Not as Strong as I Look


No matter how tightly I strap on my armor, grief sends arrows through the tiniest unprotected chink and pierces my heart.

There is no defense against the sound, the smell, the wayward memory that sends me back in time to when Dominic was alive and with me.

And once there, to drag myself forward to today—where he is neither—is torture. 

Sometimes the process can be a matter of seconds, the only evidence a blank stare or a single tear.  Other times the memories and the forceful return to the here and now unleashes a flood from my eyes and ends my usefulness for that day.

Either way, it’s exhausting. 

I think that might be one of the most surprising aspects of grief for me.  When it strikes hard (as it still does sometimes) it robs me of energy and the desire to do anything.

I am a “get-it-done” kind of person.

But there’s no way to get grief “done”. 

It works itself out in its own time and in its own way.

I can position my mind and my heart to heal by focusing on the promises of God in Scripture.  But I cannot hurry along the healing.

And healing, when it comes, will always be incomplete this side of heaven.

Please don’t mistake the fact that I can stand straight and look strong as proof that I am recovered. 

I am often frightened and sometimes I want to hide.

But vulnerable and wounded, I remain until God calls me home.

In His feathers He shall deliver you and under His wings you shall have refuge; His truth shall surround you as a supply of armor.

Psalm 91:4

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.

14 thoughts on “Not as Strong as I Look”

  1. So lovely and familiar to me…sigh. Perhaps it is my sinful pride, but after a day…or an hour even…of relative peace, I tell myself that, just perhaps, I have turned a corner. And then I am suddenly, inexplicably reminded that not only have I failed to turn a corner…but grief has rolled me into a ball of sadness once again. I long for a time when the memories are more joyful and the sadness more predictable. Thank you, Melanie, for managing to articulate what is written on my heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Miss Melissa and others ~ ~I too am a grieving momma. I know what you mean when you say… the armor and the arrows, boy do I.

    I actually had some, a smidgen, of peace this year (I am going on 5 1/2 years without my Ethan who’s life was robbed from him and those of us who were lucky enough to know him). It is the first year some of the “Christmas spirit” was able to eek out from under the armor. I know I am hiding most of my sadness, it bothers others, still, so much.

    Miss Melissa, I love the title of your blog… very exacting for all of us.

    May the many blessings of our Lord be your comfort.

    Sincerely yours,

    Kathleen Kline


    1. I am so very sorry that you are living life without the physical presence of your Ethan. It has been less than 2 years for me–I’m thankful you had a taste of Christmas Spirit this year. May grace and mercy overwhelm you and God give you strength for each new day.


  3. Lost my son four weeks ago tomorrow…. I love what you wrote and feel the same.. just because I am able to walk and greet those in my path does not mean im functioning on the inside.. I have learned over the years how to give a professional front.. please keep writing. God bless you


    1. I am so very sorry for your loss. It is a hard, hard thing to bury a child. May mercy and grace overwhelm you and may God give you the strength you need for each day.


    1. You can follow via email by clicking on the “follow” button on the bottom of the post. I don’t have a separate mailing list. I’m so very sorry for your loss. May God’s grace and mercy overwhelm you and may He give you the strength you need for each day.


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