I Don’t Want To Remember My Son

I don’t want to remember my son. 

I want to make memories with him.  

I want him to watch me grow old, to watch him get married and have children and to hear his voice mingled with his siblings at my table.

I’ve tried dozens of times to write a post that describes the abyss that divides the life I thought I would live and what it’s turned out to be.

I can’t do it.  

A twenty-three year old isn’t planning his legacy.  A mom of a twenty-three year old isn’t carefully preserving daily moments in the event he suddenly disappears.

Whatever legacy Dominic has left behind is a function of his huge personality rather than careful planning.  And all I have left of his life are bits and pieces I’m trying to string together so he’s not forgotten.

I was not prepared to wake up one morning and learn that his earthly story ended.  

I didn’t get to say good-bye, didn’t get to look him in the eye and tell him how very much I love him, didn’t even get to hold his hand as he left this life and entered Heaven.

I know he is just fine.  He’s full of joy and perfectly content.  

But I’m not.  

I don’t want Dominic to be a memory.  

I want him to be here.  


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.

22 thoughts on “I Don’t Want To Remember My Son”

  1. I’ve lost count of how many times today I’ve gone back to reread this post. Again. And again. And again.
    With the first few words, the tears prickle behind my eyes.
    They graduate into huge big plopping tears by the time you get to marriage and grandchildren.
    24 at the time of her death, Katie wasn’t quite ready to settle down into being wife and mommy just yet. (Although I kept my fingers hopefully crossed….behind me I have 3 children. All 3 share the same sentiment of an unwillingness to bring a child into a life in which they suspect our planet would be unable to support.)
    Reading on, I am again and again astonished how you managed to reach into my mind, pull out my thoughts, and put them into print.
    August 17, 2017 was the day my warcry began. There were some days when those were the only words that I spoke for hours on end, and they changed in inflection through that day; first spoken in a begging tone, a demanding tone, in a soul-crushing guttural wail, and finally a pitiful, hoarse exhausted voice…..”I just want her back. I just want her baaaaaack.”
    The pain of this journey has been truly unbearable at times. I’ve had moments where I literally felt like there was no way I could survive this…. the pain wrapped itself around my heart, my mind, my soul, and my physical being all at the same time, squeezing like the boa constrictor from hell. I was sure I was dying. I felt I was going to explode, like the pain had nowhere to go, it just kept pinballing inside of me, it felt cruel and conniving and life threatening to the nth degree.
    I wish the rest of society could truly understand what this feels like…… it is unexplainable,,there are not words to effectively convey what we feel. They only way anyone can understand it is to experience it, and I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.
    Thank you Melanie, your words again make me feel not so alone

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s been 10.5 years since we lost our son. I could change ‘23 year old Dominic’ to ‘24 year old Jake’ in this post and your every word reflects my own! Hugs to us all!


  3. Oh my God this just brought tears to my eyes and a familiar ache to my heart. I am in the same boat. Four years have passed. The pain has dulled but he still very near the surface. It too know he is in complete joy. But I am not. Like you. My faith has grown exponentially. I have another son. His older brother who is struggling w his mental health. I’m grieving again. My heart hurts. Yes this is not the life I expected.
    Thankyou for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My son, Bryce, died the day after Thanksgiving in 2020. He was 25. He had drug induced cardiac failure and I knew he was going to die soon. I just wanted 1 more day. He died at home in the night so everyone was asleep. I worry that he needed me and I didn’t hear him. Did he call out for me? It appears that he just went to sleep and didn’t wake up. But I still wonder. I, too, don’t want to remember him, I want him here with me. I wanted him to grow old, get married, have children that I could spoil. I wanted so much more for him. I miss him every day.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. So very true this is not the life I would have ever imagined I miss my Robert everyday. It has been almost 5 years and I cannot believe I am still here. My faith in Jesus and His promises is what keep me here. I feel like the only ones that even think about him are us everyone else has taken flight. It is a bumpy road with many valleys and seemingly scarce mountains. Some days I think of God took me now at least I wouldn’t have this pain, but then I realize it’s His timing and not mine. May all of you find comfort and peace.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I could change your entire post and insert “Rachel” and “she” and “her.”
    The memories, some days they aren’t really *there* for me. I can’t hold on to them. There are ephemeral. As has been stated by others and you, Melanie, I didn’t just lose Rachel the day she died. I lose her again with every day, every family gathering, every moment that could have been-should have been. I’m thankful for the years we had our precious Rae of Sunshine with us. But it is always cloudy without her here. The sun peeks through. Good moments do happen. The fog of grief has changed in passing of the past twenty three months. But it’s never gone, it’s never too far out of sight. The missing journey is not a race, not a sprint. It is the hardest, ugliest, super ultra marathon. No way to train for it. We each just have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, one day, one breath, one step at a time. May the God of comfort bring His strength and comfort to us this day and every new day we are given.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Melanie, you have just stated what I feel certain every bereaved parent feels- thank you! Thank you for speaking for all of us! I remember in so many of the cards we received, the sentiment was “ may you be comforted by sweet memories”. No! I certainly wasn’t then ! In those early days, I just got mad when I read that….so I got mad a lot! I didn’t want to trade the presence of Robert for memories of him! In the almost 9 years that have followed, that anger has softened, and of COURSE I’m thankful for those memories, because that’s all I have! Thank you for continuing to write and to help so many of us! I’m praying for you, I know this is your hardest month. 💙

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes, we want what we thought was ours, but it was only borrowed. Many mornings when I can’t read because of tears I lay my hand on my Bible. It is open to Isaiah 55…His ways are not our ways… I cannot imagine the trauma some of you feel, because I’m the Mom that got to say goodbye. I watched as my vibrant 24 yr old daughter began to have pain and was diagnosed with sarcoma. She was an elementary teacher, loved children! I watched as her dreams had to die, I held her hand as the pain made her delirious, I stood there and could do nothing!!! I have the precious gift of her acceptance, and having her tell me she would be waiting for me over there, but those last days are a nightmare I want to forget! Give a mother a thousand good-byes, but they are never enough! She’s been gone a little over a year now… Hugs to each of you on this journey, as we walk each other home! Thanks for honest, genuine, posts!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I miss the sense of well-being.
    I miss a good nights sleep and the anticipation of a happy day ahead of me.
    I miss her smile-inducing laughter.
    Her enthusiasm. Her storytelling of her day’s events. Her opinions. Her eagerness to shop, cook, and serve. Her impromptu singing and little dance moves….Her knitting, playing with the dogs, her running, her thoughtful questions, her hopes & dreams….our beloved Claire Elizabeth. Forever 21.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh yes. I feel this pain. It’s not only our child we lost, but we also lost the future. I titled mine, the lost hope of expectations. I’m approaching birthday number 4 of Amanda being in heaven this Friday. Special days amplify the missing. Bears hugs.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Yes, Melanie, yes!
    On Saturday, April 7th, it will be 7 years that my Brian left this earthly dwelling place….my heart breaks, as I know yours and those who share here does, too….

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Melanie My heart brakes for us both. This is truth and always will be . We will never have another great day on Earth just some good days . This is what is the hardest for me . The fact that I don’t want the memories … I want Paul him here .. Our Joy Filled Paul was swept to Heaven Easter Day , April 5 2015 while Home from college in a hit and run . I will never be the same . Thank you for your frequent blog post . I connect to everyone. It help me not feel alone .

    Hugs Mary Ann


    Liked by 2 people

  12. How it broke my heart this morning reading this Melanie….for you for me, for all of us parents with no more memories to capture and store, only the “bits and pieces” which are often illusive 💔

    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: