When Charlie was in the PICU, and then came home for his final hours, in his right hand was an olive wood cross from Bethlehem. His amazing godparents got it for him. Charlie held onto that thing for days, which was super strange given his level of Cerebral Palsy and lack of muscle control.

Him grasping that cross meant a lot, especially to my mother. He was buried with that cross.

Last year, when I was at Cathédrale Notre-Dame (a few weeks before the big fire) in Paris, I saw these crosses for sale.

I bought one for my mom, knowing she would love to have another one. After touring the amazing cathedral and lighting a candle for Charlie, I decided to buy one for myself.

Obviously this is very personal, but I struggle often with my faith. However, this cross has so much meaning. Much of his final night he held that cross in his right hand, and I held his left hand.

Last night, as I slept, I held onto my cross to feel closer to my Charlie Bear. 💙 I woke up feeling sad, but so grateful for so much.

I thought this was an inspiring message on this Easter Sunday. While I’m still trying to figure out my own belief structure, I truly believe Charlie is in a better place.

I have such empathy for the thousands of families in such grief right now during this pandemic. Grief never goes away and I truly believe it’s something you cannot fully understand until you’re in it. Many are in it now and collectively, humanity is as well as David Kessler said on a podcast I just listened to.

Be kind, be grateful and never stop smiling. Happy Easter, everyone.

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Michael Geheren

Michael Geheren is a digital content producer at NewsNation on WGN America.