October 14th, 2021

Many who grieve over a loss of a loved one, like Melanie, grieve for a lifetime. With your support Shield Bearer is here to hold their hand, show them compassion and help their hearts heal so that they can continue to live.


“It was excruciating. The loneliness and pain continued day after day; week after week; from months and then for years. My only child, my baby girl; she was twenty two years old, died. A broken heart is real. It’s intense agony. It affects your brain chemistry and physiology. It isn’t phantom pain. It’s as real as it gets. It stops you cold. It can destroy you. And time isn’t much help. Have you ever had a migraine and tried an aspirin to relieve it? It’s useless. That’s what time is like for deep intense grief.  It’s been 12 years since she died. I can recall her face but I still get heart palpitations. It’s like I experienced an emotional amputation and something inside me died. I felt as if I had been left to stumble without legs, or to see without my eyes, or expected to feel after having my heart removed. My good days, if you could call them that were nearly intolerable. They were worse than anything I could have imagined before I lost my daughter. While my daughter died 12 years 2 months and 3 days ago at 3pm in the afternoon on a Tuesday, my love for her and the grief that is attached to that love never has. My time continues at Shield Bearer. Today, after many hours of therapy, I haven’t counted them, I am able to get out of bed, I can prepare and eat food, I can leave my house, I can work, I can drive, and accomplish errands. I can even laugh with a friend. These are all things that my body would not do on that day and the many days following. My body stopped. My mind told it to function, but it would not. In the blips of time between those momentary glimpses of normality, I think about her and I ache for her to be in this world. Alive and vibrant. If Shield Bearer hadn’t been there for me, I would not be here. I firmly believe that. I speak about my daughter and I speak to others who have experienced their own loss. Bereaved parents share an unspeakable bond. I am indebted to Shield Bearer. The work they do is essential. It was for me and I will forever be grateful. “ – Melanie