Giving Thanks From The Abyss

With Thanksgiving just a few days away, I started to think about this past year and the roller coaster ride I call a life. I’ve had great highs and scary lows that have left me numb, sometimes empty, sometimes full, but neither for long.

It’s easy to be thankful for the good that comes our way. But I’ve come to realize that what we have to be most grateful for are the hard times. When we face adversity, we learn a lot about our true nature and the importance of the people that surround us.

Case in point. For the past couple of weeks, my father had his first health scare, his first surgery, and his first brush with the big C. We found out today that the surgery was a success and he’ll be fine. But that 10 day waiting period to get the great news gave us all pause and made us realize how little time we have together. We’ll make the most of it on Thanksgiving. I can assure you that.

Another case. For the past year-plus, my wife has been battling an unknown infection and lupus. We’re at the point where the doctors think radiation is the only cure. Talk about a cure worse than the disease. It’s like watching the person you love most being tortured every second of every day as radiation sears its way through the cells of her entire body. It shows me, daily, how much she means to me, and how little everything else matters if you and the ones you love don’t have the gift of good health.

Looking back at what I’ve written, I saw that this is an overriding fear in almost all my work. In Forest of Shadows, John Backman’s wife dies in her sleep, forever altering his life and his mind. In Evil Eternal, a strong man named Liam watches his wife’s murder and offers his soul to avenge her death, becoming the undead Father Michael. His torment is sealed to go on for infinity. Even in Swamp Monster Massacre, my crazy skunk ape romp, when John’s wife is killed, so is his soul, and soon after, his body.  All of these things crept into my work, my conscious mind completely unaware. I’m forcing myself to look into the abyss so I can be grateful that though at times I’m at the precipice, I haven’t fallen through. My wife battles on, and so do I.

In hard times, we turn to others, or God, for strength and support. It’s at these moments where we’re truly thankful for all of the good people and happy moments in our lives.

So this year, when you look back at those moments of hell in your life, don’t ask ‘why me?’ Use them as touchstones and appreciate what they reminded you of, or how they brought you closer to someone, or even changed your life for the better.

Most of all, give thanks.

 

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About Hunter Shea

Hunter Shea is the product of a misspent childhood watching scary movies, reading forbidden books and wishing Bigfoot would walk past his house. He doesn’t just write about the paranormal – he actively seeks out the things that scare the hell out of people and experiences them for himself. Hunter’s novels can even be found on display at the International Cryptozoology Museum. His video podcast, Monster Men, is one of the most watched horror podcasts in the world. You’ll also find him every week on the Final Guys podcast, available everywhere. He’s a bestselling author of over 25 books, all of them written with the express desire to quicken heartbeats and make spines tingle. Living with his wonderful family and two cats, he’s happy to be close enough to New York City to gobble down Gray’s Papaya hotdogs when the craving hits.

6 responses to “Giving Thanks From The Abyss”

  1. jackiekingon says :

    A wise and touching reflection on giving thanks at Thanksgiving. The older you get the more precious and fragile one feels about the miracle called life. Take time to find and smell the lillies along the way. The best things in life are still free.
    Happy Thanksgiving.

  2. Joseph Pinto says :

    I’m happy to hear the news on your dad, Hunter…and much strength to your wife & yourself. Just keep the faith, brother

  3. Jason Darrick says :

    Glad to hear that your dad is doing well.

  4. Adriana Noir says :

    Beautiful post, Hunter. I am so glad your father will be okay and I will keep both you and your wife in my thoughts and prayers. Wishing you and yours all the best. Happy Thanksgiving.

  5. The Paranormalist - Renae Rude says :

    Beautiful post, Hunter.

    I’ve been thinking similar thoughts lately. (My husband received a job offer yesterday, after 10 months of unemployement. I know it’s not the same as illness, but it does wear on one’s psyche.) I’ve been thinking about how to move into this next phase stronger and wiser. Sounds like there’s still some trials ahead (for both of our families) but let’s hope we have learned what we needed to, and that things are moving in the right direction … and that all will be well soon.

  6. moondustwriter says :

    Thanks for the reminder Hunter. We are daily pivoting precariously between life and death. Thankful for life!!!

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