February 15, 2012

Hug Him Once For Me

A few weeks ago I came across a beautiful song called "Hug Him Once For Me". This song was written by Erica and she wrote it after her precious son Braden died. After reading over her and her husband's blog I emailed them to see if they would be willing to share their story here on 4 Days To Eternity. They kindly accepted and so here is their story and her beautiful song.

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It was a beautiful July afternoon. My husband and our oldest daughter were on their first daddy daughter date! I was trying to get together the finishing touches for my yard sale the next day. We had just had a huge hail storm the week before so we had a couple insurance guys coming to look at our roof and vehicle. The first gentleman showed up about a half an hour after my husband and daughter had left for their date. He needed the to look at the van, so I had to call Bradley and have him come home. I had just nursed Braden and laid him down for his nap. Normally, Braden napped for about 30 minutes before waking up and requiring me to hold him, so I was hurrying to get all I could accomplished in that time.
Bradley came home and checked on Braden (making it the second head peeked in on him). He had been sleeping now about 45 minutes. Right when the first gentelman finished up, the one for the roof came so we were hopping. I decided to stay inside because Braden would be waking up any minute. Just then a girl from our youth group showed up and we sat in the living room to chat. Braden was napping in our bedroom which is just off the living room. I could hear even a whimper had he made one.
A while later the girl left and Bradley came inside to discuss what we were planning to do with the insurance money. We were so excited because we knew we could do the roof ourselves and save a lot of money! We decided we better check on Braden because he had napped for an hour and a half which was EXTREMELY unusual. We walked in together (which had never been done before either) and I picked up Braden. I screamed, realizing he was not breathing. His little feet were cool. I was mortified. I ran outside to drive him to the hospital as it is only three blocks from our house. In the mean time, Bradley was trying to call 911 on his cell phone but could not think to hit send. I had run out without my keys so I was just screaming for someone to help. Just then a city bus stopped and drove Braden and I to the hospital. The whole time, I was crying aloud, GOD SAVE MY BABY!!!!!
Because we had our, at the time, two year old daughter at home, my husband had to grab the neighbor to watch her and drive him over to the hospital. In the meantime I was there, they had rushed Braden right into a room and stuck me in a room by myself. It seemed like forever, but it was only about five minutes before my husband arrived. The thing I will never forget was my conversation with God in that five minutes. I cried out, "God please save my baby!" And very clearly I heard, "No." I turned around to see who was in the room. No one was there. It wasn't an audible voice I had heard but it was so clear in my heart that it seemed that way. I repeated my plea, thinking maybe it was a mistake. "GOD SAVE MY BABY!" And again the reply, "No."
Now let me stop here to say, I was born and raised in a Christian family, as was my husband. We were both saved at a young age and attended church faithfully. My dad was a pastor and my husband's dad is a pastor. I am a pastor's wife! All this to show that I KNOW inside and out what I should think, how I should act and what I should say. Now back to my conversation with God...
My husband arrived and thus began phone calls, friends, family, our pastor, we had to let them all know to pray. I don't remember a lot of the things that happened outside of my conversation with God. They worked on my son for an hour. All the while I wrestled with God. Bits of our conversation were as follows:
"God, YOU don't understand, I NEED him."
"No child, you need Me."
"I can't live life without him."
"My grace is sufficient for thee."
"You don't have enough grace for this."
"My strength is made perfect in weakness."
"I know You gave Your Son willingly, I won't!"
"Come unto Me all ye who are weak and heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
"Let me hold you, rest."
Then the nurse came in. "Tell me my baby is ok!" "I can't she said, I'm sorry, we've done all that we can."
