’s goodness, we had settled things, He and I,” Vaudrey writes (268). “Slowly over the past 1,095 days, surrender had been sidling up alongside me, unobserved. My grieving was far from over–it’s a lifelong journey, I believe–but I had come to accept the beautiful-tragic life that is mine” (269).
Those who have grieved deeply and loss what cannot be replaced will find The Colors of Goodbye to be a balm to their soul and a story with which their own journey is likely to resonate.
*Tyndale House Publishers provided me with a copy of The Colors of Goodbye in exchange for my review.