This word has been on my mind a lot lately, "lost". It is a word used to describe this trial, "When we lost Branson." "We are so sorry about your loss." "What day did you find out you had lost Branson?" These are things that we have said to others, and that others have said to us. I wish we could find a better way of saying it though because in reality we haven't "lost" anything...we have found so much! We have found our sweet little boy, and the remembrance of his sweet spirit. We have discovered an intense love for our son that has awakened our souls. We have found and come to know another member of our eternal family. We have found a new perspective on the atonement, the love that God has for us, and the pain he must have felt as he "lost" his son to a much harsher crowd. We have found a greater appreciation for each other and the strength and faith that it takes to lean on each other during the difficult times. We have found within ourselves the ability to endure, and through the gift of the Holy Ghost to endure with faith. We have found a great motivation to do all we can to make it back to our son. So in our "loss" we have truly discovered so much!
I am not sure there is a better way to say it, or describe it. To me it makes more sense to say that we have been separated from our little boy for a short time. However, when talking to people it just doesn't seem to come out that way. I had an experience a short time after Branson's memorial service that fostered these feelings as well. We were visiting Rob's family, and we were all gathered in the family/dining area of there beautiful home. His brother had just returned from serving a mission and this was the first time that we had been able to spend time with him. His brother was standing in the kitchen and Rob and I were sitting at the dining table. As I watched him and listened to him talk, I turned to Rob and said: "It feels like Michael was never gone." It truly felt like he had never left and that time of separation from him had never occur ed. As I said and thought that, the strongest impression came to my mind. Words as clear as a person talking stated, "That is exactly how you will feel about Branson." This time on Earth seems like such a long time to us as we sojourn upon it, but I was reminded that day that in the eternal scheme of things this life is so short. I feel that when we are reunited with Branson that we will have a full remembrance of the time we spent with him in the premortal life, and that our separation from him will feel like it never happened. I am grateful to the Lord that he allowed me to gain a better eternal perspective that day, and I look forward to the day that I can turn to Rob and say, "It feels like we never left Branson!"