There is a dark foreshadowing of Neil's personal tragedy. Several years after the book was released, Neil
lost his only daughter to a car accident as she was driving to college. Within
a year, his wife developed cancer and died. Neil's book Ghost
Rider is his account of motorcycling throughout
His (the father of one of Neil's friends who had come from Eastern Europe to Canada after WWII) wife was stricken by disease soon after their arrival, and died, leaving my freind's father wretched with pain at this meaningless loss, and he rejected his religion (Eastern Orthodox Catholicism) forever. "A God who could do this to me is not my God."
My brother Danny feels that the greatest sadness in life is to lose a beloved mate; but he has no children. It seems to me that the deepest, most cruel sorrow must be a mother losing her child. No bonds can be tighter or more painfully broken. As a boy I once saw a photograph of a Vietnamese mother holding her dead baby and wailing. This seemed to represent the greatest of human suffering, and I have never forgotten that image. And yet all the platitudes that are trotted out, "that's the way God planned it;" "God has called her to Him;" "she has found a better live." How does a mother lose her innocent child, and still keep her faith in such a cruel deity? And yet they do.
Within one year, Neil lost his only child and his beloved soulmate. I lost my father when I was 10. I remember the entire day vividly, as if it just happened, and that experience has stayed with me. But I don't want to know about what it would be like to lose my wife and one (or both) of my boys.
One meaning of the word "foreshadow" is to present an indication of something beforehand. It need not be something gloomy, but one of the roots of the word is the word "shadow." Given the dark tragedy Neil experienced, foreshadow may not be an accurate enough word for the passage quoted above. Foreumbrage may be a more accurate term.