YouTube star Brittani Boren Leach has paid tribute to her late son Crew on the one-year anniversary of his death after returning from a much-needed holiday getaway with her family.
The 29-year-old mom took to Instagram on Wednesday to share a photo of herself holding Crew’s hat, revealing the tiny cardinal tattoo on the inside of her wrist that serves as a reminder he is always with her.
‘One year ago I held your hand for the last time and kissed your bald head as tears poured from my eyes,’ she wrote. ‘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.’
Grief: YouTube star Brittani Boren Leach, 29, has paid tribute to her late son Crew (pictured) on the one-year anniversary of his death
Emotional: The mom took to Instagram on Wednesday to share a photo of herself holding Crew’s hat, revealing the cardinal tattoo that she got in his memory
Crew was found not breathing at a relative’s house on Christmas Day last year after being put down for a nap. The three-month-old was eventually resuscitated, but ended up brain dead, leaving Brittani and her husband Jeff Leach with the difficult choice of turning off his life support and donating his organs.
In her post, the grieving mother opened up about the meaning behind the tattoo that she holds near and dear to her heart.
‘I’m strong because I have to be, but today I don’t want to be. Sometimes I cry out to God and beg him to let me hold you one more time,’ she admitted. ‘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 every day is just one more day closer to you.’
Loss: Brittani’s three-month-old son Crew died in last December after being found unresponsive on Christmas Day
Devastating: Crew was declared brain dead after he was resuscitated, leaving Brittani and her husband Jeff Leach with the difficult choice of turning off his life support
It’s been a year of highs and lows for the mom, who welcomed her newborn son Cole in November, 10 months after Crew’s death.
Brittani and her husband Jeff are also parents to sons Cooper and Cash as well as her son Carter and his daughter Sydney, their children from their previous relationships.
Cole’s first Christmas was undoubtedly bittersweet for the family as it was also the anniversary of the last holiday that they spent with Crew. Brittani and Jeff took their kids on a family getaway to help ease their grief.
The day before she posted her emotional tribute to Crew, she shared a photo of her children on the last day of their trip, with Sydney holding baby Cole on her lap.
‘We are headed home today, and honestly, the weight of where we were a year ago this week is really hitting me hard today,’ Brittani wrote. ‘Our getaway was everything we needed and more, and we hope to continue that tradition each year.
Together: On Tuesday, Brittani shared a new photo of her kids on their family getaway, writing: ‘I bet if we looked through Heaven’s lens we would see Crew sitting right there’
Memory: Earlier in the week, she shared heartwarming photos of baby Cole, saying that ‘there’s NO doubt our Crew is here with us’
Bittersweet: It’s been a year of highs and lows for the mom, who welcomed her newborn son Cole in November, 10 months after Crew’s death
‘It was the most beautiful place to temporarily escape to and not feel so suffocated by grief. But unfortunately no matter where you are, you can never outrun the trauma and the memories that come flooding back,’ she continued.
‘I’m so thankful for these precious smiling faces, and even though we can’t see him, we know Crew was here with us too.’
Brittani later edited the post to note that the space between Sydney and Cash in the photo was unintentional, writing: ‘I bet if we looked through Heaven’s lens we would see Crew sitting right there.’
Earlier in the week, she opened up about their getaway while sharing heartwarming photos of baby Cole.
‘It looks like someone is enjoying his first little trip away from home,’ she captioned the post. ‘We decided we needed a little getaway to grieve during this time, and it has been everything we needed. We even had a visit from a cardinal today…and there’s NO doubt our Crew is here with us.’