Friday, July 24, 2009

Love This

Today while I was doing some studying, I came across this quote on grief...and I love it!

"First, please know that grief is the natural by-product of love. One cannot selflessly love another person and not grieve at his suffering or eventual death. The only way to avoid the grief would be to not experience the love; and it is love that gives life its richness and meaning. Hence, what a grieving parent can expect to receive from the Lord in response to earnest supplication may not necessarily be an elimination of grief so much as a sweet reassurance that, whatever his or her circumstances, one’s child is in the tender care of a loving Heavenly Father."
Lance B. Wickman

This describes perfectly why grief is such an important part of healing from the loss of a child. I have often wanted the Lord to take away the grief and the pain associated with it, however, after reading this and coming to a realization that the only way to avoid the grief that we have felt over the last 12 months would be to have never experienced the love...

I can't imagine my life now without the love I have for little boy. I am amazed so often at the simple ways Heavenly Father reminds me that although the loss of our little one is heart-wrenching, painful, and hard to accept...that it was done, ultimately, out of love for us and Branson. I open my arms wide to welcome the grief, for with that grief comes the incredible, powerful love that only a mother can have for her child. I would never forgo the grief if it meant forgoing our experience with Branson.

So today, I'll pray for that "sweet assurance" to know that our child "is in the tender care of a loving Heavenly Father".

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

We Remember

Today, we remember...remember the day we spent with Branson...remember the moments we shared, the emotions we felt...remember how it felt to hold him in our arms. Some of those moments are so fresh, it seems as if it was yesterday, and others have slowly started to fade. One thing is for sure...we love him more today than we did yesterday, and we have no doubt we'll love him more tomorrow than we do today.

There are no words to express how much we miss Branson. There's not a day that goes by that we don't think about him, and wonder what might have been...

We woke up this morning with heaviness in our hearts and an aching in our arms. We drove to a beautiful park nearby where we spent an hour walking and talking. We shed tears as we shared our favorite memories of that day, and smiled as we remembered how perfect and beautiful he was. There were moments that day that were full of sorrow, and others where we were consumed by peace. If I could relive it again...I would. But, because I can't, I just cherish what we had that day.

Our goal over the last year has been to celebrate what was, and not let ourselves get lost in what was not. At times, that's been extremely hard to do...and there have been days when I've let the "what if's" and "why me's" win. But, there have been many days and many moments when we've been able to start amazing traditions and celebrate his short life.

As his birthday approached, we again wanted it to be a day we could remember the heartache, sorrow, and lonliness we've felt...but a day we could celebrate the hope, joy, and anticipation we feel in knowing that we'll be with him again. We wanted to start a tradition we can carry on in future years with our other children.

So, on Sunday, we were in Richfield with many family members and friends...and we wanted all of them to be a part of his party. We planned to have a BBQ at my parents home and a balloon release at his graveside. It was hard to accept that this was cake being destroyed by a little boy, or presents being torn open... However, it was beautiful for what it was.

Family BBQ

At the Graveside
Our dear friend Tyler put together this beautiful video of that day for us.
(Make sure your sound is on, and give it a few minutest to load. If you have problems loading, the video can also be seen on Branson's website by clicking on the Happy Birthday Button at the top.))

Thank you Tyler for putting together such a touching tribute.

My little brother Ryan wrote the song that's playing in the background for Branson's funeral. It's called "Waiting"...amazing and perfect. He sang it at the graveside after we let the balloons go. Thanks Ry.

Thank you to all of our family and friends who were there, some of them drove long distances and it meant so much to have you there. Thank you for realizing and validating how real and special Branson is.

And last...Happy Birthday Branson...we love you more than you'll ever know.