I was meeting with a longtime client recently and talking with the receptionist before the meeting.  

Me: Happy New Year!  Were you able to take some time off for the holidays?
Her: Yes, I always try to take time off for the holidays, and this year I had no choice.  My two grandsons were both murdered in January, three years apart, and this year I organized a prayer vigil.  

We talked for a few minutes about her grandsons and how she was processing their loss.  We also talked about her son and the grief he is experiencing.  He has now lost both of his children.

I recommended a book called “Grieving Dads.”  It’s a good book about how men process the loss of a child, and it helped me after I lost Michael.  
In the 2 1/2 years since my world was turned upside down, I have had the (mis)fortune of meeting many parents who have lost a child.  Sometimes through mutual connections, sometimes while ordering a sandwich at the deli.  

The connection is always instantaneous because the feelings are so similar.    There is something indescribable about the pain of losing a child.  
For me, it oscillated between wanting to curl up in a ball and stop and wanting to punch a wall.   Some days I was overcome with emotion, and other days I simply felt numb.  Like all of the emotions that I used to know were just gone. 

When I first lost Michael, I didn’t know what to do, but I believed that I had to keep moving forward.  Now, 2 1/2 years later, I am starting to find my voice regarding child loss and life on the other side of such a tragic event.  

I don’t know what that voice is yet exactly, but I believe it is around understanding the loss and helping others survive unsurvivable situations like child loss. And in the process, becoming brutally authentic about the realities of life.  
You are welcome to follow along as I update this blog.  If you have thoughts to share, you are welcome to comment.  If you have experienced the loss of a child too, then my heart goes out to you most of all. 

As for the cigar I’m smoking, that is a Flores y Rodriguez, Connecticut Valley Reserve.  It’s a great stick with lots of flavor, but not too harsh.