I absolutely understand that when people say things like, “Just think of all the wonderful memories you have” or “He brought you so much joy” they mean well.
Because it’s true-I have beautiful memories of Dominic. And he DID bring me great joy.
But I had those things BEFORE he was beyond my reach.
Childhood memories, photographs, mementoes from school and athletic teams-they were already displayed on the walls and shelves of my home.
But there were things I had then that I don’t have now:
- his physical presence;
- his laughter ringing down the hallway;
- his text messages telling his absent-minded mama that there were storms headed her way;
- his level-headed relationship advice;
- and his tech-savvy, “I can fix it” help when I crashed my computer or other electronic device.
I don’t have a hundred different uniquely Dominic parts of my life anymore.
And I miss every one of them.
This was not how I expected it to be.
Children are supposed to be the legacy of their parents, not the other way around.
But it IS how it is. So I will remember.
I will carry the light that was the life of my precious boy and make sure that he is remembered and that the gifts he gave me are given to others with his name attached.
I have tried blogging at various times through the years and always given up after a few posts. My life was full and I found that in a few weeks or months I didn’t really have all that much to say.
It’s different this time-I have been writing every day for almost 20 months and seem to always have at least a sentence or two that wants to burst forth from my keyboard.
I think pain births words.
But one thing I never want to forget is that although Dominic is gone from my sight-my other three children are not. I still have 75 percent of my children with me.
I do not take that for granted.
They are each a successful and highly-functioning adult in their own right. It would be easy to run from a broken family and run toward a life that didn’t include daily reminders that their mama cries often and is not nearly the woman she once was.
But they don’t.
Instead they check on me, love me and encourage me with text messages and Facebook memes and silly photos. They listen when I need to download a pile of frustration and disappointment.
They help me remember that life is still happening, even when I wish (in some ways) it wasn’t.
When each one of my children was born I received him or her as a gift from God. I could not imagine there would be a day when I would treasure them more than I did on that day.
But I do.
I miss Dominic, because he was a gift from God too.
But I will be forever thankful that, at least for now, I have Fiona, James Michael and Julian.
Forced to give one child back, I will never, ever, take the ones I have left for granted.
This popped up in my Facebook memories today:
What I wouldn’t give to see it again, to feel his beard against my cheek when I hugged his neck, hear him laugh, know he was only a phone call away!
I’ve learned to carry the sorrow because I know it will be redeemed.
But the missing?
The missing never fades.
Most people realize that the “big” holidays are painful for bereaved parents-Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day-that makes sense.
But what most people don’t know is that every single red-letter day-even the obscure ones-can be hard on parents missing a child.
Because any day that marks a departure from routine leaves gaps where I can dwell a little longer on the fact that Dominic is NOT here.
Any day off that lends itself to a family BBQ or celebration or just extra time around the table because we aren’t in a rush highlights that empty chair.
I know many who read this blog belong to closed online bereavement groups.
That’s a beautiful thing- a place where we can share our pain with others who understand it in a judgement-free zone.
We often post photos and our child(ren)’s story in the closed groups.
But today I want to take a moment to provide a public forum for anyone who wishes to take advantage of it.
Your child matters.
His or her story matters.
Your pain matters.
If you are so inclined, please “speak” your child(ren)’s name in the comments section. Tell us something about your child(ren), tell us what you miss about your child(ren), tell us what made your child(ren) a special light in this world.
(It is a PUBLIC forum so please don’t post anything you don’t want the world to know.)
You are not going crazy because you can’t remember your best friend’s name.
You haven’t lost your mind because you can’t find your car keys, or the purse you put them in, or get lost in a store.
It’s grief brain.
And it’s a real thing….
Read the rest here: Grief Brain: It’s a Real Thing!