One Year Later: The Grief Journey – Remembering Melanie

Never forget. We are all familiar with this phrase as it represents 9/11, and a time of great tragedy and sorrow in our world. Well, one year ago today those two words took on a different and more personal meaning for me. It was a day of tragedy and sorrow. It was the day my girl ran ahead to heaven. It’s a day which I will, never forget.

I’ll never forget where I was, what I was doing or who I was with. I remember every. single. detail of that day. I know that my dad was there to guide her safely into the arms of Jesus. One day I will share how I know this as it’s an amazing testimony to the greatest love of all – the love of Jesus and the lengths He will go to for His children.

Without a doubt, it’s been the harshest 365 days of my life. I’ve cried more tears than I thought were possible. Suffered physical illnesses and experienced symptoms that I didn’t know were conceivable due to stress. I developed crushing anxiety that on some days felt as if it would take me under from the weight of it all.

Death is hard and the loss of a child is a loss like no other on this earth.

Yet, here I am today. Still standing, still breathing, and walking this grief journey one day at a time. The tears still flow, and I expect they always will because there will never be a day I don’t miss my girl. The good news is they don’t come in the torrential, crashing waves like the tsunami they were in the earlier months, when my heart was so utterly broken. One of God’s promises I so tightly held on to is, “He is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit” (Psalm 38:14). My faith is what has sustained me and even on those days when I was crawling through the valley, Jesus was right there beside me. He never once left my side. What the enemy meant for evil, God has turned it for His good (Genesis 50:20).

The days of crushing anxiety are fewer and for that I am grateful. Sure, my mind has wandered back to the day I learned of Melanie’s death and all the horror that comes with hearing the words no parent should ever hear. There have been times I have re-lived every moment, over and over again. But today, when I think about Melanie I am choosing to look back at how I have been brought through the last 365 days of losing my only girl.

PEACE: Within the first 24 hours after learning of Melanie’s death I have felt an overwhelming, powerful, all-encompassing sense of peace that could only come from God. There is nothing and no one who can give peace like Him. “And the peace that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus” Phil 4:6

ENCOURAGEMENT: My Heavenly Father has encouraged and strengthened me in ways that I never felt as strongly as I do now. He delivered His words of love and reassurance deep into my spirit on so many nights. “No one says, ‘Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night” Job 35:10

HOPE: Even during that first and darkest night, I never once doubted where my hope and strength would come from. He is my deliverer. My hope. My strength. My rock. My promise keeper. My way maker. “You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book” Psalm 56:8

Even the saddest experiences we go through in life can become a source of wisdom and strength once we have made peace within our hearts about it. I could write about all the sadness that surrounded the loss of my beautiful girl, but I choose to remember the good. I am choosing to remember the love. This day is not a day I wish to celebrate, but I had to acknowledge the day my girl ran ahead to heaven. For me, it was the worst day of my life. For Melanie, it was the best day of hers. I continually strive to reflect on the good that has come from a very tragic situation.

On this day, one year ago, my beautiful girl transitioned to her real home – Heaven. If you too are a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, then you will once again see your loved one. “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Rev 21:4. I take comfort in the fact that I will get to see my daughter again one day. I look forward to wrapping my arms around her and telling her how much I’ve missed her. Until then my love for her will never end.

Published by pat

Mom. Wife. Honey. Jesus-Girl. Love to travel, cook, make beautiful things grow and spend time with family & friends.

13 thoughts on “One Year Later: The Grief Journey – Remembering Melanie

  1. You have been on my heart and mind leading up to this day when one year ago the world changed and your dad welcomed Melanie home. That indomitable faith assures that peace, encouragement and hope will continue to envelop you and keep you safe in this journey.

  2. Melanie would be proud of you and how you have honored her memory in spite of the difficult year you’ve had. No one knows the depth of your pain and sadness but our Lord. I am so thankful that He has brought you closer to Him.

  3. Your words resonate powerfully with me. You have such a wonderful way of describing this journey that we are on. You, my dear friend, are helping me not to move on but forward. Not a day goes by that I don’t shed a tear or two for my loss, but I know that if we didn’t love we would not have the pain. As so many have told me, I am blessed to have had Jerry in my life for 45 years. You were blessed to have had Melanie in yours. She was also blessed to have had such a wonderful, loving and caring woman as her mom. Thank you Pat for being you.

  4. A beautiful reflection Pat on the past year. Your sharing has been a blessing to many who have lost a child. Your beautiful Faith will continue to sustain you as time moves forward. Blessings and love always, Jean

  5. I wish I were as strong as you. We just passed 6 months (Feb. 5) since my Jace passed. I just can’t seem to find any peace or healing….not yet. Of course, the situation I’m dealing with could be a huge reason why I’m struggling. The one thought in my mind that stands out the most…how is someone who was so full of life and love gone? We have tons of pictures and videos of Jace and I am so grateful to have them but, it’s hard too. Hopefully, I can find the peace and positivity that you’ve found. 💛

    1. Aimee, I continue to pray for you. Be kind and gentle with yourself. This is a hard journey we have found ourselves on. 💜❤️💜

  6. Thank you for sharing your heart breaking story. I understand your suffering and tears. Today is my son Val Lewis’ 55th birthday. He took his life Nov. 14, 2019 leaving his son age 14. I share in your grief. My belief in God and heaven helps sustain me as well as Christian music. I make CD’s for folks needing comfort, never thinking I would need comforting and reassurance myself. I’d love to send one to you if you’d like. Wallace & Janet Shaw shared your story with me. Sharing our journey through the loss of ones child is helpful. Since my son’s death several mother’s who have lost a child from suicide have come to me and shared their grief. I have really appreciated this sharing. I’m sure Wallace sent your writing and story to me knowing of my grief. Thank you for sharing. Laura Eaves

    1. Laura, I am so very sorry for the loss of your son, Val. 💜 Death of a child is like no other and my heart is joined with yours. What a wonderful ministry you have created making loving, comforting CD’s to touch others. I’m glad Wally & Janet shared my blog with you. I hope it touches your heart, bringing hope and encouragement to you. Sending you love and prayers for comfort as you continue to navigate this journey. 💜🙏💜

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