I am proud of a man I've come to know very well, even though he was dead before I learned his name. I met his comrade-in-arms who lost the use of his legs in the same battle that took his life. I've been to his high school, his church, his childhood home, and his wake. I've petted his cats and hugged his neighbors.
To paraphrase, once again, the amazing Jodi Picoult-- the English language offers us words like "widow" and "orphan," but there's no word whatsoever to describe a parent who has lost a child.
Go in peace