Night Time is So. Much. Harder.

I’m pretty good at pushing away uncomfortable or sad or downright horrifying thoughts in the daytime.

Sunlight means there’s plenty to do and plenty to keep my mind from dwelling too long on anything that will make be cry or bring me to my knees. 

But there is a dangerous space just between wake and sleep, when the house is quiet and my mind is free to explore random corners that guarantees unpleasant thoughts will pour in and overwhelm me.

I can’t tell you how many times the last moment before sleep claims my consciousness is filled with thoughts of Dominic.

Not sweet memories of his smiling face.  

Oh, no. 

Instead they are graphic images of what he looked like, crumpled on the ground, perhaps gasping one last time trying to fill his lungs before his soul flew to Jesus, leaving his body behind.  

It’s impossible to describe the electric current that shoots through my midsection like a lightning bolt.  I cannot help a heart that doesn’t carry this awful burden understand how such flashes disrupt any hope of peaceful sleep.

I used to be afraid of ghosts in the dark.  

I never slept without aid of a nightlight until well into my adult years.  

I’m not afraid of specters anymore.  

They are small potatoes next to a mother’s own heart screaming, “Where WERE you????” when your baby breathed his last.

Nights are just plain hard.  

No distractions. 

Only sorrow and a broken heart in bed together.  

night silent tears

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 “Night Time is So. Much. Harder.”

  1. You write so beautifully, expressing the pain we feel but can’t put into words…. I lay in bed and wonder if my son knew he was dying, if he was afraid. He was a believer and his life is beyond glorious now- why does this still torture me…… will the feeling of utterly failing him ever leave me?…. I can only hope.

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  2. Wow! This is so true. I didn’t realise it was so common in this group. I try and think of different ways to hijack those minutes between awake and asleep. Sometimes reading a devotional or a gripping novel will do it, but once my mind starts down that tack it’s really REALLY hard to pull it back, sometimes impossible. I guess the impossible times are getting less, thankfully, but still often enough to sabotage many a good nights sleep.
    I did have the “blessing?” of being with my daughter when she took her last breaths of earth’s air, but the harrowing sights and sounds of those moments are hard to get out of my mind.
    Thanks, yet again, for sharing “my”thoughts Melanie 💙

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    1. It’s getting less for me too Rhyl. But if I have a particularly stress-filled day or one where there are lots of triggers, it’s more likely to happen. I have worked out all kinds of ridiculous methods of trying to hijack those minutes in addition to what you do. Sometimes I count backwards by 3’s or 7’s from some high number. Doing it that way instead of 2’s and 5’s takes a lot of mental energy. Sometimes I try to recreate my childhood bedroom in great detail-another thing that takes mental energy. And so on…

      It works about half the time. The other half, well-you know. ❤

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    2. You werw so lucky to be by your daughters side.I only wish I had that with my son.It breaks my heart to know that we were not there by his side,as he had a motorcycle accident, and had heard, that a young man passed away on a motorcycle accident on the news. It still haunts me till this day that I couldn’t be there by his side to hold him tight.

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  3. This is part of my nighttime ritual since my son was taken from me also. Sleep eludes me and I cannot stop replaying the horror of his death in my mind. It’s like a movie loop stuck on replay. Thank you for posting this – I know I’m not alone in this.

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    1. I am so very sorry dear heart. I hate that any of us experience this. I’m thankful that knowing you are not alone helps your heart just a bit. May the Lord give you strength for each new day. ❤

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  4. “Electric current that shoots through my midsection like a lightning bolt” Oh how I recognise this but often it happens just as I wake in the night, it leaves a feeling of utter dread….I’m told it is due to adrenaline in our stomachs. I get that, I don’t know if I want fight or flee! It takes some time to calm again but then sleep generally alludes me afterwards.
    However, as you say the morning comes and we once again take refuge in our busyness.
    Peace be with you Melaine x

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    1. I’m sure it’s adrenaline. I was a very calm person before my son left for Heaven-rarely anxious about anything. But now it’s very different. It seems my body can go straight into “fight or flight” mode over practically nothing.

      May the Lord overwhelm your heart with His grace, love and mercy. ❤

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  5. We know too well how you feel. Our son was killed by a lady with dementia when she pulled out and turned in front of him . Samuel was riding his motorcycle on a nice day to go look at a car to purchase. He was to start a new job and work where his Dad was that Monday. He went to Heaven on the Saturday before. I know from a vision God gave to me that Samuel did not suffer. This does not keep me from seeing images of his death. We will see Samuel in Heaven but oh how we miss him here and love him.

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    1. I am so very sorry for your pain and your loss. I hate that you also know this deep longing for a son’s touch and presence. I’m thankful that you are comforted by the vision God gave you. What a beautiful gift even in this Valley. ❤

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