Scott Langley with his wife, Heather, and their daughter, Ailyn, at a friend's wedding in 2011.

Some days are diamonds, even though she's gone

Updated 2:27 PM ET, Fri February 19, 2021

In a series of essays called "The Distance," Thomas Lake is telling the stories of Americans in the pandemic. Email thomas.lake@cnn.com if you have a story idea.

(CNN)Get through this winter, we tell ourselves. Get through this day, or this hour. On a cold Monday in February, Scott Langley had to get through one song. He was walking by a frozen lake, singing to his departed wife.

"When you asked how I've been here without you, I'd like to say I've been fine, and I do," he sang into the frosty air of Vermont's Upper Valley. "But we both know the truth is hard to come by, and if I told the truth, that's not quite true."