Today, Micah celebrates his 17th birthday.  Or he would, if he was still here.

Last week, a friend told me from personal experience that the second year is always harder than the first.  My own experiences would seem to confirm that thought.  I had a rough first couple weeks, lived in some form of stable shock for the next several months, and then the walls I formed around myself subconsciously started to crumble.

As I neared the one-year anniversary of Micah’s death, I woke up much more often to tears running down my cheeks.  Looking at pictures of Micah were more likely to producer tears than smiles.  Being at the ice rink where other kids were practicing became painful to watch.  My thoughts would drift towards Micah far more frequently.  I would close my eyes and see him lying in the hospital bed in the ICU that Friday, or my last look at him at the mortuary the following week.  Even watching a cute video he created with his sister years ago was something I simply could not see.

Almost sixteen years of life has been overshadowed by one year of grief and loss…

As I sit here today, unable to do much of anything without breaking down in tears, I feel the unbearable pain of the loss of my son.  I feel it in ways I’ve never felt it in the past year, apart from that last fateful day.

How do you get over the loss of your child?  I guess the honest answer is: you don’t.  Ever.  No matter what you do, say, take or give–that never leaves you.

I feel like I’m on a long drive.  I don’t know the route.  I don’t know the destination.  I don’t know what awaits me there–or in my future in general–except this:

I know I’ll be right back here on February 7, 2018…and 2019…and 2020…