Two months ago Wyatt and I went to the top of our property that overlooks the valley and watched an incoming storm crawl across the sky. Mitch loved storm watching and Wyatt thought it would be fun to do what Mitchie loved as a way of honoring him.

As I stood behind my youngest son I couldn't help but feel after him –for I could tell he was trying to sort out the loss of his brother. I know Wyatt hurts, too. So, each day I make a special effort to love him a little extra, to help him feel that I understand and that I care about his feelings. I want my young son to know it’s okay to hurt.

Watching Wyatt I was reminded of an essay I wrote last June entitled “Walking on Jupiter.” I wrote, “There are days, sometimes agonizing moments, the gravity of grief is so great it feels like I’m walking on Jupiter. It’s a place where your chest feels so heavy even breathing is difficult. I have come to learn that once you lose a child you leave earth’s gravity forever. You may visit earth from time-to-time, but Jupiter is where your heart is. And from what I can tell, we will live the remainder of our lives in the gravity well of grief.”

In that same essay on grief I wrote the day Mitchell died “was the day my wife and I left Earth and took up residence in an unfamiliar place. That was the day our world changed.” At this moment with my son I recognized the world was still changed – the world we once knew was no longer.

It has been almost a year since I wrote “Walking on Jupiter”. To my surprise, I have made a journey from Jupiter. It is no longer home, although grief requires me to visit there often. Earth is still a great ways off and I don’t know that I’ll ever really live there again, either.

Earth is closer than it has ever been. I can live with that.

And should I live out my days marooned in some place between the punishing gravity of grief and the near weightlessness I knew before – I will count myself blessed.