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.

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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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. ❤


  6. 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

  7. 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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