August 7, 2014 – on a bright, sunny summer afternoon…my world shifted into the unknown. An unimaginable task was given to me. My handsome, kind, intelligent, quick-witted, determined, adventurous, devoted & loving son was unexpectedly & without warning called Home. Grant had been found unresponsive, by his older brother. He was rushed to the emergency room by ambulance. I was at work & rushed to get to him as all I had been told was, “Grant’s not breathing!” As I sat in the ER Family Waiting Room my head was spinning, my mind chaotic & my heart pounding so hard I thought it would beat out of my chest. As the doctor walked in & sat down I watched every move he made. I was aware of Grant’s father, the oldest of my 3 sons & my partner…the 4 of us transfixed on the Doctor. Time slowed…frozen…then he said, “We did everything we could. We tried everything we could think of. I’m so sorry, your son is gone!” All I could say is, “No!” I must have said it 100 times…they (the ER doctors & nurses) had no explanation – there was no reason – they were all so upset because Grant was the epitome of health. Strong, vibrant, healthy & fit. 7 months later we finally received an answer, Multifocal Lymphocytic Myocarditis. His heart could not handle an infection that had gotten into his system & it just stopped. In fear for my other 2 sons, we had them tested just to be safe. The cardiologist who tested Adam & Jake, told me that it happened  quickly & Grant did not suffer (that was a relief to my aching heart). His father & I spoke many times over those 7 months, as we waited for the autopsy results. We racked our minds trying to remember anything he might have said or done that would explain how this could have happened. While there were a couple of comments he made, there was nothing that we didn’t attribute to his workout regimen or his busy lifestyle. All I knew was (is) my beautiful 21 year old son, was dead & I was a stranger to myself. How would I survive this? How could I endure this heartbreak? Tears…OMG…I’ve cried countless tears…I’ve discovered in almost 4 years that there is a sacredness in tears…they speak for our hearts because no words will ever be able to articulate the sorrow! 

I have walked a path no parent  should ever know. The weight of this task has been the most overwhelming of my life. I changed irrevocably in a single moment. I strive everyday to live with my grief. I still ask, “Why?” Why my son, why this amazing young man with so much promise, who means so much too so many? And the only answer that ever comforts me…his life serves as an example of truly living each day to the fullest. GRANT IS OUR EXAMPLE OF LIFE. I have been amazed at how many lives he touched. The beauty of his soul affected so many people. 

Through his loss, I have discovered that I am stronger than I ever imagined I could be…I’ve also learned that despite this unimaginable loss…life continues. I was on a very different path before this happened. I was not the person I needed to be…or wanted to be. I have become a very different person. I have learned a great deal about life these past 4 years. It’s so much simpler than I’ve made it out to be. In looking back, I can honestly see that I’ve made it difficult, over the course of my life, because I chose to be angry or offended or annoyed rather than choosing joy or understanding or acceptance. I now see, with so much clarity, it’s a daily choice whether I grow and become better than the day before or I focus on the negative aspects of each day. Negativity is easy. Not much effort is required to always see the hopelessness and sadness and heaviness in life. Yet, when I choose the positive, a peace fills my heart and a calm feeling resides within me! In the quiet, contemplative moments…I’ve discovered that if I choose to live inside of a deep gratitude, for my own undeserved grace and limitless mercy – past hurts & mistakes I’ve made have very little power to cause me pain in any lasting way. They are not worth the time or energy I used to expend on them. They are merely lessons and tests in the great school and journey of my life. And in discerning my own right to seek forgiveness & to be shown mercy – I understand that I then must excuse offenses & exhibit tenderness. It’s tricky & on the bad days…nothing helps…I just have to work through the indescribable heartache of Grant’s death, which evokes a gamete of difficult emotions, unfathomable regret & overwhelming sorrow. Thankfully, the calm surrendering of my heartache takes me to a place of solace within my soul and my refusal to let my past mistakes become my identity is where the healing begins and the understanding is indescribable. An abiding gratefulness and a gentle grace encompass me. Words cannot explain the tender feelings within me. And the more time I spend in gratitude, the more strength I have to battle the “bad days”! I’ve come to know, deep within my soul, if I do not find a way to transform my pain, I will without a doubt transmit it to others. And that is not who I want to be or how I want to be remembered. I’ve discovered not to treat my grief, my mistakes & my regret like an enemy, rather embrace them as part of me so I have the potential to be better, wiser, happier, filled with grace, to know more joy & radiate peace. In honoring myself, I have the opportunity to make a difference and I hope, leave a legacy of love – just as my precious son did!! I know that for the rest of my life I am going to miss him and hurt deep inside – I also know that he would want me and all those he loves to find joy and happiness and peace.  To live as he did – laughing, learning and loving…taking nothing for GRANTed… I see this human experience from a newly formed perspective. If I could, I would give all that I am and willingly take his place, to give him back to so many who mourn him and grieve the loss of him. For the rest of my life, I will carry his heart…I will carry it in my heart! I know that he is smiling on all of us and watching over us too. Loving you & missing you my beautiful boy…}I{

Thank you for sharing in my story & letting me share my grief & healing journey with you! Grant’s Mom 🙂


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