Ask any Appalachian the question, “When is Appalachia most beautiful?” Every Appalachian will answer, “During autumn, when the leaves of Appalachia’s trees are dying.” Appalachians believe the beauty of their landscape is almost heaven. With the honor of officiating nearly 1000 funerals, Pastor Kevin Cain offers life in the midst of death.
In As She Is Dying, Kevin Cain writes, “I have given my life to bring hope to a people who have little reason to hope. Maybe Appalachians have allowed our hills’ majesty and grandeur to blind us from coal dust and addiction. Yet, I do see hope. I see hope in what is dying. I see hope in what is dead. I see hope in what remains. Yes, death has the keen ability to either clear up, cover up or stir up. Still, sometimes we must descend in order to turn into the clouds. As She Is Dying is a book about death that offers stories of life. In these pages, you will find a little bit of wisdom, some stories of hope, and the eulogizing words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart which I trust have been acceptable in the sight of my strength and my Redeemer. Somehow and somewhere in death, hope must be discovered. Maybe, through the literal metaphor of Appalachians’ deaths, you can see life. Some were reconciled long before their deaths. Some were reconciled just prior to their deaths. And, others were reconciled in the midst of death. There is hope for all…hope’s breath, even in death.”