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.
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.