I collapsed into the chair. At that moment as my world crashed, I felt as though I fell right into the arms of Jesus. The peace that surrounded me was more than I can explain. It truly was as if I finally surrendered, I finally realized that I could not change God's mind. I surrendered to Him because I had nothing but Him!
The next few weeks were kind of a blur. I never imagined planning my son's funeral. Not to mention we had two. One here in Michigan where we live, the other in Indiana, where we were raised. Cards, prayers, visits all comforted us for several weeks. I was soley reliant on God and His grace. I needed it for every breath. We counted the different ways that God had prepared us for this day without our knowing. We counted the blessings of the trial. We were going to be ok.
Then it hit, six weeks went by, then seven...the calls faded, the cards stopped, the visits no more. The people asking how I was slowed and no one dared to even mention Braden's name. It was as though he never existed. Everyone went back to normal and me, I didn't know what normal was. I had nothing "normal" to resort to. Everything I did, I should have had a baby with me. He was 5 1/2 months old...he couldn't just stop breathing. What does "Cause Unknown" mean anyway!?
My life continued as normal as it could...I still did my devotions. I still went to church, I still answered the questions correctly. I still held it together when I needed to. But inside, inside I was dying. My spiritual life was in starvation mode. I longed for something more but didn't realize that I didn't even trust the One I was longing for. I needed grace, but didn't know how to grasp it. I lay in bed one night and finally explained to my husband how I felt. I told him that it was as though I were on a wrestling mat with Satan. No longer was I fighting to stand, but I was pinned to the mat, fighting to breathe. I felt like giving up, like Jesus was in a very distant corner and I wasn't even sure if He cared that I was pinned!!!!!! In fact, there were a few times that I actually fought to get to my knees and then got knocked forcefully back down. When I turned to see who pushed me, I could not tell if it was Satan or Jesus! My husband, being the wise, Godly man that he is answered with the most perfect words, I will never forget. He said, "As you lay there, I want you to look up in the left hand corner." (This is ridiculous I thought.) "There is a rope. Across that rope there is a word written- GRACE. Have you ever climbed a rope?" he asked. "Of course." I said, pondering his thinking. "Then you know it's not easy to climb a rope. It takes work. It's hard. God promises us that His grace is sufficient, not easy. I don't think that it is God being distant from you, but rather that you think it's easier to let go of the rope than it is to climb." His wisdom astonished me. I burst into tears, knowing he was right. I hated climbing. I thought God should always pick me up when it hurt. He continued to amaze me with his answer, "As for being knocked down, obvioulsy Satan will knock us down, but if Mariah (our oldest daughter) were to walk near a fire,  your reaction would be to push her away. That would knock her down. Let's say she scraped her knee. She would then cry, "momma why did you hurt me?" But you know that the scratch on her knee, is far less damage than falling in the fire would be. Sometimes it is just Satan, and other times, our Heavenly Father pushes us out of the way of the fire, often scraping our knee." Are you as dumbfounded as I was yet? I could not believe this, as I sat here, knowing that my husband lost the same son I did, he was so understanding of who God is.
Life has not been the same since Braden died, that's obvious. But I can honestly say, God has completely changed my life. I echo the words to the song "God's Been Good". "And though I've had my share of hard times, I wouldn't change them if I could, cause through it all, God's been good."
I truly can say I would not change what God has done in our lives. He has used Braden's death to take me to a walk that is deeper than I could have ever imagined. I'd encourage you to check out our blog to read some more details of how God has used this trial in our lives. You can also see the details of how I came to write the song Hug Him Once For Me on the site. I encourage you that if you do not know the Lord, please please please contact me and I'd be happy to share Christ with you. If you do, continue to trust in Him. He has a plan that far out weighs our thinking. Thank you for allowing me to share my story and I pray that God uses it today to be a blessing. My email is ericamcclure31@yahoo.com and our blog is www.bradmcclure.org


