Digging Up Memories, Laying Down Dreams

I’m pretty sure I’m not the only bereaved parent who has boxed up things post loss and left them untouched for years.

Life kept moving at a fast pace after Dominic ran ahead to Heaven and it’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve had the time to even consider going through his stuff.

Time alone was not enough to push me toward doing the hard work of deciding what to keep, what to give away and (most painfully!) what to throw away. But various circumstances forced my hand and I’ve spent much of the last year digging through stuff and digging up memories.

To be sure, not everything has a direct connection to Dominic. I have a giant pile of craft materials that needed sorting and organizing.

Even then, as I put like items together I remembered pushing two littles in a buggy with two older children on either side through the craft store or Walmart. I knew where this tidbit was purchased and what school or church project prompted buying dozens of a certain sticker or wooden cut out.

This past week I’ve been working on “my” side of our two-car garage.

It’s never been used as a garage but instead as a catch-all for a house that has no basement. My side is where I store pantry overflow and all kinds of supplies from toilet paper to party goods.

It’s also where I put some things from Dominic’s kitchen when we had to hurriedly empty his apartment over seven years ago.

Seven years. How can it be seven years?

I finally had to do the hard work of deciding what I should REALLY keep and what it was time to let go of. I don’t like it. I don’t like it one little bit. But it is necessary.

I’m taking it in small doses-two or three hours a day-and trying to give myself grace when even that amount of time doesn’t seem to make a dent.

It’s grueling labor to dig up memories and lay down dreams.

Unrelenting emotional work.

Every bit tossed in the trash is a declaration that he isn’t coming back to claim it. I can’t ask him if he deems it worthy of saving because I can’t ask him anything.

That in itself is a kind of concession to defeat.

Where he is he doesn’t need or miss this stuff but it represents hopes and dreams to me.

I have to lay them down.

And that hurts.

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.

7 thoughts on “Digging Up Memories, Laying Down Dreams”

  1. It’s been 19 years for my son Isaac and 5 for my son Luke and I hate getting rid of their things. It’s like a constant new death or grief. Seeing their signatures are the worse. Touching what they touched is the best.


  2. It’s hard my first born died at the age of 15 years and it took me 10 to 20 years to complete and I still have a Few things.
    My son Jimmy who recently passed in a Razor accident 06/07/2020 I have little of my a person toys and etc. memories as he was 45 with wife and a 15 and 12 yr old boys
    Who have a lot of memorabilia ‘s. I am sure they will hold onto for a very long time. Jimmy had many trophies as a dirt bike racer and supercross. A sport he loved and enjoyed. He will always be in our memories and a love with no end.❤️

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Your words always resonate with my heart. I sorted a box of old greeting cards earlier this week. Every birthday card and mushy Mother’s Day card from my son went into the “keep” pile because I’ll never get another card from him. It has been almost five years since he left us, but it still hurts.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. We are moving to live closer to my daughter, and while downsizing she didn’t understand why it is taking so long for us to get our act together and move. It is so emotional and heart wrenching and such an energy drain. I thought I could handle it but it gets the better of me. Thanks for letting me know you feel this also.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. So many times what you write about I’m going thru as well. It’s been almost 6 years since our loss…now we r moving..no choice but to go thru things…like you 2-3 hrs a day…like you never used our garage for a car…
    Every time I see or hear a motorcycle I think of you and pray for you…must be incredibly hard. Thank you for all your thoughts and writing.

    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: