He is six-foot tall and wears a number 11 shoe. He has a beautiful open face, perfect teeth and a brilliant smile. He is very bright, a gifted sportsman, he is the “silent” type. He is Vic’s youngest son.
Last night he received an award at the school’s prize giving. His aggregate for the year 84.7% with 8 distinctions.
This is the most difficult year of his life. He lost his mom in the beginning of the academic year.
Jared is the perfect older brother. He is fiercely protective of his younger brother. Jared is gentle and caring. He has a white soul…
On the surface the boys are coping well. They are “getting on” with their lives.
Thank goodness for social media…It gives me an insight into what is happening behind their stoic appearances.
Jon-Daniel’s WhatsApp status is “Live until you die.” That is the example his Mom set…
Jared posted on Facebook on the 18th of September “Can’t believe that it has already been 8 months… Miss you mommy… It feels like a lifetime already… Love you mom ♡ always in our heart♥ forever in our memories…♡“
On the 18th of September Jon-Daniel posted: “How? I ask myself.. It already been 8 months without the greatest Mommy in the world! Time has flown since January, but the memories have stayed. And they will always stay, along with that special place in my heart that is only for MY MOMMY! Love you always Mom, miss you stax!”
On the 26th of September Jared posted on Facebook “Missing you mommy… you were always there for a laugh♡“
The day of Stepping Stone Hospices’ official opening Jon-Daniel posted “Stepping Stone Hospice was officially opened this evening. Amazing to see 1 person’s dream can turn into something so big! And so amazing how much people will do for somebody they don’t know. Thank you to all that attended!”
He cried in the doorway of the Vicky Bruce Room
On the 11th of October he posted on Vic’s Facebook page “Mommy, I miss you! When are you coming home?”
I am helpless in taking the children’s pain away. Their pain and grief is still so raw and deep.
The stress started years before Vic died. The boys grew up knowing that their Mommy was ill and in a lot of pain. They grew up living with Vic’s imminent death and dreadful suffering.
Teenagers appear to feel grief more intensely than adults, especially if one of their parents has died. The Adolescent Life Change Event Scale (ALCES), which mental-health specialists use to help quantify the events that are the most stress-inducing in teenagers, ranks a parent’s death as the number- one cause of adolescent stress. Second is the death of a brother or sister, followed by the death of a friend.
Teenagers are embarrassed by displays of grief and struggle to express their emotions. The boys seldom talk about their grief. They will tell me when the other brother is having a rough day….
Jared was very concerned about how his little brother would cope with his first birthday without his Mom. He went to great measures to ensure that his little brother was “protected” from the grief on his birthday. He blew up 40 balloons so Jon-Daniel would wake up to “fun”. (Vic always had lots of balloons on the boys birthdays.)
The firsts are coming fast and furious now. The first birthdays, prize giving’s, confirmations without their Mommy… Jared and my birthdays, Christmas and New Year is looming…
I love the boys with every fibre in my body. I hate that they occasionally walk in on me when I am crying. I hate that I cannot make their pain better. I hate that I am so helpless.
I wish I had died and not Vic. I wish that I could change places with my child. I wish I could rip the heartache out of my grandsons’ lives and hearts. I wish I could protect them.
I wish I could shake the cold world out there and make them realise how much pain the boys are in….
Please pray for Vic’s boys. Pray that they will heal. Pray that God will hold and protect them. Pray that they will learn to be happy again.
I pray that one day I will hear their happy, uncontrolled laughter echo through the house again.