World Suicide Prevention Day 2022

I’m always cautious when I write about suicide. It’s not part of my own lived experience and I never, ever want anyone to think that I am trying to represent those for whom it is.

But I know so, so many parents whose children left this life by suicide and don’t want to shy away from the subject just because I need to be careful in addressing it.

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day.

Read the rest here: World Suicide Prevention Day: Light a Candle

What Can I Do? My Family Won’t Talk About My Missing Child!

At first everyone talked about him.

It’s what people do just after a person leaves this world and leaves behind only memories.

It comes natural before the unnatural fact of child loss settles in and begins to make everyone uncomfortable.

But at some point after the funeral and way before the tears dried up, people stopped feeling easy mentioning his name.

Read the rest here: Help! My Family Won’t Talk About My Missing Child.

Bereaved Parents Month 2022: Grief Brain-It’s a Real Thing!

Traumatic loss rewires your brain as well as your body.

So here I am, nearly eight years into the journey of sudden child loss and I’m reminded once again I am not the same “me” I once was.

Our newest grandbaby made an early entrance into the world this spring and I did Mama D duty with his big brother for nearly a month. It was a delight to be with my three year old grandson but it was also challenging for this aging/post trauma brain.

Trying to navigate (super simple) routes to and from the hospital, to and from preschool, and to and from the closest grocery store led to more than one U-turn and long way around. Sure I could use my phone’s GPS but I kept thinking I’ll finally remember next time.

I should know better by now…

❤ Melanie

I’m looking right at her.

know her.  In fact, I’ve known her for years.  But please don’t ask me her name.

I have no idea.

It happens to all of us-meet someone in the store or at the Post Office and you just know you know them, but cannot-for the life of you-remember a name.

file-cabinet

Chatting on, you search mental files desperately trying to make a connection you can hold onto.  Five minutes after she walks away it pops up-oh, yes!  That’s so-and-so from such-and-such.

Imagine if instead of searching mental files without success you can’t even find the file cabinet and start to wonder if one ever existed.

That’s what “grief brain” does to you.

Here are a few more examples of things that actually happened:

Read the rest here: Grief Brain: It’s a Real Thing!

I’m Remembering, Not “Dwelling”

In the past six months I’ve been invited to tell my story in print and on air.

It’s been both a blessing and a curse as I realize that I’m far enough down this road for others to see me as a guide. It’s frightening to recognize the distance between the last time I saw and spoke to Dominic and this instant.

While others may grow tired of the same old photographs, the same old social media memories and the same old stories told by this mama who wants nothing more than to have new ones, it’s all I’ve got.

Believe me, I would trade my life for more.

❤ Melanie

When Dominic ran ahead to heaven, there was a sudden, horrible and unchangeable end to new experiences, to making any more memories, to another conversation, picture or text.

All I have of my son is whatever I had saved up to the moment of his accident.  

And it is not enough. 

It will never be enough to fill up the spaces of what my heart wishes I had.

He lived for nearly 24 years.  But I can’t withdraw those memories like cash and “spend” them, day for day, for the next 24 years.

Read the rest here: “Don’t Dwell on That!”

Child Loss and Nagging Guilt

I should have known.  I should have been there.  I should have called, texted, spoken one more warning or given one more hug.

Should.  Should?  Should!

wistful woman looking out wet window

I have yet to speak to a bereaved parent who does not harbor guilt of some kind over the death of his or her child.

Not one.

Read the rest here: Nagging Guilt in Child Loss

Worldwide Candle Lighting Memorial Service: December 12, 2021

I love candles-always have.

I especially love them as the days get shorter and we creep toward the longest night of the year.

I love them more since Dominic ran ahead to Heaven.

Every time I light a candle, I remind my heart that even the smallest light can chase the darkness.

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When hundreds, thousands and even millions of candles are lighted together, it does more than chases darkness, it undoes it.

Sunday, December 12, 2021 is the Worldwide Candle Lighting Memorial Service (WCL) sponsored by The Compassionate Friends (TCF).

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Millions of parents and others will light a candle at 7:00 PM local time for one hour to honor sons, daughters, brothers, sisters and grandchildren gone too soon.

As the earth turns, a wave of light will sweep across the globe one time zone after another.

It’s natural for parents, grandparents, sisters and brothers to mark the light and life of one they miss.

It’s less natural for friends and extended family members to do so.

One of the greatest fears of every bereaved parent is that his or her child will cease to be remembered or that the light and life of a son or daughter will simply fade as time goes on.

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Year-end holidays accentuate the place where our children should be but aren’t. Merry making and picture taking emphasize the gap between grieving hearts and those untouched by death of a close loved one.

That’s why TCF has chosen THIS week for the annual WCL.

If you want a simple way to bless someone you know who lost a child, grandchild or sibling, a single candle and a quick picture or post on social media will do it.

My heart is always encouraged and strengthened when others take time to remember Dominic.

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Buy a candle.

Set an alarm on your phone.

Light up the night with us.

Together we will remember. Together we will chase the darkness. Together we will declare that our children are out of reach but not forgotten.

Never, ever forgotten. ❤



Trying To Remember In a World That Forgets

I’ve written before about how I choose to leave some things just as Dominic left them-even over seven years later.

It’s my way of maintaining physical space in our home that represents the space in my heart where only he can fit.

It’s also more than that.

As time progresses, nearly every other tangible evidence that Dominic existed is being worn away.

Read the rest here: And The Gap Grows: Trying To Remember In a World That Forgets

I’m Building My Legacy-I Want It To Be A Good One

I am crafting a legacy every. single. day.

People will remember me for who I am, not who I wish I had been.

Age doesn’t magically transform anyone into a better self than that which they have been practicing to become.

Read the rest here: One Day I Will Be A Memory- I Want To Be A Good One.

I Am Not Indispensable, Neither Are You

Busyness has become a national idol-we rush from commitment to commitment, signing up to fill every single minute with something, anything that makes us feel important, valuable, irreplaceable.

Of course we have job and family obligations-as we should-but we don’t feel fully accomplished until we have colored in the edges of our calendar until no white space remains.

Because we think that if we don’t show up, people will miss us.  We think that if WE don’t do this or that, it won’t get done.  We are absolutely certain that our input is critical to the success of every mission, every committee, every project.

Can I let you in on a little secret?  It’s not.

One of the inconvenient and difficult truths that has been burned in my brain since Dominic ran ahead to Heaven is this:  his absence didn’t make a bit of difference to the world at large.

Read the rest here: Who’s Gonna Miss You Baby?

I’m Not “Dwelling”, I’m Remembering!

When Dominic ran ahead to heaven, there was a sudden, horrible and unchangeable end to new experiences, to making any more memories, to another conversation, picture or text.

All I have of my son is whatever I had saved up to the moment of his accident.  

And it is not enough. 

It will never be enough to fill up the spaces of what my heart wishes I had.

He lived for nearly 24 years.  But I can’t withdraw those memories like cash and “spend” them, day for day, for the next 24 years.

Read the rest here: “Don’t Dwell on That!”

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