"When Sunday Smiled"
After two decades of providing therapy to Sailors, SEALs, and Marines returning from war, I thought I knew about grief. When my son was killed in a motorcycle accident, I knew nothing until I picked up my pack and started to walk.
“If you aren’t at Katahdin, you ain’t nothing,” a hiker told me. But I found that it’s not about the destination, it’s the journey. It was the 2,198.2-mile journey from Georgia to Maine that took me to up the tops of mountains and down to deep despair. Tears of happiness during the day and tears of loss flooded my heart at night knowing that Aaron wasn’t here to walk with me.
I dealt with the void left from the death my son the year before in a motorcycle accident by filling it with hope that I found along the trail. With the lightest gear I could afford, one pair of shorts and two shirts and a floppy hat, I took to the trail after an eleven-hour bus ride.
My gray beard grew as my clothes got baggier. I looked like something that climbed out from under a Grimm’s fairytale bridge. The trail gave me the space to have a talk with the one I was most angry with – God. God’s world opened up when everything I owned was on my back and my only concern was the next white blaze...
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