Repost: Sacred Spaces

I wrote this last year because I realized that even three years (now it is four) after my son’s sudden departure, I was absolutely unwilling to wipe away the evidence that he had once been here.

I could not (cannot) bring myself to put his cup in the cupboard or in a shadow box or on a high shelf like a museum piece testifying to a long ago personality that is interesting but hardly pertinent today.

Because Dominic is STILL part of my life.  Every. single. moment.

Just like my living children, his heart beats inside of mine.

Always.

That place where you hung your jacket, tossed your shoes, left your backpack-it’s still here.

Foolish, really, to hold space for someone who will never need it again.

But it belongs to YOU and leaving it bare means that it is still yours.

And it is- Still. Yours.

Read the rest here:  Sacred Spaces

The Reality of Ongoing Grief in Child Loss

 

One of the most difficult things to explain to anyone who has not buried a child is this:  I didn’t just lose Dominic ONCE, I continue to lose him.

dom looking up with camera

I lose him every single time there is a moment when he SHOULD be here but isn’t.

I lose him when his friends graduate, get married and have children.

I lose him again on Christmas morning when HIS face isn’t around the breakfast table and HIS name isn’t on the presents around the tree.

I lose him when I need to call and ask a question about my computer or need his opinion when trying to make a decision.

I lose him when everyone else is making their way home for the holidays or a birthday or just a visit-his car never rolls up the lane, his smiling face never emerges, his arms never reach out to wrap me in a bear hug.

I lose him when his siblings line up for photos-the space where he SHOULD be but ISN’T looms large.

photo-36

I will never know the joy of standing at his wedding.

I will never be able to congratulate him on his first court victory.

I will never see his children

I won’t have his companionship in my old age.

He is gone-out of reach.

Untouchable.

Lost.

 

i will always wonder what you would have been

The Loudest Silence

I’ve been away from home for eleven days now.  For a homebody, that feels like forever.

Most of those days I’ve been surrounded by unfamiliar people and lots and lots of noise.

But in the midst of all that activity and sound, there has remained a quiet spot deep in my spirit that holds space for Dominic.

No matter how frantic, how deafening or how crowded things get, his absence is the loudest silence I hear.  

days when your absence is the loudest silence ive ever heard

I Don’t Cry Every Day Anymore

I’ve never really been much for lots of tears.  

Most of my crying before Dominic ran ahead to heaven consisted of silent tears slipping down my cheeks and onto my chin. Every now and then I would have a good, old-fashioned sob.

But between April 12,2014 and that October or November, I cried every day.  I cried so much I thought surely I would run out of tears.  I cried so much I needed to drink more water to remain hydrated.  

Then it stopped.  

The ache settled deeper into my bones and tears no longer came as an easy outlet for the pain I was feeling.

I still cried a few times a week, but not as long or as loud as those first months.  I could tell (most of the time) what had triggered the tears-a photo, a song, an item his hands had touched, a memory or even a whiff of someone who wore the same cologne walking past in a crowd.

Then THAT stopped.

just because no tears doesnt mean heart doesnt hurt

I got so good at stuffing the immediate emotional response I hardly ever cried anymore.

Except that sometimes-random moments-the heavy lid I keep screwed down tight on all those feelings comes undone.  And I am helpless as the sorrow, missing and horror of child loss creeps up my spine, raises my heart rate and settles as a silent scream at the back of my throat.  

A sob escapes.  The tears flow.  Usually I’m done for that day-left a quivering mass of emotional jello, unable to pack it all up and get on with things.

And that’s OK.

I don’t cry every day anymore, but when I do, it’s a necessary and important part of the healing process.  

I won’t apologize for my tears.  

grief-is-loves-souvenir

 

 

No Words

Some days there are just no words for this journey.

Sometimes I can only feel what I feel

and do what I do

and cry when I cry.

Today is like that.

I cannot wrap my mind around the FACT that my son is dead.

Am I somehow defective because I can’t?

Can any parent do that?

I know it’s true-I’m not in denial.

But knowing something is true and embracing it as true are two different things.  I am forced to walk in the world but not always forced to confront Dominic’s absence.

He could just be on a trip, or away at school, or out of cell phone range. It’s funny the tricks your mind will play to placate your heart.

But this morning when the light pushed back against the darkness my mind refused to continue the charade.

In a moment of clarity, the sword of truth penetrated my soul.

And here I am, naked and bleeding clinging to the fact that I am mother to a dead son.

Nowhere to hide.  No way to escape.

No words.

sound of my heart from the inside

 

He Knows My Sorrow

There are many days when I cannot talk myself out of sorrow.  Moments when I can’t distract my heart from the pain of missing Dominic.

So I don’t try.

Instead I remind myself of the fact that I serve a Suffering Savior.

I follow a Gentle Shepherd.  I can trust a Compassionate Father.

I turn to God’s Word to encourage my heart.

Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 MSG

Jesus knows my suffering.  He understands my pain.  

Yet it was our suffering he carried, our pain and distress, our sick-to-the-soul-ness. We just figured that God had rejected him, that God was the reason he hurt so badly.

Isaiah 53:4 VOICE

isaiah-543

God has promised blessing to mourners, He has promised comfort to hurting hearts.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.

Matthew 5:4 NIV

psalm-147-3

The LORD will heal my heart-if not here, then in Heaven. 

He is the healer of the brokenhearted. He is the one who bandages their wounds.

Psalm 147:3 GW

God will comfort me so that I can comfort others. 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble

2 Corinthians 1:3,4

Jesus will not abandon me in my despair.  He will uphold me when my own strength is gone.  

Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong, as I protect you with my arm and give you victories.

Isaiah 41:10 CEV

no one can snatch them

My Shepherd is right here with me. He will not leave me alone.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me

Psalm 23:4 NKJV

My son is not dead.  He is alive with Christ.  And he will be raised in the final day.

And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus.

I Thessalonians 4:13,14 MSG

death-swallowed

Death has been swallowed up in victory.

The trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. … So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’

1 Corinthians 15:52,54 NKJV

Every single thing the enemy has stolen, killed or destroyed will be redeemed and restored.

God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away

Revelations 21:4 NKJV

rev 21_4.jpg

 

Earth Has No Sorrow That Heaven Can’t Heal

Another mama who carries the burden of child loss posted a music video on her Facebook wall and it melted me.  

Because when you wake every day to the reality that your beloved child is out of reach you begin to wonder sometimes if there is a sorrow so deep it can never be healed.  

So I listened-over and over-as David Crowder sang truth to my soul: “Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal.” 

come-as-you-are

You don’t have to lose a child to feel overwhelmed with the burdens of this life.  

You don’t have to look death in the face to feel death in your bones.

I wish I knew how to embed videos in my posts, but I don’t so here’s the link:  Crowder “Come As You Are”

Listen and let hope fill your soul.

This life is hard.  No denying the truth.  But hold on.

What we see is not all there is.

Come as You Are 

Come out of sadness from wherever you’ve been
Come broken-hearted, let rescue begin
Come find your mercy, oh sinner come kneel
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal

So Lay down your burdens, lay down your shame
All who are broken, lift up your face
Oh wanderer come home, you’re not too far
So lay down your hurt, lay down your heart
Come as you are

There’s hope for the hopeless and all those who’ve strayed
Come sit at the table, come taste the grace
There’s rest for the weary, rest that endures
Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t cure.

wanderer-come-home