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The Doorway of Sadness

The idea for this story flowed out of heart-breaking personal experience. One night not too long ago, I was so distraught that I was completely unable to sleep. As I watched the breaking dawn the next day, I realised that it was time to face the trauma of my past and finally heal. Working on this book allowed me to process painful emotions, and it was healing to deal with the themes of love, loss and letting go.

Most people’s lives include dark days of lingering in the doorway of sadness. Mortality brings heartache, pain, disappointment and grief, but also love, joy, kindness, precious relationships, friends and family - the things we cherish most in life. Not only is it okay to feel sad and hurt, sometimes that is the healthiest thing for us to do. Feeling and owning our feelings is part of the journey, and the key to healing.

In dark times well-meaning people often advise us to focus on the present and ignore the past. But if we do this, we will stumble through the years without healing. We will become inauthentic people who bury their feelings and pretend that all is well. While healing is possible, it takes time, and trauma knows no borders.

Spending time in the doorway of sadness allows us to think of precious people we have lost and hold them in our hearts for a short while. We recognize the hole their absence has created in our hearts, and as our grief washes over us, it slowly heals us.

Eventually there is a time to let go. When I was young, there was a time when my mother was extremely homesick. Our family had moved to the Netherlands for my father’s work, and my mother was having a hard time learning the Dutch language. In addition, she came from a very close-knit Irish family and missed them terribly. One day she was so exhausted that she could barely climb the stairs at the end of the day. When she got into bed, she picked up a book her sister had sent her from Australia. It was called Let Go and Let God[1]. My mother began reading that book and knew she needed to turn to the Lord and place her burdens at His feet. This thought gave her the strength to keep going, and she felt a strength beyond her own.

One way to let go is to write those painful experiences on a sandy beach and let the water wash them away. Or you can write them on a piece of paper, then tear the paper into tiny pieces and throw it away. In the end, however, there will be some losses that we will mourn our whole lives. We can take comfort in knowing that God uses people of sorrow. He taught “For, behold, I have refined thee, I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction” (1 Nephi 20:10; Isaiah 48:10).

Lingering in the doorway of sadness heals us and eventually we can move through the doorway. None of us can avoid our grief, but we can honestly face it and fight our way through it.

* * *

Sean Kikkert was born in Adelaide, South Australia. He spent the early part of his childhood in the Netherlands before returning to Australia. As a teenager, Sean loved to stay up late reading thrillers. Sean served in the Australia Sydney South Mission before completing a law degree at the University of Adelaide. He and his wife Jaquilyn were married in Hong Kong, and he is the father of five children.

Sean works as an immigration barrister, but once the working day is over, Sean writes books to keep people up at night, just as he was kept up late all those years ago. His published nonfiction works include Home Evenings for Families, Stronger: How the Lord Can Strengthen You to Meet Any Challenge, and Last Days: How You Can Prepare for the Lord's Second Coming. Sean has also written three young-adult thrillers—Dark Past, Night of the Wolf, and The Trek—and the Regency novels The Highwayman’s Confession and Sweetheart’s Lake. Learn more about Sean and his books by visiting

[1] Albert E. Cliffe, Let Go and Let God (Evesham, UK: Arthur James Ltd., 1954)

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