Loving Well: Just Say His Name

I know you are afraid.

You think that speaking his name or sharing a memory or sending me a photo will add to my sorrow.

I understand.

But even when it costs me a split second of sharp pain, it is truly a gift to know that Dominic lives on in the hearts and minds of others.  It gives me courage to speak too.  It creates space where I can honor my son.

It helps keep him alive.

“I mean, they say you die twice. One time when you stop breathing and a second time, a bit later on, when somebody says your name for the last time.” ~Banksy

I know you’re busy.  I know your life is full and bustling with so many people and activities demanding attention that you don’t have any to spare.

It is easy to forget.

He wasn’t your child. The date of his homegoing isn’t etched into the marrow of your bones, it isn’t scribed on the inside of your eyelids.

Every time the calendar screams “12” I make one more chalkmark on my heart counting the days since I saw him last.

But please remember.  Please don’t let the day slip by and not acknowledge that it is as important a milestone to me and my family as his birthday.

I know you’re scared.

Death is scary.  Even for us who trust Jesus.  And the death of a child just trashes the notion that we are in control, that we can fully protect the ones we love from all harm.

But you are frightened of what you cannot comprehend.

I am living the reality of your greatest fear.

Be brave.  Step out and welcome me in.

Give space for the longing to hear my son’s name, to know my son matters, to relive some of the happy moments and funny times and even some of the hard days.

I can sit by myself and remember him.

But sharing him with you breathes life into the recollection and speaks hope to my heart.

It fuels the fire that helps me see that even when I’m not here to carry him into the land of those still living, someone else will do it for me.

Love is stronger than death even though it can’t stop death from happening, but no matter how hard death tries it can’t separate people from love. It can’t take away our memories either. In the end, life is stronger than death.






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 “Loving Well: Just Say His Name”

  1. Melanie,
    Your writings are what is written in my heart. My 36 year old son died April 18, 2016. He was mildly disabled from a traumatic brain injury and lived with my husband and me. I went in his room to wake him up and found him dead. It was a previously unknown heart problem. I relive that moment every single morning. I struggle with why people, even family, don’t mention him or say his name. My husband finally had a talk with my brother about never mentioning David and he has done better. My 33 year old daughter never says a word about him. It isn’t as if I melt into a puddle of tears. When his name is never mentioned I feel that they have forgotten he existed a day it has only been 10 months. This is such a shattering and lonely road to travel.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, yes it is lonely. That hurts my heart. Sometimes you just have to speak up like your husband did. Your daughter may be dealing with her own grief in her own way and not realize she is hurting you. I pray that she will recognize this and that you can grieve together.


  2. Thank you Melanie for your blog. It is one of the first things I read each day. Today especially expressed my feelings and thoughts. I too lost my son unexpectedly on August 2, 2014. The 2nd of each month also screams to me that another month has passed since we were able to hug each other and say “I love you”. Your gift of writing and expressing your thoughts and feelings is a gift from God to all of us who are living “thelifeididntchoose”. Blessings, peace and hugs. I am so very sorry that you lost your special, beloved son Dominic.


    1. Thank you Mary. I write because my heart can’t contain all my feelings and all my thoughts. It is a blessing to hear that it helps others, too. I am so very sorry for your loss. It is a lifelong journey that neither of us would have chosen, but I am thankful to have faithful companions as I journey on. May grace and mercy overwhelm you and may God give you the strength for each day.

      Would you share your son’s name with me? I would be honored to speak it.



      1. His name is Jonathan. We waited 10 years for him and we named him Jonathan because the meaning is “gift of the Lord”. And we always think of him as our gift. I don’t know about you but I always hated to hear someone or a minister quote Job 1:21 at a funeral or at the time of a death. However when our son was in the hospital on life support and we were trying to make the unimaginable decision to let him go, one of the doctors quoted the verse to me in the kindest most loving way. For some reason that I cannot explain or understand it helped me. At that moment I knew God was in control of Jonathan’s life and Jonathan’s passing and I had to praise him for both. My heart is still broken though and I want him back every day.


      2. Thank you for sharing your Jonathan with me. He is a gift, even though you had to let him go. Dominic means “belonging to God” and I am consoled that he does indeed belong to Him. One day we will all be reunited. Can’t wait!


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