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Thank you for your support and some suggestions for you

melissaincali's picture
Posts: 34
Joined: Sep 2009

I haven't been on here since my husband, Brant, passed away on December 17th. It has been an incredibly tough few weeks. First, I wanted to share an article that was written about him in the Stanford Daily with everyone.

Secondly, although nobody wants to think about this part (we didn't either) I wanted to share a few things I have learned that might be helpful. We always said we needed to move our assets into a trust, but thought we had more time. Luckily (not sure if that is the exact word I want to use), we had a few days while Brant was in ICU to have a lawyer come to the hospital and set this up for us. If Brant had passed away with this trust, life insurance and all things that are in his name (and most everything was in his name) would have to go through the court system and probate. I believe that 15% of life insurance and assets would have gone to the government. With a trust, everything is immediately available to myself and William and the government does not get any of it. I just want to make sure that everyone knows about this....even without cancer something can happen at anytime like a car accident and it is important that this stuff is dealt with. I wish that wasn't something we were having to think about and go through while Brant was in ICU. It was not ideal.

Also, make sure that all your wishes are known in terms of belongings, your burial wishes, anything that you can think of that is important for your spouse or significant other to know. These are really hard conversations to have and while Brant and I had some of them, we didn't have all of them. Everything went downhill really quickly and we always thought we would have more time. Take the time for the difficult conversations. Make sure that if you were planning to write letters to your children or leave a video message for them, that you have done this. Don't put it off.

I feel grateful that Brant and I had time to put some of this stuff in order and say what we wanted/needed to say to each other before he passed away. I wish that I wasn't left guessing for some of the questions that we never got around to. What did he want his brother, mother, or father to have of his? Where did he want his ashes spread? I know what was important for him to give to our son at least.

I hope this is helpful and not too depressing to read. William and I are doing as well as can be expected for what we are dealing with. We are lucky to have wonderful friends and family supporting us. I know that the grief will be a constant companion of mine, but I also know that I have to find a way to work through it and honor Brant by living the life he wanted for me and our son. I will find a way to have joy and give William a joyful life. It is the best tribute I can give to my wonderful husband.

I might not be back on for a while...taking a little break from cancer, but I wanted to make sure that I let everyone know how much your support has meant to me. This group has helped keep me plugging along through the horrible cancer world. I wish everyone good health and happiness this New Year.

Shayenne's picture
Posts: 2370
Joined: Jan 2009

It's so good to hear from you, I know not under the best circumstances, it is very upsetting for us as well to have heard of Brandt passing so quickly, and do understand how you are at a place for mourning now. I do wish you and Will the best, and the lord will guide you down this next path, as you will see Brandt again in the next plane :)

It's good information you have given, alot of stuff I have talked to my husband about, he knows my wishes, and there's really not much of value we have, I don't have much jewelry or anything, my kids can have what they want, my 2 acres of land is under both our names, I hope that wouldn't be a problem with me passing, hopefully hubby wouldn't need me there to sell it?

Thank you for coming here, it's a joy to have had you here, and I know you need a break. I do hope to see you again, and sorry these holidays weren't the best for you this year, but hopefully you don't stop celebrating them either. I wish you much love, health and happiness to come back to you, I know your son is your joy :)


PS - That was an amzing article on him.. His "Golden Hands" will sure be missed by alot of people :)

Paula G.'s picture
Paula G.
Posts: 596
Joined: Apr 2009

Thank you so much for this. I will have to check into this more. I thought that if I was the one he had on his life insurance to leave it to that there wouldn't be a problem. We have talked about a lot of things we both want when we die.

Hope things get better for you. I am sure it is hard. Hope I don't have to face it soon. Good luck. Paula

lisa42's picture
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Hi Melissa,

I'm glad to hear from you, and I totally understand that you won't be on again for awhile. Thank you for taking the time during your own grief, to share your wise bit of advice for us. My husband and I had paperwork drawn up several months ago to get a trust going, but we've never completed it yet. I will talk to my husband about finally taking care of it- so, thank you for that advice and reminder!

I will check out the link to the article on your husband after I finish writing this. I know his memory will live on in the hearts of many people.
Take care of yourself-


Kathleen808's picture
Posts: 2361
Joined: Jan 2009

How thoughtful of you to touch base with us and share the beautiful article about Brant. What an amazing, loving, brilliant man. I continue to pray for you and Will. Your family and friends sound like wonderful people and they obviously love you very much.
Thank you for sharing your bits of information. You're right that it is very hard to have those discussions. Dick and I put together a trust a few years ago but I know it is time to review it. Thank you for the gentle nudge to do so now.
You are a beautiful mother and I know you will raise Will with Brant's memory and spirit with you every step of the way.
With continued prayers and aloha,

just4Brooks's picture
Posts: 988
Joined: Jun 2009

Thanks for the advice, You are a very strong person to go through this. I send my love and best wishes to you and your son.

