Brianna's Story-Taken Too Soon

by Debbie Hester
(Georgia, USA)

Brianna Kichelle

Brianna Kichelle

My precious angel Brianna was beaten and murdered by my daughter's ex-boyfriend on April 30, 2009. She died in the early morning hours of May 1, 2009 after being taken off of life-support. Brianna was only 17 months old. She was so perfect, so beautiful and so defenseless. I alternate daily between cursing God and thanking him for every one of those days she was here with us. My grief is still so unbearable at times. Time has not healed my heart and I doubt it ever will.

My granddaughter Brianna was like one of my own. Her real father was never in the picture. She and her Mommy lived with me and we would often joke that Bri did indeed have two parents as I was her "second Mommy". I still miss all the late night feedings, diaper changes, making bottles, hours of tummy time, and all her milestones I was so honored to share during her first year.

Then my daughter started dating this man and everything changed. She claimed he was everything she was looking for and he was so good to Brianna. He was 32, divorced (so he claimed) with 3 children of his own, and seemed very mature and settled. All was good at first, but then she moved her and the baby into his apartment. Everyone told her she hadn't known this man long enough to be moving in with him. But she quickly told us that she was a grown woman "in love" and able to make her own decisions. That is what she now has to live with the rest of her life-as her decision cost her her daughter's life.

The rest of the family started noticing bruises on Brianna about 3 months after they started living together. My daughter always said that it was because Bri fell down a lot, as she did have a very pronounced turn in her right leg and foot. And she was just starting to walk. Brianna's pediatrician even examined her foot and said she would probably outgrow this. Sadly she never got the chance.

We have since found out that the boyfriend would hurt Brianna every time her mommy left for college. Child Services (DEFACS) were called six different times and did absolutely nothing. My daughter always believed him when he claimed Bri fell or tripped again. Everyone had always seen him be nothing but loving and gentle with her. My daughter was young, naive and thought she had found her soul mate. He was indeed a real "wolf in sheep's clothing". My daughter's heart has been ripped out and she will never trust again. She now lives with enormous guilt and self doubt instead of her beautiful baby girl.

We have all been through hell and back with this. That monster is currently in jail awaiting the murder trial, which we pray will be soon and our baby will get justice. The roller coaster of emotions this past year has almost torn our family apart. Nothing will ever be the same or "normal" again. It is too late for our Brianna now, but hopefully her story will save another family from having to go through this horrific hell. No child deserves to go through what our little Brianna did.

If I have learned anything from this tragedy it is- ALWAYS TRUST YOUR GUT FEELINGS AND PLEASE NEVER LEAVE YOUR CHILD ALONE WITH SOMEONE YOU DON'T KNOW!!! (I have always said it takes at least two full years to really know someone, now I wonder if even that is enough.)

Every minute of every day I miss her so much, but if my pain is the cross I have to bear to get to hold her again someday in Heaven, it will all be worth this agony. I Love you my Brianna. Always and Forever?

Grammy xoxoxo

Comments for Brianna's Story-Taken Too Soon

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Dec 24, 2011
special time to remember the good times
by: grace

At this time of year l want you to remember the good times and happy times you had with your grandaughter. I wish you a good time with your memories and thoughts and l am thinking of you and hope you can believe in the future . God bless you , X I am praying for you.

Dec 20, 2011
by: grace

My daughter was taken from me 27 years ago on the 20th dec. Today l played with my grandaughter River, l feel my daughter in her. You must never forget. Brianna will live on in your daughter. I am thinking of you today, so be strong in your heart and remember the love you will always have for little Brianna. God bless you.

Dec 18, 2011
believe in yourself
by: grace

Only you can believe in yourself, this person took someone away from you, you can bring the person back with Bless you.

May 23, 2010
We can cry together
by: Dee

All I can do is cry with you. I have no words, for I know your pain.
God Bless and watch over you.

May 18, 2010
Prayers are with you
by: Anonymous

It is inconceivable, the pain you must be feeling. My heart goes out to you, and my prayers too. Thank you for posting her picture, what a pretty girl. You are brave for telling yours and Brianna's story. What an incredibly important message you have.

May 18, 2010
by: Faith

I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful granddaughter. What a tragedy! My prayers are with you and your family. I am also praying that the monster who did that rots in jail.

May 17, 2010
Beautiful picture/Sad story
by: Pee Paw

Debbie, although I have lived through this with all of you, reading it over and over again tears my heart out for all my family. That is a beautiful picture of Brianna, but the story remains sad.

I, too, pray for justice in Brianna's case. I miss her so much, and visit her grave daily. I long to hold her again, to make her laugh and feel her hug me.

We will never forget her. The loss of Bri has taken a toll on everyone, especially you and Kim. I love you my little "wee wee" girl and hope to see you again soon. Love, Pee Paw

May 17, 2010
My heart is in tears for you
by: Anonymous

You must be living in hell, I am so so sorry. My thoughts are with you. Thomas of Englewood Colorado

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