“Winter Came Early:
Reflections on Outliving my Son”
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 violent rages and delirium tremens as he struggled to quit alcohol 27 years later.
Through 75 reflections that embrace the teachings of Tarthang Tulku, 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 one- to two-page 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.
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