An Unwelcome Journey

Spoiler alert:  This isn’t your typical seasonal posting.  There are many of you out there whose hearts are far from “merry and light.”  You are dealing with losses so great and so exhausting that the flavors of your day (everyday) are sorrow and grief beyond words.  And now, I can honestly say, “I know how you feel.” 

As an author I’m rarely at a loss for words but as a mother, I’m finding it difficult to explore the depths of this unfamiliar territory and write about it.  I questioned whether to post this journey but I have hope that if anything, it might help someone else out there.  And for that I am grateful.


A Path Untouched


Last month I found myself on the unpredictable path of grief as a parent who has lost a child.  My only son, Brandon was severely injured from a fall in his home on November 10th, and as we waited in the trauma ICU, I remember feeling strangely numb, or perhaps it was a peace that passes understanding.  Either way, I believe it was a gift from God to keep me from completely falling apart.  At least for the time being.


On November 11th at 2:34pm he was declared brain-dead.  He was 36 years young and left behind a six year old son and the love of his life. Our lives were turned upside down and incomprehensible grief was our constant companion.  I don’t understand how or when the spirit leaves its vessel, but I felt it was long before that Monday afternoon.

Somewhere deep in my heart, I kept hearing a still, small voice saying, “He’s free now, at peace and so happy.  He’s with me and I’m taking care of him.”  And honestly, my first response was, “But I want him HERE!”  And then a deeper truth nudged me gently and I found a portion of gratitude that surfaced from a mother’s heart,  “I’m so thankful he is safe and taken care of by Someone who loves him even more than me.”  I don’t understand how these two “knowings” can exist companionably side by side but they do.  Sometimes one is louder than the other but both voices are created and sanctified by God Himself.


From the moment I heard of Brandon’s accident, I felt God’s presence so strongly.  Even through buckets of tears, He constantly reminded me that He was still there.  “Just breathe – one breath at a time.  I will give you grace for the moment.  Every moment. I will never leave you.”


Today I feel stuck between Earth’s sorrows and Heaven’s joys.  I desperately want to see him, touch him, hear his voice.  And I know someday I will again, minus all the trials and pain of this world.


“Lord, let my body and soul feel what my spirit already knows is true.  Brandon is with you and you are with me, so we are together.”


I feel God’s smile on me and then that still, small voice in my head,

“Take hope. I’m not done with Brandon’s story.”


And I take another breath.





22 thoughts on “An Unwelcome Journey

  1. Pearl Fredericksen

    So sorry to hear of your son’s passing. As a mom I am sure your grief must be unfathomable. It’s so good that you can turn to the Lord for comfort, knowing that your son is with him. It is encouraging to read about the peace God has bestowed upon you.


    1. Melanie A Crane

      Thank you, Pearl. He is faithful – “Where meek souls will receive Him still, the dear Christ enters in.” (O little Town of Bethlehem)


  2. Kathy Ziegenfus

    Your blog broke my heart. I am so very sorry. Wrapping your head and heart around this kind of grief is not easy. I like to think of our lost ones as completely healed and resting in the arms of God. I am relieved to hear you feel the same way. Please accept my condolences Hugs, peace, grace, and love to you.


    1. Melanie A Crane

      Thank you Kathy. I know he’s had a joyful reunion with his Oma and Opa whom he loved so much. It seems like yesterday we were all together. Such precious memories!


  3. Avery

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing. Love you so much Aunt Melanie, think of you all every day. Hugs from Nashville.

    Sent from my iPhone… Hence any typos.



    1. Melanie A Crane

      Remember how you used to tag along with Brandon and Jesse down at the farm? You were too little to understand they were cooking up trouble 🙂


  4. Marina Daskalaki

    My dearest friend and fellow prayer warrior. I find myself speechless reading this Mel. May our God of peace fill you with his presence as you trust in him that Brandon’s story isn’t finished…I love you my friend


  5. Jim Frazier


    This is a poignant message – uplifting and hopeful. I’m certain it resonates with many of your recipients especially during this season. Extremely well articulated.

    You remain in our prayers as you grieve. We know God is giving you a heart to bring good out of the unfathomable loss. Blessings …

    *James (Jim) Frazier* *(303) 956-5679* * * * *

    On Thu, Dec 19, 2019 at 11:01 PM Melanie A Crane wrote:

    > Melanie A Crane posted: “Spoiler alert: This isn’t your typical seasonal > posting. There are many of you out there whose hearts are far from “merry > and light.” You are dealing with losses so great and so exhausting that > the flavors of your day (everyday) are sorrow and grief be” >


  6. Bev Buonviri

    Mel, I wish I could speak & write with such grace as you do. I can honestly say without my faith I know I could not take that next breath or step. I thank you for you gracious gift of speaking from the heart and helping other parents who are on this grief journey. It has been 2 years, 10 months and 8 days since I lost my heartbeat, Taylor, and it is something we don’t get over. I pray for you, Richard and your entire family daily. Keep looking for signs from your beautiful son, he will let you know he is with you always.

    Love, Beverly

    Sent from my iPhone



    1. Melanie A Crane

      Bev, How well you know the journey of grief and the reality that it’s never something you “get over” just something you move through. It changes us and we are never the same again. But with God we know that is a good thing for His purpose and plan. Blessings to you and Kenny.


  7. Carole Waldron

    Dearest Melanie ,  Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I am so sorry you have to travel such a journey.I haven’t even lost a parent yet , so our journeys are quite different. I feel that God is holding you in his arms and blessing you each day thru his flock here on earth . I also feel Brandon will live on this earth thru his organ donations . Maybe the recipients will be in touch with you . God has a plan and it will be revealed someday .My heart aches for you and your family. Just wanted to wish you a Merry Christmas….not sure what that will look like this year …..or in the years to come . Life here on earth has changed. “God puts rainbows in the clouds so that each of us -in the dreariest and most dreaded moments-can see a possibility of Hope “ Maya Angelou  Much love , Carole and Family 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail for Carole Sue


    1. Melanie A Crane

      Carole, we pray for the people who have received Brandon’s organs, that they find deeper connections with God by the gift of time they have been granted.


  8. Cris

    Dearest Melanie, Have been thinking and praying for you often, and especially lots today, knowing it is Brandon’s birthday. I do hope you felt His comfort holding you. I know this sounds odd, but my “vision” upon awakening was wanting to hug you so tight, your pain would be released out. I am so thankful God is with you!

    I read this blog, and yesterday heard you sing & share, and your stories at his memorial, and my heart breaks, and yet awed with your words and strength.

    May you hear Him singing over you, and it is a night of sweet sleep.

    Love you, ~cris



  9. I am always so moved by your words, and touched by your grace and beauty. I do not know this pain you bear and would never insult you by saying I do. But to me, today, this hour, you are hope for so many, regardless of their struggle. Cannot say more than I love you and praying for you daily.


  10. Melanie, my heart aches for you. I can’t imagine the loss you’re experiencing right now. I’m also encouraged that you felt God’s presence to tangibly. You’re in my prayers–and I’d love to get together in January.

    God bless!

    Mike Klassen


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