Twelve

There are twelve tribes and twelve disciples.

Twelve stones in the High Priest’s breastplate.

Twelve months in the year.

For those who study these things, the number twelve in Scripture signifies “perfection” or “authority”.

It is also considered the number of completeness.

It was twelve days into April that Dominic completed his earthly sojourn and began his life in Heaven with Jesus.

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While from my perspective his life was cut short, from God’s it was finished.  The days ordained for my son before he was born had been completed.  The work He had prepared beforehand for him to do was through.

I don’t like it.  

But I receive it because it passed through the hands of my Father.

I can’t open my heart to love and close it to grief-so I’ll hold them both until I hold Dominic again.

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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 “Twelve”

  1. We lost our son Tom less than 6 weeks ago. He was 23. He had just completed a 4-year tour as a Marine and came home to pursue other goals he had in life…to get a degree and so forth. We were relieved he was home and safe. Our relief was short-lived. This is so hard to write, but my son, as young people are wont to do, got careless. He and some buddies got together and drank some and a firearm was passed around for inspection. It was defective, mishandled, and went off in his hands. It was an self-inflicted gunshot and the EMS and doctor’s did everything they could to save him. We were not even aware until after he was pronounced. When the sheriff’s deputies showed up at our door after midnight on New Year’s Eve, I knew something bad happened but their words could not be true…I said “please Lord, there has to be a mistake!” And then my wife started screaming “Not my baby, not my baby…” it unnerved even the deputies. On my wife’s 61st birthday we made arrangements for his funeral. And then the calls and texts and Facebook PMs started flooding in about Tom from people we didn’t even know. People whose lives he had touched. Tom was always a defender of those who needed help. I think it’s what made him want to be a Marine. The common thread in many of the messages was this: “When I needed a friend the most, I met Tom and he helped me. He gave me a place to stay, a hug (Tom was a world-class hugger), a kind word, an ear to hear my sorrows, and encouragement to go on…and so forth. He never judged.” So many people wanted to share a story about Tom that his funeral service took 2 hours…I felt sorry for the Marine honor guard in the back of the chapel standing at parade rest the entire time.

    You know the saying “can’t see the forest through the trees”? That was my son. I knew he had a loving heart, but he did things so quietly for so many others that most times we were unaware. On Christmas Day, while we were all sitting at the table eating, he was missing. Our 3-year old niece was too excited to eat and wanted to play but everyone else was too busy getting their fill of food. Not Tom. I found him in the play room happily playing with his niece. I don’t believe God put the gun in Tom’s hand and caused the accident…that was merely a careless act and I think back over nearly 60 years of how many of those I and others I know who managed to survive, so I understand. But God had a purpose for Tom while he was on this Earth and Tom served it well. Tom loved and cared for those he came in contact with who were in need in his 23 years better than most of us do in a lifetime. On his 24th birthday, just 3 weeks after he passed, we gathered as a family and wrote notes, placed them in helium-filled balloons (not the mylar kind), said a prayer to thank God for letting us have Tom (my wife said if God had told her “I’m giving you this beautiful baby boy to care for the next 23 years but then I’m taking him back” that she’d make that deal a million times over) asked Jesus to accept him in his loving arms and released the balloons. Later that evening we and all his friends met at a local place, hoisted a beer in his honor as “The Parting Glass” was played, shared memories, hugs, laughs, tears, and said goodbye to Tom one last time.

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    1. This hurts my heart. I am so, so sorry. Tom sounds like a wonderful man. I pray that the Lord will strengthen you for each day and that He will fill your heart with His grace, love and mercy. One day there will be no more parting-what a DAY that will be!!

