The Brevity of Life……

The page turns, and the edges of the book are disheveled and worn.  There are coffee stains on the cover, and tear drops upon the parchment.

A year has passed on the telling of her story, and the recounting of this passage shall never come this  way again.  These feelings are unique to the here and now, and cannot be felt with quite the open newness of this now, this tortuous grief.

The satin of her blanket which her “Aunt Holly” made with love, can be felt upon my cheek.  It is reminiscent to me of the softness of her skin, and the pink of her face.  Many nights and long days this blanket warmed her body.  She tucked her sweet head into its coziness, and she was held.

Held…such a great word.  It evokes such comfort.  It promises that no matter what, somebody or something has got you.  It is secure, and it is supportive.  It dominates, and it keeps you safe.

I know through this last year of grief that I have been “Held.”  It is an assurance of the intangible knowledge that no matter what ocurrs, I will be ok….even if it looks like I’m not.

There simply are no words to express how this feels, except to say that it is incredible, and it is very real and extremely present.  It is comfort, it is the provision of those  people who were willing to walk this path with you…it is an acknowledgment of their love, and abiding faith, that this rocky terrain could  be traversed, and will not engulf you with its jagged edges.

These people, friends and family, old and new, young, and old have been brave enough to say, ” I am here when you need me, I care, and I will not go away.”  I reminisce with deep gratitude upon this  last year of my life.

It is only when death comes knocking upon your door, and the grim reaper lets you know that the time has come, that you realize, there is no escape.  The time will come for us one and all.

Is death to be feared?  It seems that our culture certainly shys away from it.  We live for today, and to think about death would just bring us down, just rain on our parade……spoil the mood.

We live sometimes like we were going to be young and free forever.  This is not reality.  We age, we change, our bodies grow weak and our minds soften.  It is inevitable.  It cannot be run from, it cannot be escaped.  This is our story as human beings on this planet.  We are born, we live, and then we die.  This is truth.

I’ve heard it said ” It is what is  inbetween that matters.”  I don’t recall who said this, but I like it very much.  The time between birth and death is what we have.  We don’t know how long this time will be, we live by faith that we may have tomorrow, but we can’t know, not one of us, until tomorrow comes, and we still have air in our lungs to breathe.

Some say they don’t have faith, they don’t believe in anything…Really…nothing…ok..if you say so…. Sometimes there is no need to argue this point, life becomes the teacher, and eventually we end up believing in something, or someone, even if our end results differ.

I reflect on the aspects of what I believe.  I believe that Jesus was the son of God, and that He was nailed to a cross, and that He rose  from the dead after 3 days buried.  I believe there will be a day, when he returns for those who believe in him , and I do, I believe.  It’s a big part of who I am, and  I am unashamed of this.  He is my Lord.

I will count the days until I will be reunited with my precious Bianca again in heaven…….  For now , ” the space between” feels like an eternity to wait.  But I  will wait, I will not despair…I have hope, and with this  hope I am “held.”


Even though with honesty I will say that I would  never have volunteered to be in this place, this  place of loss…not ever.  It is devastating to be separated by death from those that you love.

But this is reality, this is life.  What shall I do with what’s left?  Shall I spend my days in black, with a fishnet veil upon my brow, and curtains drawn?

The answer is…….I cannot.  To do so would take away from her life and all that she has taught me, and us… would be an utter sacrilege, and such  a waste.  I’ve heard it said that “life is for the living.”  This is blunt, but true.

So….what now?  How do you begin to try to find normal in a situation  where normal cannot be found?

I’m at an  impasse.  I must wait to see her again, but while waiting, I must continue living, it is the only way .  To live life, and encounter all of its nuances both lovely and not so lovely, is what I choose.

She would have wanted this, and so I find courage from her life, from her tenacious spirit, and from this beautiful child of mine,that  I am in awe of.

With reverence I remember you Bianca.  I was so fortunate to have been your ” Mummy.”  I have loved you with all of my heart, and being allowed , and trusted,  to care for you while you lived on this earth, will be one of the greatest honors that I shall ever know.

You  turned our world on its’ ear, and your Father, and your brothers, Zach and Logan, couldn’t possibly have loved you more than we did.  You are in us all, and we are better for  having known you.

Thank you for being born, for being formed deep inside me, from matter, and cells, and blood, and your own unique DNA, that made only one of you.  There was only one Bianca Jillian Brandon to have graced this planet…..and we are glad that you chose us to be your family.

Today we give honor to your life, and to your delightful giggle, your smile that warmed  our world, and your incredible zest for life that dropped our jaws with wonder at just who you were.

We don’t pretend that you didn’t suffer, that you didn’t rip  our hearts out when you cried out in pain, and lay in your bed, unable to sit up and move around.  It was desperately hard to be your family.  We wanted more….more of you.  We wanted to have  you talk to us, ask us questions, swear at us, scream at us…..we didn’t get that, and thinking about you makes us  happy, mad, sad, enraged, lonely, and just lost… lost.

Thank you from the bottoms of our hearts to those who came alongside us for this last year especially.  We have struggled, and failed together.  We have had some  victories, but mostly  a lot of tears.  You have been there, and have been invaluable to us.

Longs Peak raises her head high in the Autumn sky

The range, is  the heartbeat of the horizon.

Crickets chirp softly amongst the gently blowing grass.

Trees are turning golden yellow, and their branches bend to touch the earth.

Change is upon us…like the shedding of skin.

Tears fill up the eyes, and cascade unhindered down the cheeks

Unrestrained sorrow fills up this place.

This  is where her body lays, and the stillness and silence is everywhere.

My treasured girl, We will meet you in the place where never more will a tear be shed.




(Photo credit-Glenda Conner Photography

These unbelievably precious kids….I just have no words…They are my heart, body and soul.   Bianca had the best brothers ever.  The care and unconditional love from these men just blows my mind.  They were so proud of, and loved their sister with everything in them…. It just doesn’t get better then that.   To see your children loving one another just completes a Mothers’ life…. I have loved deeply, and lost deeply… I am human…


My dear “Bonkees”….. We love and miss you down to the tips of our toes.  Fly high my gentle angel, and if God sees fit to let us catch a glimpse of you dancing amongst the clouds……well  my life would be made….To know that you’re happy and physically free comforts me body and soul….






5 thoughts on “The Brevity of Life……

  1. BibMy dear Jill-as I sit on my bed reading … Tears are streaming down my cheeks!it doesn’t seem possible an entire year has passed since I gave Bianca her kiss goodbye! Am waiting for the day till we are again reunited.she was such a bright beacon in our lives. Beloved Bianca I miss you.Love Grandma ..


  2. Ah Mummy…thank you for your ever so kind words…I sure look forward with great anticipation to see her again, and of course Dad, Nanny and Pappa, Grandpa and Grandma, Uncle Warren, Auntie Evelyn….so so many….what a Reunion in the sky it will be….love you so much…xoxo


  3. Jill-I have thought of you many times this past week. The love you have shared with us all this past year has been inspiring. I pray that you DO get to see your precious Bianca “dancing in the clouds” or hugging you in your dreams. May God bless you with memories that keep smiles of joy in your heart but dreams and opportunities that allow you to experience life to its fullest. – from Texas with love!


  4. Jill…I’ve been very touched reading your blog this past year. You really have a gift with words, thanks for sharing. I would like to share Psalm 116 with you and hope it will help heal your heart …it seems to express your journey this past year. Love and prayers, Grace Millard xo


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