After living in Indiana for 10 years, the organizer of Mothers with Broken Hearts has returned to Washington Court House to continue to heal mothers suffering from the loss of a child.
Monica Shipley started Mothers with Broken Hearts a year after her son died. She said that originally it was never in her plan to reach out to other mothers, but after grieving and praying to God, He told her that she needed to begin this program.
“I thought, if I am hurting this bad, there has got to be other mothers that have lost children who are feeling this way,” Shipley said. “So I went back to that shelter house (she pointed to a small clearing behind her house) and prayed and prayed. I said God, something has got to give, I can’t feel this way. My husband worked in the steel industry for years and was always my strength and could get me through everything, but it wasn’t quite doing it.”
Shipley said that her husband, Aaron, was dealing with the loss in his own way and they grieved differently. She wanted him to hold her, and he did, but it was not quite what she needed. She then had a sign, as plain as day she said, from God that told her to start Mothers with Broken Hearts. She placed ads in the Record-Herald and found a room at Grace United Methodist Church that could be used for her support group.
“I was amazed, because I thought that, ‘Well there will just be a few mothers that will come,’” Shipley said. “Twenty-two mothers walked in that door. I asked them to bring a picture of their child so we can know who we were talking about and can see what child was lost. When they showed up I thought they were just going to a prayer meeting or something, but they just continued to come to my meetings.”
The program grew for the next year until Shipley was diagnosed with cancer and her husband lost his job. He was offered a new job in Indiana near a top-of-the-line cancer treatment hospital and they decided that it was time to move from the the county after living here for 45 years. Shipley spent the next 10 years continuing to expand her program and said that it is now in nine states. She said she hopes to make it go nationwide if the Lord would want it, but is happy with the progress she has made so far.
“Mothers heal mothers, that is what makes my program work,” Shipley said. “No men are allowed, no husbands boyfriends or others, just mothers. If they need to bring a friend to the first meeting, because they are scared and don’t know what they are coming into, I will be standing at that door waiting for them. They don’t need to be nervous. When they walk in the door, their healing will begin for the mere fact that mothers heal mothers. If you take a mom from two years ago who lost a kid to a drunk driver, suicide, cancer or whatever, there is going to be another mother who just lost their child to the same thing. The one who has been through it can help that newly grieving mother. There is always help.”
Mothers with Broken Hearts holds regular meetings on the second Tuesday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at Grace United Methodist Church. Shipley said to bring a picture of the children who have passed and for other questions contact her at (740) 572-7830.
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy