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.
Read the rest here: Your Child Matters
I’ve had a lot of people “hold the door” for me on this journey of child loss.
Most of them have not walked in my shoes but they could see my soul was worn and I needed encouragement.
For that I will be eternally grateful.
Read the rest here: Empathy: Let Me Hold The Door For You
Thankfully for most parents graduation isn’t really an end. It marks a transition and perhaps growing geographical distance, but the relationship will continue.
Your child may be harder to reach, but they are not utterly beyond your reach.
You might stand at the doorway of their empty room and wonder when they might come home for a visit and wake up under your roof again, but they WILL come home for a visit.
I’m not diminishing the very real sense of loss parents feel when the child they have nurtured begins a life apart.
But some of us face something harder.
My child is utterly unreachable.
Read the rest here: Please Be Patient With Me
The first time I shared this post was two years ago-before my mother’s death.
It had been five long years since Dominic left us and I was beginning to notice reliable, positive changes in the heaviness and quality of grief.
Our grandson was born very premature but his story has a happy, happy ending! He’s growing even more and is such a delight.
There have been other changes too-Covid19, social isolation and my husband’s retirement-all impacted daily life and how I experience Dom’s absence.
I want to offer this bit of hope for those who are just beginning the awful journey of child loss-the pain softens, I’ve grown stronger and better able to carry it, and life, in all its varied forms keeps going.
There ARE some beautiful things ahead.
Hold on. ❤ Melanie
This life is not all sadness and sorrow, death and darkness.
It was. For a very, very long time all I could see was distant flickers of light.
They were just enough to keep me going but not enough to lift the utter blackness that surrounded me.
Read the rest here: Grief Changes
When it first happened all I could think about was getting through a minute, then a day and then all the decisions and days leading up to a funeral or memorial service.
There’s no road map.
Even when others come alongside (and many, many did!) there’s just no easy way to navigate that part of the journey.
And then I realized that in addition to all the “regular” days that absolutely, positively break your heart, I had to forge a path through “special” days.
It was overwhelming!
Read the rest here: My Seventh Mother’s Day as a Bereaved Mother
I post this around Mother’s Day every year since my daughter, Fiona, wrote it in the voice of her brother who is in Heaven.
It helps my heart sort the mixed emotions that this day stirs up.
I’m not ONLY a bereaved mother. I’m a mother and grandmother of earthbound children too.
I’m grateful for all of them. So very, very grateful. ❤
My daughter, Fiona, wrote this several years ago, in the voice of her brother who ran ahead to heaven.
I am so thankful for her and so sorry that she has gained this wisdom at great cost.
Some of the bravest, most loving women I know are those who have suffered one of life’s greatest losses. I hope you know how truly beautiful you are.
Read the rest here: From The Child Not Here on Mother’s Day.
Bereaved parents often have several tasks before them in the days and months and years following the death of a child.
One of them is to help their surviving children navigate loss.
I have three earthbound children. And they are grieving.
Their world changed in the same instant mine did. Their hearts are broken too.
Read the rest here: Helping My Children Walk Through Grief
It may seem like the easiest way to get an inside scoop on how I’m REALLY doing-but don’t do it.
Please don’t ask my kids how I’m doing.
Respect the fact that they have their own grief burden. Respect family privacy and understand you are putting them in an impossible position.
If you want to know-to REALLY know-how I’m doing, ask me.
Read the rest here: Please Don’t Ask My Kids How I Am Doing
This picture was taken for a story in UAB Magazine featuring my husband and oldest son who graduated together in December 2009. You can read the original article here: Like Father, Like Son
It is one of my very favorites. I was surrounded by my family, filled with pride and promise.
This is how I like to think of us-together and strong.
Our circle is broken now-it is a continuing struggle to figure out how to navigate life in the wake of our loss.
And some of the greatest challenges present themselves in unexpected ways.
Read the rest here: [Context]
I remember as a young mother of four working hard to keep my kids safe.
Next to fed and dry (two still in diapers!) that was each day’s goal: No one got hurt.
It never occurred to me THEN to add: No one got killed.
Read the rest here: What is Safe?