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Please forgive my intrusion on your board, but I read about the death of your son through the Best Of list. I am so sorry to hear of your sudden and tragic loss.

While I can't say I know *exactly* how you feel, I can come pretty damn close. Next month it will be four years since the death of my then 16 year old, profoundly handicapped son. I also have a #2 son, like you. It is devastating, and nothing in this world can prepare you for it. You won't believe it now, but in time, you will feel better. You won't forget, the pain won't ever disappear completely, but time will be your friend.

One of the hard things is that friends and family and acquaintances don't always want to let you feel the depths of your pain. They want to tell you things that they think will make you feel better. Some of them will, and some of them won't. Try not to be too angry when someone says something stupid; it's scary and difficult to find the right words, and for some, they never come. The truth is, you have to go through the pain and anguish, the anger, the sadness and the depression before you can come out the other side. Trying to deny it won't help you. The loving support of friends and family is the best. Some of your support will come from here, your online friends.

I think what's important to know, is that grieving doesn't follow anyone else's timeline, only your own. No one can tell you (although they'll try) when you've grieved enough. Strangely, while you're still grieving, life goes on. If you feel ready to do things, don't let anybody else tell you it's too soon. Conversely, if you want to sit home and cry, don't let anyone tell you that you shouldn't.

About your second son wanting to go to school. My younger son had a hockey game the evening after our son's funeral earlier that day. It was a play-off game, and he wanted to go, so my husband decided to let him play. I think it meant a lot to him to do something normal. I didn't go to the game that night, but that weekend, I did go to see him play in the finals. I was numb, and just sort of there, but that was okay. A few people gave me strange looks for being there, but that didn't really bother me.

I've said more about myself than I intended, because this is all about you, not me. I just wanted you to know that I can relate to what you're going through. Let me know if you need someone to talk to. My sincerest condolences.

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