What Does Healing Look Like?

band aid and heart

As I continue to walk this Valley, my heart asks the question, “What does healing look like?”

Fewer tears?  Check.

More laughter? Check.

Better able to function? Check.

I’m definitely not as fragile as I was in the days and weeks and first months after Dominic left us.

I can do what life requires without falling apart (most of the time).

If you run into me out and about, I make small talk and answer questions about my family without breaking down.

So, from the outside looking in it seems the gaping wound of loss has healed pretty well.

But if I lift the lid of my heart ever so slightly, I’m amazed at how much it still hurts.  I’m astonished by the depth of pain and sorrow just under the facade of OK.

I cannot claim to have reached some higher plane of healing or restoration yet. I’m not sure I will this side of heaven.

And the pain of loss has tainted the joy I feel in what remains.

Instead of brilliant technicolor, my life is now lived in sepia tones that warn what joy I have could be stolen at any moment.

The lesson I’ve had stamped with fire on my heart is this:  Love is the only thing that matters in the end.


Love God.

Love people.

So the path to healing means I lean in and love Him and love the people He has given me with everything I’ve got.

Because love endures forever.




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.

9 thoughts on “What Does Healing Look Like?”

  1. My son was a giver. A kind, compassionate young man when he left us at 28 years. He had so much more to give, so I am picking up where he left off. It is healing for me and after almost 4 years it has strengthened me yes, but the pain is always there, just under the surface pushing me to do more.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a beautiful tribute to your son, Diann. I’m thankful that you’ve found a way to channel your grief into helping others. May the Lord continue to give you strength for each day.


  2. So true. Although we might look better, the shattered heart is held together very tenuously, and the raw pain quickly seeps through the fragile cracks. 14 months today for us and we will get through today as best we can like every day since. Our grief is as strong today as our love for him and love is what keeps us going. Many thanks Melanie for sharing.


    1. Vera, yes-the shattered bits of our hearts DO find a way back together but the cracks allow both love and pain to flow. I prayed the day the deputy came to our door that God would not allow my heart to become bitter. I couldn’t bear if the love I feel for Dominic was overshadowed by bitterness. The Father has been faithful to honor that prayer. It is easier for me to reach out in love now than it ever has been because I’ve learned in a very real way that love-both God’s love for us and our love for one another-really IS eternal. Praying for you and your family today.


  3. It took a while to come to grips with the fact that it is as if your heart has stitches that will never completely heal until heaven. But I agree loving others is what we are here for and it helps put a healing salve on our hearts in the meantime.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Debbie. I’ve had surgeries and illnesses-some very serious-but they always had a healing trajectory that was fairly predictable and sure. Grieving Dominic is not like that at all. Unpredictable and absolutely incomplete this side of heaven. I think of love as the glue that holds my heart together until it’s fully healed. I pray that the Lord fills your heart with His love, grace and mercy as you wait with hope for that Day.


  4. Love does endure. Lasting healing doesn’t mean scares, aches and pains, however. This is true from physical pain and heart pain. I have them them both and one can lead to the other if not managed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, don’t I know it! I have chronic disease and pain along with numerous surgeries-healing rarely looks like “good as new”. Instead it looks like “banged up and bruised but still hobbling along”.

      Liked by 1 person

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