For many of us, the holiday season is a joyful time. But for others, it can be uniquely painful.
For Brittani Boren Leach, this period marks the loss of her infant son Crew, who was just 3-months old when he passed away in December of 2019. The YouTuber has shared about her grief and loss on social media over the last year, and on Wednesday, she paid tribute to her baby.
Taking to Instagram, she posted a picture of her hand holding a small brown beanie with the caption:
“One year ago I held your hand for the last time and kissed your bald head as tears poured from my eyes. One year ago I rode down the halls next you as people paid tribute to your life as a hero. One year ago I said ‘Goodbye for now’ outside of OR doors. One year ago I walked out of a hospital with aching empty arms and a shattered heart. I’m strong because I have to be, but today I don’t want to be.”
Also visible in the photo was the small bird tattoo on the 30-year-old’s wrist. She explained:
“Sometimes I cry out to God and beg him to let me hold you one more time. But God knows my work here isn’t done, so he sends a Cardinal to comfort my heart until I can hold you again. Every time I look down at this tiny Cardinal, it will be a reminder that you are always with me. I miss you Crew, and everyday [sic] is just one more day closer to you. “
The family commemorated the sobering anniversary with a holiday getaway in “the most beautiful place to temporarily escape to and not feel so suffocated by grief,” Brittani shared on IG. She was joined by her husband Jeff Leach and their children, Cooper, Cash, Cole, Brittani’s son Carter, and Jeff’s daughter Sydney.
Last year, Crew was found unresponsive during a nap on Christmas Day. This year, his momma paid tribute to her late son on the holiday. She wrote:
“My sweet Crew, I miss your infectious smile, your bald head, and your big brown eyes. I wonder what gifts I’d be buying you this year, would you like Mickey Mouse, or maybe Paw Patrol? If only I had known how much time I had with you, I would pick you up and never ever let you go. It’s painful to know that it has almost been a year since I last saw your sweet smile, but I know that also means I’m one year closer to seeing you again. “
The post went on:
“Somewhere in the United States, two little boys will celebrate Christmas this year, who may not be if it wasn’t for Crew. I hope their parents hold them extra tight, for they know the gift of life is the greatest gift you can give and receive The greatest gift I could possibly receive this year, is knowing how Crew has impacted your life. I would love to hear how Crew’s life has changed yours. “
We can’t imagine how difficult this time of year must be for Brittani and her family. We hope their getaway brought peace and comfort. Sending love and strength.
[Image via Brittani Boren Leach/Instagram]