Mom’s Search for Meaning

It’s not you; it’s me.

I’ve been away for a while. Lots of things happened, including a global pandemic.

During that time, I finished a book based on this blog because I loves me some over-functioning in a crisis.

For years, I didn’t think I had enough for a book. But my friend Liz suspected otherwise. “Print everything you’ve written thus far — published and unpublished — and see what you have.”

Seven hundred ninety-nine pages are what I had.

So, that was a whole thing.

Teresa instructed me to slay my darlings and send her chapters as I finished. With her experienced, kind, and hilarious hand, 799 became 276. (I’m not an asshole; I cut a few hundred before I involved her in my inner chaos.)

Those 276 pages are now about to be published on 3/28/23 as Mom’s Search for Meaning: Grief and Growth After Child Loss.

This book is for Alice and Grace. It’s for every loss parent. It’s for anyone who wants to support loss parents. It’s for every SUDC child. It’s for every therapist who helps people change their lives. It’s for anyone who has ever lived through something unimaginable. We all take different paths to heal. All are valid.

This was mine.

(It’s an ongoing process.)

This book is about the worst part of it. And how beautiful people can help you survive.

Publishing requirements dictated that I remove blog posts that formed part of the book. Rest assured, it was all tenderly edited for length. The meat is still there, but just the best parts marinated into this book.

If you’d like to pre-order, it’s available in hardcover at Barnes&Noble, paperback at Amazon or Barnes&Noble, and ebook on Amazon. It will be on most ebook platforms after 3/28/23. I’m not famous, so it probably won’t be stocked in your favorite independent store or libraries, but it WILL BE AVAILABLE by request after 3/28/23.


There will be a couple of virtual launch parties, the first of which will be held on 3/28/23 at 9 AM PDT on Facebook Live. I will give away a signed copy and a wellness consult. We’ll also chat with Michael Koch, Southern California Counseling Center’s Executive Director about their sliding-scale services.


I will join Rachel Thompson on her #bookmarketingchat the next day, 3/29/23, at 11 AM PDT on Twitter Spaces, where I will also give away a signed copy!


The fabulous Kimberly Kay will interview me on Thursday, 3/23/28, at 11 AM PDT– free copy giveaway here too! The link is HERE

I am deeply grateful to you all.




  1. Alexi Brial
    July 5, 2023

    As a potential writer I was just brought into your story. However, did you ever share how she died. There are many questions due to her young age. I know there is a heaven, so of course I am curious.
    If it is to remain private I understand. It is a beautiful story about a beautiful child.
    Peace be with you ️❤️

    • Melissa
      July 5, 2023

      Thank you for your kind words. An autopsy and months-long scientific investigation found nothing wrong with her, so her death was classified as Sudden Unexplained Death in Childhood (SUDC). About 400 children aged 1-18 are lost to SUDC. Though rare, it is the 5th leading cause of death in toddlers. I had to accept that we will likely never know what took Alice. She is loved and missed beyond words.

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