Four Years Without My Son: What I Want You to Know
Updated: May 20, 2022
On this day, four years ago.
I held my son Braedon’s hand as his last breath escaped through his lips and dissolved into the air ever so gently talking all that was him in one fell swoop.
One thousand, four hundred and sixty one days.
That’s how long it’s been since his heart stopped beating and mine kept going. Despite that continuum of time and vast space that separates heaven and earth & him and I, loving him is so intricately woven into every fiber of my being it feels like I’ve loved him for a thousand lifetimes or more. And even though he is no longer here with us I cannot feel my heart beat without also feeling his too.
With his final exhale that day I knew my life would never be the same. Becoming his mom changed me in the most beautiful ways so inevitably saying goodbye forever would change me in profound ways too.
It's the hardest thing I've ever had to do but I live my life in honour of him now and in doing so I've learned and grown so much. Some people say we should to stop trying to grow through loss, that there is too much pressure to transform our pain and that it takes away from the natural process of grieving.
There's nothing natural about losing and mourning your child though. Nothing. The intense grief rips right through you and guts you from the inside out. It strips you naked, tares away pieces of your heart and soul and steels away everything you were and everything you thought your life would be in the wink of an eye. Personally, I don't see how anyone could move through that heart wrenching & earth shattering pain & put their life and heart back together piece by piece without also growing. I didn't try to grow I just did.
My transformation, the growth, & the commitment to honour Braedon with my life has been my saving grace though. It's given me hope on my darkest days and It's been the foundation of my healing...here’s what I want to share four years after the hardest goodbye.
One: Our Family Looks Different Now But…
Our family looks different now but we’re the same too.
There's a Mother and a Step-Dad.
There's an adorable, wild, & crazy dog named Macaroni.
There's a son too, our precious Braedon who lives in heaven now.
Even though he's not here; he's very much still a part of our lives, our world, & part of us. Love does that; it transforms space & time & bridges our hearts with his all the way in heaven.
He is still ours; he is still part of us and we still carry him with us everywhere we go. Every day. Every hour. Every Minute.
Two: I’m Still a Mother:
Our family may look different with our son living in heaven but I’m still and forever will be a mother; his mother. Braedon's Mom.
I still love him just as much as you love your child
I still strive to make him proud every day
I still love talking about him just as much as you like talking about your children
I still love hearing his name
I still love celebrating him
Three: We’re ALL Capable of Healing
In my pursuit to live brave like Braedon I’ve learned we’re all infinitely more powerful, more courageous and more resilient than we can even imagine. We are miracles in nature. We can move mountains, defy logic, survive against all odds and through heart wrenching trauma and yes even heal from impossible loss.
Healing doesn’t mean we’re over it though. It doesn't mean we move on or that we’ll ever be done with our grief either. Despite what some people say we actually never get over the loss of a child or any other close personal bond because we never stop losing them or loving them.