LinkedIn is usually the platform you go to when you want to make industry connections or read inspiring posts about working toward career success, but now two parents are using it to remind the rest of us that the connection with our children is more valuable than any work we could find on the social network.
A pair of Linked In posts by a pair of grieving parents urges moms and dads to use their time off and fill their vacation days with hugs, not work emails.
J.R. Storment is a tech founder and his wife Jessica Brandes is a naturopathic doctor. And when one of their healthy, 8-year-old twin boys didn’t wake up one morning they both wished they’d spent less time at work and more time with their sons. In twin essays posted to LinkedIn, Storment and Brandes tell two perspectives of their son’s death but share a perspective they now want to share with other parents.
“If you are a parent and have any capacity to spend more time with your kids, do,” Brandes writes.
“Hug your kids. Don’t work too late. A lot of the things you are likely spending your time on you’ll regret once you no longer have the time,” Storment echoed in his post.
For Brandes, the realization that her son was gone happened when she realized he was sleeping in far too late while his brother played on an iPad next to him. When she saw his mottled feet sticking out of the blanket, she knew. Storment learned of their son’s death when Brandes called him at work. He was in a meeting when Brandes called and told him their son was dead. The call was a quick one. she hung up fast and called 911.
The couple’s son, Wiley, had Rolandic Epilepsy, a form of epilepsy they’d been told was benign. Apart from the epilepsy, which he was diagnosed with nine months before his death, Wiley was a healthy, vibrant boy just like his twin brother, Oliver. And one morning he was just gone. They believe he died from a rare condition called Sudden Unexplained Death of Epilepsy.
“Take your vacation days and sabbaticals and go be with them,” Brandes wrote in her LinkedIn post. “You will not regret the emails you forgot to send. From now on, if you email or text me and my reply takes longer than expected, know that I am with the people I love sharing my time, creating my new identity and I encourage you to do the same.”
As her husband titled his post, “It’s later than you think.”