Four Years. Today.

I remember when the first anniversary of Dominic’s death rolled around.

I was horrified that I had survived 365 days when I was certain I would not make it 24 hours.

Here I am three years later-the fourth anniversary of that awful day.

I’m still horrified on some level-it is obscene for a mother to outlive her child-completely Unnatural.

I’m also thankful-thankful that God has given me the strength to persevere when every fiber of my mama’s heart wants to give up.

Who in their right mind would CHOOSE to carry this pain?

And I miss Dominic.

I miss his voice which is increasingly hard to conjure in my mind.  I miss his sharp wit and snarky commentary on political and social events.  Now that I finally figured out how to tweet, I wish we could exchange comments and quotes.  I miss his laugh.  

dominic at tims wedding

I miss the family I used to have.  The one that could look forward without fear of waking one morning to another member gone-poof!  The family that was only going to grow, not shrink.  A mother’s heart is absolutely ready to expand, but refuses to get smaller because a child is no longer present to receive her love.

desimones uab family

I miss my rock-solid faith in a God Who promised to bless if I only followed.  I am not calling His character into question-I believe as firmly today that He is weaving a good story out of every circumstance as I did before Dominic left us.  But I do not receive this blow as a blessing.

I can’t.

I miss the enthusiasm I used to have for everyday events.  Making things special and beautiful was the joy of my heart.  I loved, loved, loved to add thoughtful touches to a meal or a moment.  While I am just as committed to my family as I ever was, I rarely have the energy for these things anymore.

I miss the future I thought we would all have together. I am still so wounded I refuse to look much further than a month ahead unless absolutely necessary.  The old me who envisioned grandchildren and golden years is gone.


I am utterly unprepared to declare Dominic’s “legacy”.  Of course my child influenced people.  That’s what we do-we interact and influence and leave a trail behind.

But that is completely different than making a choice about what to invest your life’s energy into-completely different than what one attributes to a person whose long life leaves behind actions, words and work that form a cohesive testimony to a personality or passion.

I am not hiding in a hole.  I do not spend days in bed or sitting, sulking and silent, shaking my fist at the sky.

Even today I will get up, get dressed and DO what needs to be done.

But I will be mindful that one of my children is beyond reach.  One piece of my heart is unavailable for me to hold.  


I will cry at what I’ve lost and be thankful for what I had.

I will look at pictures of Dominic and wish photos and memories were not all that is left of my third child.  

I will continue to live the life I didn’t choose.

family never gets over the death of a loved one

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 “Four Years. Today.”

  1. Melanie – I pray for you and your family daily as I read your posts. Sharing your heart with others is a gift beyond measure to all of us. I am continually inspired by your words and empowered by your journey, as I seek to help myself and others who also journey through grief. Thank you is not enough, words do not accurately express my gratitude for you – Stephanie


  2. Dear Melanie,
    I cry for your loss. What a wonderful young man you had! Dominic’s early leaving is just not right. My heart aches as I share your grief. Thank you for writing from your heart💛💙


  3. Melanie, May you find peace that only God can bring today. Because you loved Dominic greatly you grieve greatly. Thanks for being real in your grief and helping me and others who also belong to this club no parent would choose. Hugs and love to you sweet friend.


  4. So sorry Mama… perhaps his legacy lies in your daily words written here! You have helped me by sharing him and your heart with so many. When I felt broken, you helped me know it is ok to be broken. When the pain of so many crazy emotions pulled me under, I found validation and support through your own grief. Four years is so very long since….. May you have moments of peace and warmth on this difficult day. John’s Mom Forever 46 , 5-18-15 💙


  5. Melanie,
    Thank you for sharing your handsome son Dominic with us. Hugs, love and prayers for you and your family on this difficult anniversary day.<3


  6. Thinking of you today,Melanie & saying a prayer to give you peace.a calm & comfort to get you thru the day. My Laura died one year ago tomorrow on 1-13. Because of Jesus & the prayers of many of my friends I have a peace & calm that I haven’t had much of. Thank you for helping me thru this terrible journey. You are like a dear friend & I will be thinking of you all thru the day. God bless you today!!!!!


  7. Melanie,
    I am so sorry for your horrific loss of Domonic. My son died 8 years ago and I could never have imagined what this life would be like. Spend time with him today. Take a look at pictures, light a candle, raise a glass, do not expect much of yourself. He will always be someone to cry for. Grief is love…Peace and strength be yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. What a beautiful testament to Dominic, your family and your faith. Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us. You put into words what so many are feeling. Peace to you today.

    Liked by 3 people

  9. Thank you for sharing the gift God gave you to put into words how I feel but have trouble expressing. The 28th will be three years since my beautiful Mitchell went to Heaven.
    Today I will say your precious Dominic’s name out loud and honor him for you and his memory.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. As always beautifully written Melanie. You are my shepherd, 8 months ahead of me on this life we definitely didn’t choose & you always reflect my feelings. Anniversary dates are always harder even though it feels every day is hard. I hope you have a plan & the day passes. Thank you for writing every day. I know your son now & I will never forget him. Hugs


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