  1. Beautiful post and song. It really touched me. Thank you for being willing to share your story.

    With love and Hope,

  2. Well my son past away 4 weeks tommrow 2 mounths shy of his 4 birthday and my niece found me your song I hope you mind I played at his funreal I fell lost in tought and torn I have 6 year old daoughter and almost one year old son and. I wanted to say thank you your song made me close to my chris thank you again

  3. God is awesome as I am dealing with the death of my little brother. He was an adult but I don't care how old you are, death of someone you love is a truly hard thing to grasp. As a matter of fact your story about your son is how I am feeling about my brother, totally lost, always unprepared and feeling this is not real and How can God do this? Your story has helped me remember that even in the darkest times, God is with us. We are playing this song at his funeral tomorrow as I pray for peace in our difficult times. I pray that God will prevail and Satan will lose the battle among my family. Thank you for sharing your story and thank youf or an amazing song to help us deal with our tragedy and grief.

  4. Truly heartbreaking. My hurt hearts for you. God bless you!!

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  6. My grandson was stillborn Monday night. I found your video the next day. My daughter is having it played at the funeral tomorrow. It so perfectly expresses what we are feeling. Thank you for sharing it for other hurting families. Is there a place to get a copy of the lyrics?

    1. I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your grandson Holley. If you go to the youtube page where this video is posted (link to it below) I believe there is contact information for Erica who wrote this song. If there are lyrics she would probably be able to get you them. Thanks for your comment. Blessings, Anna Fritz

  7. Our baby boy went to be with Jesus three weeks ago. I had him on Mother's Day and he graced us with his presence for less than five days. I just read your testimony and it's as if the Lord was speaking directly to me. I have been wrestling Satan this past week and wondering how I can ever trust God again. My best friend found your song while I was holding him in the NICU. Another good friend of mine sang your song at the funeral at our church. This song comforts me so knowing that Dalton Joseph is no longer sick and my husband and I will see him again one day. I know our son had and has a purpose and we are beginning to see it more clearly.

    1. I am so deeply sorry to hear about the loss of your precious baby boy. I am thankful that this song was a help to you and that you were able to use it! We cannot take credit for this beautiful song, Erica McClure wrote it. You can leave a comment for her on their YouTube page here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IBHEJtqKjkk
      My husband and I have an outreach called 4 Days To Eternity. We give out copies of the book "Safe in the arms of God" to families who have lost a baby. We would love to send you a copy of this book if you are interested. You can email us your address at 4daystoeternity@gmail.com and we will get a copy out to you free of charge. We will be praying for you as you walk this hard road.
      Blessings! Anna Fritz

  8. My son Noah Lee was born still on February 27th. While we were looking thru songs on you tube for him funeral we came across "hug him once for me". I had just listened to Watermark's "Glory Baby" when it came up on autoplay. It was perfect and we used it for his funeral on a March 3rd.

  9. Hi my name is Crystal, my son Julius was born sleeping on july 31st he is almost 4months old and I also had to listen to a hundred songs while tears flowed& my 18yr old son was my rock he said just listen and tell me when u lime one& after many songs I heard (hug him once for me) that was perfect I played ati funeral its on my phone my 3yr old& 5yr old sing it& we just have our moments but I just so angry I refuse to hear about God right now I just tell people until my Julius come & tells me where he is& how he is Idk and no1 has ever died& came back to say how heaven or hell was so how do we really know?? Im just completely angry& people are scarf to stand next to me cz afraid lightning will strike& ive always believed in God but I am truly angry not understanding I guess but IV tried reasoning with myself that Julius was just too beautiful for earth or things people tell me but I just can't forgive god or Idk who did this God or Devil?? Im so angry& now no1 wants to tt me about heaven or hell because I guess Im just terrible with my way of thinking. I told ev1 who has trued to help me understand ive said that ive never had 1 person die& come back to say how heaven or hell was so how do we really even know?? Just confused.& in misery and completely miss my son and can't get on with life Im stuck in my mind that day his heartbeat couldn't be found. My baby was gone inside my belly. R.I.P Julius XoXXo

  10. Wow! Simply WOW! I lost my daughter at 21 wks on May 25th, 2017 I had to give birth to her. Ever since I have lost faith and kept asking God "why?" Just felt as if he no longer exists or as if he left my side and abandoned me when I most needed him. Kept questioning why he took my baby whom I've loved long before I conceived her and there are women out there killing and abandoning their babies and leaving them to suffer, so why my child who was gonna be loved by all that sorrounded her. I recently found this song and it really spoke to me. Now I found this testimony and it's like God finally answered my question. I grew up in a Christian home so I knew that we should never question God, but when you are being put through the fire that phrase is easier said than done. Now every time I feel depressed I just listen to this song and send my own personal message to my little Eryka. Thank u so much for sharing. This message couldn't have come at a better time!