Nine Years is a Long Time

Today marks nine 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.

Nine 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.

6 thoughts on “Nine Years is a Long Time”

  1. Thank you for the encouragement and vulnerability you have given to me and all of us who follow you and respond “yes” and “I felt that way too” to your posts. I thank you, Melanie, for the many times you put in to words that which I hadn’t been able to.
    In January, turning the calendar to 2023 meant this year would be 10 years for us since our son Kent died from this life. The thoughts you expressed about surviving these many years are true for me too – color has returned, but not as bright; the shattered pieces have assembled themselves but not as they were – so much more effort goes into everything, but there is movement from the early days, months and years. And yes, this day is sacred. Dominic, and Kent, mattered and are missed in the continuation of life that has to be without them for a time.
    Sending you love and prayers throughout this day.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am still in disbelief that I lost my son February 14, 2023. He was an amazing son, brother, husband, Dad, served this country, kind and sincere man. After battling a rare cancer for two years, his poor body could suffer no more. I fight to get out of bed in the mornings. I so miss my boy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you! May 7th it will be 8 years since my Son Daniel left us. I already feel it in my bones, in my mind, and I am exhausted. I hate this walk. I hate my son is gone. But, I rejoice that I will see him again one day and that is what I cling to.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Melanie, today April 21 is an anniversary of sorts for me as well.

    My daughter died of cancer 2/21/2017.

    Your words in this blog have been such a powerful force of healing through grief, I want you to know I know from the depths of my soul that God led me to you.

    I read your blog daily and have cried and rejoiced with you, your losses and your gains.

    I do not have any other children and Christina was special needs, never to be more than an innocent childe for 42 and a half years. We were together always as she lived at home. Those certainly were my best blessings.

    While I am not over the loss and never will, I thank God for her time in my life.

    Then I thank him for your faith, shared in your raw moments.

    May God bless you and your children and their children always.

    Gratefully yours,

    Isabel, Christina’s mom.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: