Remembering Daniel Jeremiah (DJ): Reflections on the 8th Month Death Anniversary

Dr. Elizabeth Ríos
2 min readMay 22, 2023

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DJ with is ever present smile that lit up a room

Today marks the eighth month since my beloved son, Daniel Jeremiah (DJ), passed away. It’s hard to fathom that so much time has passed, and yet the pain feels as raw and fresh as ever. Every day, from morning till night, my thoughts are consumed by the memories of my precious child. I find solace in the photographs that capture your radiant smile, reminding me of the happiness you brought into our home. No one can ever replace you, DJ. As your mother, I am eternally grateful for the privilege of being your mom. You taught me invaluable lessons and transformed me in ways I never could have imagined.

I often discuss with my husband how amazing it is that a boy who never spoke could have profoundly impacted our lives. But I find this to be a pattern in how God makes the world function. It’s in the still, small voice. The person who is big enough to make themselves small. The overlooked and misjudged person through which God works some of his greatest miracles.

They say that time heals all wounds, but as I stand here at the eight-month mark, I can honestly say that the pain hasn’t eased. Grief is not a linear journey; it’s a tumultuous rollercoaster ride with no clear end. Each passing day brings a mix of emotions — sorrow, longing, and an unending love that binds me to your memory. I miss holding you close, kissing your face, and hearing your squeaky laughter. But amidst this profound loss, I strive to find a glimmer of hope and solace in the belief that you are now in a place of eternal joy, free from the hardships you endured on Earth.

I am holding on to what Tim Keller said “All death can now do to Christians is to make their lives infinitely better.”

I am still trying to figure out what to do in your honor at the one-year mark of your transition. But I know for sure that whatever we decide to do, I want it to bring joy and smiles.

I miss you like crazy. I still can’t believe my heart didn’t stop when yours did. But while I am on this side, Papi and I will do the most good we can and will always work to keep your memory alive.

Until I see you on the other side, DJ, Mami will always love you, forever my baby you’ll be.

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Dr. Elizabeth Ríos

NY Diasporican thinker/writer, former pastor, church planter educator and Jesus & justice advocate. Wife and Mom to two boys (one in heaven).