The smell of turkey and stuffing was in the air, there was noise from kid’s playing and dishes being prepared in the kitchen.  It was our first Thanksgiving since my son Lucas’s death in July.  The previous Thanksgiving, we had all been together, and had even taken a special family picture to put on our Christmas cards.  Lucas’s absence made the day dreary despite the holiday atmosphere.

Dinner was on the table, and it was time for a prayer.  I felt I couldn’t express thanks this particular day, as my heart was so heavy.  As I looked at the other 10 members of the family, I knew I was not alone in my sorrow.

I started my prayer, and thanked God for the blessing of this family that had held on to each other so tightly through the past 4 months.  The family members are an amazing source of joy and strength to each other.  The prayer was finished with burning tears.  I did not want to ruin this day for my family, but I wasn’t sure I could make it through the meal without breaking down.

I knew the tears were coming again, so I got up from the table and went to the door.  I wanted to just shed these tears alone as I missed my son.  As I stood looking out the door, my precious 6-year old granddaughter came beside me.  She said, “Nana, what is wrong?  Are you missing Lucas?”

I said, “Yes, Cassidy, my heart is broken and I miss him very much.”  Her reply was, “But Nana, your other son, Josh, is still alive.”

Oh the perception of a child!!!  I agreed with her and we all had a good chuckle at her complete honesty.

I knew the holidays to come would not be easy, but we would make it through together.  I allowed myself time to be sad, and mourn the absence of my child.  Then I forced myself to remember my other son, Josh, his three sisters and their families, and my husband, all of whom are still alive.

And I am still alive.  I will continue to give thanks, and to cry, to mourn, and to smile.  And I will give thanks for the precious insight of a special child.

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Laura Klouzek

Laura Klouzek

Laura Klouzek and her husband live in rural Missouri. They are the parents of five children and grandparents of six. We were foster parents for 12 years. Laura currently works in the court system for the State of Missouri. Her son, Lucas, died in July of 2008 after a short fight with cancer. His death and her journey through grief have prompted her to help others through her writing.

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