Sacred Spaces

That place where you hung your jacket, tossed your shoes, left your backpack-it’s still here.

Foolish, really, to hold space for someone who will never need it again.

But it belongs to YOU and leaving it bare means that it is still yours.

And it is- Still. Yours.

Just like the end chair at the dining room table-the one you fought over as a teen when you and your brothers would pick at and elbow each other until I finally had enough and moved you there.

No one sits there now.

Who could ever fill it?

Upstairs bookcases hold notebooks, text books and random memorabilia from your trips abroad and trips around the country.

Small testimony to a large life.  Little reminders of a huge presence.


Sacred spaces-set apart from everyday use-for the purpose of holding memories,

holding presence,

keeping you with us.

The most sacred, most intimate-the space in my heart-where you burrowed in before you were born.  Where you left your rhythm and laugh and a giant hole.   As near as my breath, as far away as the stars.

I refuse to fill them in,

to let them go,

to allow the creep of daily life to erase your stamp on who I am and who you are.

The emptiness speaks volumes.

I won’t silence it.




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.

8 thoughts on “Sacred Spaces”

  1. Six months now. I kept what I wanted, gave things to those to whom I wanted, and donated the rest of the clothing to the homeless. He knew I liked to do that. He is in me, in my heart. I could give it all away, and he is still with me.

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  2. I lost my amazing son Larry James 18 months ago. The pain is unbearable. He was 3 weeks shy of 36. He had married and had a son, our LJ, and had not lived home for 12 years.I had converted his old room as many parents do to an exercise room. It now will become “our” room. A place to retreat to to bear my soul. To cry. Cry hard. To talk to him. Read many many grief books and write in my journal to him. I have saved all of his favorite clothes, shoes, hats and jackets. My husband wears them. As does my younger son Danny his brother. I wear his fav t-shirts to bed. I will never part with them. Im slowly making this room “ours” and will decorate it in his taste and mine. I believe its healing for all parents, siblings, grandparents and even aunts and uncles to find a quiet place to remember , reflect and move through the pain. We all grieve differently. Some find that giving away everything is their way to move through the pain. There is no right or wrong. Sending love and strength to all. Larryjamesmom..❤💔🙏

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  3. I felt the same way for at least the first 3 years. I did give away some of Veronica’s cherish belongings to family and friends in the first and second year after Veronica died. It takes a lot of time to adjust to our reality that our children are not returning to us! I’m at 20 years now. I moved and that force the hand…I wear her jewelry sometimes to keep her close to me. I have one of her jackets still that she loved to wear. You’ll know when it’s time to let go of your child’s belonging. Hugs 💞

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  4. Not sure how I missed this post last year… so thankful you reposted. I cohost a GriefShare group and the segment on what to do with your loved ones belongings always brings up my defenses. Jacob’s room is still his room … Everything is still there along with more little memories my family finds and places there. His clothes still hang in his closet mainly because his father and brother wear them. His room is not a “shrine”. We use it and treat it like we did before Jacob died 6 years ago. I guess if we had had to move out of our family home then things might have been different. …. Now his car that is something different. I wish it was gone. That has been such a waste. Somehow the years crept on and now you can see it reflected in that car. It’s something I’m going to have to make happen.


  5. Thank you, Melanie, for this. I was starting to think my sacred spaces were something I should let go of. I thought maybe my reluctance to move stuff into or out of those spaces was hindering my healing. And maybe they are. But it is comforting to know I am not the only one that holds on like this. I know I cannot have Hans back right now. But sometimes I just need to pretend he is here.

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