Dear Dawn · Encouragement · Grief

What now?

Dear Dawn,

The unthinkable has happened in our family and I am questioning everything I am doing.  I find myself waking to another dreaded day thinking “What now?” How did you do it?  Just a note and a prayer, please.

Dear What now, There is nothing I can say to you that will fix things.  Just knowing there are people who love and support you is not ever enough. But don’t overlook the importance of their prayers and concern.

Ron and I still struggle with the loss of our seven-year-old son. Calendar days are often geared to him. . . today if he had lived, he would have been so old, he would have gone to his first prom, gotten that college acceptance letter, found his true love, etc.  That unavoidable agony is a process.

school ryan

Our life after Ryan was to hunker down in an environment that protected us and our surviving kids, one we controlled (during a loss, you feel utterly out-of-control) and manipulated ourselves with routine and predictability.

Life – such a precious gift — was slipping by so quickly.  Ron and I agreed to something drastic.  We hit the ‘reset button’ in the life of our family, and chose to radically embrace life by hitting the road to see the world.

It is an extreme choice, but it took us completely out of the rut of every day routine. When foreign traveling, you have to stop and think about every part of your daily life — where you eat, sleep, how you communicate, how to live within your budget, etc. By evaluating every part of your day, you reset your patterns.  Keeping Ryan close to our hearts by carrying his backpack, we began building new memories.

4 boys in shadow

My prayer for you is that you will be able to pull yourself up a day at a time.  When it comes time, hit the reset button.  Do it together!  Imperative!!

And let me know how you are doing.  Thanks for your letter.


4 thoughts on “What now?

  1. Dawn- when my sister’s son left us, it impacted me hugely as well- we sold our house and took off around the world. My son was ten and I was worried about missing school and losing my spot in the work world, etc. Now seven years later he is absolutely thriving- the world is his oyster! We are very close- no drugs or alcohol or delinquency whatsoever. He’s currently applying to some big, exciting schools. I’m so grateful we stopped our busy lives to bond, explore, learn and grow together. While the grief never goes completely away, like you, we keep moving forward.


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