Falling Leaves

We think leaves fall when we turn the calendar page to Autumn months.

Piles of red, gold and orange land beneath trees that grow increasingly barren until one day they are truly naked.

But leaves begin to fall as early as July-hardly noticed because they drift down lonely, one by one.  

single-leaf

No one is looking for them then.  

And green grass grows tall to hide them.

We think people live to the fullness of years.  They begin in spring and pass through all the seasons before the cold winter claims them.

old-lady

But some survive only one season, or twonever enjoying the fruitful harvest of the latter years the younger years of hard work are meant to produce.

Unlike early falling leaves, early deaths are perceived and acknowledged.

Shocking and unexpected, people gather round to discuss the tragedy, the sorrow and the lost future of one who dies young.

IMG_1811

But then they go away-caught up in the seasons of their own lives.  

And the green grass grows tall to hide the ones who left too soon.

No one is looking for them anymore.  

old homeplace

 

 

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.

5 thoughts on “Falling Leaves”

  1. I don’t really like this, but I know it’s true, especially for stillborn and children who die shortly after birth. People have few, if any memories with the child. Sometimes there are no pictures to even mark the short time they graced this world with their presence. And it hurts. Oh how it hurts when you come face to face with the realization that even family members no longer recall the presence of the one for whom a day has not passed that you failed to take note of the gaping hole of their absence!

    But you remember, Melanie. Your husband and children all remember and they miss him with you. And Dominic is not forgotten in the larger world either. Friends and other family members hold memories and pictures and while they may not miss him daily, there are days they miss him greatly, and days when they recall words of encouragement he offered, and moments of laughter and silliness, pranks, and even harsh words and arguments. Dominic lived large all the days of his life and I’m pretty sure he continues to live large in the presence of His savior who is loving every minutes He gets to spend with him and is anticipating the day He will have the pleasure of reunite two of you. The day is coming, Melanie. Hold fast, stand firm, and picture your Savior’s face as He watches Dominic the way you did with a smile and a heart filled with pure joy at the work of His own hands. Hold fast dear friend!

    With shared tears for your hurting heart,

    Janet

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Janet. I do know others remember him. And I know I am blessed to have had him for 23 years and stockpiled memories. Just every now and then it feels awfully lonely. I’m holding on for reunion!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Every once in awhile? I think it’s always lonely and I think your post said some things those outside the loss community need to hear. Thanks for being the voice that speaks for many – for the fragile and intimidated – for the broken and defeated – for the lost and lonely – for those whose hearts demand recognition but are bereft of the words to ask for, beg for, and even demand what they need. You are a warrior for all those unheard people. You encourage and support and teach the teachable. And my earlier comments were in no way a condemnation for any perceived failure to appreciate the blessings you have. I had intended to encourage you. Forgive me if I failed to communicate that message.

        I am thankful Bethany and Katie’s names will still be spoken on occasion because people interacted with them for years, but equally sad that Cole is often forgotten which serves to diminish his inherent value, at least in the eyes of everyone other than David and I. I have made an uncomfortable peace with that truth. I’m resigned to it.

        Cole’s name is not spoken. Those cute family trees or personalized ornaments, etc., don’t include his name. He is like the leaves that fall in July and August, obscured by the grass, carried away by the wind, in the eyes of the world, but not by me, not by David, and not by the Holy Trinity. To us, he has value inexpressible and honestly, his life and death have impacted this world in untold ways because he changed us. He changed the way we think and parent, and treat others. His life impacts the world every single day in small ways. His life mattered even if he never drew a breath in this earthly realm and even if no one else is aware of his value.

        I’m also resigned to the fact that Bethany and Katie’s names will be spoken less and less often. That people will forget. Friends and family will overlook them. I think having walked that road in the aftermath of Cole’s death has allowed me to deal with it with less angst that I did as it became apparent that Cole would be forgotten. But still, having the child that was so intrinsically and profoundly important in your life forgotten or overlooked or simply diminished by
        the world we come in contact with is one of a bereaved parent’s worst nightmares. How can someone we value so highly be unimportant in the grand scheme of things? It’s just offensive and beyond our ability to comprehend let alone swallow.

        Please forgive me for hurting you! I know you know that was never my intention.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh Janet! You did not hurt my feelings. I don’t know why, in spite of the many times you and I have discussed the fact that it’s impossible to tie child loss up with a spiritual bow, my default response is to minimize my feelings if I think they make someone else uncomfortable. I appreciate you! I truly believe that you help me think more deeply, more clearly and more honestly about my experience, my faith and my feelings. You’re right-it isn’t every once in awhile…it’s every single day. My son and I were talking about this last night-we both agreed we’ve simply gotten better at shoving it down. My post was an expose of my heart-but I rarely let it out anymore. I probably should.

        Liked by 1 person

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