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  • Alane Stanton

Today I Fall Apart

There was no heartbeat for nearly an hour. They continuously pumped on his chest trying to get a rhythm. Any rhythm. His mama prayed.

My son didn’t have a heartbeat for nearly an hour. They continuously pumped on his chest trying to revive him. His mama prayed.

The difference in the first story and the second was the outcome. The first boy is John Smith, whose story was made into the movie, Breakthrough; a movie I watched today. The day after Thanksgiving. The boy came out of his coma, but my son never woke up and died two days later.

Thanksgiving is a day of giving thanks, spending time with family and friends, and eating. Lots of eating. A day filled with laughter, memories shared, and lots of hugs all around. I love Thanksgiving!

For years I have opened my home to anyone who doesn’t have a place to go on Thanksgiving, whether it be due to family being out of town or state, single and alone, or couples who just want to join the fun. Yesterday I had six guests at my table, and we had quite the spread as everyone brought contributions to the meal, as I imagined happened at the first Thanksgiving.

Preparation began days before as I cleaned, shopped, chopped, baked, and set the table for my guests. When they arrived, I smiled, laughed, hurried around my kitchen attending to the final details, then joined them at the table. I love the concept of joining around a table. No electronics, tvs, cell phones … just good conversation and fellowship.

All the while, I smiled.

All the while, my heart was breaking.

My son wasn’t there. My daughter was at her father’s. She and I will share other holidays together, but never again will my son be at one of these gatherings. Never again will I be greeted with one of his famous (or maybe infamous) bear hugs.. Never again will I hear him play his guitar with his cousins or for me. Never will I be able to cook with the daughter-in-love that never was. Never will I be able to love on his children, my grandchildren that never were.


In spite of everything, I have peace. A peace that surpasses all understanding.

I know how much my son loved Jesus, and I know we are going to have the most amazing family reunion EVER when he greets me in Heaven with one of those famous bear hugs.

Yesterday was a day of hostessing, taking care of my guests, making everyone feel welcome, hugging necks, and providing a warm place to gather for Thanksgiving. My emotions were held in check as I put on my happy face. I was happy to have guests in my home. Happy for the love and the laughter.

Happy for a much welcome distraction to keep my mind occupied on anything but...


Today was spent in my pajamas watching movies; one that brought back scenes so familiar to the ones I was seeing on the tv screen. No heartbeat, the pumping of the chest, a praying mama, a found heartbeat … but no happy ending.

A question was asked during the movie. “Why does God save some and not others?” I've asked the same question and been asked as well. You probably have experienced both as well.

I don’t have a specific answer to that question, but I have the answer to mine. God saved my sweet boy. Is it how I would have chosen? NO!


He is sovereign, and I am NOT. He knew my son would struggle the rest of his life. I know this now, but at the time, I prayed for a miracle, just like in the movie.

The most ironic thing to me to this day is I got my miracle! My prayers were answered. My precious son is free! Free from pain. Free from addiction. Free from a lifetime of struggles. Totally, unapologetically, fully filled with grace FREE! AND HE LIVES forevermore with my sweet Jesus!

Yesterday I held it together as the welcoming, happy hostess.

Today I fell apart, and I grieved. AND THAT’S OK!

The holidays can be torture for those who have lost a loved one. The holidays are all smiles for those who haven’t. Give grace to one another during this season, and if someone chooses not to join in your holiday celebrations, please be kind. Don’t judge or condemn. If you do not understand why they are feeling the way they are feeling, count your blessings and be glad you don’t get it. Just love.

Unconditional love is a gift we can offer to one another and also to ourselves. Love when you don’t get it. Love when you do. Give grace when you don’t get it. Give grace when you do.

If you have lost a loved one, go ahead and fall apart! Tears are a gift from God and a language He understands. They are cleansing, healing, and at times comforting. What I ignored yesterday, on Thanksgiving Day, I fully engaged in today. I allowed myself to grieve the nevers, to feel the loss, to feel the pain, to miss my boy that I will never see again this side of Heaven.

And that’s OK, because joy does indeed come in the morning!

So today is the day I fall apart.


Jesus mourned the death of His loved ones. So shouldn’t it be ok for us to do the same? Of course, it is! Let the tears and snot fly! (If that statement offended you, then you are fortunate enough to not understand. And that’s ok, too!)

“Jesus wept.” - John 11:35

“Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of Lights… - James 1:17

“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.” - Matthew 5:4

Last note … I will NEVER stop praying or trusting in my Father, even though the outcome may not be what I wanted, because in my heart I know it will be answered exactly as it needs to be.

“Pray without ceasing.” - I Thessalonians 5:17

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses ALL understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 4:6-7

(As I was typing the word “understanding,” my fingers automatically spelled out “Stanton.” Thank you, Jesus, for another reminder that he is safely in your arms. Amen and Amen!)

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Nov 27, 2021

Thank you for sharing your grief. Your life. Your love for your family and others. Thank you for using your incredible gift of writing. You are an inspiration to all who see you and do not truly understand the depths of grief you have experienced. Keep sharing. Someone is watching and needs to see Hope in motion. Love you Alane. 🙏🙌✝️💕


Nov 27, 2021

I love you

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