I’m not quite sure how it started or came up, but Brady was sad about something entirely unrelated when I asked him what was wrong. He said, “I just thinking ’bout Mommy.” At that, he started bawling. So, I scooped him up in my arms and cuddled him on the couch, asking if he missed Mommy. “Yeah.” And now I was crying, angry yet again at God for taking my kids’ mommy away from them. After a little bit, he pulled away from me and asked what I was doing. I told him I was crying because I miss Mommy, too, and he said, “You not s’posed to cry.” “Why not?” “Because I love you.”

And thus ended his tears as well, and he was now asking to go into the crawlspace to play. Despite hating being in there to play, how could I possibly say “no” at that point? He was fine after that, but I certainly won’t soon forget how horrible it was to see him go through that. This is the first real emotion he’s shown about it, at least of the crying sort.

20 thoughts on “Painful”

  1. Oh my word. Did your heart just melt when he said you weren’t suppose to cry because he loves you?! Breaks my heart still.
    Poor little guy.
    So sweet, innocent, loving that Brady boy is.
    Heavy sigh.

  2. Poor Brady. I have to say I like his reaction, though. Cry a bit, then go on being a kid. He’s a hardy one, that’s for sure. I feel like I’d have been a total mess if I were him. It seems like he’s handling it as well as he can.

  3. Doesn’t it just tug at your heart? Knowing the love of this family for each other? Brady may have cried and went on to play, but Brad doesn’t rebound quite as quickly. Especially seeing his son crying about his Mommy!! I wish there was something any of us could do to take away your pain. God please continue to hold this family in Your arms. Guide them as they continue to work toward better days, full of memories with less pain. Amen

  4. Dear Brad,
    Please know that I am following your posts and standing by your side in my prayers everyday. In sorrow I bow my head and extend to you my deepest sadness as my heart aches for little Brady. Let yourself cry, knowing that each tear is a note of love rising to the heavens. Brad, stay close to Jesus, stay close. We are family, I am here for you.

  5. What an amazing child Brady is! I would guess that it wouldn’t be normal if he didn’t miss his mommy, and some day that “missing” will turn into treasured memories! Praying you and your children through this.

  6. Dear Brad, I guess this is just the beginning of little episodes of Brady missing Mommy, and the tears and sadness that is going to come out. My heart breaks for you and your children. I know how much i miss my Mom, and i am an adult, and sometimes the tears won’t stop – i can only imagine what is going thru your child’s head when he thinks about his mommy and where she is. I pray God gives you the srength to always be there for him and hold him and let him know how much he is loved. God, please wrap your loving arms around Brad and his children and somehow let then know and see how much Stephanie is with them always. Praying for you and your children and your family thru all the days and months ahead. Love, Carol

  7. :( I am so sorry, Brad. Every parent can identify with the fact that watching children hurt is far greater pain than enduring our own, and your pain is so great, I can’t imagine it being greater. You did just what he needed, though. You validated his pain and scooped him up. God feels your pain, too, and he will continue to scoop you up. I hope you feel the comfort of His lap, today.

    A friend you’ve never met,

  8. This has me in tears too. I can’t imagine how hard that had to be for both of you. I continue to pray for you and Brady and Halle.

  9. I remember this when my husband died. My children were 3,3, and 8. My children would cry one minute and then move on to something else the next minute. It doesn’t make it any easier, but I will tell you it is healthy and a “good sign” of how he is navigating his grief. I remember the anger and the absolute crushing pain of seeing my children grieve. There is nothing worse. Their father made the choice to leave us, and that made things all the more difficult. You are a fantastic father and you are doing the right thing by just listening…letting him see your tears as well, and remembering her with him.

  10. This breaks my heart, Brad all you can do is stay strong while they cry and hold them. Don’t cry in front of them, stay strong. (emphasis on stay strong.)

    1. I don’t agree, it’s okay for them to see you cry. It’s a normal emotion. Staying strong doesn’t mean you can’t cry

    2. Nor do I… emotion is okay… you don’t have to be “strong”… God gave you emtions… Jesus wept in front of his disciples. Its okay and natural, if he didn’t see you cry maybe he would think you weren’t sad she was gone. Or it might make him think he can’t be sad either..

      Way to go in being a good father. Awesome Job…

      Continued prayers for healing

  11. As my husband has posted before, we have been following your posts and praying all the while. My heart breaks for you and for your children. I am glad that you can show them that sorrow is a normal part of life and that it’s ok to be sad. That, coupled with your faith in God and love for them with make a huge difference in how they veiw this time when they are grown. Thank you for your open honesty through all of this. Praying always.

  12. Brad,
    I want you to know that I am one of your daily followers are as well. It breaks my heart to read your blogs at times, but then you talk about your grieve, kids or God and it reminds me why I am following your blogs… To pray for you, Brady and Halle. I will continue to pray, continue to tell my husband and girls how much they mean to me and continue to follow your blog.
    What you did today was wonderful, just holding him, cuddling him and then playing. My little one (5) was the one reason I had to get up every morning when my sister died(2008) and the one reason my husband could smile when his best friend died(2009)… That is why they(the kids) are a gift from God. I know you will always lean on God for you and for them and for that you are being such a witness to so many people.
    Still in my thought & prayers,

  13. Brad I just want you to know my heart continues to ache for you and your children,you all continue to be in my prayers daily.Keep sharing with us and letting God minister to you and your children through His people.We love you brother…and we cry with you,but praise God we hope with you for that day when our mortality will put on imortality,and we will cry out grave where is your victory?Death where is your sting?
    And you will see your Savior,and your beautiful Stephanie again.I praise God for the Hope Christ gave us.Ipraise God for your testimony,your honesty.You Brad are a true man of God. Your brother in Christ,Mark

  14. Brad,
    My friend is close to a friend of yours. My friend has been praying for you in our small group and shared your blog site. I have also been reading your story and praying for you daily. I thought it may give you some comfort to know people you have never met are being called to lift you in prayer. Your faith amazes me!

  15. Have had it on my heart to pray for your kids when I pray for mine lately. I had a friend the other day, who lost her mother when she was 2, tell me that she just wished her father had talked more about her mom. She says she remembers being 7, 10, 12, a teen and just yearning to hear about Mom, but being afraid to ask. I hope God always gives you the grace to consistently be able to find joy in talking to your kids about Stephanie even in the painful moments. Love in Christ to you all.

  16. Those moments of horrific grief and pain that you are experiencing with Brady will bond you for ever. It is good to keep those lines of communication open whether in laughter or tears. You are wise to allow him to see you cry and the fact that you reinforce Mommy’s love for him, your love for him and Jesus’ love for him will support him as he grieves.

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