How Do I DO This? The Question Every Bereaved Parent Longs to Ask

After the flurry of activity surrounding the funeral, our house was so, so quiet. 

Even with the five of us still here, it felt empty.  

Because Dominic was gone, gone, gone and he was not coming back.

And the silence pounded into my head and heart until it became a scream: 

How do I DO this? 

How do I keep on living when all I want to do is give up and give in?  How does a body carry this pain-is it even possible?

grief bubble

When I dared look past the moment to the days, weeks, months, DECADES that stretched before me, I was undone.

Even now, if I look too far ahead, my heart pounds and my head explodes.  

So I don’t.  

Honestly, THAT’S how you do it.  

One day at a time.

One moment at a time.

One breath at a time.

I keep reminding my heart that the only thing I have to do is right now. I hold my attention to this very moment and refuse to let my thoughts wander. 

Sure I mark dates on the calendar and am even able to plan ahead a bit now.  But it was nearly three years until I could do that without shaking as I wrote them down.

So dear mama, dear daddy, give yourself permission not to try to figure out what a parent’s heart was never meant to calculate-how to live without the earthly companionship of the child you love-and just breathe.  

One day at a time.

One moment at a time.

One breath at a time.




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.

13 thoughts on “How Do I DO This? The Question Every Bereaved Parent Longs to Ask”

  1. Yes, moment by moment – that’s how it is done. My son passed from a drug overdose in October 2016. It is a silent journey that most don’t even realize we are on. Others go on with the daily life, as so do we. However during the daily life, we have moments of incredible sadness, a sting in the heart which sometimes lasts for a moment and other times lasts for however long we allow our thoughts to wander. Journaling my thoughts have helped. Through journaling I have been given several blessings from God. While writing it down, I have been shown that certain moments, dreams, etc. was God’s comforting me in my grief. Oh how beautiful it is when you can see that He is there and knows our pain. Hugs and prayers to all.


  2. Yes…I became undone when I realized I bought a second lantern for my dear son’s gravesite, for when the other one breaks down. And I thought : what am I doing?
    ! Mike will be away a year or two, but ETERNITY??? I could not breathe at that moment.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is so hard not letting our thoughts wander and as you say Melaine if you do “you become undone.”
    We were a small family of five, the “Wolf Pack” as we protectively called ourselves. Being reduced to four has damaged us and we are struggling to remain a pack. God willing we will endure and eventually mend with our cracks filled with gold x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thank you for your honest approach to dealing with such a difficult situation. Your words were very moving and reminded me that it is OKAY to take it one day at a time and that we shouldn’t try to force ourselves to do otherwise. I appreciate you sharing your experience and reminding others that we are not alone in what we are going through.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hello to all of my friends in grieving. I am 2 and a half years into my loss of my precious miracle child, Lucy, age 23 when she died from suicide. I am also in recovery for just as long and I live by the one day at a time mantra. One of my best friends, Bev, who has helped me tremendously because she loved Lucy, plus, she has a daughter, Rachael, who was one of Lucy’s best friends when they were very young. But the unthinkable happened just 9 days ago. Yes. Rachael took her own life at age 25. Now my dear friend Bev just started HER journey. She called me just seconds after she was told by her husband that Rachael was dead. I got to their house a few minutes later and lived through their shock and horror upon discovering her. I spent 3 hours with them, until the authorities took her away. Please keep her in your prayers as she is on Day 9 of her grieving.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I am so sorry for you both. May the Lord give you the strength to minister to your friend. May you both be overwhelmed with His love, grace and mercy. ❤️


    2. Oh dear souls, just reading your story breaks my heart. No one wants anyone else to feel such pain, least of all the person who has supported you.
      The girls are in safe hands now, their anguish at rest. Bless both your familes x

      Liked by 1 person

  6. grief is such an individual, personal part of our lives.
    often it’s a minute by minute process. my daughter, Emily, died 21August 2017. COD:
    liver failure, alcohol abuse.
    the one year Angelversary is coming up, and i am filled with an ever-increasing sadness.
    Emily was my only child.
    being with other grieving parents helps somewhat…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Patty our son also died of liver problems from alcohol abuse. He was only 34. We too are coming up on our one year. July 8. Praying for you for your loss and that Jesus will comfort you that day as all of the days to come. I pray that He will give us comfort also. 🙏🙏💜


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