There is a Reaper: Losing a Child to Cancer
Judging by the title and subtitle alone, one could imagine what type of read lies ahead in this book. But the unexpected element for me was the level of beautiful prose that is found within. This author, as he divulges the details of the unfathomably painful journey of losing his young son to an aggressive form of cancer, also cushions the blow for his readers by offering lyrical descriptions of everything else that was happening during that horrific time in his life. He offers the cruel parallels between the beauty of the land he raised his family on, which once brought them seemingly endless joy and adventure, and the ugliness of death and destruction that took up residence and threatened to steal that joy. He makes the readers experience everything alongside him – the scent of the flowers that grew in the spring outside his home, the icy chill of the winter air, and the truly gut-wrenching heartbreak that he and his wife suffered.
Parents always worry that their children will grow up too quickly – perhaps a ten-year-old daughter wanting to try makeup to look older, a sixteen-year-old boy wanting to try smoking to look cool. As parents, we try to shield our children from the woes and dangers that come along with living in an adult world. Too often, children are forced to grow up in abusive or neglectful home settings where they are made to become the “only responsible adult in the house.” That’s bad enough; but never should a child be forced to mature quickly enough to decide his/her own meeting with death. It’s just cruel and unthinkable. Unfortunately, this is the harsh reality for children who are ambushed and dominated by fatal diseases. The strength, maturity, and perseverance that this remarkable young boy exhibits when faced with his own mortality, will leave you speechless in a puddle of your own tears.
I commend this author for sharing his personal story with the world. I hope that it has helped heal the empty space left behind by his young son and aides in the healing of thousands of other parents who have suffered, or are suffering the same heartbreak. I definitely learned way more about cancer than I ever hope to need. I have to admit, I didn’t really understand the cover of this book at first sight, but the ending ties the significance of it together in a beautiful way that I never saw coming … and will most likely never forget!
I highly recommend this book to anyone who has suffered the loss of a loved one to cancer, or any terminal illness. The author’s words really touch your soul.