My family have been grieving for four and a half months. It feels like forever, but it’s not a long time really. During this time, apart from the grief, we’ve had other major issues to deal with as well.

The other issues alone would be enough to drive a family to destruction, but coupled with the sorrow and emptiness of grief, I sometimes wonder how we manage to still be here. Believe me; at times it took every ounce of energy to push ourselves through each hour, let along each day.

But we have survived, so far. I imagine that it will get easier from here, or so I’m told. We still have Christmas and the first anniversary of Barry’s death to face (I hate using that word because, to me, an “anniversary” is something to celebrate and there’s nothing to celebrate when you’re talking about losing someone you love). Anyway, to get back on track, I believe both these occasions will be extremely difficult.

So imagine my delight when I looked at my surviving son’s face a few nights ago and saw a tiny flicker of life in his eyes. My heart swelled to see that. It means the spark was never fully extinguished and that gives me hope.

We go through so many chapters in life, never knowing what to expect next. We get bogged down in relationships that don’t work out or are not good for us. We have jobs that we hate, or are stressful, or don’t challenge us enough. We fight with family members over the stupidest things that sometimes break up the family. We lose people we love.

But…we also find people who lighten our day, and our load, and give us a reason to carry on. These people are sent to us at just the right time to help us through the roughest patch of our lives. It happened to me some seven years ago when Gary came into my life. And now it has happened to Daniel. Although he felt that everything was taken away from him in recent months, one blow after the other, he can now see that life isn’t over. Life continues on. It’s early days, it may not last, but that’s not the point. Her presence has altered his outlook on life right now, it has given him hope, and that has to be a good thing.