“I will not forget you…” Unexpected Gifts

Making a move to another house right after a significant loss such as a spouse or a child is a very difficult transition. We moved four months after our son died and I cried the entire time, not because of the move necessarily, because Brandon had never lived in the house that had been ours the last 3 years before that sudden sixth of March. It was the natural act of traumatic grief and I was suffocating in its wrathful assault on my life. With each box that I packed, I would run across things that had been Brandon’s or something I remember him touching. I cherished the tangible past that was now my fallen future. Brandon had been married 8 yrs at the time of his passing and much of his possessions, with exception of his baby/childhood memorabilia, was in storage. There were also his writings and drawings, clothes and shoes, which had come to me by UPS from his best friend, J. P. whom he had been staying with during the year long separation from his wife. It was those things that I had held close, smelling the familiar scent of my son while looking for clues as to what may have happened before he left us. Clues of his despair…clues of the depression I knew about but had not sensed was so deep. I will never recover from the lack of intuition that I was supposed to have but did not. I will never recover from the loss of the sensitive and loving soul who was my son.

I have told of signs and messages that God has allowed me in order that I can have a measure of peace and joy. It is as overwhelming as my grief only because I have never had God speak to me in such a way that I knew that He was with me through all of this. If He has been with me then He was also with my son on that fateful night. Peace comes in many different ways. God deals with each of us differently where we are in our certain situations. Brandon’s death was my crushing agony while it became Brandon’s eternal peace.

Over the weekend my husband has been working on our workshop/shed where many of our boxes and things have been stored. Because he is reconstructing it, I have had to go through boxes and decide what to throw away. I came across a file cabinet which had all of my drafts and writings for the books I had published. I sat myself down to the long arduous task knowing I would perhaps find something that Brandon may have written on or sketched on. A grieving mother finds gifts in what may seem insignificant to others. I had put this off before when we first moved here and thought I may be up to going through it all now that some time had passed.

I came across a neatly bound packet of papers and photos that I had taken for the book of which Brandon and I collaborated. He did drawings and sketches of the poems that I had compiled. I had wondered over the last six years what could have come of those original drawings. One in particular was a picture that Brandon had drawn, of what we decided was good versus evil. White ghost like figures in battle with demon like figures cloaked in red. They battled as they made their way up a flight of stairs. Brandon and I discussed the message in his depiction. I loved that drawing and kept it above my computer in my office space at home. The home where Brandon spent his teen years until he married. Until we moved. When we moved from that house where we had lived for 13 years those papers and drawings had been placed in a file cabinet never to be opened again. Until.

I was so excited when I came across the picture of good versus evil along with the rest. Mike heard me scream out with joyful exclamation and knew it had to be a discovery concerning our son. I wanted to wait to post the drawing until I could go into his writings and copy his college paper on good versus evil. But….I can’t just yet. Incrementally, is how these events have come to me. I call anything that God has done for me an “event” or miracle. Always on the heels of a very emotionally charged day or crying spell. They are always worse in these long hours…these long months… leading up to the date of Brandon’s passing.

Another picture that meant a lot to me was Brandon’s drawing of God’s hand. He was very self critical of it and not pleased because he said it was difficult for him to draw a hand. Nevertheless, I loved it because it was to accompany the verse from Isaiah 49:13,16 and it was of course, something he had drawn for me. Below is the drawings I write about today.

kr       kr   kr

I love you Brandon. I will miss you until we are reunited. xoxomom


5 thoughts on ““I will not forget you…” Unexpected Gifts

  1. Thank you for sharing him, Dale – I LOVE that drawing. So simple in its colors, such commotion, just like in our heads…

    You are an angel, yes you are.

  2. Your dear son Brandon is such a talented artist! I think his drawing of Jesus’ hand is very good, too! I wonder if Brandon had a “perfectionistic streak”? Which then leads me to wonder, if those with perfectionistic qualities, perhaps also have a tendency toward expecting perhaps too much from themselves? …and may get depression especially if genetics are ripe…?

    When I see the “good vs. evil” drawing-you of course know better than I, but do those stairs represent the “Stairway to Heaven”?

    I can’t imagine having food such as you have, the momentoes proffered/those around you who loved and knew Brandon. For me, it’s as if recognition of my children’s earthly existence, depends entirely on one mortal…me. It’s hard on me, realizing that. You are very blessed to have so many “riches” of Brandon’s…only bereaved Moms (and Dads) truly “get” how treasured these momentoes are.

    As in life, so it is with those that are bereaved through earthly death …All of us are fed differing kinds and amounts of nourishment…God is Good!

    With much love,

  3. Donna, I can only imagine having very little to touch and remember of your young babies when they went home to see Jesus. Very few pictures and nothing more than sounds and baby sentences but the one sentence that has been inscribed on your heart and those of us with whom you have shared, “going home to be with Jesus.” A memory more precious than gold.

    Your are right that Brandon was a perfectionist. He expected to do great things in this life and he was a hard worker with a big heart. Telling me his dreams are what I miss the most. He always shared them with me. As for the stairs, I always thought they stood for an uphill battle but I like that it is Heaven, too. I just look at it and think that the good is winning. love to you dear friend.

  4. “I will never recover from the lack of intuition that I was supposed to have but did not.”

    Oh boy. How true is this feeling? It does my heart and head in. How could I NOT know my precious boy was falling down? I’m his mum. How could I simply not know something was THAT wrong in his life? I empathise with you on this so much. In all of the scenarios we could think of which might harm our children, suicide never (or barely), rates a thought. Even parents who’ve had children that have battled depression and mental health issues for many years, most will still say they did not see that moment approaching. There were no signs until they were beyond help or able to stop it from happening. This is tragic and scary and soul destroying stuff!!! And I will admit, I doubt that I’ll ever stop wondering how my intuition failed me?

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