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  2. My Zayden was diagnosed with AML leukemia just two days before his second birthday. He fought two long years of surgeries, chemotherapy, X-rays, MRI, scans, 2 remissions, bone marrow transplant, relapses, 21 days on a vent in the ICU with dialysis, before suffering military organ failure just two days before his fourth birthday. I held his little face from the end of the hospital bed, kissing and stroking his cheek. I prayed for God to give him comfort through the pain of all the swelling, and failing organs. I prayed God heal him, and if heaven is healing then take him to heaven….as the docs began to bring in the crash cart, my husband and I stopped them…there is a difference in saving a life to live and saving a life to suffer. We held him and told Zayden to not be afraid. Momma and daddy will be ok. He will be ok. We told Zayden to rest, baby and run to Jesus. He will have his arms open and run to him…he at that moment left us and ran to Jesus. We are thankful he trusted us to run into the arms of someone he never saw before. We know that he is pain free, four years old, no scars, no chemo, no hospitals, tests, pokes, or tears. No fear, no surgeries. He is healed of cancer and has a new body! Praise God for healing. It’s not the healing I wanted for him, but Our plans are not our own. Zayden was Gods child. God loved him and knew him more than I ever could. July 2nd 2016 was a terrible and sad day for us, but a day we prayed for, it was a day of healing. I accept that truth. Now I’m waiting on God to give me the peace and understanding. Maybe I will never understand on this side of heaven, but I will wait on Him. Thy will be done…the four words I pray and believe…

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    1. I am so sorry for your loss and pain. What a precious gift you gave Zayden to help him have the courage to go on to Jesus. I am thankful you were with him and he was with the people who love him best right to the very end of his earthly life. Praying that the Lord continues to give you strength for this journey.

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  3. Leah left us 16 days after her 16th birthday and that somehow felt significant too – gave it some kind of sense of completeness. Two good friends of mine also lost their children on the 16th day of the month in which they died. It gives us an added sense of togetherness. There’s so much in this life that our finite minds cannot possibly comprehend but I do think that all of these ‘little things’ are in some way part of the bigger picture!

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  4. Interesting. So what does that mean for the children who died in a non 12 day? Like 5. Which calendar do you use? Hebrew? Julian? Aztec? Roman ? Greek?
    7 is a good number, 6 a bad one. 48 cities for the Levit’s… Which ones to consider? So many choices. Nothing implied. Just wondering.

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    1. I don’t think it means anything really-I’m not a numerologist. I just try to consider the monthly anniversary of his death from a different perspective each time. I had never even thought about 12 being significant until a couple of days ago. And that’s when the 12 tribes/12 apostles came to mind. Then I did a little research and found the meaning (according to some Bible scholars). Anyway, the idea that his journey was complete is not new with me. There are many Christians who believe that based on Psalm 139. It is a little bit comforting to me to think that Dominic’s work was through. It doesn’t feel like it to me, but I’m holding on to trust.

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      1. Holding on to trust is all we can do. I have my own idea on that in our days being numbered but it’s just grasping for answers for my own little peace of mind. I actually feel Amanda was taken way before her days for a reason that I would not discuss in public. You can message me if you like. Me and my wife feel the same. Doesn’t get rid of grief but helps a touch.

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  5. I have, for whatever reason, realized the significance of the number twelve. As I was pondering it, it popped into my head that my Patrick left us on the first day of the twelfth month💞

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  6. All I did was cry through reading this….my darling girl left to be with Jesus on the 12th also, only 4 months ago in May. I’m not yet at the point of finding comfort in the belief that Jordan completed her work here, I hope to find peace in this like you. I’m so very lonely without her. I am blessed by your blog and appreciate your openness and sharing about Dominic.

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    1. Lorraine, I am so very sorry for your pain and your loss. I am still working on experiencing peace every day. I know that Jesus has promised it and that He is the Prince of Peace-His Presence has given me strength to continue when my own strength was utterly gone. Four months is a very short time on this journey. It is 29 months for me today and it seems both agonizingly long and unbelievably short all at the same time. I am thankful the blog blesses you. It is one way to redeem this pain. May the LORD overwhelm your broken heart with His love, grace and mercy and may you hear Him singing hope to your soul.

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