America heard a powerful statement on grief and loss this week and it came from no less an authority that the Vice President. On Friday, May 25, Joe Biden addressed a crowd in Washington, D.C., opening his heart about the accident that killed his wife and young child nearly 40 years ago. The veep was speaking before the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors, admitting that in the wake of the tragedy, he contemplated suicide. On December 18, 1972, his first wife, Neilia, was out Christmas shopping with the couple’s three children. The station wagon they were traveling in was side-swiped by a semi, killing Neilia and 1-year-old daughter Naomi. Sons Hunter and Beau were hospitalized but made full physical recoveries. Biden had recently been elected to the U.S. Senate and was assembling his staff, but found it difficult to carry on. He offered a few words of encouragement to those dealing with similar tragedies. ”There will come a day, I promise you, and your parents, as well, when the thought of your son or daughter or your husband or wife brings a smile to your lips before it brings a tear to your eye,” Biden said. From family anguish, Biden worked his way to the White House and has found redemption in his family life. Biden re-married in 1977 and his youngest daughter, Ashley Biden is set to wed on June 2.