How and Why I Keep Writing: A Shepherd’s Heart

I am still utterly amazed that since November 2015 I have managed a blog post every day.

At first, I was writing because I wanted to make public the things I was learning in this Valley and to honor my missing son.  

dominic at tims wedding

He had been in Heaven a year and a half by then and it was clear to this mama’s heart that (1) people (including ME before it WAS me!) had absolutely NO IDEA what life after child loss was like once the funeral was over;  (2) one way to redeem this pain was to share how God had been faithful even as I struggled; and (3) I just didn’t see too many honest portrayals of life after loss for Christ followers (which is not to say they didn’t/don’t exist but I hadn’t found them).

So I wrote.  

Then I realized (much to my surprise!) that there were mamas (and a few daddies) hanging on by such a tenuous thread to hope that my meager attempt at redeeming this pain was strengthening their grasp.

Then it became a ministry.

Shepherding is in my blood. 

I’ve been a shepherd my whole adult life-first to my own children and then to other children through various home school groups and activities.  Then God granted a desire of my heart when He allowed me to become  a “real” shepherd 20 years ago to a flock/herd of sheep and goats.

goat and mel on porch (2)

I’ve learned so, so much.  

I’ve learned that consistency is key. 

My herd depends on my faithful feeding and my peaceful presence.  They love routine and hate change.  They respond immediately to my voice and run straight to me when they are afraid.

They will endure nearly anything as long as they are assured it is from my loving hand.  

I am not able to shepherd every heart that reads this blog. 

But I hope that a bit of my shepherd’s love and care and compassion is present in each post.  

My desire is that consistency helps the hearts that congregate here every morning.  I long for my words to feed hope to you from time to time.  I pray that routine gives you something to look forward to even on the hard day.  I pray that I faithfully point you to the Shepherd of your soul who can provide shelter no matter where you are or what is chasing you.


I pray that together we can endure and persevere and finish strong and well.  

I continue to write because I love you. 

I continue to write because if a single post reaches a single heart on the verge of giving up and helps that heart hold onto hope, then it is worth every minute I spend thinking about, composing and producing these posts.  

And, frankly, many of you have ministered hope to MY heart.  

hope holds a breaking heart together

Dom left for Heaven about when my nest became empty.  Thirty years of raising children and twenty-plus years of homeschooling came to an end right when my heart was dealt this grievous blow.

All the energy and time I had poured into shepherding my children was suddenly available for a new adventure at the very moment when adventure was the last thing on my mind.  

Sharing has turned survival into something beautiful.   

I am so thankful for that.

And I am oh, so grateful for each of you.

thank you




Author: Melanie

I am a shepherd, wife and mother of four amazing children, three that walk the earth with me and one who lives with Jesus. This is a record of my grief journey and a look into the life I didn't choose. If you are interested in joining a community of bereaved parents leaning on the promises of God in Christ, please like the public Facebook page, "Heartache and Hope: Life After Losing a Child" and join the conversation.

27 thoughts on “How and Why I Keep Writing: A Shepherd’s Heart”

  1. I lost my son, Jeremy, to suicide on 4-4-17…I found your blog shortly after. I appreciate reading your posts every day…they always speak to my broken heart. Every day I am surprised that this grief hasn’t taken my life too. The physical heartache and every other pain that goes with it makes life seem so unbearable. Thank you for taking the time to share your story every day.


  2. Your blog is one of only a very few that I continue to read. For me personally, it has the right mix of honesty about the heartbreaking pain and hope for the awe inspiring future, along with authenticity and courage for the long road we are on. Thank you.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I’m so grateful to you for this blog. You have put into words what my heart often long to say but can’t express it. Your ministry has brought me hope and a unity to others, knowing I am not alone on this journey. Thank you! Please keep on!!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I look forward to your blog posts daily. You have ministered to my mind and my heart more than I can ever explain. When people ask me what has helped me there is a reply I don’t say your blog post. You speak from the heart and it is so raw and open and I think that ministers to all of us. Your faith in Christ and knowing we will again be reunited with our amazing sons gives us hope each and everyday. Thank you for listening to God’s calling on your life and for being a such a huge part of our journey and healing.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. From the bottom of my aching heart – thank you, Melanie… I Love You and the way you walk out your journey and minister to us all in the midst of such deep heartbreak – with the hope of our Saviour clearly shining through – pointing the way to eternal life and the hope we share in the promise of eternal life and our heavenly reunion – through Jesus Christ, Our Lord…❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are such a beautiful encourager. I can’t wait to meet you and so many others when we make it to heaven together. ❤️


  4. I am so thankful I found your blogg Melanie, this journey is exhausting and you certainly lighten the load for me.
    Blessings be upon you and peace be with you ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I am so thankful for your blogs. We have so much in common…first..sadly..that we lost a son. (I still can not even believe I am typing that)
    I also have 3 sons and a daughter..also by c section.
    And lastly…ask any of my grandchildren what my fave animal is…and they will answer..sheep!
    Your blogs are ministering to my broken heart along with Gods word. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m sorry we share the heartbreak of child loss but am thankful that we know one another in this Valley. May the Lord continue to give you the strength to endure and the faith to hold onto hope. ❤️


  6. You have helped me so much. We have just navigated the first year since Gabe took his life. Thank you for continuing to share your heart, which reflects our grieving hearts.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. “I pray that together we can endure and persevere and finish strong and well.” These are my favorite words from your post today. I am a momma that lost her son to an opioid overdose. It will be one year tomorrow. Because I am one of so many mommas losing their children this way everyday in this country, I sometimes cross paths with one of them. The first thing I offer them is your blog. It has ministered to me. Thank you for pressing on and putting into words what we ofttimes cannot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What a precious heart for ministry you have! May the Lord continue to strengthen you and grant you opportunities to share your story and His faithfulness. ❤️


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