I’ve never been much of a fan of Halloween but the first October after Dom ran ahead to Heaven I nearly threw up every time I had to pass that aisle in a store or drive by someone’s yard decked out to celebrate darkness and all things scary.
When you’ve lived your own horror story, made up ones aren’t nearly as attractive as they might once have been.
When you’ve spent the last hours before the coffin closes holding the hand of your lifeless child, making merry around death and dying just isn’t something you want to do.
I know some bereaved parents have fond memories around this time of year and thinking about your child dressed up for trick or treating is a comfort.
But I just can’t get over the real images burned in my memory to make room for a lighthearted “celebration” of fear.
Except for a few years early in childhood, I have never liked Halloween. The combination of darkness and creepiness makes my skin crawl.
And now, this side of child loss it makes me angry.
Why? Because for one night (really, for a couple of weeks!) Americans not only think about death, they spend millions of dollars celebrating it.
Not celebrating ACTUAL death-not the absolute horror of being told your child is gone, gone, gone. Instead it’s a fake, “funny”, silly made-up mockery of a very real, very awful truth.
Read the rest here: Halloween
It took me awhile to “feel” God again after Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.
I would journal my thoughts/prayers/questions and answer myself with Scripture.
My heart was still so very shattered that the words often slid right off.
Read the rest here: What If There’s Silence From Heaven?
I hate microwaves that have the “quick minute” presets!
It takes MORE time for me to undo that feature and tap in how long I want to nuke my food than it would if it weren’t set up that way.
And sometimes I feel as if “undoing” is a great deal of what I do as a griever.
I have to dispel others’ expectations of what I should be feeling, doing or thinking.
I have to help them understand that unless you have been here, you CAN’T understand.
I pray they never understand.
Read the rest here: The Problem With Microwave Presets: Struggling with Others’ Expectations in Grief
I try to limit the time I spend perusing old photos and old social media posts of my missing son.
I’ve learned that while they remind me of sweet memories and happy times they also prick my heart in ways nothing else can.
I was looking for something specific the other day and had to scroll through Dominic’s Facebook page to find it. As I did, I began reading some of the back and forth comments under the posts and pictures.
This time it wasn’t what was said or where the photos were taken that hurt my heart.
Instead it was the tiny little time stamp underneath the words that took my breath away.
Read the rest here: I Miss Your Voice: Silent Echoes Haunt My Heart
When I was a little girl, I struggled mightily being afraid of the dark.
Sometimes I could barely close my eyes because I was scared something terrible would happen between going to sleep and waking up.
I outgrew that as I grew into my faith.
But after Dominic ran ahead to Heaven, I found myself again afraid to go to sleep.
Read the rest here: Between Sleep and Wake: Speaking Peace To My Heart
I first shared this post all the way back in 2016.
Most people I knew had experienced my son’s death as a moment in time, a single event, a date on the calendar but for me and my family it was an ongoing event.
His absence continued to shape our lives in ways we couldn’t have imagined in the immediate aftermath of his accident.
Folks (meaning well but clueless) often began conversations with, “How are you doing?”.
What I really wanted to tell them was I had absolutely, positively NO IDEA but usually settled for, “As well as can be”.
Over eight years later I can say that most days are pretty good. I’ve learned to navigate the rocky territory of child loss and only rarely fall into a pit of despair.
But I’d still say that I don’t really know HOW I’m doing it-just that I AM doing it.
People see me, these years and months after Dominic left us and ask, “How are you doing?”
I come up with an answer because that’s the law of conversation-you ask something and I answer, then I ask something and you answer.
Gotta keep that ball rolling.
If it drops we are both forced to stand there wondering what to do with our bodies, our faces and our thoughts.
But right now, I don’t know HOW I’m doing.
Read the rest here: I Don’t Know How I’m Doing
I have so much more empathy for older folks since Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.
I’ve always tried to be a patient listener when hearing that same story over and over and over but have to admit that sometimes I’d drift off or internally mock an elder because I was tired of hearing it.
Because I understand now that it’s in the telling that one both commemorates and honors people as well as the past.
Read the rest here: I Need To Tell The Story (Even If You’ve Heard It Before)
Oh, we mamas are experts at waiting.
We wait for nine months to hold that little person growing inside us. We wait for them to learn to crawl, walk, talk and read. And then we wait to pick them up at school, for piano and dance lessons to be over and ball practice to end.
As long as our children are with us, we are always waiting for something.
We never expect to be waiting to join them in heaven.
But some of us are.
Read the rest here: Waiting With Hope
I’m no geologist, but from what I understand, earthquakes are nearly always “about to happen”. Fault lines guarantee it. Pressure is building underneath the surface of the earth and when it reaches a level that can no longer be contained, it spews.
Can I just let you in on a secret?
Bereaved parents are full of fault lines.
Read the rest here: Fault Lines: Bereaved Parents and Social Anxiety
A fellow bereaved mom commented on my recent holiday post with this question: How do you make joy, when your heart has no joy?
It was a good and honest query. One that stopped me in my tracks.
Read the rest here: Flickers Of Light, Guiding My Heart Home