The last week has been a uniquely dark time in my life … nothing compared to the darkness of losing my son – but dark and difficult nonetheless.

A few evenings ago I took my 8 year old son to run some errands. It’s hard sometimes, but I do all that I can to be in the moment and not allow myself to be distracted by the million-and-one things that tug at my mind and attention. My heart was heavy this night and I was tempted to be whisked away in thought and concern. But then I remembered what a wise man once taught me [paraphrased]: “If you’re with someone … be with them. When you’re greeting someone and shaking their hand, give them all of you – even if only for 15 seconds … don’t shake their hand and look to the next person or thing … give them everything.” So, even though my heart was low, I put it in my back pocket and gave Wyatt everything I knew to give. I wanted him to know he mattered to me and that I loved him – and the best way to do that was to give him all of me.

The winter sky was getting dark and it felt like an ordinary evening. We were driving to a neighboring town when we discovered behind the hills was a sight we would have missed had we not been in motion. [I think there’s a life lesson in that.] As we left our neighborhood Wyatt and I saw the most peculiar sunset. Wyatt said, “Hey Dad,” pointing to the sky, “that reminds me of Mitchie.” I didn't have my tripod or big camera with me but I pulled over and tried to capture what we saw with my iPhone. Mitch used to do the same thing with his iTouch whenever he saw something beautiful. My phone didn't capture the sky the way we saw it so I adjusted the colors and values to match what we saw with our own eyes as best as possible. The way the sunset shone on just a small part of the mountain was one of those once-in-a-lifetime visions of beauty. I don’t know if I’ll ever see such a sight again in my lifetime.

Mitchie loves sunsets and would have been mesmerized by what we saw. No matter where I am I carry with me the memory of my son. If there is a gap in my thoughts, Mitch fills it to over flowing. Seeing this sky did just that.

I have often made references to that place beyond the hills where my son now lives. I want to be there, with him. But I also want to be here with my family. Grief, it seems, more and more has become a painful tug of war. Seeing this sunset reminded me that every so often I sense a light from beyond the hills – a glimpse that all is right. And if I’m patient and I keep trying perhaps the storm in my heart may soon find rest. And peace and rest are more likely to come when I do my best.