Things I’m Learning

The way things are supposed to be isn’t always the way things are.

I can experience joy and sorrow in the same breath.

The capacity to love and extend grace is enlarged by suffering if I submit to it and don’t fight it.

Never, never, NEVER underestimate the power of presence or texts or the random, “thinking of you” card.

Encouragement comes from unexpected sources.

Truth is the best defense against lies.

I was not nearly as grace-filled or kind as I thought I was before Dominic died. I’m trying to do better.

Hard things are hard.

Sad things are sad.

There’s no use pretending to be stronger than I am, God knows already and no one else is served by my pretending.

Questions are o.k.

My faith is a gift from God, is kept by God and I cannot “lose” it.

Grief is exhausting.

Life is exhausting.

Doing both at the same time is REALLY exhausting.

There is no limit to the pain you may have to endure this side of heaven.

Lightning can strike twice in the same place, and fear of what you know by experience trumps fear of the unknown by miles.

I can decide where to focus my thoughts.

Feeding fear is a choice. feeling fear is not.



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.

12 thoughts on “Things I’m Learning”

  1. “There is no limit to the pain you may have to endure this side of heaven.”
    So true.
    My parents divorced when I was 9.
    My father died when I was 21.
    Three of my 5 children have/had combinations these diseases: chronic hepatitis, hypoparathyroidism, hypothyroidism, candidiasis, pancreatitis, adrenal insufficiency, bipolar 1, bipolar 2, narcissism, oppositional defiance disorder, depression, chronic anxiety, bulimia, anorexia, opiate addiction, and alcoholism. (5 Inpatent rehabs)
    My oldest son, full of promise, stabbed a friend in a drug induced hallucination, and is now in a state penitentiary for 3 years.
    My beautiful, but sick 21 year old daughter unexpectedly died 4 years ago.
    My marriage is strained.
    My faith is listless.
    My mental health fragile.
    My financial debt is too high.
    My outlook is weary.
    Yet I must work as a teacher, 50 hours + a week.
    I was a young woman with optimistism, adventure, energy, sincere faith, dedication to the Lord, encouragement for others, a strong work ethic & willingness to sacrifice for others, ….When I could, I homeschooled, I home birthed, I even home churched for a season…
    And now look at me: fragile, weak, bewildered, depressed, exhausted….
    Not one of my children faithfully demonstrates a life surrendered to Christ…. I’m so discouraged. Where are the fruits of my labors? Is there no end of sadness? Strangely my name “Deirdre” means sorrow. I have never ranted like this before … I obviously need more counseling… Thank you for giving me the space to vent. You all understand. 🕊 God be with us.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh you poor soul! I am heartbroken at the litany of grief and sorrow you have borne and are bearing. My name, “Melanie”, means “clad in black”-like in mourning. So I get how you make the connection between your name and your circumstances.

      Ranting can be good sometimes-there is no benefit to holding all these negative emotions inside us. I have a precious friend who understands deep pain from a different perspective than child loss and she lets me rant all the time. It’s very cathartic. Do you belong to any online closed bereaved parent groups? If not, look on Facebook for TCF, While We Are Waiting and/or Heartache and Hope. They each offer safe spaces for moms and dads like us. ❤


    2. Deirdre I know we are a few years on from when you posted your reply to Melanie but I just wanted to let you know I am thinking about you.
      We can only show our children the way –
      they often take a path we would never want them to take, with disasterous outcomes sometimes. How my gregarious, talented 1st born became so disillusioned with the world to take his own life, I will never know.
      I hope your load has become lighter during these years.

      Peace be with you x


  2. Melanie, God has given you such a gift of writing!
    Our house was struck by lightning a few years before Leah became ill and we were struck by lightning AGAIN shortly after she died. The bang was terrifying and it blew the modem and did some other minor damage – yes we had surge protectors in place and it blew them too!
    I am definitely NOT superstitious but yes lightning can and does strike twice. No, we don’t live on the top of a hill and our house had been rewired the first time and our house had been rebuilt between the first and second times!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Vicky, that’s incredible! I live in the southern US and we have tall pine trees that attract lightning. I’ve seen more than one struck twice. I was actually thinking, though, of the way that even those who have suffered the unimagineable-have lost a child-are not immune to futher suffering. There’s apparently no measuring cup that says, “enough! no more!”. Thank you for the encouragment. I’m glad the words were a blessing.


  3. Melanie, as always you share your heart and information that is invaluable . Lightening can strike twice. No one believes it to be true but it is. And the next two, well those I live with constantly and I often wish others understood.

    1) Fear of what you know by experience trumps fear of the unknown by miles.

    2) Feeding fear is a choice; feeling fear is not.

    Thank you for sharing your heart, knowledge and vulnerability with us all.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Melanie, just wanted you to know I am a fan of your blog. Although I have not had a grief like yours, I think I am learning some of the same things. Somehow it seems I cannot manage to learn anything when everything is going well. I pray for you often.


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