Evangelist and talk show host Kevin Shorey is back at work after taking some time off to deal with the tragic, unexpected death of his mother Christine Kendrick, who died April 23 in a fire.
“We took the week of her death off until after the funeral,” Shorey said. “I know she wouldn’t have wanted me to take so much time off that we got behind with everything (to the point where) the ministry would start to fail.
“She put her life, blood, sweat and tears into that studio to help me start the whole TV program.”
According to Southern Stone County Fire Protection District Public Information Office Eric Nielsen, Kendrick died during a grass fire. Nielsen also told the Branson Tri-Lakes News the fire marshall thinks she may have been overcome by smoke and fire while working in the yard.
“Your brain takes all this time to think about it, and your heart has to catch up,” Shorey said. “I’ve never been through anything so traumatic in my life. One day she calls me to come over to her house, and the next day I find her dead in the yard.
“It’s still a lot to process.”
Shorey said the days and weeks following her death was kind of a blur, but taking care of her estate and funeral proved to be somewhat therapeutic.
“As I was taking care of mom’s affairs and family was coming in and we were deciding on what to do about the funeral, her house and things like that, it kind of keeps you focused on how short life really is,” he said. “It kept me focused and brought about some healing for me, knowing all her affairs were taken care of and she left a legacy for me.”
That legacy included a deep-rooted mother-son bond, as well as a love of music and faith.
“She was always there for me,” he said. “She was there from the beginning of my ministry, and I didn’t get married until I was 40, so she was like my everything. I almost (picked up the phone to call her) again today, but then I’m like, ‘oh yeah, she’s not here anymore.’
“Then I get that pit in my stomach.”
Even though Shorey is far from “getting over” the death of his mother, he said getting back to work and his strong faith has helped him at least deal with the loss.
“I guess I’m being selfish still hurting so much, because I know she’s in heaven, and she’s fine,” Shorey said. “But man, there’s just a big hole inside I want to heal so badly. Being a guy, I love to fix things, but I can’t fix this or change it.
“What do I do, how do I process that? All I can do is just take things one day at a time.”
Shorey’s program, “The Kevin Shorey Show,” is recorded live at 11 a.m. Tuesday through Friday at the Branson Mill. The show is seen nationwide on the Christian Television Network (CTN), Dish Network, DirectTV, locally on Springfield TV station KOZL 27, on other commercial stations, and streamed world-wide via the Roku Network at WGANTV.
For more information on Shorey or his show, visit kevinshorey.com.