Zachary Bennett Brearley 2/2/96 – 7/19/18

As I sit here writing once again about the reality that I refuse to believe, it occurs to me that if you flip that first 2 around it will become a heart, broken yet somehow unending. I still can’t breathe. Yet I still somehow press forward. I have always been a person of positivity and adventure. My son lived his short life making everyone laugh and spreading kindness, especially to those that needed it most. He worked hard. He met people from all over the world who took a small piece of him on their journey. He struggled silently with the world and the weight of “what to do” with his life. In 22 years he did more than some in a lifetime. He learned to play drums, he was a cook, he played basketball and won 2 District Championships, he traveled to other countries, he played baseball, he had so many cars and from the first one he would “modify” them and tinker, he built a hovercraft, he got a scholarship to Florida State University and then left, he loved the ocean and the beach, he learned to snowboard and so many other things but mostly I think he loved music and being funny. He lived. Until he didn’t.

I always felt like he ended up with my wit and sense of humor, my quick thinking and my up and down emotions. Super high. Super low. The world is so much different now than when I graduated from High School in 1989. It is faster, more difficult, wonderful and scary too. He was his own person and very much needed to do things himself and not ask for help. It took 3 years of me asking him before he would call me to give him a ride when he got stuck without a car or a ride because one of his broke down or something. He did not ask for things, he did them. I think he got that one from me too but over the years I have learned that asking for things, letting the world in a little bit, is not only OK but it is necessary as humans. We all need to feel love. We all need to know that there are people who care. We all need each other. As his mom, I feel like I will never stop thinking that there was more I could have done for him to keep him from the dangers of “life”. That being said, I will spend my days going forward and not looking back because that is who I am. He lived in the minute, the moment, and that is how I have been spending my life helping people these past 3 years. To LIVE and not just walk through life accepting whatever is in front of you. Be grateful. Be joyful. Be intentional about who you spend time with and what you do with the time you have been given. So I will continue down that path and I will focus on others and providing ways for people to live intentionally.

I was blessed 3 years ago to fall unknowingly into the most powerful thing on the planet, people helping people become more. In the last how ever many days, I have somehow managed to maintain the habit of daily self care, because I didn’t even have to think about it, it was just automatic. I have been surrounded by immense support and love from that community of givers. I am so grateful for the financial opportunity it has provided us that kept going when I couldn’t. I am comforted in knowing that what I was doing “before” is something I still feel really good about doing “after”. It is also not enough. I have always had a charitable heart and wanted to do more.

In addition to all of the above, back in April I founded a non profit organization that was designed around empowerment and immersive experiences to help people discover things and become greater versions of themselves. In the past 2 days we have begun turning the dial to “right now”. We have added 2 additional board members and will be hitting the ground running. Many people have asked me what they can do, how they can financially help us, and though we were grateful it was just not something we felt was right. I did not feel it would honor my son or the way he lived. This is different. Not only will this honor the way he lived but I believe it will address how he died, which we are still discovering. I believe he was lost in between high school and life. Like most kids, and many adults frankly, he did not know what he wanted to do with his life. And like most, there are not a lot of places for age 18 to 22 to “belong” if they are not in college. He was a traveler, an adventurer, and a thinker. The thinker part is where I believe he was caught. His IQ was extremely high, gifted, and his future was anything he wanted it to be. And that was a lot to handle. He used the time to experience life and to help others who were struggling with their own.

So, if you feel so moved as to be a part of something that I truly think will make a difference in the world then I thank you in advance for your donation or your support. You can see from my not recently updated resume that I am a creator of things. I am a dreamer. I am a builder. I am a producer. I have been groomed my entire career for what I am about to do. I have already started and have incredibly gifted people with me. My goal now is to hit the ground running and make a difference in as many lives as possible as quickly as possible. So, as the founder and Executive Director of Intentional Heart Inc., a non profit organization currently in the process of acquiring 501(3)c status, I am asking for anything you feel called to give and please like and follow us on facebook and instagram so that we may help each other. We are grateful for you.


Our goal is to provide funding for 1 full time and 2 part time staff positions

We believe that in order to be successful you must start out with a solid foundation, good people and a clear path. This requires consistent effort from qualified individuals with a single purpose, to create enrichment programming that will support the mission and fund the charitable efforts we provide to the community on a national level.


Some of our Retreats & Workshops in development that will provide both financial support for outreach and individual support for those who use our services:

  • Self love, empowerment & intention setting
  • Creative exploration
  • Leadership & goal setting
  • Gratitude & acts of service
  • Communication & Understanding
  • Team Building & Family Unity
  • Back to Nature
  • Historical Immersion
  • Fitness & Fun
  • Magical & Mysterious

The organization was formed in April of 2018 and due to the recent death of my son at the age of 22, an additional element will be included that specifically focuses on providing enrichment opportunities for youth as they go from high school to the next chapter of life.

If you have made it this far, thank you for the time you gave up to this and for listening to crumpled heart of a grieving mother who needed to write it all down.

Life is meant to be lived with wild abandon and a full and grateful heart. Please go out into the world everyday and spread kindness and love.

Shannon Tibbetts, Founder and Executive Director and Mom