Zackaël’s Soaring Love

Pour la version originale de cette publication (version française), cliquez ici.


Thank you to everyone who commented on my last post. We currently have a tie between 4 myths. I’m still leaving the poll open in hopes of getting more votes! If you didn’t have a chance to vote, if you can take 5 minutes to pick one or two myths. This will help me chose the one to talk about, I would very much appreciate it! Please share the post if you can.

Today, I am revealing the painting chosen by my mother! As mentioned in Under Zackaël’s Wings post, I am excited to reveal the other painting created in honor of Zackaël. The artist, Vé Boisvert, once again produced a beautiful masterpiece with magnificent colours. The title “L’envolée d’amour de Zackaël” translates to “Zackaël’s Soaring Love”.

The Reveal

Video taken in Hearst Ontario by my parents.

The red symbolizes the infinite love we have for Zackaël and the love he gave us. It also reminds us of his beautiful lips, as well as the red shirts he often wore. The blue unmistakably evokes the radiance of his beautiful sky-blue eyes. The tones of green are very present since it was his favorite colour. We also see bronze-caramel which reminds us of his silky blonde hair. Finally, the abundance of white reflects his softness and the perfection he represented. Additionally, the white represents the peace that Zackaël, from his heavenly kingdom, sends us on his angel wings.

Before and After

Before and After - Without and with artwork from Vé Boisvert
What a Difference!
Vé Boisvert - Zackaël
My mother Yvonne with the painting in her home

Inspiration

After my mother chose the title for the canvas, I was inspired to create a slideshow in honour of Zackaël. As you may already know, my little Zackaël loved to jump and be in the air. I knew he would be a gymnast and maybe even become an airplane pilot. He had a natural talent in trampoline and gymnastics.

The title caught my attention because I imagined my little Zackaël flying. Jumping to soar to the sky, with love and poise. Our little Zackaël shows us his superb somersaults, a beautiful spectacle. I’m sure he’s having fun in the clouds jumping high.

Celebration of his Life

After the accident, I promised Zackaël that I will always continue to talk about him and celebrate his life. This is why I encourage you to view the entire slideshow, even if you find it difficult.

The slideshow may bring you to tears and that’s okay. As such, you might want to find a quiet moment to watch it. It’s normal to take a little break too and pause it. Make sure to turn on the sound to hear the beautiful song.

It’s important that we keep talking about him. The fact that he left this world will always be sad and there’s nothing we can do to change that. However, what we can do is to continue to commemorate him, and to cherish all the beautiful moments we had with Zackaël. At the same time, you get to know him more… he so deserves to be known. Thank you for viewing it and getting to know him.

Slideshow in Honour of Zackaël


You liked the artwork and the slideshow? Please don’t hesitate to leave your comments, I appreciate them very much! I added a Facebook share button if you would like to share this post.

That’s it for now. Thank you so much for participating in last week’s poll and sharing your thoughts in the comments!

If you would like to receive the posts directly in your mailbox, you can click “Follow by email”.
Or you can send me a message and I will send you an invitation!


Goodbye 2020

Pour la version française de cette publication, cliquez ici.


Goodbye 2020

2020 hasn’t been an easy year for many. For most people, 2020 represents the pandemic, loneliness and restraint. For us (Carl, Maxandre, Adélie and I), 2020 represents the first year without our little Zackaël. We have no memory with Zackaël in 2020.

In 2020, it was only in my dreams that I could see my Zackaël doing new things. I dream of him almost every other night. Last night, I dreamed that he was on a school bus, happy as always. In the dream, I knew he was gone, but I had the opportunity to go and see him anyway. I had to go through the small window of the bus to reach him.

Dreams are a topic that I will cover in more depth at some point in this blog. I don’t dream of him during the day. When I think of him, they are not dreams, but memories.

On December 24, I was preparing little treats for the kids’ stockings. My heart really ached when I realized Zackaël’s will be left empty (no treats). I started to cry. I then decided to write him a little note to put it in his stocking. It is gestures like this that I must do to go on, to help cope with my sorrow. Each year, I will insert a little note for my little angel.

My little note to Zackaël “I love you Zackaël. I think of you. Christmas 2020 – Maman xox”

In November, I was shopping for clothes so that we could all wear green for Christmas. Green being Zackaël’s favorite color, I wanted our family photo to reflect that Zackaël is among us. It wasn’t easy to find, but after a few hours of searching online, I had found some nice green outfits for all of us. For Maxandre, I even ordered two shirts, one for this year and a bigger one (the same) for future years!

