Another Letter to My Son

Another Letter to My Son

It is a quiet morning, except for the long, early morning echo of the train’s horn along the hollow of my heart; it is going to be a reflective, meditative day, I can tell, because whenever I wake up this early missing you so intensely, with such clear thoughts of you, my day instantly falls into one of reflection; these days don’t come as often as they used to, but they still come with regularity, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything. On these days, when I wonder how you are doing, and I long to sit down with you again over a cup of coffee and warm conversation, but know this is impossible, I settle for these quiet moments of reflection. And my first question always is: how are you?

I listen carefully, but your reply never comes to me. Maybe it is lost in the vast mystery of the universe; or maybe I’m not listening carefully enough. Each time, I try a little harder, I listen more carefully, but, still, nothing. But I won’t give up. In the meantime, I continue to tell you about my life, what I’m up to now. You probably already know; you probably have a better perspective on my life than I do. When your words do, finally, reach me, what you know about my life will no doubt startle and amaze me. And I’ll smile, in that way you always made me smile whenever we were together. I miss that, Kolton. I miss our conversations. I miss the way you lit up any room you walked into. You brought warmth to my life.

Rickie and Bailey are doing well. Rickie is pregnant, so you will soon be an uncle again, this time a nephew. And Bailey’s daughter, your niece, Kayden Lee, is three years old. Can you believe it? No, I can’t believe it either. She has your fiery spirit; it must have something to do with the red hair. In any case, she’s a fireball, just like you were at that age. And just like your kind spirit and generous heart guided you through life, her kind spirit and generous heart will guide her. But I believe that you know all of this already – somehow, I’m just not sure how.

And me? Well, I try my best to get through these days of intense contemplation, but doubts and sadness always creep in. I can’t keep them out. So, I listen harder, because I know that you are trying to tell me something. Am I just too narrow in my view of the universe? Am I just too ignorant? Too unaware? Will I ever learn to listen in the way that I need to in order to hear what you are trying to tell me? I won’t give up, Kolton, I promise you this.

In the meantime, I just try to get by in the best way I know how; I am still writing, but it is a constant struggle because I never say what I truly need to say; I’m not sure why I’m even pushed in this direction, especially since it fills my heart with such sorrow; I look for the truth, really I do, but it is elusive. After your suicide, I told myself that I’d never be afraid of anything again, that since I’d already faced the worst thing imaginable, nothing, not even the truth, could ever intimidate me again. But here I am, still scared and alone, still cowering before the harsh glare of my life.

How’s your Mom? I think of her, too, but not as often as I think of you. I guess I just figure that she can take care of herself, just as she always did. But maybe I should listen for her voice, too. But when I sit alone at night, after I’ve turned out the light, after I’ve told you about my day, before I roll over in the futile hope of sleep, before I tell you goodnight, I listen for your voice, just one more time, but it never comes. I told a friend once, after she’d buried her own son, that I’d give anything I had, or would ever have, for one more minute with you. But then I thought, no, a minute wouldn’t be long enough, I’d need five minutes; but, no, five minutes wouldn’t be enough; an hour, but, no, that too wouldn’t be enough, because if I ever had the chance to hold you again, I’d never let you go – never. And every night, I listen for your voice, and one day it will come to me, I have to believe this, it’s the only way that I have of getting through the long, dark nights.





  1. HI David….your words are so touching and sincere. I just read a book called the Afterlife of Billy Fingers, motivated by the death of a good friend. It’s got a very unique perspective about the continuation of life but in another form that was interesting to read and at times uplifting….but each of us seems to have our own walk with how we reconcile death….may your’s continue to be from your heart.

    • Thank you, Rita,

      I truly appreciate your kind words of encouragement. I’ll look for the book, it sounds intriguing. I hope all is well with you. And thanks again for your kind words, they mean so much to me.


  2. This is beautiful, David. I held off reading it for a few days, sometimes your writing is so raw I can sink into my own funk if I’m not prepared. I can’t pretend to know what it is like to lose a child, but many of the questions of suicide are similar since my mother died 22 years ago. I recognize your desire to hear your son. But what I realize now is that my mother is more with me now than ever. She talks to me all the time. Maybe it is just time, or the fact that she would be 93 now, and quite possibly not here anyway. Maybe it is because I’m old now. I guess I’m trying to say I think there is hope for a peaceful place to put the pain. I see that happening for me and I wish the same for you.

    • Thank you so much, Zea,

      The more I think about it, the more I begin to realize that I don’t want to believe that he’s gone. Deep down, of course, I know that he’s not coming back, that he’s just not off on some wild adventure and that any day now he’ll come driving up with his infectious smile and brilliant energy and tell me all about where he’s been and how much fun he had. Yes, I have memories, but they don’t replace the ability to sit down with him, to laugh and cry, to talk philosophy, to share both his joy and sorrow. He was filled with so many emotions. But all human beings are. He might be trying to talk to me, but I’m not listening because I don’t want to believe that he’s not here anymore. Maybe it is time to start listening. It warms my heart to hear that you are able to talk to your Mom. This brings me hope, Zea, and I appreciate you sharing this with me. Thank you. You and Rich have always been very close friends, and I love you.

      My best,


  3. David, this is one of the more raw and real accounts. Keep writing !!
    I hear their voices in the silence, mostly. That is as real as it gets for me and it’s simply affirming too. We actually converse for short spurts ! Who else would talk to me THAT WAY!

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