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The Miracles We Find

Guest Blog by Kathryn Cunningham

The First Miracle

On Sunday, February 5, 2023, my eight-year-old son Dallin was having trouble sleeping. He wandered out of bed and found my husband, Tim, relaxing on the sofa, unwinding after a long day. Dallin snuggled up next to him, and they shared a few precious moments while talking. Then Tim sang Dallin his favorite lullaby, gave him a hug, said “I love you,” and sent him back to bed. 

He never dreamed that would be the last time He would hear his son’s voice. Just a few hours later, Dallin’s school would notify us that he had fallen off a slide and was unresponsive. That he would spend the next two days on life support. That he would die in our arms on the evening of February 7, 2023, while we sang him the same lullaby that had sent him to bed just two days before.

As I’ve contemplated the many miracles that have come to my family since Dallin died, this is the one that has settled itself in my heart as The First Miracle. It’s the miracle we weren’t looking for but that we would need so desperately in such a short time—one last tender moment with our living, breathing son. One last tender mercy from a Father in Heaven who knew it was almost time for Dallin to leave us. 

I treasure the memory of that moment as a symbol of every normal, mundane, work-a-day moment that we had with him. This is a reminder of the miracle that Dallin was ours, truly and completely, and that our family ties will bind us together with a strength that not even death can sever.

The Book: Two Purposes

Walking Through the Valley of the Shadow of Death “has two purposes. The first is to tell the honest story of my grieving heart. I wrote this book during the two months immediately following Dallin’s death, so it conveys all the intensity and urgency of his accident and subsequent death in vivid detail. I did this partly for myself. I wanted to be open about my experience. To look my pain in the eye and not shrink from it. To understand my sadness without being afraid of it. But I knew that others would need my honesty as well. 

Someone who has lost a loved one needs to know that they are not alone in the depths of their despair. Someone with a grieving friend needs to understand what that person is going through. Someone contemplating the inevitability of their own eventual death would need help processing those complex and painful emotions. If you are in any of these categories, know that I see you. You matter. This book is for you.

My second purpose is to witness that when we go into the shadow of death seeking and expecting miracles, we surely find them. They come in many forms: friends, family, acts of kindness and service, snippets of insight and revelation that help us make it through each agonizing moment. 

Everyday Life is Special

Some are like The First Miracle, seemingly normal, mundane, work-a-day things that suddenly take on new meaning and power when we remember them in the context of our loss. Your miracles will not be the same as mine were. But I hope that the story of the miracles that came to me will also help you find yours. They are waiting for you. You just have to seek them. 

I have come to know that God does not leave us to walk alone through the valley of the shadow of death. He goes with us, and He will stay with us.

Join us on May 21, 2024, at 6:30 p.m. Mountain time to share this touching story and discuss how we can all have tender mercies and how the Heavenly Father loves you!

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