When I was about halfway through today’s interview with Braeden’s Mom, Tiffany, the word that came to my mind was ‘empowered.’ I remember thinking to myself, this is an unusual word to describe a bereaved mom, but in Tiffany’s case, that word just fits perfectly. Her life certainly felt broken after losing her only son, Braedon, but it was not destroyed. She was determined that her life would not be over and that she would continue living the best life that she could.

While many bereaved parents feel like they are being tossed about in stormy ocean waters with control over nothing in their lives, Tiffany promised herself that this would not be her story. She would not live life thinking of herself as a victim. She would not lay around in her bed unwilling to at least try to get up. In fact, Tiffany’s biggest pet peeve as a bereaved mom is when others say, ‘I don’t know how you do it. I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed.’

That statement is isolating for several reasons. Firstly, the person may be inferring that you aren’t grieving enough. ‘If I were you, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed.’ Secondly, they can be indicating that they certainly don’t think that your life is valuable enough to even be worth getting out of bed. Thirdly, that statement can feel so judgmental. ‘How can you even get out of bed. Your only child is dead.’ They likely mean that they are admiring some inner strength that they think the parent possesses that they never could, but even that is isolating, setting the bereaved parent somehow apart.

On social media platforms, Tiffany is known as @tiffanyagnewinspires. She certainly inspires me to be a better person and to find my inner strength. She writes, ‘The strength that is within me is the same strength that lies in you; it’s in all of us. That’s something I’ve learned along this grief journey; we are all braver, more courageous, and more resilient than we can even imagine. We are miracles in nature capable of living the impossible. We possess the power to move mountains and yes, even the power to heal through unimaginable loss.’