Will It ALWAYS Feel Like This?

I belong to several bereaved parents online communities and this question comes up again and again-it was the first thing I asked a bereaved mom just after Dominic ran ahead to heaven:

“Will this suffocating pain remain sitting on my chest, smothering the breath and life right out of me?  Will I ever be able to stop crying? Will it ALWAYS feel like this?”

The short answer is, “No, it won’t.”

For those of us who follow Jesus, we know that eternity with Him will be filled with inexpressible joy and peace.  Whatever pain and sorrow we have carried down below will be swallowed up by redemption and restoration.  He has promised both to collect our tears in His bottle and to wipe them away.


The longer answer is, “It depends.”

If I cling tightly to my sorrow, focus my eyes and heart only on what I have lost, then I will continue to feel overwhelmed.

How can it be otherwise?

I have lost more than I can comprehend-both what WAS and WHAT WILL BE.  My son is gone, gone, gone.  And that is not going to change on this earth.

I can’t play mind games and trick myself into thinking it will.  My heart knows the truth and it won’t be fooled no matter how hard I try.

BUT-if I turn and face the pain, embrace it, feel it and work on healthy ways to carry it-then I can begin to breathe again.

There is no way through but through.  I have to let my heart feel all the feels.  Stuffing or ignoring them is not an option.  They will not be ignored forever.

There’s no way around grief and loss: you can dodge all you want, but sooner or later you just have to go into it, through it, and, hopefully, come out the other side. The world you find there will never be the same as the world you left.

Johnny Cash

I can choose to equip myself with tools for working through them.  Counseling, journaling, learning to lament, sharing with a trusted friend are all healthy ways to process pain.

And because I believe in Jesus, the most helpful thing I can do in this Valley is look to my Shepherd.  When I focus my gaze on Him, on His character and provision, my heart is strengthened.

Make no mistake-the missing and sorrow are still there-faith is not anesthesia! But there are other feelings that take up residence alongside my pain-hope and courage and grace.

faith is not an epidural

I have to choose.

Am I going to work through this pain or simply be crushed by it?  Will I allow my Savior to heal my heart or will I refuse His aid?

My heart is still beating either way.



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 “Will It ALWAYS Feel Like This?”

  1. I don’t understand why my child had to die. If this is a loving God then he knew my life which was brutal and difficult. Why add this? If he did not take my child then he certainly did nothing to save her. I was a devote Christian, prayerful and taught children as if they were my own. I thought I was being obedient and prayerful. I only prayed that I would go before the girls. I thought that that one prayer at least could be answered. Now my relationship with God is over and of course I miss it but how do I ever trust again. I don’t care about heaven because that may also just be a story.


    1. Henrietta, I am so very sorry for your deep pain and loss. I don’t have a good answer that neatly ties together God’s sovereignty, His loving and faithful character and the problem of child loss. Like you, I say to myself that God didn’t save my son even though I firmly believe He did not take him.

      So what to do? I’ve written a series on Trust after Loss where I expand greatly on these principles (you can find it using the search feature) but this is it in a nutshell: I had to admit my pain-I had to speak aloud (repeatedly!) the ways I felt God had let me down and how badly child loss hurts; I acknowledged my doubts-how does my experience square with what I’d been taught and/or believed about who God is and how He works in the world; I accessed truth-I went back to Scripture and took out all the verses and really studied them in light of my pain and loss; and finally, I appropriated God’s strength and let Him help me carry the load. Truth is, I go through this on a fairly regular basis. It wasn’t something I could do once and then be through.

      I’ve learned to live in the mysterious space between what I can know this side of eternity and what God knows but doesn’t reveal to me. It’s hard and it doesn’t take the pain away but it makes living with it possible.

      I pray that the Lord will reveal Himself to your heart in ways you welcome and that help restore your trust in Him. ❤


  2. My son Andre (my only child) died 2 1/2 years ago. As you all know, the pain is so deep we feel it everyday. That being said, I still have moments (yesterday had one) where suddenly I feel pain or a gripping feeling in my heart & it hits me, Andre’s gone!!! Then the tears just flow, I know he’s gone, I live the loss daily? Sometimes it just feels so foreign, some days I cling to God & the hope of seeing my son again, other days I feel unsure? BUT always go back to HOPE. My son battled mental health issues, & addiction off & on, was clean for two years, then relapsed…. Andre was a believer, actually he chose to be baptized a few years before his death I remind myself of that & of Gods love & forgiveness, my family was so judgemental & harsh towards him I think it did a lot of damage to me spiritually? I remind myself often if I forgave my son & loved him no matter what, surely God will to! Sorry for the long post just my heart speaking. Prayers & hope to all of you, we will see our children again one day.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing your heart ❤️ the way it touches our souls and ministers life is so precious – loving hugs 💝 surround you ❤️ your courage gives us a beacon to a hopeful future … I look forward to meeting you, Dominic and all of your family as we stand before the throne of God one day ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Joan,

      You are an encourager and that is a great gift! I look forward to meeting you as well-when time will be no more and every sorrow will be redeemed. What a Day that will be! ❤


  4. Wow, Melanie, nailed it again! April 27 marked 17 months of my son and daughter-in-love’s going to heaven. Greg was 20; Haley was almost 19. We’re still cycling through all the graduations, special internships, and weddings for their peers and students they mentored. Every event is a genuine celebration for the friend and a glaring reminder of their not being here. “Make no mistake-the missing and sorrow are still there-faith is not anesthesia! But there are other feelings that take up residence alongside my pain-hope and courage and grace.” So true! As I finished your post, I was reminded of a narrated pantomime I once saw. God asked the artist to push against a massive boulder. The man pushed and pushed and pushed and pushed with all his strength, but the boulder never budged, not even a smidgen. The man slumped down in failure. God spoke to him, “Why are you discouraged?” The man motioned to the immovable boulder in dejection. God replied,”I did not ask you to ‘move’ the boulder. I only asked you to ‘push’ against it. See now how strong you are! You are ready for the work I have for you to do.” I certainly never wanted Greg and Haley to leave this life so soon, but there is a unique faith, a unique strength that comes with that mix of hope, courage, grace, AND deep pain.


  5. I dodged the pain and grief for months. My son died in April last year and I didn’t cry until November. I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to stop. I stayed crazy busy until I was exhausted each night. It wasn’t the best way to cope but I needed some distance between his death and allowing myself to feel. I see this pattern in myself when coping with upsetting events and at least I recognize it. It has delayed my healing but time has softened the pain a little. My strategy wasn’t one I planned or thought about. Indeed, I condemned myself repeatedly for not crying. What was wrong with me? I spoke to my pastor’s wife about this and she said that it would eventually hit me. It did. I think I just have been in shock for months. The last several months have been hard but spring is here. Hope has arrived. I can find reasons to still live so progress has been made.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so sorry for your pain and your loss. Each person grieves differently and there is no right way or wrong way. Your story is common-many people are either numb and don’t really FEEL the grief for awhile and/or are so busy (for various reasons) that it delays the impact. I’m thankful you are sensing hope. Praying that the Father gives you strength for each new day. ❤


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