Today is your angelversary. We are entering our 3rd year without you, our precious brave daughter by our side.  While your amazing impact in the world helps us with our indescribable pain, it doesn’t take it away. Days I still feel like I am drowning as the waves still come crashing… one by one and not on any predictable interval.

The broken pieces from shattering from your death are slowly being tethered together by dense scar tissue.

I’ve worked so hard at this healing journey of grief, processing the unimaginable. Urging myself to give it my all to the present. I laugh with friends and celebrate joy of your sisters with daddy. I can talk about our memories together; I can say your name…. Braylee…. without crumbing into tears each time.

Most of the time my life feels so full of purpose because of you. Because of what you taught me and your ability to bring love, kindness and people together. The sparkle you had, the courage and bravery through it all, even your toughest moments when you had every right to toss in the towel. Because of the challenges of your diagnosis and your fight to always let us know “it would be ok.” It all became my life… our life… and I’m so grateful for it.

But without you, the loss of you, it changed me. It changed our family. It changed our friends and the life that surrounds us. I often feel hollowed, like a pumpkin at Halloween with its insides scrapped out. Numb. From them scrapings brought us many seeds. Many opportunities to root out kindness in your honor.

In the beginning I felt so alone, so insulated by the powerful pain that is hard for others to hold or to bear witness. It stung as many walked away.

Now I see so much pain in the world, so many others who have endured, who have felt loss, who have experienced trauma like ours. I recognize it, I feel it with them, and I often struggle as I hold the weight of it all too closely.

Grief changes you. It is so transformational. Sometimes I’d like to put grief aside and hold onto the love only. The good memories and the good times. I realize that even the bad were good though. It made me see the greatness in it all, despite how hard they were.  Just like grief, experiences change you. And I’m changing with it. And that is okay!

Regardless of how I change, the experiences I continue to endure, my love for you remains. My love for you is eternal, my bold brave butterfly. Until we see you again, we will continue to spread kindness, be bold, brave and to be the change as we hold onto HOPE deep into our hearts.

Happy 3rd Angelversary Braylee Jo.

"We who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us. This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls."

- Hebrews 6:18-19

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