I AM Defined [In Part] By Grief

I’m not at all fond of the saying, “Don’t let your grief define you”.

I understand that I shouldn’t let my grief CONSTRAIN me, shouldn’t let it circumscribe my life, making it smaller and smaller until all I think about, speak about or experience is sadness, sorrow and missing.

And I don’t.

But I cannot ignore that losing a child DOES define me.  It defines me in exactly the same way other momentous events-good and bad-shape, mold and make me into who I am.

Marriage, divorce, receiving Christ as Savior, growing up in a small town or big city-all those things matter to me and in my relationships with other people.

Becoming a mother changed everything. 

I was no longer free to think only of myself, consider only my wishes and schedule, eat, sleep and go places without making arrangements for this new little person.

Burying a child changed everything again. 

I was no longer free to believe that I would be spared great heartache in this life.  I couldn’t ignore the hard question of why does a good God let bad things happen?  My heart was shattered and though the pieces are coming back together again, it will never be the same heart it was before.

We routinely ask one another, “What kind of work do you do?”  


Because learning about a person’s work usually gives you insight into many aspects of a person’s life, character, preferences and inclinations.  

In the same way, you can’t really understand me unless you know that one of my children lives in Heaven.  


Am I ONLY a bereaved mother?

Absolutely not!

I am many other things besides- a wife, mother, follower of Jesus, shepherd, daughter, rural resident, bookworm, writer, lover of all things living.

But I AM a bereaved mother. 

And that colors my perceptions of the world just as surely as any of those other aspects of my identity.  

I can’t ignore it.  

To do so would be to dishonor my child.

I refuse to do that.

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.

4 thoughts on “I AM Defined [In Part] By Grief”

  1. I’ve just started to share our story on my own blog (afightersheart.com) and was so inspired when I saw this post’s title show up in my email this morning. Thank you so much for saying this. It is exactly how my heart feels, yet I often have to talk myself out of being concerned about what others think when they have no idea what this life is; what we now have to walk here on this earth.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I too can only echo “thank you” for speaking a reassurance to this bereaved mama’s heart. I sometimes feel like I have to defend how much Jacob’s death has affected who I am today…… like something is “wrong “ with me.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. ❤️ Thank you, once again, Melanie – ‘my dear friend I have yet to meet’❤️ Your words speak volumes to me and are such a healing balm…I can’t thank you enough for your courageous sharing of the most tender parts of your soul… We view this earth life now with a bit more tangible grasp on our promise of eternal life in Jesus Christ … and the reunion that awaits us🌟


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: