A Whole Series of “Lasts”

One of the things even the most uninformed person understands about loss is that the first birthday, the first Thanksgiving, the first Christmas and all the “firsts” after loss will be hard.

But one of the things no one tells you about is that a heart will mark the “lasts” just as much.

The last time I saw him.

The last time I spoke to him.

The last time I hugged his neck and smelled the unique fragrance that was my son.

missing child from arms

 

Every year as I approach the anniversary of the day Dominic left this life and stepped into Heaven, I also remember all the last times.

It’s hard on a heart to think about and wish that somehow I had made more of those moments.  I long to have just one more opportunity to say what needs to be said, to see his smile, hear his voice, and hug his neck.

But there’s no going back.

So part of the pain of marking the milestones is knowing there is no way to change a thing.  Not only the FACT that my son is gone, gone, gone.  But also the FACT that whatever I said or did or left unsaid or undone is utterly and undeniably carved in stone.

I don’t know why this anniversary is hitting my heart harder than last year.  Maybe it’s because I recognize how much life has happened since Dominic left us.  Maybe it’s because I think in terms of decades.  Maybe it’s because there are so many exciting family celebrations that he won’t be part of.

I have no idea.

But it’s nearly five long years since my son crossed the threshold of his family home.  It’s nearly five years since I heard that familiar deep “Hey!”.  It’s nearly five years since I waved him down the driveway and hollered, “Be careful!” as he drove back to his apartment.

I am thankful for the faithful love of my God and my family.  I am thankful for the compassionate companionship of friends.  I am thankful that I am still standing after the awful blow that I was sure would knock me so far down I’d never get up again.

But I miss him.  I miss him.  I miss him.

I will never be able to watch the early spring flowers bloom again without also remembering that it was those blossoms that heralded the good weather that lured him to take his motorcycle that night.

I will never hear Spring Break plans without counting the days between his last Spring Break trip and the day he met Jesus.

dom and julian spring break

I cannot step outside and smell the grass growing, feel the breeze blowing and hear the birds singing without my heart skipping beats and doing the math.  Today marks less than two months before the day he left us.

I understand that for others-if they remember at all-Dominic’s departure is a day circled on the calendar.

For me, it’s an entire season.

I mark every single day that led up to that day.  I remember every single conversation, meeting, text and phone call.  I remember all the things I did and regret all the things I didn’t do.

While the world is celebrating new life, I’m remembering a life that ended.

miss-you-every-day

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.

21 thoughts on “A Whole Series of “Lasts””

  1. Thank you for all of your words & the courage it takes to write them. You have been the most significant and most often read blog for me since I lost my sweet Jacob nearly 25 months ago at 12 years old. My worst season is in the thick of the holidays, as his birthday was on Christmas & his angelversary just 2 short weeks later on January 8th. I long for spring and the sweet newness, freshness, & sunshine that it brings my aching & weary soul. I am trying to not get stuck in a dark season, but the why’s and what if’s seem to consume my every thought. Thank you for your words & sharing your innermost thoughts with all of us in this “club” that we never wanted to join. You have been a light in the darkness many times for me, so thank you.
    Forever Jacob’s momma,
    Nichole

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry for your pain and your loss. To have the anniversary and your son’s birthday sandwiched in the holidays is doubly hard and cruel. I’m thankful the blog is a ray of light in your world. I pray that the Lord wraps His loving arms around you and holds you close. ❤

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  2. This is exactly how I feel every single day! Aug 23rd my life changed forever. It will be 6 months this month. Feels like yesterday! Your words are exactly my thoughts. The pain and sadness is overwhelming. I am so sorry for your loss. It is good to know someone understands! Thank you!
    Donna

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  3. Since I watched my daughter die, my lasts were only the beginning. I’m not able to distinguish the lasts from even until now. I have to go back a couple of months before all that to get to the lasts. But, I understand what you’re saying. I’m just not really to that point in my journey where I can think of that. It’ll give me something to look forward to, for now. Hugs.

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    1. You have a different experience than I do, Roger. My son was living away from home and was killed instantly in an accident. So my “lasts” are all so “damn normal” as one mom commented on the public page. Maybe it’s the juxtaposition of how very ordinary they were with what followed that makes them loom large in my mind and heart. ❤

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      1. Oh yes, so true. The differences make our journey unique, but the sorrow is much the same, so I’m learning. Hugs.

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  4. Tears, tears, and more tears reading this. One week from today will mark the day last year when he breathed his last. All that energy and wit and sarcasm and intelligence and love. Gone. I am empty inside since the New Year started and this date loomed large and scary on my new calendar. I can’t even describe my emotions. Fear. Sorrow. Dread. And so much more.
    As always Melanie, thank you for putting into words the thoughts that I and so many of us grieving parents have!!
    God bless you!
    Marilyn

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    1. Marilyn- next Weds also marks the last for me- last phone call, last text from our son. The day is looming large. I’m so sorry for you ,and all who are struggling with “the lasts”. Melanie- you again write what’s in my heart . Thank you for sharing yours .
      You are a blessing.

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      1. Nearly nine months since my daughter’s last breath, in my arms. It’s haunting me, and I have only in recent weeks begun to truly *feel* the pain, the enormity of having lived through, and remembering, and reliving, my child’s LAST BREATH, in my arms. All other ‘last’ moments pale into insignificance.

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      2. Of course! You are fresh on this journey and your experience is different than my own. I pray the Lord will give you strength for every single day. ❤

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      3. I’m so sorry that you know this pain and walk this broken road. I pray that you feel the Father’s loving arms around you and that He strengthens you to endure. ❤

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    2. There are so many feelings wrapped up in the word “grief”. I think one of our challenges is teasing them apart, feeling them for what they are, and doing the work they demand from us. It’s exhausting and invisible work. I pray that the Lord gives you strength to do it and to endure. ❤

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  5. Aw Melanie how my heart is in sync with yours at this time of the year. It seems to be a long season for me – January through to mid June. I wonder if my mind will ever replace those thoughts with happier memories of events which will happen in the future. Even in the last week we had a happy, fun day for my second son’s twenty ninth birthday, with hus partner and our grandchildren….I’m hoping those memories will sooth my heart when the “last” times threaten to overtake me.
    As always sending my love and prayers across the ocean ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope those memories help too. Some of the sad times have been supplanted by happier ones for me. I’m not always focused on a specific memory on a particular day. Instead it’s kind of a seasonal thing. ❤

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