At A Loss For Words: Another Birthday Without You

It would surprise my mama most of all that on this day I’m at a loss for words.

I regularly embarrassed her with my non-stop commentary as a child. I told stories about what I heard and saw (and what my young mind THOUGHT it heard or saw) to anyone who would listen.

But I realize now there are moments too sacred, wounds too deep, experiences too precious for words.

Either you are there and share it-or you’re not-and can’t imagine.

This is one of those times.

Dominic would be thirty years old today if he had lived.

He’d be several years out of law school, on some path toward making his mark in the world, maybe (?) married, perhaps even a dad but definitely, positively here and part of our lives.

To be honest, I wouldn’t even care what his life looked like right now as long as it was LIFE.

Something very few people know and even fewer would note is that on Dominic’s birth day, the doctor who delivered him had just the day before become a bereaved parent himself. His daughter left this world by her own hand.

Another C-section, Dominic was lifted up next to my face by this sweet and vulnerable man while the tears poured down my face. I was crying for HIM not for me. I was undone that he had shown up and delivered my child while his own laid lifeless wherever they had taken her.

I thought I understood then.

But I had no clue.

I understand now.

Sometimes you show up and do what you need to because it’s the only way for a heart to survive. Sometimes you walk on because standing still leaves too much time for the horror to take root and overwhelm you.

I miss Dominic.

I miss the future we would have had together and the family we would have been if death hadn’t invaded our reality.

I would literally give anything other than the life of one I love for Dominic to be alive right now.

But it’s not an option.

So I’ll spend his birthday thinking about what we had, lamenting what we will never have, rejoicing that his faith is made sight and I’ll cry.

Because a mama’s arms are made for holding her child, not holding his memory.

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.

40 thoughts on “At A Loss For Words: Another Birthday Without You”

  1. Yesterday would have been my son’s 30th birthday, and I too have no words. He died in a car accident, the day after he got his college senior ring, the day before Mother’s Day. It’s been 6 long years. I wanted to post on line to remember him, but I wanted the perfect picture and the perfect words. Nothing seems good enough to explain the depth of my grief. Many times you have written the words I can’t seem to find, your posts bring so much comfort!! I was lucky enough to hear you speak several years ago, and it brought such comfort. Thank you Melanie ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I see often now that I share a walk with others who have loss a child after me ,that my words ( ONLY GOD) , are what I pass to them. The Real comfort, I have is knowing that Daxton is walking in Heaven and one day we will walk together again . I have also encouraged them to follow and read your blog, for it so much touches my heart and I can see to continue.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Beautiful writing Melanie on Dominic’s heavenly birthday.
    Thank you for sharing these photos of your family. What a handsome young man Dominic is..look at that smile!
    Melanie I hope you share special moments today and are surrounded by Dominic’s love and feel it. You help us every single day, it is your turn to know we are all thinking of you and your family today and thank you from the bottom of our hearts for your pure devotion and faith xxxx.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Melanie, I love when you share photos…
    Dominic is alive in your story telling (love his red shoes in one of these pics!). I am 4 years without my Ryan who ended his life on May 23rd, 2017. This year’s anniversary was doubly hard as a dear friend lost his son to suicide on May 20th.
    I attended his son’s visitation on the anniversary of the day I found my son; attended his funeral on the day I last gazed at my son’s sweet face. I wish someone had a blog for survivors of suicides that spoke as openly and as heartfelt as you do about Dominic’s accident. You are a lifeline to so many of us. Thank you. Every day I thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dearest Ryansmana,
      I too lost my son to suicide….on November 8, 2016…..which is his older sister’s birthday. All deaths are heartbreaking but suicide seems to bring so much stigma. I wish I had the words like Melanie does to convey my feelings.
      Wishing you peace and love.
      Katherine (Steve’s Mom)


    2. I’m so sorry for your pain. What a precious sacrifice to show up for your friend. I wish there were a blog for survivors of suicide too.

      I know when I began blogging even though I made a proclamation and determination to be open and honest, I hedged a bit at first. It’s scary to spill your heart across the worldwide web.

      I didn’t know what to expect but found that most people were respectful of my choice to be honest and not hide the hard.

      Maybe you are the voice your fellow parents are looking for? If so, PM me or send me an email through the contact options. WordPress can be as complex or as simple as you want it to be. I’ll help you, sweet mama.

      Thank you for loving me well by encouraging my heart. ❤


  5. This touches my soul today so deeply Melanie. As I think about your Dominic coming into this world 31 years ago, my heart aches for you. We Band of Mama’s have to live, love and survive in so many layers as we continue to trudge this world without their presence. peacetoyou


  6. The birthday without our children is so hard. I celebrate that on that day God presented us with this lovely soul to love and care for on this earth. He made us complete. I smile, laugh, tell stories, and I cry. I crt thankful tears and lots of sad tears. He would have been 22 at the end of April.
    I wish there was a way to lessen your pain today. From all you have told Dominic was a beautiful person. I am praying for you and your family. I am so thankful for all that you share.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Just hugs from my broken heart to yours.💔 Birthdays hit hard; our first without him here was unbearably sad. My sadness extended down to earth’s very core and up to the sky; and yet, he did not come back. He is gone one year this month. I cannot imagine years and years without him. Nope.
    Thank you for your gifts of words.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Melanie. I hope the toughest parts of this day might be behind you by now and that you have found some space for those good memories. Nope, they are not ‘enough’, but they are hopefully ‘enough until’ you are together again. Happy Birthday, Dominic; be with your mama tonight. 💔😇

    Liked by 1 person

  9. We lost our son Jake in an auto accident on December 11, 2010 at the age of 24. Reading your posts I could swear you are following me (or at least my heart) around! Jake’s Birthday is also in May so even the Dominic birthday posts hit close to home! Happy birthday Dominic and many heartfelt hugs to you mom!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I’m so sorry you are having to go on without one of your children!! And I know birthdays are tough!! God bless you!!!💔🙏😢

    Liked by 1 person

  11. There are no words Melanie, all those “could have beens” that haven’t.
    May the Lord give you a peaceful sleep at the end of this day, as you remember Dominic’s 30th birthday.
    Bless you mama 💔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I slept the first watch of the night very well. Not so much thereafter but today is a new day with a new measure of grace to face it. ❤


  12. Knowing today was a milestone birthday for Dom I had no words for you. I always imagine what I would feel in similar circumstances, what I would be doing, or not doing, in your place and try to think of some words of encouragement, of validation, I might be able to share. But there are days when my thoughts turn that direction and the immediate sinking feeling in my heart simply paralyzes my heart and mind. I have no words because it’s too painful to contemplate. . . to share that that desolate spot and attempt to fill it with truth your heart already knows but finds no real joy in in that particular moment in time. I know there is consolation. That thoughts of heaven and reunions and the saving grace of our Lord are the anchors of hope your soul clings to, your intellect rejoices in, and that you are profoundly grateful for each one. Simultaneously, I know that deep well of pain can leave you feeling as if the pit of grief you find yourself in is too deep to crawl out of in spite having clawed your way from similar pits countless times before over the last six years. The very things that fuel your hope can feel like little more than cold comfort on such days.

    What gift might I be able to give to you on such a difficult day? Maybe nothing more than the awareness that if I could I’d pull up a chair, grab your hand and sit in shared wordless silence alone with you as tears steam down our faces until the well runs dry once again. How I wish I could simply show up for you today to help your heart survive one more “Domless” day this side of eternity. I don’t have a single word that can make this day any less painful for you but I want you to know that I share your sorrow, not because of personal experience but solely over Dom’s absence, the vacuum that is lack of his presence, and all harsh realities of life that encompasses. Today I will just weep with you the way Jesus did with Mary and Martha, no expectations. No judgment. Certainly no condemnation. Just shared tears, heartache and love for you and yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Happy Heavenly Birthday Dominic! Sending you love and prayers Melanie as you go thru this day missing and loving your precious son.

    Liked by 1 person

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