Transparent, Vulnerable, Scared

I wish I could write openly about the things that are going on right now in my life,  but I can’t.  

So you’ll just have to trust me when I say these past months-really this past year-has been the most challenging since the first 365 days after Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.

I have cried more in the past three weeks than I have cried in the past three years.  

I am forced to crawl into that secret space inside my heart and soul over and over if I hope to not vomit all these feelings on whoever happens to be nearby.

I look like I’m walking around in the world, but I’m really just walking around in a fog-putting one foot in front of the other and hoping I don’t trip and land flat on my face.

I want to be transparent, but I can’t be.  Outcomes depend upon my ability to keep it together.

If I’m transparent, they will see that I’m falling apart.

So I plant a fake smile on my face, put on my good clothes, suck it up and suck it in and do what I have to do.

But I feel so very vulnerable.  

Every day I feel like I’m in one of those dreams where you show up naked to class or to a job interview or to some other important function.  And everyone just stares-dumbfounded-because they don’t know whether to laugh or cry at my predicament.

And I’m scared.

I know I write a lot about learning to set anxiety aside and not trying to figure out what the future holds.  I really do take my own advice.

But some days, some weeks, some months I find I’m just as unable as the next trembling heart to do that.  

So I’ve spent a lot of mornings crying before the sun rises too high in the sky.  Letting all that vulnerability and fear leave my body through my eyes.  

Then I dry it up and get dressed.  Put on my mask and get going.

It is utterly exhausting.  

I’m clinging to the fact that my track record for surviving hard days is 100%.

But it is still so very hard.  

grief bubble

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.

24 thoughts on “Transparent, Vulnerable, Scared”

  1. You give so many of us strength, tools to walk in our own fog. Prayers for you in these days that are so hard. Prayers that you can get to a place of peace. Prayers ongoing, Melanie💙

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  2. My son died 2 years ago at the age of 15. He would have started his senior year this year. For some reason, I have had such a hard time with this. I’ve been more emotional the last month than I have the last year.
    In that time I have also lost my Mother, mother in law, father in law and my dad is dealing with kidney failure right now. I know added stress makes my sons death even harder.
    I have 3 other children and 2 grandsons that help me through this hard time. My oldest son is getting married in September, and I’m struggling with the emotions of that. It will be such a bittersweet time. My son that died was to be the best man.
    When you were talking about crying more, I understand how you feel. I put on my happy face for the rest of my family, but inside it’s a turmoil of emotions.
    Melanie, I’m praying you find the strength to wait this “season of life” out. That’s how I feel anyway. God bless you.

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  3. Melanie our hearts are all reday holding sòoooo much pain, there is no wonder that when another situation arises the stress it causes over burdens us. Over the few months I have been following your blog I was aware that you had a further burden you were having to deal with which you were not at liberty to disclose. This in itself makes it a heavier load. We can’t help you carry this load for the moment but we can offer our prayers asking for the Lord to be by your side. So may He be to your right side and your left, infront of you and behind, above you and below. May He protect you from all anxiety and give you peace in your day.
    Sending you love over the ocean as you do what is necessary to get through you the difficult days you are experiencing.
    Dominic is in with the Saints watching over you, he will also be surrounding you with love.
    Hold fast dear heart ❤

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  4. I live in that mask! I have held it all together for everyone around me and because I can’t allow anyone to see how broken I truly am. I am a wife, a mama, a Grammers (grama), I am a school teacher (5-6th grade), I am an advocate for Medically Complex and Pediatic Palliative Care kids, and I am a daughter of our Living God but mostly I am broken. Sixteen months ago my four and a half year old little boy and best friend ran ahead to be with Jesus. I am hurt, I am angry, I am lonely, the silence is defending, I am completely shattered. My boy and I spent every single minute of his four and a half years together, literally. He was Medically Complex but dispite all his diagnoses, Lane loved life. He gave love unconditionally, he forgave instantly, his crooked smile would light up the darkest room. Most people didn’t love my little boy because the adults of this world would rather protect themselves from the hurt of loving a little boy who wasn’t expected to live long than to open their heart up to an amazing little boy who would have changed their lives. I wish I had half the wonderfulness that he had. God blessed me with Lane and with him gone I’m not even sure how to breathe. That mask has been my security. Most days I want the world to go away, I don’t want to participate in the days but I get up but my mask on and paint a smile on and walk out the door. All the while, I am shattered, I am broken. I cry every night and most mornings with the thought of having to do one more day without him.

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    1. I am so, so sorry. I work hard at being authentic and open about my own brokenness. But sometimes you do have to hide it to function. I pray that the Lord overwhelms your hurting heart with His grace, love and mercy and gives you strength for each new day. ❤

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  5. Melanie, you have brought so much comfort to so many moms through your honest and open words. May God grant you His grace to endure and come out victorious, as refined only by fire, with the knowledge that He is with you every step of the way. I read something this morning that brought home truth for me. We regret all that our children would have been while not even realizing where they are now. That’s me right now. Living in regret only keeps me stuck in the now, not seeing eternity. Thank you for all you’ve done for our grieving hearts.

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    1. You are so right. I’m trying not to cling to regret and to hold onto the beauty of what Dom is experiencing right this very minute. I think sometimes it’s that “one foot here, one foot there” that wears me out. Thank you for encouraging me so often and so well. ❤

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  6. Dear Melanie,
    All the feelings you are having and the anxiety is so normal.
    When I went back to work after my Amelia passed and had to leave my desk when a little blonde girl came in the bank I worked at. I would go in the restroom and cry!!!!! I won’t tell you it will go away, but I promise you after a very long time it gets softer.
    Margee

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    1. I have been surprised at the ferocity of these feelings lately. I had reached a place where I was mostly able to bear up under the strain. But this additional stress has stripped away my defenses and sent me right back to the beginning. Difference is, this time I know I will grow stronger again and that gives me hope. ❤

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      1. Dear Melanie, yes! Today would have been my little girl , Amelia Nicole ‘s, 28th Birthday. She passed at two years old. I go back to a nervous breakdown a year later. Keep the strength!!!!!💔 I’m still here.

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  7. Melanie, Life keeps coming at us fast. I foolishly expected a pass from other issues, illnesses, etc. after my son Connor died. Things keep happening. I try to take it one day, hour, minute at a time & remember the idea of impermanence. You have helped so many. Wishing you less stress & feelings of isolation. Xoxo

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  8. Dear Melanie,
    You help so many on so many days.
    May you be given the courage, strength and grit it takes to get you through this extra difficult time in your life.
    Thank you for all you do and may God bless and bolster you. Psalm 61:1-4

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  9. My heart goes out to you Melanie. Only you can decide what’s best for you but it’s hard to be strong all the time and sometimes we all need someone to lean on. I hope that things work out for you; sending a huge virtual hug xx

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