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.

16 thoughts on “Loving Well: Just Say His Name”

  1. Melanie
    You’re words are what lives in my heart but I cannot put words to myself. I often share your writing. No one knows this pain no one understands what is to walk this path often alone but unnoticed. There are so many things I need to talk about but no one I feel I can talk to. I know others who have lost a child. Children my own son knew but no one who lost their child to a violent car accident. April 1st will be 3 years and I feel like he’s been forgotten by so many. My heart hurts so much more with that thought. Thank you for sharing your broken heart with us. I’m so grateful for you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This was a really good post Melanie. It rings so true. It’s comforting to know it’s not just my people that do this avoidance thing. It really is so hurtful. I think I’m going to forward this to my husband’s and my parents. And Gregory Pecks quote. So true . My precious Ethan’s one year anniversary of his passing is on April 20th and I’m not looking forward to it💔 He was so vibrant and happy and certainly didn’t deserve to get suddenly sick and die. Why???

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mary I’m so sorry for the loss of your Jonathon – as I am for all the people who shar here. My Kari-Lee was also very special because we waited 6 years and she was our miracle baby. I was never able to have any more, just ectopic pregnancies and miscarriage.
    God told me when I was pregnant with her that I would have to give her back. (One of only a handful of times I have felt God speak SO clearly) I fought it hard, but in the end, with weeping and pain I surrendered her to God.
    She was born with cystic fibrosis, but was a joyful girl who lived an amazing life in her 25 years. It was SO hard to say goodbye, but I’m SO thankful that I had her with me for those 25 years and will have her with me for eternity. The pain of losing her is worth it, even if it often doesn’t feel that way.

    And Melanie – Kari was going to call her son (she desperately wanted a baby but didn’t live to have one) Dominic. ❤️💔❤️


  4. I am so sorry for your pain and your loss. It is especially hard when those who don’t seem to remember or those who don’t understand are close family or friends. It is very difficult for our hearts to make peace with the likelihood they never will. Even still, I will pray that the Lord will open their eyes and give them a heart of compassion. ❤


  5. Thank you for this post. A week and a half ago marked the second anniversary of my son’s passing. My half brother reached out to me, but not my sister, nor my mother or father, or even my ex-husband, Christopher’s father. It wounded my daughter and me so much. They never mention him at all, as if he wasn’t here for 30 years. After his funeral, my mother and sister said such hateful things to me that I can never forget. And once, when I tried to mention him, my mother’s comment was, “Not to be tacky, but at least we don’t have to jump every time the phone rings anymore.” (Chris was fighting an addiction problem but wanted so much to beat it.) I couldn’t believe the words that came out of my mother’s mouth. I honestly am amazed that I didn’t wreck the car, as we were driving down a highway at 70 mph at the time. I get angry at myself for hoping they will change when I know they never will. I hate that all of us in this community are here in the first place, but I find comfort in those who understand this terrible, unending loss. May God bless each of us.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. 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.


  7. 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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