Background Music

Another bereaved mom wrote that she was better able to cope now than she had been a year ago.

And thanks to Facebook memories she had proof.

Several comments down a second mom wrote something that got me thinking-when, exactly, did Dominic’s loss move from the forefront to the background?

I’m not sure I can pinpoint a day or moment when I realized that sorrow was no longer ALL I feel and Dominic’s absence no longer ALL I see.

I remember when more experienced loss moms posted and talked about grief being gentler and quieter I thought that they were out of their minds.

How in the world would this breath-robbing, heart-stopping, crippling pain ever be anything close to “gentle”?

How could the pulsating, blasting, all-consuming noise of loss become softer?

In the first days, months and even years, everything about loss was so loud it was all I could hear.

Rock concert, standing-next-to-the-giant-speakers-loud.

So loud it shook my body and made me want to cover my ears.  There was no way to block the sound, no silent corner where I could retreat and hide.  Just relentless pounding noise and pain.

But little by little, in imperceptible increments the volume decreased.

Now, missing Dominic is the background music to everything.  A quiet tune I hum in my head that keeps me company all day and invades my dreams at night.

If I take a moment and pay attention or when other things quiet down, it moves again to the forefront.

My head and heart are never free of the music Dominic brings to my life.  He is the soundtrack to my days, the lullaby as I fall asleep.

dominic at gray haven

No longer an ear-piercing scream demanding attention, grief is now mostly a quiet song in a minor key.  

Never silent.  

Always playing.  

music from dandelion


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.

32 thoughts on “Background Music”

  1. This is such a beautiful analogy in which to describe such a tragic way that so many now live their lives. But it feels so perfect, even in the aspect of reality that music was such a huge part of Katie’s life, and was and still is in mine. I’ve never been able to come up with a word or term that aptly describes that feeling of going through life with this hum of grief and pain continually coursing through my brain.
    I am about 3&1/2 years into my journey. For me, the music both stopped, and started, on August 17, 2017. And like you, Melanie, the pain hasn’t softened. In fact, if I allow it, it rises to, and sometimes I think surpasses, the depth and weight and intensity of some of that early pain. Back then, I don’t think I could comprehend what “forever” might feel like. I hadn’t gone through the devastation of waking up on her date of birth, only to have her absence be my first thought of the day. I had not yet driven past a beautiful church, just in time to see the newlyweds come down the stairs, excited for their future, what was yet to be, and again feel my heart ripped in shreds, knowing I’ll never ever experience being that mother of the bride.
    I still don’t know if going through these days, or witnessing these events year after year HARDEN my heart by some kind of cruel exposure therapy; or SOFTE it, kind of alluding to an opinion that the more you are exposed to something, the more you get used to it or accept it….. Sometimes I feel like it’s neither. Those are the birthdays or the christmases or whatever, when I feel like my heart is being broken for the very first time realizing Katie is not here with us on this special day. How can that be, I often wonder? It truly feels like, sometimes, my grief is so fresh, so new, it’s like time had been erased and it was just moments ago that I answered a knock on my front door at 7 am to find 3 RCMP on the other side……
    And then there are days when I worry about my mental health, those are the (thankfully rare now) days when I not only have the original pain, but it’s under an explosive volcano of anger and guilt and rage and blame and pity and blinding agony.
    But yes, mostly the days are of a life now lived with that hum of background music forever playing. Just as she will be forever remembered, Katie’s life is the sweetest music that will always play on in my heart. Thank you for opening my eyes to seeing this, for opening my ears to hear the love that she sings.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have read this analogy that you wrote about before and have helped others with child loss think of the grief this way. It can be quiet background music playing after years and then all of sudden it could be blasting bringing right back to the day of child left for heaven ❤️ 7 years – christys mom forever 💔🌻💔

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The memories come around 3AM. The joy I feel to see his smiling face for a visit and then awakening to realize it was only a dream.
    Loud crashing sounds, Oh No, it is only me crying again.
    Even though I cannot believe it now, your words give me hope that this pain will ease someday.
    Matthew was killed September 12th and I miss him so.
    Miss him and miss our sense of what I thought of as family.
    So much loss! So much pain!
    So hard to keep this fake happy face on.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing..this is so true! I find when I get tired and worn down that my grief surfaces..other days, it is in the background…beautifully spoken my friend…


