West Virginia mother writes book after losing her Columbia-born son – The Baltimore Sun

MARTINZBURG, VA – Melody Shipley, of Hedgesville, lost one of her sons, Kevin Shipley, on March 7, 2019.

She was devastated by the death of her Colombian-born son, but she created a way to share her grief, experiences, and faith with those who will listen.

“Kevin’s Gift” is a book written by Melody with the help of her son Connor and niece Michelle Andrews, which shares the story of the gift Kevin had in her life.

Melody and her husband have always wanted to have a baby, but unfortunately, they have been devoid of their baby blessing for many years. Unexpectedly, a miracle happened. They finally manage to conceive a son.

After raising her son to be his best self, Melody loses him to Heaven again. In this book, Melody tells you her story of helping people, like her, who have lost a loved one.

Read “The Gift of Kevin” to find out what brought her back to life after losing her son,” reads the book description.

Connor, Jr. and Editor, Andrews, Senior Editor and Niece, and Melody sat down with The Journal to talk about the book’s release, what it means for them and what their hopes are as more people read it.

Melody expressed that writing a book was more difficult than she thought, but also more rewarding than she ever imagined.

She said she couldn’t do it without Connor and Andrews and the support of her husband, David.

“I wrote the magazine, and together we worked to make this book a reality,” Melody said of her family.

However, she did not start with the idea of ​​writing a book. She began writing down her experience in an audio diary, as she is not a fan of writing.

“[Kevin’s death] It was devastating, but we got all these signs,” she said, sharing some of the signs she discusses in the book, such as visits from cardinal birds, which are said to “send messages from heaven” or something that happens when it’s needed most.

Because Melody spoke to her phone while the experiments were happening and when she felt she should, the book was written literally in her own words, without input from company editors who didn’t know her story.

“I thanked God again. He who is leading me on this path. Something was telling me to do it. I wasn’t sure what would happen in the end, and I still couldn’t think of a book. I just didn’t want to forget what I was going through. From there “They got together, and I decided what stories to share. I kept feeling like I should write a book. I thought I might do a good job of that for me,” she said.

That’s when she called her niece, and it got to work.

“It’s her voice, the most authentic version,” said Andrews.

BookBaby published “The Gift of Kevin,” and in October, Melody had the book in the mail.

One of the themes that Shipley likes most about the book is the idea that “love never dies”, something she believes in and has seen to be true in her life.

In the book, Melody shares with readers a personal experience related to life here on Earth and life after physical death.

Kevin Tyler Shipley was born on October 16, 1991, and passed away in Hedgesville on March 7, 2019. He died of asphyxiation, a neck pressure that turned into a fatal accident.

Melody described her son’s life as a true gift from day one.

High school seniors Melody and David were happily married in 1981. It was her dream to have a family, and it was a challenge when she found out she was having trouble conceiving.

Through a series of what she calls “miracles, there are never coincidences,” she was able to conceive her first son thanks to a new technology at the time, in vitro fertilization, Kevin’s gift.

Connor is two years younger than Kevin, and because of the way Kevin was conceived, the two siblings were extremely close — some called them twins, as they were conceived at the same time, and Connor was one of the frozen embryos.

It was Connor who delivered the eulogy for his brother in 2019. The family expressed that they had received signs that Kevin was still with them.

“It was like he was sitting next to me,” Connor said of writing the eulogy. “There is a higher power. We have a lot of signs.”

It is in the book where Connor and Melody dive into what they saw and felt.

Kevin attended Hedgesville Middle School and Hedgesville High School, as did Connor. They participated in sports, including hockey, and at school they played soccer, track, and swimming. The two participated in the Distributed Education Clubs of America, and participated in numerous volunteer opportunities throughout the region. Kevin also graduated from West Virginia University.

“My brother was well-liked and well-known in the community,” said Connor. “Everyone has lost a loved one at some time or is going to lose someone. It’s bigger than the book. We look forward to connecting with people who have experienced these signs, who have lost loved ones and perhaps record more experiences.”

He explained that the book is about what someone is going through, as well as opening the door to conversation.

An important aspect of the book, Melody said, is opening yourself up.

“Once you open up, you’ll be amazed at what’s to come,” she said.

Melody said her son was full of love, something she still feels from him to this day.

“You can’t take things with you. It was full of love, and that’s what he left to us.”

She added that her hope for the book is to comfort people and help those who read it.

“I can’t take away the pain, and their pain won’t go away, I can tell you that. I want them to know that there are people who experience what they go through, but there will be times when you’ll laugh again. You’ll always be sad and that’s okay,” she said of the book’s point.

Connor added that because he has been able to experience some of what his mother has, he is still sad, but feels a sense of hope.

“There is now a new flame in me that has been ignited, where I feel okay. I feel like what happened was meant to happen and now, what is meant to happen is sharing and talking. If I could talk to someone who has lost a loved one — a brother, a sibling — And helping him open up and helping his recovery… We know some people won’t believe it, but there will also be people who do,” he said.

“The Gift of Kevin” was released December 20 and is available on Amazon and through BookBaby.

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