“Don’t Dwell on That!”

Why is it “dwelling” in one instance and “remembering” in another?

Who gets to decide whether I’m taking out a cherished memory, holding it, stroking it and reliving it because it’s all I have left or I’m clutching the past, refusing to let go?

I will be the first to admit that mulling over past offenses is probably the last thing I need to do.  Especially if I’m trying to forgive them.  That’s not helpful nor is it healthy.

But there’s a difference between THAT kind of thinking and the kind of thinking every bereaved parent does about his or her missing child.

When Dominic ran ahead to heaven, there was a sudden, horrible and unchangeable end to new experiences, to making any more memories, to another conversation, picture or text.

All I have of my son is whatever I had saved up to the moment of his accident.  

And it is not enough. 

It will never be enough to fill up the spaces of what my heart wishes I had.

He lived for nearly 24 years.  But I can’t withdraw those memories like cash and “spend” them, day for day, for the next 24 years.

It doesn’t work that way.

So I have favorite moments, like we all do, that I pull out over and over.  I cherish them like precious stones or rare coins.  I hold them, stroke them, tell the stories behind them and hug them close.

Not because I can’t “move forward”.


Here I am nearly four years later living, breathing and fully connected to the people and events in my present!

I do it because memories are a way to remain connected to Dominic.  

He is as much a part of my life-unseen by others, unheard by others, often forgotten by others-as the living, breathing children that are still here with me.  

So I am not DWELLING on these memories.

I am hanging on with both hands because I refuse to let one-quarter of my heart be relegated to darkness and silence because of other people’s discomfort.  

I will remember.  

As long as I have breath I will speak my remembrance.

I will never, ever, ever let go.  

handprint on my heart

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.

11 thoughts on ““Don’t Dwell on That!””

  1. I read your blog and the exchange between you and Carol. Unfortunately or maybe fortunately, I have experienced child loss “before” and “after” through a relationship with a friend who lost his son 8 years before I lost my daughter Levi. I don’t remember thinking how strong he was because he’d always been one of the strongest people I knew for the past 40 years. We live fairly far away from each other but keep in touch sporadically. Finally we visited, and I was devastated by the changes in him, changes I could see and feel. He told me that he probably would never enter another romantic relationship because he was already in a relationship with his son. I remember feeling so overwhelmed with sorrow by that statement. He was so lost, and I couldn’t help him. That was about a year before Levi died. I didn’t understand anything. My only experience at that point were deaths of grandparents, friends, my father. I thought he would reach a point that he’d think of his son now and then, maybe smile, but for him to feel that he had a relationship with his dead son? At that point I felt like perhaps he had completely lost it. He was a shell of the man he once was. Then it happened to me, and I understand now. Others say I’m strong, but I’ve always been strong – so maybe they see no difference? Probably they just don’t understand that although Levi is not here physically, she will always be with me. She is also the part of me that will always be a mother. I think of her every day. I understand now, and I remember what it was like “before” I understood. Huge difference in mindsets. I will never expect others to fully comprehend what this is like. I will try to help them understand better than they do, but I hope for their sake that they never have the opportunity to tell me, like I’ve told my friend, that they are so sorry, but they understand now.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So true…..and especially pertinent on this, my son’s birthday. Twenty-nine years ago he came into our lives and then left 27 years later. I keep his memory alive by talking about him with my husband, family, and friends (and fb). Thank you for these encouraging words. ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so sorry for your pain and your loss. Yes, telling the stories, sharing the memories and speaking about our missing sons is important! I’m glad you have a circle of people that encourage you to do that. ❤


  3. I have woken up this morning with my son on my mind….not as you say dwelling on things. I think of him in a healthy continuation of our relationship. I guess people who don’t walk the path we are walking, can fully grasp our new relationship with our child who has gone on ahead…
    I am often told how strong I am or our family is, I don’t feel strong, I am still connected and as you say it is unseen by others…..is that what they see strength? When we continue our relationship with our sons and verbalize it does that somehow make us weak in their eyes?
    I agree never, never let go.
    I think across the ocean my heart us beating with yours Melanie.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you hit on something , Carol. Maybe when we speak of our sons others DO think we are weak-or weaker than they hope we are. I’ve written before about how labeling us as “strong” takes a burden off the backs of others. If we are strong then they can breathe a sigh of relief and go about their business without concern for our welfare. I’ve never thought about it from this angle before. I think you absolutely have a point.

      Thank you for the encouraging words. I’m so sorry we share this awful knowledge. May the Lord give you exactly what you need for each day. ❤


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