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Week Three - Breath In, Breath Out

By Sandy Bryant

My son died a year ago, May 3, 2015. I was crushed, devastated with nothing in my lifetime to prepare me for the moment he took his last breath. It’s been a year. I have survived the year of firsts; 1st Christmas, 1st UVA basketball game, 1st birthday, 1st Mother’s Day – so many first’s without my son.

I’ve always been a strong person but it was hard to be brave. I needed family and friends more than I ever had. Instead of my taking the lead, my daughter, sisters, and family stepped in and allowed me to grieve. It’s been difficult, a lot of weeping especially at night. I know my son is in a better place, free of illness and pain, but the waves of emotion still come. I am being patient with myself, which is not an easy feat. I’m taking it one day at a time. I have more good days than bad days and I cherish the memories.

Many of you are grieving a loss. You may be experiencing feelings of sadness, anger, numbness, and depression. This is a normal journey while you grieve. Take good care of yourself and reach out to others as there is help when you need it.

I have written a poem that I hope helps you through sharing my own experiences of loss.


            Breath In, Breath Out, Slow and Deep

            This helps me when I cannot sleep.

            I toss and turn, sadness fills my heart

            I weep and cry; I have fallen apart.


            Breath In, Breath Out, Slow and Sure

            The waves of pain is too much to endure

            How can I put myself back together today

            When will my anger and guilt go away.


            Breath In, Breath Out, Seeking Comfort is my goal

            My son would want me to nourish my soul.

            I need to find a safe place to scream and shout

            I have learned what loneliness and grieve is all about.


            Breath In, Breath Out, I close my eyes

            I think of mountain views and glorious blue skies

            I picture yellow flowers and buds flying high

            I remind myself that death is not a good-bye.


            Breath In, Breath Out, I pause to listen

            The twinkling of chimes in the wind, raindrops on a roof of tin

            Sea gulls calling and the babbling sounds of a brook

            Miracles all around me, all I have to do is look.

            Breath In, Breath Out, I no longer fear

            I see evidence everywhere that my son is near

            He is happy and serving in the light

            All his days today and on are very bright.


            Breath In, Breath Out, God’s presence is here

            My son is in heaven, my memories I hold dear.

            I can feel his warm smiles as he looks from above

            The air and space all around me is filled with love.