Eight Years Is a Long Time

Today marks eight years since we gathered with friends and family to say our final good-bye to Dominic.

It had been eleven long days since the deputy woke me up on April 12th. Days when I was both unbelieving and overwhelmed by the fact my son would never cross the threshold again.

I woke up that morning numb.

I’d cried every day but for some reason when faced with this final act I couldn’t muster tears.

We received folks for a couple of hours before the service began and during that time I reached behind my back and placed my fingers in Dominic’s cold right hand clinging to the few moments I had left with his earthly shell.

So, so many people I didn’t expect to come, came. So, so many hugs and whispered words and sad smiles marched past as we were forced to participate in a parent’s worst nightmare.

When the funeral director indicated it was “time” I didn’t want to let go. I turned, kissed his cheek and drank in the last glimpse of his face in this life.

It was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.

Eight years have come and gone.

The first few were excruciating-I experienced every moment of every day through my pain. I spent hours upon hours thinking about and processing what had happened and what I’d lost.

Gradually, over time, and by doing the work grief requires, I have become stronger and life has grown around my loss. I’ve learned that joy and sadness can coexist. Color has returned to my grayscale world. Most of the shattered pieces of me have reassembled themselves into a kind of whole. My family has survived.

I’m so thankful for every person who helped that day when we laid Dominic to rest. I’m so thankful for every person who has helped since. I’m especially thankful to my family for not giving up on me or on one another.

But I’m still astonished that nearly a decade has passed and Dominic is not part of a single memory or photograph.

Grief anniversaries stop me in my tracks and require my full attention.

Today is sacred. It’s a line in the sand marking “before” and “after”.

It deserves to be remembered.

Dominic deserves to be remembered.

So today I will remember.

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.

18 thoughts on “Eight Years Is a Long Time”

  1. Oh I almost loss my composure in this Dr. Waiting Room when you wrote about seeing him for the last time as the coffin closed. It hurts more than anything that crosses usually. I just want you to know I fully understand.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. This year was 8 years for us, too, this month. For Mother’s Day, 2 friends, who have no children or a living mother (same as me) are going for a girls weekend to avoid all the celebration of others. It is too depressing for us.

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  3. There are times when you must feel like it is only yesterday and others when it seems so long since you last held, saw or heard Dominic. The memories of that time are so hard to relive again aren’t they but we do.
    You continue to be a beacon in the darkness Melaine, sending love across the ocean. xxx

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Eight years is a long time, or a blink of an eye, depending on what side of that line you are on. I think one of the many difficulties is updating family photos, and never having a new one of our son to add to the mix, his is always the same, while everyone else in the family is updated.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I totally understand it’s been almost 13 years for my daughter and 7 for my son 💔
    Only two children I hade , I feel your pain I feel your sorrow 🙁
    Thinking of you today!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. OMg! I lost one son 5 yrs go. My only other son 8 weeks ago. Breathless……….how do you get thru mothers day that is coming up?

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      1. Mother’s Day IS especially hard. I’ve written a good deal on that topic and if you use the “search” bar on any post, you can find those articles. Praying you feel the Father’s loving arms around you today and every day and that you hear Him singing comfort over your wounded soul. ❤

        Liked by 1 person

  6. May 7th (Mother’s Day weekend it will be 7 years since my Daniel died. Sometimes it feels like a long time but now it seems like yesterday ☹

    Liked by 1 person

  7. My prayers are with you today. You have said everything I feel on that day. Everybody remembers the date he died but the day of the funeral they seem to forget. That last glimpse of their face we’ll ever have except in pictures, videos or our dreams. God Bless you Melanie for the strength to get through this day!!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you so much for talking about these anniversary dates. I have so many of them in my head. From when we brought my son home at the very beginning of his illness through hospitalizations ,treatment ,difficulties, his ultimate passing ,his memorial service, his birthday and all the holidays. And actually many more within that time Period are coming to mind, my breast cancer and all of those dates, and my other sons plunge into illness. They are engraved indelibly forever. My husband is amazed at how I can remember all of them. I don’t have a choice they are just there. And each one of them is so painful. Thank you for sharing as always. Your pain is felt directly through the words you’ve written.

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  9. Melanie,
    Oh how I wish I could give you a big hug today. I join you in remembering your precious son, Dominic. You have taken your pain and have written so real about this journey we didn’t choose..
    You have touched on so many subjects during the past years that have me nodding YES, me too….We are not alone..
    Thank you a million times over for your blog…I’ve read it every morning for the past 5 1/2 years…You are the friend that truly understands.
    Prayers for today, tomorrow and always. ❤️ Dominic ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Because you have helped so many people around the world with your words and insight we remember with you. I feel like I know Dominic through your words and memories. His legacy lives on because of you. Blessings today Melanie, for you and your entire family.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I’m only months behind you on this path. Your words have carried my heart along when I could find none of my own. I’ll be remembering your Dominic with you today as I often do. It feels like I know him through your words. Wishing you peace on these hard days. From Kyle’s mom 💔

    Liked by 1 person

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