Up early, unable to sleep due to the jet lag that always plagues me when I travel to the West Coast and back, I heard a story on NPR about a Marine family whose father/husband had committed suicide after his Iraq deployment. I wasn't listening carefully to the beginning of the story (not actually being alert, just awake) but it finally dawned on me what they were talking about so I started paying attention near the end. Not precisely a happy ending, but a hopeful one, as the surviving wife and children (teenagers or older by now I expect as this death was four years ago) finally connected with TAPS and were welcomed as the family of a man who had died in the service of his country. The mom has become a peer mentor. The story was very complimentary to TAPS, though the reporter kept giving the entire name, Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, as if the acronym were incomprehensible.
We had a good trip to Washington. We didn't do any Thomas related things, though staying at my sister's and seeing so much family reminded me of the last weekend we spent with him in October of 2004. But, there were almost no tears this time. Time does change some things about grief.