Zackaël will always be with us (Shutterfly ornament)


For Adélie, the green and black dress (see below) was given to us by friend from Zackaël’s class, a dress that belonged to little Lillian. Thank you Shauna (Lillian’s mom) for this beautiful green dress!

We wish you all health and happiness for 2021.
May 2021 be a better year for everyone!

If you enjoyed this post, please enter your email and click “Follow” to know once my next post is out!

Gone but never forgotten

Pour la version française, cliquez ici.


Gone but never forgotten

Since Zackael’s death, Carl and I have been particularly touched when we hear other tragic stories, especially when we hear about other children dying too young. We, unfortunately, understand the pain and emptiness those bereaved parents feel all too well.

December 13 was Worldwide Candle Lighting Day in memory of the children who left us too early. It is believed to be the largest mass candle lighting on the globe. At 7 pm, people all around the world lit candles for the children gone too soon. I personally lit a green candle in honor of my Zackaël. The other candle, I lit it for all the other children who have left us. I thought of little Laurence, daughter of my cousin Sophie, and sweet Genevieve, Carl’s cousin.

Chandelles allumées le 13 décembre


I will always have in my heart all the children who are no longer with us, as well as their parents. Some parents have lost 2 or 3 children in a road accident, it is so cruel and unfair. They are the strongest parents I know.

I think of Clare McBride who lost her two daughters in an accident, caused by a drunk driver who didn’t do his stop. Here is a picture of little Oksana (6 years old) and Quinn (4 years old).

I didn’t know that Clare also has her own blog. Clare just shared it with me, I recommend you read it. Here is an excerpt of a poignant letter she wrote to the driver. It begins with:

“Dear Joe *, On August 16th 2019 you killed both of my children, Lucy *, 6, and Betty *, 4.”

Here is the link for the full version.

It is important to keep talking about our children, even though they are physically no longer here. Often, friends and relatives mistakenly believe that it is best to avoid mentioning the deceased child in the presence of the bereaved parent. They believe that if they talk about them, it may bring grief to the parent. It is quite the opposite. Most bereaved parents want people to keep talking about their child who left us too soon. In fact, the worst thing to do is ignore that they existed, and ignore their grief and loss. This can actually cause the grieving parent more pain.

I will always continue to talk about Zackaël. Most people didn’t have a chance to get to know Zackaël, but I can make him known to others. Today, I am sharing a story about him, and I will continue to share some from time to time.

Zackaël’s School Photos

In October 2019, a few weeks before the accident, we received some proofs of Zackaël’s school pictures. Looking at the pictures, I quickly said to Zackaël something like, “You look cute, but you’re laughing a little too much, we can’t see your beautiful eyes. Maybe for the next photo… you could smile just a little less”. This whole conversation was very quick, as it probably was interrupted.

Zackaël, end of September 2019 – Credit: Photomania (photomania.ca)

A few weeks later, on October 23, I picked up the kids from school after work. Zackaël immediately told me that there was a re-shoot that day and assured me that he hadn’t smiled too much. I told Zackaël that I didn’t know the re-takes were that day, I was a little disappointed because I would have dressed him better. He was wearing heavily used jogging pants and a Star Wars t-shirt. I also asked him if his smile was smaller than the last time. He said “yes”. It surprised me that he remembered because I had only told him once and it had been about twenty days since that conversation.

Fast-forward to the beginning of November, I received the new proofs of Zackaël’s photos. These photos made me laugh so much. Zackaël had really paid attention to what I had told him at the beginning of October, but maybe a little too much! He had remembered not to smile too much in the next few photos … so here is the result below! The photos are so different, it’s so funny when we compare them to each other!

Zackaël, October 23 2019 – Credit: Photomania (photomania.ca)

Zackaël was always a good listener. When you told him something, he paid attention and remembered. He was very observant. Even though these photos didn’t showcase his beautiful smile that would highlight his beautiful eyes, I still love these two photos. They demonstrate how cute he was, whether he was grinning from ear to ear, or looking very serious. They demonstrate how attentive he was when I spoke to him. And above all, these photos represent a memory that I hold dear in my heart, only a few weeks before he left us. I love you Zackaël.

