Heaven gained a beautiful blue eyed angel on April 23, 2014.
The angel is my great-nephew, Brady McKeefrey.
When I looked at his parents at the funeral of their baby boy, I was heartbroken for them. I was also in awe of their strength, maturity, and devotion to their family.
In an attempt to save their baby boy's life, who was born without a functioning immune system, my young niece bravely moved away from her two small children and her husband to get the best care for Brady. He needed a thymus transplant, which was his only hope for survival. While Brady spent seven months at the Duke University Hospital Center, my extremely strong and devoted niece stayed at the Ronald MacDonald House to be close to him. Her husband, parents, in laws, brothers, sisters, and children took turns visiting her and the baby to give support, love, and hope. Unfortunately, despite the best medical care and the greatest love from his family, the tough little guy didn't survive.
This tragedy drove home to me the importance of FAITH. Without it, an experience like losing your child would be enough to push you over the edge from where you might never return. Having faith in something bigger than yourself can help you to get through some of the most difficult times of your life.
At the cemetery, the priest said, "Don't ask why, you will never get an answer. Just have faith that Brady is with God." Having faith requires an acceptance that life often unfolds in a way that we may never understand.
Keeping our hearts open to the belief that there is a greater purpose for our suffering and the suffering of those that we love will help us to let go of the anger that can grip our hearts when an unexplained tragedy occurs.
This tragedy also drove home to me the importance of FAMILY. Whether related by blood or not, the LOVE and support of a family can help you get through the most difficult times. I witnessed this truth at the funeral of my great-nephew. I could feel the love shared by everyone who was struggling to cope with the deep sadness at the loss of this magnificent child.
In her book, When things Fall Apart: Heart Advice for Difficult Times, Pema Chodron wrote, "Life is glorious and life is wretched. It is both. Gloriousness and wretchedness go together. One inspires us and the other softens us."
When faced with the wretchedness of life, having a strong faith, a supportive family, and a commitment to love can carry you through the pain so that when the gloriousness appears, you will be ready to embrace it with a soft and open heart.
For Brady's parents, the wretchedness of losing him will never go away. But the gloriousness of loving and raising Brady's adorable big brother Ryan, and sweet big sister Shea, will help them to continue to live their lives with inspiration, faith, and the love of their blue eyed angel in their hearts.
All Abhyasa Ahimsa Aparigraha Asmita-Ego Attachment Baron Baptiste Beginner's Mind Bramacharya Carl Jung Clear Seeing Colorless Comfortable Discomfort Creating Spaciousness In Mind And Body Cultivate The Opposite Deepak Chopra Dharma Empty Your Cup Enthusiasm Equanimity Family Fight Or Flight Great Vows Inner-awareness Inner Critic John Kabbatzinnb2faff332d Listening Mirrors To Ourselves Monkey Hunting Non Stealing Patanjali Pause Pillar Pleasure And Pain Posseses Us Practice Pratipaksa Bhavana Pratyahara Present Moment Present Moment Awareness Respond Instead Of React Samadhi Samskara Santosha Satya Sauca Sensual Pleasures Shadow Side Spirituality Steadiness And Ease Sthira And Sukha Strength Sustained Attention Svadhyaya There You Are Thich Nat Hahn This Too Shall Pass True Self Uncertainty Universal Truth What We Possess Wherever You Go Wisdom Yoga Philosophy Yoga Sutra 1. 14 Yoga Sutra 1.33 Yoga Sutra 2.33 Yoga Sutra 2 37cfe9965fa2 Yoga Sutra 2. 46 Yoga Sutras