I’ve been reminded afresh in the past few days that loss changes everything.
We often wish it didn’t-that it would last only a season and then things would return to normal. But they don’t.
When one life is yanked violently from the fabric of a family the hole simply can’t be mended. You have to learn to live with the fragility and compromised strength that remains.
It’s hard and it keeps on being hard. ❤ Melanie
Read the rest here: Grief Lasts a Lifetime
Even therapists get it wrong sometimes.
Especially therapists that only know what child loss is supposed to look like from books and lectures.
I understand how logical it seems that a parent should be able to accept his or her child is no longer alive. After all, most of us saw our child’s lifeless body and performed whatever rituals our hearts find most comforting.
We haven’t received a phone call, text, message or new photograph. Weeks, months and years pass and no word.
Of course this child is gone.
But a mama’s heart still hopes. Somewhere deep down there is a part of me that longs for connection to this child I carried, nurtured and loved.
So sometimes my heart will play tricks on me.
Read the rest here: Am I Refusing To Accept My Child Is Gone?
Yesterday was eight long years since Dominic left for Heaven. It’s hard to wrap my mind around the distance between the last time I hugged him and now.
But I can still feel the shape of where his shoulders would fit in my arms.
I know exactly who I’m missing-and I miss him every bit as much today as the first moment I learned he wasn’t coming home. ❤
When I imagine something I’ve never actually experienced-even when I might say “I miss such and such” it’s not the same as when I’ve had something and it’s been taken away.
I can only miss the imaginary in an ephemeral, insubstantial way. I miss what I once possessed in a tangible way.
I know exactly the size and shape and sound and substance of the person that SHOULD be here but isn’t.
Read the rest here: Tangible Absence
I fell asleep last night thinking about that Friday evening eight years ago when I closed my eyes on the world I knew only to open them to a world I wish I could forget.
It’s odd how these anniversaries play out-there’s the actual date (which, if I’m honest isn’t nearly as hard for me) plus the litany of days that lead up to the date and reconstruct the weekend that ended in tragedy.
The Friday night/Saturday morning combination bring me to my knees even eight years later. Only someone who has endured the doorbell or the phone call can truly understand how dozens of tiny prompts create a mental, physical and emotional response that can neither be ignored nor controlled.
It was raining last night and all I could think was, “Why wasn’t it raining THAT night? He wouldn’t have taken his motorcycle.”
Useless, futile and ill-advised pondering that simply made it harder to close my eyes and go back to sleep.❤
Friday, April 11, 2014:
Julian and I went to a college honors banquet and came back to the house to find Fiona home for the weekend. I called Hector and texted with James Michael.
I turned out the light and went to sleep.
No warning shots across the bow of life rang out to let me know what was coming.
But that Friday was the last day I spent misunderstanding the awfulness of death and the absolute uncertainty of life.
Read the rest here: The Day Before It All Fell Apart
The human heart is a funny thing-always working hard to protect itself from grievous injury yet prone to exactly what it tries to prevent.
I honestly believe that one of the gifts of early grief is disbelief. Because if I could have understood at once what it meant that Dominic was really, truly GONE, I would have never lasted the first 24 hours.
Even now, going on eight years, my head plays games with my heart.
Read the rest here: Just Yesterday and Forever
Grief is not sin.
It wasn’t until another grieving mom asked the question that I realized there are some (many?) in the community of believers that think grief is sin.
Not at first, mind you-everyone is “allowed” a certain amount of time to get over the loss of a dream, the loss of a job, the loss of health or the loss of a loved one.
But carry that sadness and wounded heart too publicly for too long and you better be ready for someone to question your faith.
Read the rest here: Grief is Not Sin
It’s a paradox really-that grieving hearts can be more anxious and more sorrowful BEFORE and AFTER a milestone day, birthday or holiday than on the day itself.
That’s not true for everyone, but it’s a frequent comment in our closed bereaved parent groups.
Fearful anticipation of how awful it MIGHT be can work me up into a frenzy.
Read the rest here: Post Holiday Blues: When The Grief Comes Crashing Down
Today is my birthday.
And while I am truly grateful for another trip around the sun, since Dominic left us it’s not a simple celebration of life lived and the hope of years to come.
The last birthday I had with an unbroken family circle was a lovely surprise party for my fiftieth held in Dom’s apartment.
Eight years later and it seems a lifetime ago.
Read the rest here: Birthdays Are…Complicated
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 hid this post in my draft folder for months before I published it the first time.
It seemed too raw, too full of all the pain inside my mama heart to put out in the wide world for everyone to see.
And then it was time (like now) to change the flowers on the place where my son’s body rests and I couldn’t stand it anymore.
I wanted to scream at the top of my lungs, “THIS IS NOT ALL THERE IS OF MY BOY!” I wanted to stop people on the street and make them listen to his story, to give away a piece of him for others to carry in their hearts.
Read the rest here: My Child Existed. He Matters.