Pain After a Child Dies

I’ll say this clearly: parents aren’t expected to live to bury their children. And when we do, the impact can be heartbreaking, devastating. Although the wounds mend, they are never fully healed—especially during holidays, birthdays, graduations, wedding ceremonies, and even when embracing someone else’s child or grandchild.

In the beginning, the tears flowed outwardly, but later they would flow inwardly. Eventually, I found some comfort. Certain things did help, like the day the nurse came and stated, “I wanted you to know we didn’t let her die alone. When it was time, I stayed with her and held her in my arms until the end. I told her how much you loved her and that we all will miss her. For you, I hope this gives some comfort, knowing she wasn’t alone.”

Seeking Comfort

Although I was grateful, still I longed to be there as a parent. Through all this, I could not let go without making one dream come alive. The mortuary that held her remains was Gatling’s Chapel on 101st and Halsted.

Dana had picked out the most elegant white and gold casket. There she laid, dressed in a long, white lace bridal gown, wearing pearl earrings with a glossy red lipstick, and looking beautiful as an angel bride. Inside that beautifully white, satin-bedded coffin, there alongside were her little stuffed animals for comfort as she slept.  My angel, my daughter, her beauty lived on as she married into another life.

Love Is

Love is a mixture of joy, grief, melancholy, and blueness.

Knowing that I will never love someone else the way I have loved you makes life worthwhile.

Love is those emotions that no one else can experience.

Furthermore, these feelings will always and forever be dear to me as I embrace them.

Love is like water spilling out of those tears that fall to mourn your departure.

My love for you is the ability to never have to say goodbye.

Life can be an agonizing undertaking when a loved one passes away. That is a journey no one should travel alone, nor have it swept under the rug.  After ongoing therapy, I’ve come to the realization her bravery had been the catalyst for my own inner strength.

Excerpted from the book Not a Blueprint It’s the Shoe Prints that Matter / A Journey Through Toxic Relationships:

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Nina Norstrom

Nina Norstrom is the author of Not a Blueprint: It’s the Shoe Prints That Matter ─ A Journey Through Toxic Relationships. This author grew up in a small suburban town outside Chicago, Illinois. She received her bachelor’s degree from Concordia University. She has an extensive work history in the public sector, in the field of management. Additionally, she taught in the school system. She started journal writing to help find solace. The book, Not a Blueprint: It’s the Shoe Prints that Matter, ─ A Journey Through Toxic Relationships, is a representation of her growth and signifies a milestone in her recovery from toxic relationships, to the transition of non-toxicity. She is a passionate champion for many noteworthy causes, including those battling toxic relationships. In her quest to reach out, it's through her role in volunteering and being a participant in various walk-a-thons that she demonstrates a passion in giving. When not reading or writing, Nina can be found mountain climbing, taking long walks in a park or alongside a beach, sitting at a concert, supporting an author at a book event, traveling, and jumping in to exert her energy by doing volunteer work at a variety of venues. You can connect with Nina on her website

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