I lost a son early in the morning, 1:57am on New Year's Day, 2011. His name is Robert Allen Sickles, born April 8, 1983. He was murdered at an upscale hotel's New Year's Eve party in Costa Mesa, CA defending his little brother David from a derelict coward with a knife, who was trying to pick a fight.

They had never seen this person before he flicked a cigarette at my youngest son in the valet parking lot and said "what the f--- are you looking at?" twice and then attacked David. Robert pushed David aside and confronted this person and a fight ensued, during which the assailant pulled a knife and stabbed Robert in the chest. David came to his brother's assistance when Robert collapsed in his grasp. Robert's best friend Brian then confronted the attacker. Brian was then stabbed in the back, he is in critical condition. God bless him for his courage.

Robert died in his brother David's arms. The assailant has been charged with murder and attempted murder. He is being held on a one million dollar bond.

Robert Allen Sickles died in his brother David's arms.

He is a hero.

Please follow this link and learn what a special person Robert was. I wish you could have known him:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qAbOBxB1HTs&feature=player_embedded

I'm not writing this for sympathy. Instead, it is a means of grieving, healing and honoring Robert.

Perhaps someone else may find comfort from this in their own grief.

If I don't keep busy, I think I'll go crazy.

"LETTERS TO ROBERT":

What does this mean?

Robert is survived by a brother David and sister Genevieve who worshiped him. They are devastated, as is the rest of the family. How do we go on?

First, I believe we need to surround ourselves with loved ones and not internalize the grief.

Second, I believe that we need to pray and seek outside, professional counseling.

Next, I've heard that writing a private on-going letter or diary to our loved one - letting them know how we feel and that we're thinking of them maintains the loving bond and helps ease the pain with time.

So, we're going to write on-going letters to Robert - keeping him in our thoughts and prayers, believing that he knows we're thinking of him constantly and that he is smiling down upon us and that our Lord is taking good care of him.

With all of our love Robert.

God bless you Robert Allen Sickles

Author's Bio: 

John Hanlin is a father of three, living in Southern California. He recently lost his eldest child Robert to a senseless act of murder. He writes this first to honor Robert, second to help his surviving children and himself with their grief, and finally, to hopefully offer some help to others who are dealing with their own issues of grief.