I began to retreat from mentioning Sharon much at all. When new people would ask me how many children I had, I began to skip over her death, respond that we had three boys, and quickly change the subject. It felt terrible, but the alternative felt even worse at that time in my recovery. The choice here was to quietly withdraw and batten down the hatches. Sometimes grief is an exhausting journey. The problem was that many folks would respond that it was too bad I hadn’t had the joy of a girl, so the truth usually came out anyway. It doesn’t seem to matter if the story is told up front or later on; it so dominates the conversation that other issues and considerations often get sidelined.