Grace Gifts of Grief

It was a long time before I wanted to believe that I received any gifts worth keeping from this life I didn’t choose.

I knew I had tears, pain, agonizing sorrow, loss, heartache, dashed hopes, empty arms.

If I could give those back and regain my son, I would do it in less than a heartbeat.

I can’t, so I’m left here to ponder what else I’ve received from burying a child.

And I am learning that I have been given some gifts I truly cherish, although the price was higher than I would have willingly paid.

I call them grace gifts: heart-expanding, hope-enlarging.

I am learning compassion, which is something quite different than sympathy or pity which are just compassion’s paper stand-ins.

My heart is tuned to the suffering of others in a way I never knew before, even if their suffering is very different than my own.  

I have been given new eyes for the people around me.  I’m not as quick to decide I know someone’s story based on the clothes they wear or the car they drive.

I’m more patient with strugglers and stragglers although I am less patient with braggarts and bullies.

I’m more inclined to listen than I used to be.

My heart writes my “to do” list instead of my head-people over projects. 

Every. Time.

I love harder but more loosely than I did before.  I’ve learned you can only hold on to this moment, this smile, this hug,  and the rest is in God’s hands.

I am quicker to forgive-myself and others-because we are all failures in one sense or another.  

I speak blessings aloud instead of simply in my head, too embarrassed lest anyone should laugh at such an archaic tradition.

I am learning to let go of my own and others’ expectations.

I shed tears when I need to, smile when I want to, belly laugh when I can.

I’m very much NOT the person I was before Dominic ran ahead to heaven-in many ways a sadder person.  

But in many ways a wiser one as well.

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.

17 thoughts on “Grace Gifts of Grief”

  1. Thank you Melanie once again for sharing your journey-one that none of us would choose. But here I am and I too have experienced many grace gifts in the last 6 years. Many just as you have described. I am so very grateful that just 14 months prior to our son Alex’s death I found Jesus, or should I say he rescued me in a bold and beautiful moment of sheer desperation after a relentless pursuit that I fought for a very long time. The greatest grace gift of all🧡

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post hits home! I lost my son three years ago this past October. He was 29 years old. Died in a car accident. Consensus was he fell asleep at the wheel. So many questions unanswered. However, I have come to grips with the fact that he was 29 years old, new what was right and wrong. Had come through a tough couple of years serving in the Army for 8 years and spending 15 months on his first deployment in Iraq. Came home then went to Germany for Two years. Diagnosed with PDST and went through counseling . Found a job and really seemed to getting his life back.
    The whole first year J was in shock. Just couldn’t believe it. I walked around in a daze. One day I had s huge meltdown and for two days cried and cried. I turned to Christ and to make a long two years brief, I started attending Church and questioning things and turning to God for answers. God most answers but still not all. May never have them all but I am a better person on a lot of different ways.
    I still hurt everyday. My son is in my heart every day. I do even talk to him and I do feel his presence. Thank you for your post totally agree with what you say and feel. God bless you for your sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I pray that the Lord wraps His loving arms around you and overwhelms your heart with His grace and mercy. May He give you the strength to endure and to hold onto hope. ❤


  3. Thank you for your words. I am encouraged many times and other times I realize that what I am feeling is ok, “normal” if there is such a thing, but ok with God. My son Matthew was 22 when he was killed by a drunk driver in June 2018.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so very sorry for your pain and your loss. I wish there were not so many of us who understand the pain of child loss but it’s a blessing to know we are not alone. I’m thankful the blog helps your heart. May the Lord meet you where you are and give you what you need for each day. ❤


  4. I love this part of the new person I have become but as you say Melanie it came at a high price 💔
    Peace be with you today and tge Lord save you from all anxiety 💗


  5. The fact that you’ve been able to look inside yourself and find the positive that has come from tragedy is a testament to your strength and courage Melanie; this was an amazing post x


  6. Beautiful!!! It’s been 4 and a half months since my 22 yr. old got murdered. So I know it’s still very fresh. The numbness, the brokenness the sorrow and sadness is overwhelming, but all you described in “Grace gifts of grief “ is the absolute truth. Having a relationship with the Lord enlightens a great deal on dealing with death especially a child of your very own. Thank you for sharing , I appreciate you.

    Liked by 2 people

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