My Daughter was Killed on My Motercycle

Katrina- My heart goes out to you. On August 25th, 2007, I laid my motorcycle down and as the tragic events go?that ride cost me my 10year old daughter. She was riding on the bike w/me. Brooke was my everything. I was there, I lived it and I live w/the lingering guilt everyday, I did this to her. I go to bed each night hating myself and wake up everyday wondering why people are so kind to me. If it weren?t for my 12 year old son, I think my husband would outwardly hate me for the responsibility I bare in the accident. I don?t know how to tell you how sorry I am for your loss, but I respect your feelings.

A response from Drs. Gloria and Heidi
Thank you for writing to console Katrina out of the depths of your own grief. Helping others is generally the surest way to find healing for yourself and we hope that is true for you.

We are so very sorry for your loss. It is such a short period of time since the death of your daughter and your wounds are still so very deep and so very raw. We strongly encourage you to see a grief counselor to help you work through the guilt you are feeling as well as the grief. We also encourage you to see if there is a Compassionate Friends group in your area. Each member of this group has lost a child and they truly understand. You will find support and compassion there rather than judgment. With this group you do not have to walk this path alone ? no one should have to do that. You can find their link on the first page of The Grief Blog or at Perhaps your husband could find help here as well. And we recommend our new book Teen Grief Relief as well as counseling for your son if he is not already receiving help. Children often just don?t know how to handle their own feelings and don?t know what to do. It is a very difficult time for them and our book addresses that.

We invite you,? too, to listen on Thursday mornings to the radio show Healing the Grieving Heart? You can find information about it and a link to it on the first page of You might also find a number of past shows that can give you help and comfort at

You are carrying a heavy burden now and we encourage you to be gentle with yourself.

We are posting your comments on the first page of The Grief Blog because we know it will bring help to others who read it and we are posting it as a comment to Katrina?s letter so she will be sure to see it.


Drs. Gloria and Heidi Horsley

The Open to Hope Community

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  • Sally says:

    Not one of us is a perfect parent, even those who have never experienced the pain of losing a child. I don’t know all of your circumstances, but I do know the horrible stabbing pain of losing a beautiful 10 year old. The “what ifs” and “if only I’d have…” still plague me. I gave him permission to go down to the spillway with his brother. I still don’t understand why he jumped in when the water was too high. If I had know the water was up that day I would have never ever let him go. The paper said the boys were “unsupervised” and not wearing life jackets like we were bad parents. I miss my son every day and if I had done things differently he would maybe still be here. Or maybe not…if you believe that God already planned for him to come home that day. Perhaps nothing would have changed the fact that he was destined to go home to the Lord that day. I have to let go of the guilt feelings… the feelings that I am a horrible Mom and I am responsible for his death. What is is and I can only take one day at a time and be greatful for each of my son’s almost 11 years with me on this Earth.

    Everyone of us has done something that could have ended up in tradgedy and yet most times we scrape by without any problem. Your worst critic here is going to be yourself. I am sure you have replayed everything over and over from every angle. Know that whatever misjudgement you may or may not have had you didn’t kill your daughter. A horrible terrible accident did. Guilt decends upon all of us who lose a child. We all feel responsible. Hang in there and remember you are not alone. Accept the kindess of others right now. They can’t imagine what you are going through and just feel sadness for you, not condemnation.