Since losing Braedon I’ve found myself in an unfamiliar place where I’ve had to work hard to focus on being thankful and practicing gratitude.
When you experience this kind of deep trauma and unimaginable heart break it is very easy to get comfortable in that dark place, focusing all your energy on everything you’ve lost and everything you will continue to lose with each passing day.
I have spent lots of time in that darkness feeling like I couldn’t find the light. I still have days like this. I still have moments where it feels like the air is being pulled from my lungs and the weight of a 1000 pounds is crushing my chest. Like I am treading the deepest darkest waters, fighting my way through the current but unable to find my way back to the shore.
But you know what, I don’t stay there. Staying there would be easy. Yes, I sit with my pain often; I nurture it and feel it with every ounce of being. I cry until I have no tears left and than I sob until I find my way back. I don’t stay there though, I’m not living in that place. I make my way to the light because there is no courage in staying in the darkness.
Courage is found in picking yourself up off the ground, piecing your life back together and finding reasons to be grateful. It requires work and effort but is also one of the greatest ways that I can honor Braedon and one of the greatest ways you can honor that someone special in your life or maybe even to honor yourself.
On days my heart hurts so badly, that feeling grateful feels like an impossible feat I challenge myself to write out everything I am grateful for about Braedon and his life. Like how I am grateful that of all the people in the world I got to be his mom. How I am grateful that I got to see parts of the world with him and that together we dipped our toes in the pacific and into the Caribbean Sea. Like how I learned so much from him and continue to learn from him everyday. Like how I am grateful that he was able to walk me down the isle on my wedding day. Like how I am grateful for his beautiful smile, his contagious laugh and all the memories we made. Like how I am even grateful that in his last his moments he was surrounded by some of the people that he loved most in the whole world. Like how I am grateful that I was there holding his hand, brushing the hair from his eyes and telling him I loved him as he took his last breath. I could go on and on because there are thousands and thousands of moments I am grateful for. 18 years worth of priceless moments, experiences and adventures.
There are always reasons to be grateful friends. Sometimes it takes work. Sometimes it’s hard to let our hearts feel it when we are broken, lost or experiencing deep trauma. I encourage you no matter what you are dealing with right now. No matter how bad things feel. No matter what you are going through take a few moments and find something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!
Happy Thanksgiving Friends.