      1. When I’ve stretched myself too thin, had too little sleep, been too long without quiet solitude-that’s definitely when the music of loss gets louder. ❤


    2. Absolutely! There are days when it’s unavoidably loud for me too. I am so, so sorry for your loss and your pain. May the Lord wrap His loving arms around you and speak courage to your heart. ❤


  4. “Now, missing Dominic is the background music to everything. A quiet tune I hum in my head that keeps me company all day and invades my dreams at night.”
    I LOVE this! It is so true. Today makes 28 months that my son Steve decided he could not live with the depression that took so much of his fun loving spirit away from him. As hard as he tried, he lost his battle. The noise does get very loud on certain days, so much it takes my breath away as in those first days and weeks. Melanie, you always seem to have the perfect words to describe how I am feeling. Wishing you much love, Katherine

    Liked by 1 person

  5. My son will be dead 9 years next week. This is the perfect description, especially as he was a musician. And for those endless milestones he is not here for, the music blares. I talk to him all day. Thank you for this…

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Thank you for sharing this. At almost three years I could never imagine a day when this could even remotely occur. But hold on, mamas, joy DOES come in the morning.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Paula, I, too, am at the 3 year mark. Although this is still hell on earth, I do get a reprieve more often than before. Never could imagine being able to laugh again, but I find myself enjoying life at times. Love to you all! Marcy

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It always warms my heart to read the comments here. I love when one parent reaches out to another. Time, by itself, doesn’t do a thing. But time, plus the work grief requires helps our hearts learn to carry the burden better. I can laugh again. I pray that both of you will be able too as well one day. ❤


  7. I recently loss my 18yr old son in January.My God this is the most God awful pain i have ever felt.I have good days and bad days.The grief knocks the wind out of you.It comes from out of no where.It can be a thought,song,picture,video…I miss my boy so much.What I would give for another hug or just to hear”hey ma”..I know people say he is with me but its not the same.I have so many questions.He was such a good kid.Why did God take him?So sad to know that so many other moms are on this journey..It is one we should not know..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am so sorry for your pain and your loss dear one. I do not believe that God took your son but I believe He was there to receive him. It’s a hard, hard journey and the first days, months even years are the hardest. I pray that the Lord wraps His loving arms around you and gives you strength. ❤


  8. THIS!! Wow, I read this and thought this is exactly where I’m at almost 4 years later. The picture of Koby being the background music of my life is both comforting and sad at the same time. His memory is always there…but that’s all it is…a memory. The noise of grief is quieter, but never gone. I have tinnitus. When there are other sounds during the day, the sound in my ears becomes less and often imperceptible. Sometimes the noise of daily life drowns it out completely. But when I slow down and the sounds around me quiet down, the noise can become loud in my ears. It’s odd…early on I remember when I would go a few minutes without thinking about my son and I’d feel so guilty. Them those few minutes turned into 30, then 60. But I still do not go more than a few hours without my son coming to mind. I suspect it will be this way until I see him again. And what was once guilt for not thinking about Koby nonstop has turned into a little relief. The brain and heart needs a break. But when things quiet down and the memories come roaring back, the hot tears flow down my cheeks- almost every day still. And that’s when I cry out, “come, Lord Jesus!” I can’t wait to see my boy!!! I can’t wait to see Jesus!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Our hearts DO need a break, don’t they? The overwhelming heaviness and screaming noise of grief is too hard to bear all the time. I am grateful for the respite and know now that even when the song is soft, it is still there. Dominic ( and Koby) are still there, in our hearts and minds. We haven’t forgotten. We never will forget. ❤


    1. This is so beautiful! I lost my 22 year old son 4 months ago. It feels like yesterday and like an eternity all at the same time. I hope that I can someday say the same about Ryan….

      My head and heart are never free of the music he brings to my life. He is the soundtrack to my days, the lullaby as I fall asleep.

      No longer an ear-piercing scream demanding attention, grief is now mostly a quiet song in a minor key.

      Never silent.

      Always playing…

      Thank-you for this beautiful picture!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It took a long time for me to get here. I pray that the Lord meet you where you are and gives you what you need for each new day. May He give you strength to hold onto hope. ❤


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