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Scripture doesn't unpack the phrase "the valley of the shadow of death" and give us one clear, specific meaning for it (that I'm aware of offhand). I suspect that is intentional, because God wanted the psalm to be applicable in a wide variety of situations. Any particular person may come near death more than once in their life... literally. There are no promises to the contrary. Most people will face situations in which the death of others (or near-death) affects them. If we trust in the Lord for salvation, we can trust that He will be present with us in these most difficult of life circumstances... over and over.