we bereaved are not alone. we belong to the largest company in all the world---the company of those who have known suffering. - Helen Keller // three years ago today, on Mother's Day 2014, less than a month after we buried our son, my dad passed away. his passing made an already dark time even darker. while I've been very open about sharing my grief over losing bobby, I have been very private about the grief of losing my dad. it was a long road to his passing, years of feeling the weight of sadness over the loss of our relationship. he walked out of my life when he walked me down the aisle at our wedding, and for the years following, although he was still alive, we were estranged. we spoke few and far between. in the beginning years it was calls on holidays and birthdays and then the year before he passed not even those. it was a loss I grieved even before he was gone in an earthly sense. to this day, I still wish it was different, that he was healthy and involved in our children's lives, that he cared and knew us. I haven't shared because I haven't wanted to magnify his shortcomings, because for most of my life he was a great father, a close friend, and someone who I looked up to in so many ways. I'll always remember his love of sailing, he gave me my love for history and he showed me the US. he died far too young and he died alone. one thing I've often had to walk the line of with social media is enjoying the beauty we see in all our feeds while recognizing that we all cry tears and bear burdens and have to deal with the messiness of our lives. no one is perfect and there are surely quiet hurts we don't see or share. I'm sharing this part of my story for that reason and to encourage anyone who's lost a loved one. the road of grief is real, but light does come. it always will shine through, you just have to look for it.