It Gets Heavier Before We Grow Stronger

Oh, the weight of missing the son I love!

I thought I understood just how heavy it was the moment the deputy’s words sank deep inside and crushed my heart.

But I didn’t know the half of it.

You really can’t know how large a person’s absence is until you’ve explored the edges of the world without him or her.

When folks started coming up our long and winding drive, even though I knew full well he would not be among them, my eyes strained to see inside every car. When his friends gathered in our front yard, I couldn’t help looking through the picture window trying to make out his face among the crowd. When we walked into his now-empty apartment I thought surely he was in his bedroom, around the corner, just out out of sight.

But he was nowhere to be found. And the hole in my heart where he should be but wasn’t got bigger.

Those were just the early days.

In the weeks, months and years to follow I found everywhere I set my foot that followed a path we’d walked together, I missed him. When the next movie in a series was released, he wasn’t there to watch it with me. Family gatherings, holidays, birthdays, graduations all went on without him and my heart counted his absence.

From sunrise to sunset my heart marks all the Dominic-sized spaces in a day.

At night, dark stillness invites me to recite them.

But after more than five years, most people no longer see any tale-tell sign of this mama’s heart longing desperately for one more minute, one more hug, one more quick exchange of “I love you!”

I have grown stronger and better able to carry this load of missing.

Daily exercise will do that.

And it IS a daily exercise-lifting the missing up on my shoulders or carrying it in a basket on my head like women hauling water from a well far away has taught me to bear it well.

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I still miss him.

I will always miss him.

Greater strength means I can shift the missing to make room for living. I can carry that weight and still find room to carry joy.

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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.

10 thoughts on “It Gets Heavier Before We Grow Stronger”

  1. Two and a half years that my son has been gone. My stomach still aches every single day when I wake up. I certainly hope that someday, it wont hurt quite as much.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so sorry for your pain and your loss. May the Lord give you strength to endure and face each day with courage. May He sing grace and love over your broken heart. ❤


  2. I have grown stronger, I do not notice the mask that I felt I almost physically donned each morning before I walked out of the door. I too am better able to carry this missing. If not every day or even all day but I am better at it.

    No, most of the time no one would notice but oh my is it constantly, constantly there 💔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m thankful the words help you heart. I’m sorry that you share this pain and loss. May the Lord overwhelm you with His love, grace and mercy and give you strength to endure and hold onto hope. ❤


  3. Melanie-
    I too am at the 5-yr mark since loosing my son in an accident. Ive been following your daily posts over the past 4-yrs. your words parallel my feelings that I can’t always put into words. Thank you so much for sharing honestly, boldly and helping us all walk with Jesus through this endless valley of loss.
    May the Lord continue to bless you with healing and in your ministry.
    I’ll continue reading and healing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for the encouraging words. I’m sorry that you share this pain but thankful the blog has ministered to you. May the Lord continue to give you what you need for each new day and may He help your heart hold onto hope. ❤


  4. Oh Melanie. I am so desperate for what you are expressing…two years in and I’m not seeing much room for joy yet, but you are providing me with great hope for my future. Thank you for that gift that will help to soften the sharpest moments on this journey.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I pray that joy begins to shine through the cracks in your heart. It’s a long, long journey with no shortcuts but the Lord is faithful. What He has done for me, He will do for you. ❤


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