This week marks the beginning of a countdown no mama wants to observe.  

It’s not the happy “days left ’til delivery” of a newborn bundle of joy.  It’s not “days left ’til school’s out” or prom or a wedding or a college graduation.

Instead it’s a heart-wrenching countdown to all the “lasts” before the final “last time I saw his face”.

Today is the third anniversary of the last time I saw Dominic alive.

The last time I spoke to him in person, the last time I hugged his neck, the last time I hollered, “Be safe!” as he pulled down the long driveway on his way back to his apartment.

I wish I had said more,

hugged more,

studied his face more closely,

breathed in his scent more deeply,

done ANYTHING that would have made that moment more memorable.

But it was just one more ordinary moment in what I was certain would be many more ordinary moments.

Except it wasn’t.

I don’t know how many years it might take for my heart and mind and body and soul to stop marking these dates.  I doubt I’ll live long enough for that to happen.

I’m thankful I will see him again.  But I want to see him NOW.

My heart cries, “I want it back!  Oh, how I want it back!”

My heart hurts.

And it is going to hurt-the countdown is only beginning.  

as long as I live


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.

10 thoughts on “Countdown”

  1. December was 5 years since my daughter went ahead to heaven. She was 28.I miss her as much today as I did right after she went. Forever in my heart Vanessa⭐

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  2. The count down has not gone away for me. May 31 will mark 10 years since my Nicholas ran ahead to heaven and although I have learned how to carry the load of grief on a daily basis so that I do live in joy, I can feel the count down creeping up on me. The “last times” are starting to flash in my head and the fact that it is double digits since I last saw his face and heard his voice almost threatens to send me back into that dark place. The hardest part of this years “ count down “is that most people around me have moved on from the tragedy of May 31,2008 and as the time passes I am expected to be okay with my only son to be gone from this life. It is hard to see the looks on their face if I say my mommy heart hurts still. It is something you just can’t get unless you have been there so I give lots of grace. I am glad that they don’t know this pain. I am blessed to have that one special person that gets I still need to say the words out loud sometimes….MY MOMMY HEART MISSES MY BABY BOY.
    Spring used to be my favorite time of year. Now spring tugs at my heart…..

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  3. My heart aches – it has been 1 year, 4 months, 14 days since I last hugged my son John Paul – I thank you for your courage to pour out your words that open a window to your heart ❤️ … it truly does minister the comfort and peace of our Lord to each of us that find them… you are in my prayers as anniversaries approach – your honor and memory of Dominic touches so many hearts

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  4. The first anniversary of my son’s death is April 18th. Do you have any suggestions on how to get through this awful time? I’ve been so emotional the last week or so and I think this is one anniversary I can’t bear. I simply don’t know what to do. How have you survived?

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    1. Oh, I am so, so sorry. The first anniversary fell on a Sunday and some of Dominic’s law school friends brought over a meal, stayed and fellowshipped with us until evening. It was all I could manage. I know lots of folks do balloons or lanterns or other remembrances. Dom was in the second of three years of law school so on the first anniversary his buddies were getting ready to graduate and go their separate ways. They arranged for me to receive his diploma posthumously. I’m sorry I don’t have any good ideas. I still don’t. Surviving is about all I can do. I will be praying for you. ❤


  5. Tonight the tears stream as I read your post. I’m so sorry for your pain. I’m so sorry that Dominic is gone. I wish that the plan had been different for your family and for mine. We lost our daughter, Hadley, three years ago, January 30th, at the age of 5 1/2 months, 172 days, to be exact. I’ve followed your story for over a year now. I often think you are able to speak this language of grief in a way that echoes the cry of my broken heart as well. Thank you for sharing Dominic and your journey. Your faithfulness to this blog and to honoring Dominic’s memory has helped many. Please know that I am praying for you. May the God of hope bring comfort as you lean into Him.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Audra, I am so very sorry for your loss and your pain. My heart hurts for every single bereaved parent-it’s something I wish no one had to go through, a burden no one had to carry.

      Thank you for your kind words. I pray every time I write that my words will help at least one more mama express her heart, will let her know she’s not alone and that her feelings are perfectly normal and that there is hope.

      May the Lord wrap His loving arms around you and fill your heart wtih His grace and mercy. ❤ Melanie

      Liked by 1 person

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