A Letter To My Living Children*

I never thought it possible to love you more than I already did.

But I do.

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Your brother’s untimely departure has opened my heart in a whole new way to the glory that is your presence.  It has made me drink you in like water in the desert.

No more do I take even a moment for granted.  Never again will I be “too busy” to listen to you, to hug you, to greet you on the porch when you decide to make your way back home.

I promised you when that deputy came to the door we would survive.

And we have.


I promised you that I would never raise Dominic onto a hallowed pedestal that obliterated his orneriness and only kept track of his laudable qualities.

I pray I have lived up to the promise.

We are changed-every one of us.

I am so very proud of you for continuing to live.  It would have been easy to give up.  It would have been easy to “live for the moment” and give in to hedonism.

You haven’t done that.

You have had to carry more weight than you should.  I am so very anxious to see how you take this awful  pain and weave it into your own stories-how this dark thread helps define who you become and how you choose to impact your world.

You have lent me your strength when mine was waning.

You have checked on me and loved me and borne patiently with me and with one another when it would have been easier to walk away and try to create a life outside this place of brokenness and vulnerability.

I am always cautious when ascribing feelings and words to our departed Dominic-it’s easy to make him say or feel whatever is most convenient since he’s not here to dispute it.  But I am certain of this:  while he would never, ever have wanted us to bear this awful burden, he would be so, so proud of the way we have supported one another in doing so.

Like always, our family has closed ranks and lifted together the weight that would have crushed us individually.

It’s who we are.

It’s who we have always been.

desimones uab family

*I am absolutely convinced that Dominic is very much ALIVE today in the presence of Jesus.  But for now, I’m denied his daily companionship.

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.

15 thoughts on “A Letter To My Living Children*”

  1. Beautiful words. Words that I can never find. Thanks so much for sharing so openly how the dark thread, the brokenness we all feel in our families can be something beautiful. Only when we can put fear into words can we counter it with the truth and hope of God’s word. There is such strength in knowing I am Not alone in this journey. Praying for you to feel God’s strength and peace and courage to continue sharing after all the years you have know this loss. Tara’s Mom- but also Mom and Nana to my living son and daughter and in laws and beautiful grands
    We are all weaving the dark thread into our lives- and …. I do See beauty in it

    Liked by 1 person

  2. The only thing that has kept me going in this journey is the faith that someday, somehow, somewhere I will see my sweet girl again. Find that simple thread of hope and hang on. My daughter went to sleep one night and didn’t wake up. She was epileptic and a seizure took her life. I am still searching for a new normal and inner peace.


    1. Thank you very much for your posts. God clearly has been working in your lives and what a blessing your words are to many.
      My best friend, Sonya, lost her 23 year old daughter in December from an epileptic seizure in her sleep. She is devastated and weary caring for her other 7 children, and I am struggling as to show her support. She told me recently that she misses me but is just able to care for her family and their special needs right now. Our other close girlfriend died 3 years ago and Sonya has become closer to me since we lost Joy. Now she lost Kayla and is hurting again but in a profound way since Kayla was her child not a girlfriend.

      Would you please send me some ways that you where blessed by your own friends or family after you lost your daughter. I am wanting to help but do not want to impose on her need for some privacy and margin. I also desire to love on her children as they are hurting, too!
      We have been close family friends for the past 15 years, and have walked along side them while Kayla lived a vibrant and overcoming life with her epilepsy! We all are grieving this deep loss but no one more so than her parents, Sonya & Brian.

      Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability to write your posts. What a beautiful way to keep Dominic’s legacy alive and testify to God’s amazing love and grace on you & your beautiful family.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m posting a series “Loving Well” on my public Facebook page “Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child”. If you will click on this link it will take you to the first in the series and you can read on from there. Those posts are filled with tons of ways to help. You can also use the search bar in each post to explore other topics you wonder about. Finally, I would suggest that you ask your friend what she needs and preface the question with an absolute assurance that whatever it is-no matter how small or large, silly or serious-you are there for her. What a wonderful friend you are!!

        Here’s the link: https://thelifeididntchoose.com/2016/02/08/loving-well-in-the-first-days-after-loss/


  3. Melanie, again I praise the Lord for your sharing how the Lord is working in your life and your beautiful family. Thank you for this post as a witness of His grace in you. Have a blessed week. ~ Fran

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I am so very sorry Carol! What a hard burden to bear in addition to the heaviness of living with child loss.

    May I offer you some hope based in the truth of God’s Word? Jesus declared those whom the Father had given Him could in no way be snatched from His hand. The circumstances of your son’s death do not negate his profession of faith in the blood of Christ Jesus! I don’t know what faith tradition you come from, but I am utterly convinced that it is God Himself Who calls, Who saves, Who keeps and Who is keeping at this moment our precious children who made a profession of faith. If satan is not strong enough to snatch them from God’s hand, our feeble human choices are certainly not strong enough! I am convinced that He Who began a good work in your son is faithful to complete it. If we were dependent on our good works, or our own faithfulness-ALL of us would be lost. We are hid in Christ. His righteousness is our righteousness. Our sins are flung as far as the east is from the west. They are hid behind God’s back-unviewable (have you ever tried to see something on the small of your back-without a mirror?).

    Heath is safe, dear mama. He is home. One day there will be great joy when we are reunited. Until then, we rely on the promises of God in Christ to see us through. May He overwhelm your hurting heart with His love, grace and mercy. And may He give you strength for each new day.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I know this was written in response to Carol …. but oh what wisdom God’s spirit is echoing through your writing and I’m saving this reply so I can reread when I begin to get anxious for my Clark. Since his brother’s death, Clark has put up a wall and espouses to be agnostic. He has not dealt well with Jacob’s death. I just keep loving and praying for him. Indeed God will be faithful to complete his work in Clark

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I lost my son Heath on December 2, 2016. He was 24 and a senior at USC. We tragically lost him due to an overdose. My son was saved on July 15, 2015 and was baptized on August 8, 2015. His life dramatically changed and he seemed to happier than I had ever seen. He was so eager to grow in his walk with the Lord. I began to notice that he was going through a lot of depression, self worth and where he belonged in society. We often talked about his bouts with depression, but I truly thought that he was just anxious about school, not having that someone special in life. I failed to mention that my marriage wasn’t in a good place and he was very concerned, and for that I will never be able to forgive myself. I do not think what happened to him was intentional, but a very big mistake. I can live with the pain of losing him, but not knowing where he is now is torturing my very soul. I’m so sorry for the long text, but I’m desperately trying to find some kind of peace.

    Liked by 1 person

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