Me and Her Shadow invites its readers in, with The Sacrifice of Isaac, a short poem the author wrote for her daughter as a young child, in which she helps both of them learn how to let go. It's a universal experience for parents watching their children grow up. Fortunately, not many go on to witness that child's death. In this chapbook of poems, the author, Christine Lund, pays tribute to her daughter, Kaja (pronounced Kai-ya) who died of cancer just after turning 23. Christine also shares her journey of healing after Kaja's death, and the wisdom she earned, after almost two decades of working with grief.
The experience of losing a child is every parent's worst nightmare. In our culture where death is avoided as a subject in general, it is rare to see such an open and accessible first-person account of this unnatural type of loss. And perhaps, the publication of Me and Her Shadow during the worst pandemic the world has seen in 100 years, will provide a tool to help the many people who have lost someone, they feel they cannot bear to live without.
Fond remembrances are interspersed with travels through the stages of grief. There is anger and outrage, for example, in After the Mushroom Cloud. Objects found and recalled conjure up her daughter at different ages, such as in Rainbow Pencils and Chagall Kiss Cup. Anniversaries are triggers that open the portal into her grief and sorrow-which is also the path to love. The author's bond with nature provides her with solace. She sees her daughter in crows and butterflies. She finds her daughter in her heart, as she seeks wisdom from her spirit. And, in Becoming a Healer, she finds after many years "...though it feels like betrayal, healing has occurred." She sees at last that Kaja lives, in the love inside her own heart-and, in the poems of Me and Her Shadow, an offering to the hearts of its readers.
About the Author
ME AND HER SHADOW is Christine Lund's first published book, and is dedicated to her daughter, Kaja Mauldin. Christine's poems have appeared in the New Poet's Anthology, the Denver Post and the Hungry Poets' Cookbook, among other publications. She has had travel articles and book reviews published in The New York Times, Endless Vacation and the Albuquerque Journal. Kaja's father was the two-time Pulitzer Prize winning political cartoonist, Bill Mauldin. His over 13 published books include the best-selling Up Front, and a Book of the Month Club alternate selection, The Brass Ring. Christine received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston University, with a major in English literature. She taught poetry writing in Santa Fe, New Mexico elementary schools for several years. She is a member of the New Mexico Book Association.