When You Feel Like You Can’t Breathe: Setting Living Children Free

A couple weeks ago I walked away from my son’s house, after kissing him goodbye and prayed under my breath that it won’t be the last time I see his bright eyes and lively smile.

Because when you’ve mistakenly waved a cheery “see you later” to your child, ignorant that it’s the LAST time, your heart never takes these moments for granted again.

I drink in the laugh lines around his 30 year old eyes, wondering if mine had laugh lines at that young age as well.

james 30 birthday

I make a mental record of the timbre of his voice, the set of his shoulders, the way he laughs.

I cannot get enough of him- like a parched woman in the desert-trying to quench a thirst that simply cannot be filled.

He’s off to an adventure and I refuse to squelch his enthusiasm.

james at pikes peak

I’ve buried one son and part of my heart begs me to set up barricades and safe zones around the rest of my children.

But the truth is, I can’t.  There is no way to guarantee safety in this world.  And if I try to circumscribe their lives, all I will gain is a false sense of control and a strained relationship.

So I open my hand.  

Open my heart.  

Take a deep breath.

Pray for grace and mercy.

And let go.  

james and me yellow shirt 2015

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.

6 thoughts on “When You Feel Like You Can’t Breathe: Setting Living Children Free”

  1. This is so true…my only other child/son deployed shortly after my first born son passed away from an accidental drug overdose…it was so hard…but I kept a positive thought process at least in front of my child…while deeply having a panic attack…every time I am around my only living child …I have anxiety that I hide…anxiety that he will be killed in a car accident or something … it is in these times that I our ALL mt trust in the Lord our Savior. Thanks for all your posts 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I feel forever on guard watching for any sign of depression or anxiety in my living children….I try not to let it show as they have to live their lives in a society very different to the one I experienced at their age.
    I find it hard to accept that they understand and are equipped for it better than I am, especially as it vanquished their brother. As years roll by I expect I will trust that this will have given them some sort of added defence…..but most of all I trust that God will give them wisdom as an ultimate defence. I know I can’t contol all the external factors which affects their lives but pray that they can see that everything can change given time.
    Easier said than done I know for anyone who is in so much mental pain they cannot think beyond stopping the pain.
    “It takes one half second to turn it around” George Ezra.
    Our masks go on again don’t they Melaine as we try to keep a lid on it but I guess our children find them pretty see through most of the time ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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