That’s it for now! I hope you’ve enjoyed the memory I shared about Zackaël.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below. I appreciate them so much! Feel free to leave messages to the other bereaved parents too.

If you enjoyed this post, please enter your email and click “Follow” to know once my next post is out!

When Love and Sorrow Collide

Pour la version française, cliquez ici.


When Love and Sorrow Collide

This week’s post is about mourning as a bereaved mom, a more sensitive topic. I would therefore recommend that you might want to be in a certain mood to read this post. Although it’s not an easy topic, I think it’s important for people to understand how we feel in mourning. So I encourage you to read it at some point, even if it’s not right away. It can help to better understand those who are grieving, and therefore, to better support them. Thanks for reading.

Yesterday I had an urge to draw my heart. My heart is full of all kinds of emotions, but in large part, this panoply of emotions come from two principal sources; the feeling of love and the feeling of sorrow.

The left part represents the love that reigns in my heart. As you can see in the drawing, this love is solid, intact, soft, smooth, and even shiny. This is the love I have for my family, my children. This love allows me to continue and survive. When I miss Zackaël, that part of my heart calls out to me. Love is present and I think of him. There are plenty of moments in a day when I miss Zackaël. I don’t know how many times I think about him during a day, but I can say that it’s almost all the time.

Drawing of a broken heart: “When Love and Sorrow Collide”
“When Love and Sorrow Collide” – Coloured pencils – December 2020 – Brigitte Lehoux (Grieving Maman)



However, there are times when my love overpowers me; I miss him so much that I need to see more. I have to do more than talk or write about him. I have to see more than his plaque outside. I have to see more than his room which is empty. I have to see more than his photos in the living room. I need to see more than what I’m used to seeing. When we always see the same photos, you kind of become “immune” to them and the emotions and memories they represent. I am so used to seeing them that my heart has hardened over time and I am therefore able to deal with my emotions when looking at them.

But often when I suddenly want to see my sweet Zackaël, my heart is unsatisfied and wants more. So I choose to look at other photos. It is usually when looking at one or two photos that this urge appears, that is, the urge to see more. I can’t help it … I love him too much, he is too beautiful. This urge can manifest itself without even looking at pictures. I miss him so much that I have to open the computer or the phone.

At first, my heart is solid as love dominates. I want to see him, I miss him, so looking at pictures makes me feel good. This all represents the left side of my heart. I continue to look at his photos. Gradually, I become overwhelmed and need to see more. I want to hear his voice, see his movements and his smile, I am in my own world… a world where Zackaël is still with us.

By now I’m well aware of the risk associated with looking at more pictures. But I can’t stop, my heart wants more. I, therefore, keep opening more, sometimes even a video. Be careful maman Brigitte, it’s risky. Is my heart capable of it?

The two parts of my heart are now colliding, a battle of conflicting emotions. It doesn’t take long for the right part of my heart to suddenly take over. Sadness comes in full force, it is stronger and overpowers the love. We are now on the right side of my drawing.

My love has been converted into sadness. In my drawing, we can even see a (subtle) arrow in the middle which denotes this conversion. I would even say that my love was crushed by sadness. Once again, the sorrow has surfaced and I burst into tears. It’s the victory of sorrow, it has beaten love. I feel defeated. My heart hurts. There was already a big hole in my heart and lots of broken pieces, but now my heart is bleeding. I have to stop looking at the pictures, I can’t take it anymore.

This is an excerpt from my journal (dated April 2020) that describes how I feel when this happens. My journal is in French, but basically, I’m saying how torn I feel and how painful it can be when I decide to look at a video.

Grieving Mother Journal – by Brigitte L. (page 1 of 2)
Grieving Mother Journal – by Brigitte L. (page 1 of 2)

This conflict has been persisting for a year. Either I miss Zackaël and therefore want to see him, or I “see” him and cry my heart out. It is very paradoxical. My heart is never intact, there is always a hole, and on either side the two emotions collide. This is the heart of a bereaved parent … at least my heart as a bereaved mother. I hope this heart (my heart) will transform. I hope the black on the right side starts to fade. I hope the cracks will repair. I hope it can be even and completely smooth and shiny. I hope it will soon stop bleeding so much.

That’s it for now. Thank you to have read this post.
If you’ve lost someone special in the past, was it hard for you to look at several pictures at a time?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.
If you enjoyed this post, please enter your email and click “Follow” to know once my next post is out!