During the first year after losing my 20 year old son Brandon (who had the brightest smile, perfect dimples, the hardiest laugh and gave the best hugs), I learned a lot. A lot about myself, about people, about God, about death, about grief, about Brandon himself and also about life. These unwanted enlightenments or lessons (or even blessings, depending on my perspective and mindset that day) taught me things that I never wanted to learn. The most harsh one being how to go on without my son.
Oh my Brandon — since November 12, 2016:
I’ve cried endless tears.
I wailed sounds that are feral.
I’ve ached into and through the very depths of my soul.
I’ve found soul gaps and faith barriers.
I’ve never been so weak.
I’ve never been so strong.
I’ve questioned everything. Did I know? Should I have known?
I’ve wondered where I went wrong.
I’ve wondered where you went wrong … where it ALL went wrong.
I’ve wondered why you? Why MY baby? Why MY B? Why this human that I love with every ounce of me? And then I have also been so thankful that it was you and not someone else’s child as I wouldn’t know how to comfort them.
I’ve hated your fraternity and loved it at the same time.
I’ve hated Oklahoma and wanted to burn down every liquor store in Stillwater, but you loved it there.
I’ve never been so close to God, as I push him away.
I’ve wondered if this is all a lesson or a blessing.
I’ve wondered if your friends have learned anything from what happened. Have they been more accountable or cautious? Are you just a tale of “I knew a guy who …?”
I’ve wondered how to recover from being so wounded.
I’ve wondered who I am now.
I’ve gone to text you so many times and broken down when I realized that it would go nowhere.
I’ve stared off into space for hours, lost in precious memories of you.
I’ve seen the true heart of those that love you and that you loved.
I’ve been incessantly held, love on and prayed over.
I’ve been surrounded by pure love and comforted by moms who truly understand what I’m going through.
I’ve been prayed for by people that I’ve never even met.
I’ve laughed at things that you would have laughed at.
I’ve sniffed your clothes until I gagged from loss of air intake.
I’ve taken countless deep breaths.
I’ve forgiven and asked for forgiveness.
I’ve been peace-filled and absolutely wrecked at the same time.
I’ve taken one step forward and three steps back.
I’ve loved you, and I’ve lost you … but you’re not really lost, sweetheart, as I know exactly where you are. I rest in how precious that is.❤