Mother of three forever!

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a blog. I’ve been afraid to stir up my pain  by writing because it does open up the wounds to my huge heartbreak. In the beginning I needed to feel the deep sorrow and writing helped me to express my agony and begin to heal. My huge loss of losing Andrew will never go away….it’s with me forever, however, it has a certain place in my brain and in my heart. Sometimes. I just can’t go there because it opens up a huge hole and void in my life. It’s a very scary & lonely place that I try not to visit too often. Today was a day I needed to go there. I needed to feel the pain of missing my son so deeply!

It’s been a year and few months since Andrew tragically died in a car accident. His room is still left untouched and his bedroom door remains open. It’s like it’s waiting for him to come home. Most days I just walk by and don’t really acknowledge that he’s not coming home. I’m just not ready to go there yet. It hurts my heart too much to really try to wrap my brain around the fact my son is never coming home. Obviously, I know Andrew won’t ever sleep in that bed again, but it’s like my brain plays tricks on me and I just pretend it’s all okay.  It’s crazy how our body protects us from the physical pain that unimaginable grief causes. We feel it in small doses over a lifetime!

As time keeps moving along, people stop asking about how I’m doing or talk about Andrew and I understand that.  It’s just so important for me to keep Andrew’s spirit & memory alive so I will continue to talk about my son for the rest of my life! It’s my purpose to make Andrew’s life live on through mine.  We have started to use the money we have in Andrew’s foundation to help others. “Show Up Like Shelly” is going to do good for others just like Andrew’s life.

I’ve been keeping busy taking real estate classes and selling jewelry. It keeps my mind moving & distracts me which has been helpful. I enjoy interacting with people so the jewelry business has been allowing me to be engaged with some wonderful ladies which is a blessing. I have received alot of positive feedback which has been good for my soul! I needed to do this for myself. Of course, a little extra money always helps, however this has been about so much more than money for me. It’s allowing me to realize I’m alive & capable of making meaning out of my life in spite of my horrendous heartache!

I am trying so hard every single day to make something out of the rest of my days here on earth. I am a different person and my life will never be the same as it was before the day my son, Andrew died so tragically. I count the new year from Aug 12th, 2017 not on Jan 1st like the rest of the world. I don’t fear my own death….I look forward to being reunited with my precious son one day. However, it’s not my time yet so I will do my best to make the most out of every single day.  I am grateful for my extraordinary family. My husband and two other children are huge gifts & fill my life with so much pride & joy!

I know Andrew’s life has meaning and so does mine. As much sorrow as I feel, I also still feel joy. As much anger as I feel, I can still feel happiness. As many tears as I shed, I am still able to laugh! I have been surrounded by love, compassion & kindess and that is the true definition of a meaningful life to me!

So in honor of my son, Andrew, I will continue to do my best every day to figure out my purpose & accomplish my dreams. One thing I do know is that it will always involve surrounding myself with people. Communicating with other humans is such an important aspect of my happiness  and fulfillment. I will also allow myself to grieve my son and have days like today that I just feel broken.

I will forever be the mother to three children! Being a mom has always been how I define myself first! I am so proud of the beautiful people my kids have become and Amanda, Andrew & Michael will always be part of who I am! They have made me a better person and I strive to improve every single day! Life hasn’t always been kind to me but I’ve also been blessed in so many ways. Why? That’s the unanswerable question! I just refuse to focus on the negative because I have so much positive I would miss out on!


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My name is Melissa Shelly and I am a 46 year old mom who lives in Newtown Square, PA. I never thought of myself as mighty but when my 14 year old son, Michael was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer on August 18, 2014, everyone kept telling me how strong I was. Three years later on August 12, 2017, my 20 year old son, Andrew died instantly in a car accident. Again, people kept saying I was so strong and I actually hated when people would say that to me! I have heard 100 times “I could never do what you’re doing....if my child died I wouldn’t be able to function!”. That’s what I thought about myself until it was me! I didn’t ask to be handed these tragedies & painful traumatic events and I never felt I had a choice....I had to be a mighty leader!! I am a mother of three children and a wife to a wonderful man. We needed to survive and keep hope alive in our hearts! I wish I never had to be strong....but unfortunately we don’t control many things in our lives; however, we can control how we deal with them. It isn’t easy and I have some really bad days but I continue to work on healing and living my life with meaning and purpose. I want to share my pain and my successes with anyone who wants to walk beside me!

9 thoughts on “Mother of three forever!”

  1. I was just thinking the other day about your blog and that you hadn’t written in awhile. I am sorry for the reason you needed to. A friend told me the other day that the second year of loss is harder than the first because people stop asking as much. I think about you often. I have gotten to know Andrew through all of your stories. Please continue. And yes you will always be the beautiful mom of three beautiful children.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Melissa, Your posts are such an inspiration to me! Although I have never felt (and God willing, never will) the anguish and pain of losing a child, you inspire me to cherish a little more the simple blessings of everyday life that I sometimes over look. You truly have a gift in writing. Your words are beautiful! Know that I am Praying for you, Andrew and your entire family. Keep making everyday count! Love and Prayers!


  3. Your son, Andrew, is living his unfinished life through you, Melissa. He is living it through your husband, Mike, and your son Michael, and your daughter, Amanda. This family has great strength along with its great grief.

    Your blog is always courage building for everyone who reads it and who knows you and I am one of the recipients of your example of doing the best one can after the painful loss of a child.

    Keep writing. xoxo


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