We hope that spring will come. It’s mid-April and I still see snow on the ground. We have freezing temps and barren trees.

My heart feels barren too. Last fall, we lost our son. I will say no more about what happened. What I will say is that a feeling of emptiness surrounds me. My son was handsome and brilliant, well-loved by friends and family. He had recently married the girl of his dreams and moved close to home. We had a lovely euphoric time for 17 months. Every time I drove to his house I smiled and was thrilled that he lived a short drive away. We saw him often. He had just gotten a super job and he and his wife were planning a wonderful future.

Then the unthinkable, unimaginable happened. His death killed so many dreams and crushed so many people. It was bittersweet to hear the stories that so many told about him and his humor, his intelligence, his creativity.

Ironically, he was an Iraq war vet who survived war only to come home to die in a bizarre twist of fate.

So how does one live with that? How do you go on? You just do. There are others who need you. You have work you hope to accomplish. You still look at life and see its beauty. But inside that you are so changed that you scarcely recognize yourself. That is the work that seems impossible: finding and getting to know that new person you have to be so you can live on.

I am not the only one who has lost a child. I will not be the last. A woman I know who lost her daughter has said many wise things to me about that. I have read some articles and books about the experiences others have and I recognize myself in some of them, like the man who wrote that he cried every day for five years. I hope it will only be five years.

I know that I will write more about this, but for now I want to express my gratitude. I am grateful for his life, grateful for our daughter who is such a comfort, grateful for my son’s’ widow who we dearly love, grateful for family and friends, and grateful for every blessing. And I know that when spring comes, I will be grateful for the flowers and the birds and the warmth.

I will close with this verse from 1 Corinthians which I think sums up what I think about often: “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.”