As I was writing pen to paper trying to string together the perfect array of words to properly commemorate my son Braedon's life it was as if all of a sudden I saw how brave he was for the first time.
He was brave not just in how he faced his illness with courage and grace far beyond his years but in how he lived his life.
In that moment and in many more since he’s inspired me to be brave with my life and now I want to inspire you to be brave too.
Honestly the promise to be #bravelikebraedon became my saving grace and the foundation of my healing.
It All Started with a Promise
I approached the podium with fear and courage. I couldn’t feel my legs and I didn’t know how they were holding me up. My hands trembled and my voice cracked but I delivered my eulogy and I made an important promise to Braedon in front of our family and friends that day.
I promised to take the lead from him and to be brave with my life.
Some time after his funeral though I found myself curled up on the living room floor wondering what the heck I was thinking. Why would I make such an absurd promise? How could I be brave when I could barely get through the day? When the air was thicker and it was still hard to breathe. When I could hardly grasp the reality of all that I lost.
Truth be told, the thought of being brave at all felt wildly out of reach. I lived most of my life on the sidelines like so many do; thinking of all the marvellous things we want to do, the adventures we want to take, the meaningful work we want to pursue, and the differences we want to make. So many of us never act though. We tell ourselves the someday-lie and continue to let time slip by.
That wasn’t going to be my story any more; I was living for him now too.
From the ashes of what had been my life I decided that I would find a way to follow through on that commitment no matter what. And sure enough seven months after Braedon passed my 100 Brave Things Project was born from that promise.
I was & am determined to honour Braedon by honouring my own life, by choosing to live #bravelikebraedon, by pushing and stretching myself to new heights and by facing my grief head on.
I refuse to waste the very thing that was taken from him. The gift of time, of life itself and of the divine opportunity to pursue & live my boldest and wildest dreams.
So I launched the 100 brave things project in January 2019 to get really intentional about being brave, honouring my life and keeping that promise. Each project big and small is a tiny way I honour my life and thus honour Braedon in the process.
As I moved through loss I met so many others on their own grief journey’s and my eyes were opened to how much suffering there was in the hearts of grieving moms around the world. I soon realized that this project wasn’t just a way to honour Braedon and my own life. It was also how I could inspire a new way of thinking. It was how I could show other grieving mamas & women facing adversity that our lives could still be beautiful and meaningful too. It was how I could remind them that the life they envisioned for themselves wasn't and isn’t the only life worth living.
Today I want to invite you to make this promise.
I want to encourage you to make the commitment; to take the lead from my precious angel and to be brave with your one and only life.
No matter what storms you’ve walked through, who you’ve lost or what hardships you’ve faced, your life is still worth living.
Each of us is blessed with one life but none of us know how many tomorrows we have left. We don’t know when we’ll wake up to our very last day so let’s be brave with our lives. Let’s lean into our infinite power & reimagine what’s entirely possible for our lives no matter what we’ve been through.
Start your own bravery project!
What's the first thing on your list? Tell us about it here.
Stop wishing and waiting to live your life. Take inventory of where you’re at and get clear about what you want to go. Commit to learning, stretching, and get really curious about your life. You only have one why not make it extraordinary?
PS I’ve completed 33 brave projects since launching varying in size & commitment and I already have a few planned for summer. Every time I complete another project my capacity for what’s possible grows because I grow, my dreams grow and my love for life grows. Every time I stretch myself my heart connects with Braedon’s all the way in heaven.
Tiffany Agnew's son Braedon died in 2018 just four months after his 18th birthday and three days after Mother's Day that year. His short life transformed every part of who she is and he continues to guide her from afar. She has found healing through writing, speaking, coaching and the work she does with with The Braedon Foundation which she founded in his memory soon after he passed away.