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.
Nothing more recent than seven years ago was recorded.
Because that’s when his voice went silent.
Read the rest here: I Miss Your Voice: Silent Echoes Haunt My Heart
I remember the first couple times I ventured out in public after Dominic left us and the flurry of activity surrounding his funeral was over.
I felt naked, afraid and oh, so vulnerable.
The tiniest misplaced word or random glance could undo me and I burst into tears.
Read the rest here: They Don’t Know What They Don’t Know
I was asked a few months ago to record a short video sharing about how my son’s death impacted my faith.
It was the first time in the more than seven years since he ran ahead to Heaven I’d tried to tell the story in so few words.
And while I’ve shared much of this same material (plus even more details, thoughts and feelings!) here on the blog, I thought a few of you may want to watch this short video to gain some background you might have missed.
I DID misspeak in one instance-my eldest son was not yet in the Air Force at that time. He was out of town though when I got the news of his brother’s accident.
So here you go:
When my mother suffered a stroke, brief hospital stay and then joined Dominic in Heaven just over two years ago it brought it all back.
The crowded house, telephone calls-repeating, repeating, repeating the necessary details to friends and family-decisions and bone-tired weariness that never leads to sleep. This time, though, I had the sad advantage of experience.
I didn’t think I’d write at all that week but then this list of truly helpful things came to mind so I jotted it down. I believe if we share more openly with the nonbereaved, they will be better equipped to come alongside. ❤ Melanie
I have learned so much since that day when Dominic left us suddenly for Heaven.
Some of the things I know now are things I wish I didn’t know at all.
Many serve me well-not only in how I respond to my own pain and loss-but also how I respond to the pain and loss in the lives of those I love.
Read the rest here: So What SHOULD I Say or Do For My Grieving Friends or Family?
Looking back I’m shocked at how much I allowed societal norms and expectations to determine how I grieved Dominic’s death.
I withheld grace from myself that I would have gladly and freely given to another heart who just buried a child. Somehow I thought I had to soldier on in spite of the unbearable sorrow, pain, horror and worldview shattering loss I was enduring.
And the further I got from the date of his accident, the more I expected from myself.
Read the rest here: Self Care in Grief
I think the most helpful post I’ve ever shared is this one.
So as a follow-up to yesterday’s thoughts about the holidays I’m sharing it again.
I hope that you feel confident sharing it with your family and friends as an invitation to conversation and as a bulwark against unrealistic expectations.
Holidays are hard no matter how long it’s been. ❤ Melanie
I know it is hard. I know you don’t truly understand how I feel. You can’t. It wasn’t your child.
I know I may look and act like I’m “better”. I know that you would love for things to be like they were: BEFORE. But they aren’t.
I know my grief interferes with your plans. I know it is uncomfortable to make changes in traditions we have observed for years. But I can’t help it. I didn’t ask for this to be my life.
Read the rest here: Grief and Holidays: What the Bereaved Need From Friends and Family
I first shared this years ago in response to some parents’ comments about friends and even family who simply would not relent in offering unsolicited advice or worse, graceless observations on how they “should be” handling their grief.
While I am all for assuming the best about folks, I am not an advocate of submitting oneself to bullying.
Boundaries are not only helpful, they are absolutely, positively necessary for anyone. And especially for wounded hearts.
You do not have to be anyone else’s punching bag! ❤ Melanie
There are some people who make it a habit to be insensitive.
They are the ones who delight in speaking their mind regardless of how it hurts another heart. They pride themselves on “telling it like it is” and justify the fallout as a necessary consequence of “opening the eyes” of people they consider “blind to the truth”.
And while I believe that it is my duty as a Christ follower to forgive these folks when they hurt my feelings, I do not believe that I am required to continue to offer my heart to them to be tossed to the ground and trampled.
Read the rest here: Boundaries: I’m Not a Punching Bag
If you, like me, have had a less-than-stellar recent record dealing with those you love, those you meet and those you pass on the street or in your car, accept this truth:
You are absolutely, positively NOT perfect.
And that’s OK.
Read the rest here: No Shame In Being Human
If you think that time makes a difference to a mama missing a child who ran ahead to Heaven without her, you don’t know as much as you think you know.
Time does not heal all wounds-especially the kind that shatter a heart into a million pieces.
It takes time for the wound to scar over, but it doesn’t undo the damage.
So if you are wondering why your coworker still takes the day off on his child’s birthday or the anniversary of her child’s homegoing, I’ll let you in on a little secret: Years disappear when those milestones loom large.
Read the rest here: It’s Been Years-What’s Wrong With You?
I hate mirrors. Not because I’m ashamed of my wrinkles or my fat hips. But because the face staring back at me now is not one I recognize.
I see someone who’s supposed to be me and can’t quite place her.
Read the rest here: No Mirrors, Please!