“Winter Came Early” – Synopsis

For decades I’d neglected to examine my own life, but when my son took his life three weeks short of graduating from law school, I knew that if I was going to go on, I would need to live with sacred curiosity about the short time we shared together.

For how many years had Jon been wanting to say farewell to this world? That is the question that haunted me. It haunted me when I remembered holding him as a baby in my arms, and someone said to me, “How direct his gaze is, how aware he seems.” It haunted me when I remembered his struggles to keep living 27 years later.

Through 75 reflections, I reacquaint myself with a spiritual life that I had always expected would last me until the end of my own days. Yet it had not yielded the way for me to provide what my son needed from his father.

These reflections provide stepping stones to lead me through a late-life hero’s journey. I learn that the winter years of a life in which I’ve outlived my son requires forgiveness of the past, respect in the present and courage for the future.