I’m Melissa Grahek Pierce and I was born and raised in the beautiful state of Oregon. I grew up in Tigard, Oregon, a suburb of Portland. I loved to sing in choirs and act in plays while I was in school; I really enjoyed that sense of community. After school I embarked on a career in the legal field as a paralegal, eventually landing me in the finance industry as a contract administrator.
Dave and I met in 1994, became friends then fell in love. In 2000, we married and went through several years of battling infertility issues. We came to the conclusion that what we really wanted was kids and a family and decided to adopt older kids from the Oregon foster care system. Brad and Bryce – two brothers – joined our family in 2005. Dave and I would laugh sometimes because we had a hard time remembering what our lives were like before we adopted the boys.
A couple of years after we became a family, we decided to move closer to Dave’s family and raise Brad and Bryce in a smaller community in eastern Oregon. Our days were filled with school, sports practices, fishing, camping and just hanging out – the four of us.
In January 2011 Dave died unexpectedly one night, he just didn’t wake up. After Dave’s death, the boys and I were cared for by the amazing community of Union, Oregon but ultimately we moved back to Portland to process and try to heal. So many challenges for the boys and I, it’s not easy to look back on that time but we worked through our pain and grief together with the help of family, friends, community and each other.
I did a lot of work around processing my grief, getting unstuck and figuring out what I wanted my new life to be. I knew I wanted some kind of partnership but didn’t really know what that looked like. And then I met Sean, my partner in this life. We are happily married and are living our lives in Portland.
I am a widow, a wife, a mother of two amazing sons, a sister, a Certified Widow Coach & Certified Professional Coach, and a friend. I’m passionate about helping widows move their way through grief to step into their power and live their dream life. I am an empathetic, caring person who is adaptable to the ever-changing flow of life. I possess strength, knowledge, wisdom and a great sense of humor to help you down this path.
This journey takes courage, I have faith in you – you’ve got this.
“I recently completed coaching with Melissa. My experience was very beneficial. I was stuck in an area of life that we were able to talk through together. As we brainstorm solutions, Melissa was a great resource. I still have my notes from our coaching appointments and I have referred to them! I recommend scheduling an appointment with Melissa, her life experiences, great listening skills, and her ability to ask the right questions make her a great coach.”John W.