Losing a parent is one of the greatest and saddest loses in life. It’s especially difficult when you are young and need the support, advice, and the love only a mom and a dad can give.
Unfortunately, the family of Army Staff Sgt. Alfred “Fred” Brazel lost him back in July of 2017 while his boys were still very young to be able to cope with the fact they won’t see their father ever again.
Sgt. Bazel lost his life to four stage rectal cancer at the age of 37, only five months after the devastating diagnosis. His wife Kait and sons Mason and Mylan were grief stricken, but they also knew their loving husband and father wouldn’t want them to be sad.
“We never once addressed it as a sad thing,” Brazel told “Today” of her husband’s cancer diagnosis.
“That was the attitude and mentality we had throughout the battle. We as a family lived and continue to live life to the fullest in every moment.”
Around four months after Sgt. Brazel said the final goodbye, Kait and their sons visited his resting place at Arlington National Cemetery. After a 24-hour drive, they were finally there.
Visiting their father’s grave was a very emotional moment for Mylan and Mason.
“We brought a blanket. Mylan said he felt like he could feel his daddy, and he wanted to take a nap with him,” Brazel told ABC News.
“He is laying there taking a nap with his dad and Mason is beside him praying. They took time together with each other and I just stood back.”
Kait was extremely proud of the way her boys reacted to the visit.
“I felt proud while we were there,” Brazel told “Today” in an email.
“Obviously it was sad because the boys are talking to their dad and he can’t talk back, but really I’m proud because throughout the fight our goal was to be realistic with the boys without the losing their innocence as children.
Seeing them share their lives with their dad’s headstone, I knew we accomplished exactly that,” she wrote.
As they were leaving, Mylan ran back to his dad’s headstone to give him a hug, and Kait believes it was the sweetest thing ever. It was as though Sgt. Brazel was really there, by his family’s side.
Speaking to ABC News, Kait says how she believes her boys were reacting that way because they were aware of where their dad was going. They knew of his prognosis and fought against that stupid cancer together as a family. That was probably the thing that helped them accept reality easier.
“We don’t shelter them from ‘adult things.’ It was their dad and they were a part of the fight,” Brazel told “Today.”
“We have always been very open with them, and because of this I believe they have handled the whole journey amazingly.”