I read with great interest the conversational story with a few members of “the horrible club.” (“Life After Death,” News-Times, Dec. 25 issue).

I have been a member of the club for 19 months. On May 4, 2012, my 22-year-old son, Ethan, died in a single-car accident on his way home from college — one month before his 23rd birthday and one week before Mother’s Day.

Like so many other parents, I felt that life was over for me as well. There is no “getting over it” or “getting back to normal.” It seems to be the consensus in our culture that “time heals all wounds.” Well, not this one. There is no way to heal an empty space. You just have to know, and accept, that the hole in your spirit is now part of you.

I do not believe “time heals all wounds.” Time hides wounds and they eventually have to be dealt with. My husband, Mike, and I have learned to live with our “new normal” without our son and the future he was so excited about. Our sustaining strength has been our faith in Jesus Christ and the comfort that only He can give. That’s not to say we understand why this happened. We are comforted in knowing that Ethan is in heaven where everything is perfect. He is not lonely. He is not broken. He doesn’t miss us.

One way we have dealt with our loss was to attend a GriefShare group. We attended a weekly support group for 13 weeks. We now co-lead a group. Our particular group meets on Mondays at 6:30 p.m. at Forest Grove Assembly of God. The next cycle begins Jan. 6. It is an open group and people can join at any time.

For more information or to find a group in your area, go to:

Kayla Strauser


Contract Publishing

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