Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Today, I had the privilege to attend the funeral of my friend Rebecca's son, Brigham. Little Brigham was born with a diaphragmatic hernia and lived a short, sweet 20 days before returning Home last week.

2010 was a rough year for my family. I'm finally ready to talk about it a little more openly. My uncle, CP took his life on April 6, 2010. I found out on my birthday, the next day. My son was just 2 weeks old. It was a particularly painful loss, due to the unexpectedness of it, and the fact my Granny was preparing to pass as well. She died on April 21, two weeks later.

It was difficult for me, but much worse for others. I watched my mother, who lost both a sibling and a parent so close together, pass through such a horrific storm of grief. I cannot imagine the pain she endured and continues to endure (my grandpa, too). You don't ever get over the loss of a loved one -- you just find a new normal. I'd always heard that in the past but I know how true it is now. It's hard to explain. Life goes on, but in a different way. You look at things differently. You try to make memories that last. You give hugs to family members when they leave. You find yourself wishing you'd done things differently.

Today, as I sat in the chapel where Brigham's viewing was held, I was taken back to last April. I didn't realize how fresh the wounds of my loss still are. It was hard. I cried, a lot. I cried for Brigham, for Rebecca, for my uncle and grandmother. I knew it would be difficult before I went, but I knew it was something I needed to do.

Still, there is a feeling of warmth at these events that you don't feel anywhere else. The only way for me to describe it is it feels like you're being hugged constantly. Like someone has His arms around you. And I have no doubt that today, He had his arms wrapped tightly around Rebecca and her sweet family. I feel honored that I could be present for such a spiritual occasion.

I talked to some other new mothers who were at the funeral -- friends from high school -- who said they had been truly humbled by Brigham's short life. That he taught them to be more patient and loving towards their children. When I got home, I kissed my little babies' cheeks. I don't think I could ever be grateful enough for my children. I certainly was reminded of this today.

Mothers, go hug your babies. Hug your nieces, your nephews, your grandchildren. Let them know you appreciate them and love them. Life is too short not to.

Rebecca, if you're reading this ... thank you. Thank you for being the kind of mother we all should be.

UPDATE: If you would like to donate to the Greer family to help pay for Brigham's hospital expenses, you can do so at any Wells Fargo (Brigham Greer Memorial Fund, account # 5012602446).


  1. Oh Jenna, that was beautiful. Sometimes in our hectic lives it is so good to take a moment to slow down and reflect on what is truly important.

  2. Your thoughts are my thoughts. It's not easy lossing a loved one no matter the circumstances. I'm so grateful for the plan of salvation but it doesn't help the fact that they're not here with us, right now! My wound of losing my mother in-law is still so very fresh and I don't see if it will ever heal. I'm so sorry for your losses and I can't imagine having two funerals in just a few days from one another. I'm also sorry to hear about your friend. I hope she is finding strength and confort during this time. I hope you are as well.

  3. Agreed with all of this 100%. Burying my sister and my baby within 6 months of each other was the hardest thing I've ever done. I felt like I wouldn't ever be able to be happy again. I am happy that I was proved wrong - I am a very happy person now, but it's a new kind of happy, a new normal.

    One of the reasons I take so many pictures of my kids (my hard drive groaneth) is because I know how quickly they can slip away from you. It's a coping strategy for me. It's why I do it for other people too.

  4. Thank you for sharing this. Going to go give hugs now.

  5. It's easy to be a good mom when your children are angels (sometimes literally).

  6. I have never been so moved reading anything in my life as I did while reading the updates Rebecca posted. Brigham is a very special baby. Losing people you love is life's hardest trial, but somehow you learn to cope and accept that they're in heaven now. I miss my sister everyday, but I'm at the point I can talk about her, and think about her, without feeling that horrible empty feeling. Beautiful post, Jenna.


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