Life is funny sometimes

geotina's picture
Posts: 2120
Joined: Oct 2009

I have been thinking of you daily. Brant went so fast it was shocking. That wonderful little boy will bring much joy to your life and keep you going even on days when you just want to curl up in bed. Thank you also for your honesty regarding personal and financial matters. Our assets are already in dual ownership but when I brought up a trust to George it really upset him so I am giving it a rest for a few weeks then will bring it up again. I also urge all our semi family to check their individual states where they live. Every state handles estates differently and there is no reason for the government to get a dime of any estate. This is especially important with blended families, who gets what or how much can turn grief into even more of a nightmare so you need to put it in writing. Your post was not depressing to read, it is reality. Don't try to do to much too fast, things will fall into place on their own. In the weeks to come as the lives of others get back to normal and you are feeling blue, please remember, we on the board are your family and will be here for you 24/7. Take care Melissa. I'm so sorry for your loss. Sincerely - Tina

Patteee's picture
Posts: 950
Joined: Jul 2009

thank you for being part of our lives Melissa and allowing us on your journey. The story of Brant's work, who he was and who he aspired to be- isn't just one of loss, but one of joy and thanks. He left you and Will, his family, his friends way way way too soon and certainly we are all less because of this. I wish for you peace on the path ahead, time to heal and time to move forward with your son. I believe Brant will always be with you, always close to you and always apart of who you are. And yes, joy and happiness will come for both of you, because it is part of honoring Brant and honoring what he wanted for the people he loved.


Posts: 67
Joined: Dec 2009

what we feel in our heart for you Melissa. Thanks for sharing from your heart. Tom and I received emails from Brant about his treatment and about a doctor at MD Anderson he had talked with. We were so impressed that Brant took time to discuss his situation and ours - he was so willing to share information with us. Will be praying for you and your son in the days to come. Take a break, enjoy the sunshine, birds, everyday things.....but most of all enjoy life and watching your son grow into a smart, handsome, wonderful young man... just like his father!!

Posts: 638
Joined: Dec 2009

I read the article before I wrote this and I have to say you are a very lucky lady to have been a part of such a wonderful man , doctor, teacher, he was a very talented man and he loved you and his son very much. The pain will be with you forever but you have so many wonderful memories of the life you had together. When my father died the paster told my mother to place my fathers bible on his side of the bed each night and the grief would be easier. I don't know if it worked or not she said she felt comfort and a closeness to dad at night so it did something. I will pray for you and your family.

tootsie1's picture
Posts: 5056
Joined: Feb 2008


I've been thinking so much about you and your son and all Brant's family. I'm sure this was an incredibly hard holiday season. Thank you for posting this, so we could read more about Brant and know of his accomplishments. What a smart, caring, wonderful person Brant was!

I'll keep praying for you, and I hope you'll let us know how you're doing.


ann2008's picture
Posts: 119
Joined: Nov 2009

I read the news excerpt and I am so sorry for your loss of your husband at such a young age. He sounded like such a good person and I can't imagine how you feel but I will keep you and your beautiful son in my prayers. Thank you so much for returning here to let us know that you are ok and for the information. Very helpful. God bless you. Ann

Posts: 69
Joined: Sep 2009

Thank you for thinking of us during this difficult time.
I cannot believe how quickly Brant went downhill.
He was so educated and talented, the world will miss his golden hands.
Take care of yourself and Will, one day at a time may your pain become less and less.


Posts: 3692
Joined: Oct 2009


How kind of you to think of us when you have so much on your mind! Thanks for sharing the story of your husband from the newspaper with us. He sounds like an amazing man & I am very sorry for your loss. Please take good care of yourself!

HollyID's picture
Posts: 951
Joined: Dec 2009

to Brant in the Stanford Daily.

I hope and pray that God grants peace to you and William.

lizzydavis's picture
Posts: 893
Joined: May 2009

Thank you for taking the time to share that very important information with us. We appreciate it so much.

sfmarie's picture
Posts: 605
Joined: Aug 2009

And wondered how this disease targets such young, vibrant, healthy people. I wonder why we have not found a cure, why we have not found routine blood screenings that can detect the disease as part of routine check-ups, why the treatment is so brutal and why some respond so well and others do not. I cannot begin to imagine what you are going through, what you have been through and what you are facing. I thank you for sharing your story, your wisdom and your inspiration. My heart just breaks reading your post and I pray you will find peace, strength and courage in this. You have a beautiful son that is forever the reminder of the wonderful life you shared with Brant.
Thank you for sharing the article. Marie

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