Today is Dominic’s birthday. He would have been thirty-three if he lived.
I find as the years roll by it becomes increasingly difficult to “age” the person I last saw into the person he might have become. Oh, I can guess-but that’s hardly worth doing since we all know life rarely follows a straight path.
And that’s what defies language and steals my breath. On milestone days especially, I’m not only mourning what I have lost but also what I will never know.
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-three years old today if he had lived.
Read the rest here: At A Loss For Words: Another Birthday Without You
I wrote this six years ago but it still speaks my heart.❤
I will not get used to the fact that my son is beyond my reach. I have come to a certain acceptance of it as fact, and acknowledgement of the truth that I cannot change that fact.
The pain hasn’t become less painful, only more familiar. It doesn’t surprise me as often when it pricks my heart anew.
The world goes on.
Read the rest here: True Truth
When I have a rainy day-whether it is literally dripping water from the sky or simply dripping tears from my eyes-I try to do something that will help my heart hold on.
Often I turn to baking.
There is hardly a more satisfying moment than when I pull a perfectly formed loaf of bread or cake or muffins from the oven.
I never get tired of the magic that occurs when you mix the right amount of flour, eggs, sugar and leavening to produce a beautiful edible gift of love.
Read the rest here: Baking Hope
It will be Dominic’s thirty-third birthday in a few days and even though this is the tenth (!) one I’ve had to mark without his earthly companionship, I’m no better at it.
I just do not know HOW I’m supposed to honor and celebrate him today when I really can’t imagine who he would be or what new interests he might have picked up along the way.
I do know I miss him like crazy.
And while this aging mama often has to start with her oldest to figure everyone’s current age, it doesn’t hurt any less when I skip count past Dom to my youngest son who many years ago surpassed him in earthly years.
I hate that.
Some folks are great at it.
They find a tagline or a cause or even a certain color and it becomes shorthand for remembering and honoring their missing child.
Me, not so much.
Dominic wasn’t the kind of person you could sum up in a few words or a certain favorite anything.
Read the rest here: Birthday Ideas? Anyone?
Today I’m remembering the parents at Uvalde, Texas.
When I first heard the news last year I was enveloped in a fog of disbelief (like most folks) and utter horror (as only fellow bereaved parents can comprehend).
I was processing. I was mourning. I was angry.
I relived the awful reality of learning that my child will never again walk through my door, hug my neck, call my name, sit at my table or contribute to a family conversation.
So I want to share something I wrote a couple years ago because I think it’s important.
I have written before that Grief is Not a Hammer in the Hand of God.
I do not for one minute believe that the Lord I love inflicted this pain on me for the purpose of “teaching me something”.
But I absolutely, positively believe that He can use it (and HAS used it) to make me more compassionate, kinder and more grace-filled than I was before Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.
Still, “becoming” is painful and requires that I submit to the hand of the Potter.
Read the rest here: Unwanted Assignment: Enrolled in the School of Suffering
I first shared this this several years ago when I was pondering the FACT that no matter how wonderful the moment, how beautiful the gift, how marvelous the fellowship of family or friends, I am simply unable to feel the same overflowing, unadulteraged joy I once experienced.
I absolutely feel JOY but it’s mixed with pain.
Since then, I’ve been thinking about the great heroes of Scripture and studying their stories in detail.
I may be wrong, but I haven’t found one whose life did not contain pain.
It appears that sorrow and suffering in this world is one of the chief tools God uses to help the hearts of His people long for the world for which we are made-the eternal city whose Builder is God:
It was by faith that Abraham obeyed the summons to go out to a place which he would eventually possess, and he set out in complete ignorance of his destination. It was faith that kept him journeying like a foreigner through the land of promise, with no more home than the tents which he shared with Isaac and Jacob, co-heirs with him of the promise. For Abraham’s eyes were looking forward to that city with solid foundations of which God himself is both architect and builder.
Hebrews 11: 8-10 PHILLIPS
Some point to lack of abundant joy as proof of a weak faith.
I counter that obedience, in spite of the lack of abundant joy is proof of rock-solid faith.
Walking on in spite of my empty bucket means that I am trusting God to fill it even when I can’t see how.
Here’s the original post: There’s a Hole in My Bucket
Child loss is also often sibling loss.
In addition to their own heartache, bereaved parents carry the heartache of their surviving children.
The family everyone once knew is now a family no one recognizes. Hurting hearts huddle together-or run and hide-and it is so, so hard to find a way to talk about that pain.
Read the rest here: Grief is a Family Affair
If I had my way I’d store up grace like green beans-stacking one can atop the other “just in case”.
Then I could decide if and when to open it up and pour it out.
But grace isn’t like that. It’s a perishable though infinite commodity-like manna.
When God led the Israelites into the desert, He promised to feed, nurture and sustain them.
Read the rest here: Daily Bread: His Provision Is Sufficient
No one wakes up one day and just “is”. We become, over time, as our innate nature interacts with the world around us. First our parents and siblings influence us and then school, friends, life experience either gently molds us or pounds us into shape.
Often we get so used to our own way of doing and being we never give it much thought. It’s just “how we are”. We work around our faults and try to use our strengths to our advantage.
Most of us are pretty good at it.
Then something earth shattering comes along and suddenly the cracks are exposed and we haven’t the energy to cover them over.
Read the rest here: What Can Make Grieving Harder? Things You Might Not Expect.
I read A GRIEF OBSERVED in my 30’s as another in a long list of “Books You Should Read”. I gleaned a bit here or there that I thought might be of use later on.
But when Dominic ran ahead to heaven, it was the first book on grief I bought for myself and I read it like a starving man set down to a full table.
This passage, in particular, was helpful in understanding how my absolute trust in the FACT of ultimate redemption of my pain and sorrow did absolutely NOTHING to take away the pain and sorrow-it only made it bearable.
If a mother is mourning not for what she has lost but for what her dead child has lost, it is a comfort to believe that the child has not lost the end for which it was created. And it is a comfort to believe that she herself, in losing her chief or only natural happiness, has not lost a greater thing, that she may still hope to “glorify God and enjoy Him forever.” A comfort to the God-aimed, eternal spirit within her. But not to her motherhood. The specifically maternal happiness must be written off. Never, in any place or time, will she have her son on her knees, or bathe him, or tell him a story, or plan for his future, or see her grandchild.
C.S. Lewis, A Grief Observed
Read the rest here: Wisdom From C.S. Lewis