When the heart weeps for what it's lost, the soul rejoices for what it's found.
– Sufi verse
Shelley shares her intimate story of losing a grown son to a drug overdose and the inspirational spiritual deepening that follows her trip into the underworld.
The opioid crisis is officially an epidemic and is the number one killer of young adults. Shelley lifts the curtain on the human emotions and experiences behind the statistics.
Shelley is washed away by grief, regret and excruciating what ifs. Awash on an open sea of pain and shame she spirals into drug and alcohol abuse. In desperation she turns to labyrinthwalking at Grace Cathedral to find her way into a new life.
With humor she bracingly discovers her pride in her dedicated spiritual pursuits dating back decades are woefully inadequate to the nitty gritty challenge facing her now.
She learns to take one step at a time as she circles back and forth in the labyrinth slowly opening her heart to her inner guidance.
Her story is compounded by the cultural stigma and shame associated with hard drug use and addiction. She is stunned when she receives a cold slap of judgment from individuals who believe some deaths don’t count. She painfully discovers the lack of emotional intelligence around these issues is staggering.
Ultimately her story is redemptive and inspirational. Through her trip to the underworld she discovers a new and deeper spirituality grounded in forgiveness, humility and generosity. Paradoxically through her loss she finds an enriched connection to the soulful common miracles of life.