Via Dolorosa

Written by Rae Ann Norell on . Posted in Blog

Statesman006Via Dolorosa means sorrowful road. It usually refers to the road where Christ took his  last walk to the place where he died.  I thought of these words, Via Dolorosa,  when I saw a movie called The Way. It is about a father whose adult son  died unexpectedly while traveling in  Europe. The father and son had not seen eye- to- eye in recent years. The father was a successful ophthalmologist. The son wanted to see the world and experience  different cultures , even if it meant not acquiring a  nice house, cars, and other material possessions. The son had invited his dad to  come to Europe with him, but his father turned him down. The father receives a phone call notifying him that his son has died. I can relate to this as that is how I found out about my 24 year old son’s sudden death.

The father travels to France to bring home his son’s body. He learns that his son had died on a pilgrimage to Spain, a popular spiritual journey on a particular route that many people had taken. The father decides to complete this two month walk in his son’s place. He  sprinkles his son’s ashes along The Way. The  pilgrimage  becomes a healing journey, in which he  comes to terms with his son’s death and makes amends.

I can relate to this journey  along the road where a son has died. My 24 year-old son died in a triathlon,  having biked eight miles up a mountain road  and then collapsed. I have taken this  path almost  every month since he died, albeit in a car. I put flowers at the memorial marker his friends placed at the spot where my son fell. I meditate        about this sorrowful  road, and mourn the loss of my son. [Photo: Less than one mile from where David died.  Photographer, Katherine Jones, Idaho Statesman.]

 

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Comments (2)

  • Kurt

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    I walked the Camino last year and can really relate to the personal journey. 500 miles of walking allows for significant inward reflection. I cannot imagine the loss of a child, but know that walking the Camino will help anyone fill in the blanks of the mysteries that life can deliver is such a cruel manner.

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    • Rae Ann Norell

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      That must have been an awesome experience! Thank you for reading the post, and for your kind comments.

      Reply

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