Thankful But Broken

Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday.

My birthday sometimes falls on the day itself, and I have often been able to celebrate with extended family and friends-a full table of food and a full house of fellowship.

I love the colors of fall, the scents of cinnamon and pumpkin, the freedom from gift-giving pressures that lets me focus on the people in my life.

A few years ago, Ann Voskamp’s book, One Thousand Gifts, was published sparking a renewed interest in the Christian community to focus on thankfulness as a way to open our hearts to the goodness and faithfulness of God and to open our hands and lives to serve others from our bounty.

An invitation to trust and not be afraid.

Across social media, people began to post , “Today I am thankful for___________.” Instagram.  Facebook.  Twitter.  Good stuff, and good reminders.

And I am thankful.


I am thankful that my family has managed to survive the loss of Dominic without going crazy  or becoming bitter or running away. We continue to support, love and care for one another.

I am thankful for the few, special friends who have made it a priority to visit me, love me and give me a safe space to vent my grief.

I am thankful that I have food to eat, a place to live and clothes to wear.

I am thankful for my Bible, the one I got while carrying Dominic beneath my heart-the one filled with notes, prayers and underlined passages-because it reminds me that God is still God even when I can’t feel Him.

But I am broken.


Losing a child, not being able to save the life your love created, not being there when he breathed his last, not holding his hand as he entered eternity-that is humbling.

My November and Thanksgiving will be quieter than in years past.

No daily posts.  No long lists.

I will lean in and listen hard for the whispered promises that one day heartache will end.

I will open my heart and hand to a hurting world.

I will trust and not be afraid.

Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

7 thoughts on “Thankful But Broken”

  1. This will be my 1st Thanksgiving without my son. I am blessed I know but I am broken also. But I will make the holidays as wonderful as I can for his 3 little boys

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for reposting this message, Melanie. Thanksgiving of 2015 was our last holiday with my Jeff. He died tragically on December 19, 2015. While I choose to be thankful as I hope in eternity, I honestly still wish, almost 6 years later, that I could hibernate through the holidays. My last photo of Jeff is with his favorite treat, pumpkin pie with loads of whipped cream. Sigh…miss him so, yet thankful I was given 22years of love through him. 💙💛

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  3. I Love November and Thanksgiving as well… Happy Birthday 🎂 in advance, Dear Melanie ❤️
    November is the month of the year in which my son John Paul made his entry to this earth on November 4, 1990 – in a moment of such joy for me – unlike anything I had ever known up to that point – contrasted with the moment he stepped into eternity November 12, 2015 – at the end of our driveway , when he drifted off to sleep and his car 🚙 hit a cedar tree… As soon as the weather turns crisp with the smell of Fall with the leaves 🍁 beginning to float to the earth, my heart and soul is tethered with a tenacious hold to the promise of God that our life In Christ is eternal and our momentary journey here is to bring His light and love to those who walk along the way with us … I am so thankful for the heart you freely share with all of us – you, even in your heartache, bless us, so much. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joan and Melanie, my heart goes out to both of you at this time of year. Birthdays, holidays and other significant dates are really hard. Joan, I too know the heartache of losing my son so close to his birthday. Christopher left this world one day after his 30th birthday in February so that month is difficult, especially since my daughter’s birthday is just 10 days prior in the same month. Melanie, thank you for giving all of us a safe place to share, grieve and find hope together. God’s blessings on both of you.

      Liked by 1 person

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