Sitting With My Daughter’s Body

When we walked toward China’s room, a cold wave passed through my body. On approaching the door, I noticed it was shut.

“Why, why is the door closed?” I yelled out.

No one answered. Obviously, they had their reason. I entered the room. China’s eyes were closed, and her face possessed a heavenly glow. Although China had been gone for some time, her body had been untouched. Embracing her, I felt that her body temperature had dropped—the touch of her skin was cold as ice. All of us in the room, including Craig, gathered around her lifeless body.

“My baby, oh, my precious baby!” I screamed as I cuddled her to my bosom.

‘I Could Not Let Her Go’

The nurse came in several times to let us know that they needed to remove China’s body. Seeing not a dry eye in the room, she walked out every time, dropping her head. China lay peacefully, with a smile on her face, her complexion clear and blemish-free—fresh and smooth as a baby’s flesh. I could not let her go. When the nurse finally came to remove her, it was Craig who pried our bodies apart.

Yes, it was Tuesday, November 3, 1992: the day William Jefferson Clinton won the presidential election, and the Tuesday that China wanted to leave. It was 1:05 p.m. when she returned home.

Amazingly, I realized, she had actually known it would be her time. I clearly remembered her words from the previous day or the day before: “No, Mommy, Tuesday. Thursday is too long!”

Daughter is Free, I’m in Pain

I thought she had meant coming back to our home. That had been a mistake. She meant the home from whence she came, our Heavenly Pearly White Gates. She was freed, freed from the diseased relationship, the pain, the struggle, and the evil that had hovered around her in this dark, cruel world. Finally, China was free to live a better life. Throughout her relationship with that disease, she was recognized as having a heart of oak.

As free as China was, my thoughts were not all about relief, far from it. No parent should ever have to bury his or her child. The pain (the ever-intensifying pain!) is unlike anything ever experienced and just breaks your heart. For a parent, the ordeal is totally unbearable. And a parent can literally lose his or her freaking mind. Over the years, the pain never, ever leaves—it only softens.

Blessings in the Tragedy

After China had left, I recalled those words from our Heavenly Father: “Leave, and I’ll be with you.”

The guardian angels stayed beside us until it was time for God’s child to return. Finally, my China got the Father relationship she deserved.

God had given me an opportunity to live a life as a loving and caring parent—for that, I’m truly blessed. Not every person gets the chance to be a parent, and having been one, I’m grateful. I lost her at such an early age. She was just twenty-one years young. When was the last time we (as parents) told our children how much we loved them? That’s something to think about, huh? I lost my little angel to another life. She’s left me with many precious memories. But I’ve found everlasting peace and comfort in knowing the toxic relationship was over, and she’d earned her wings. So, through its string of heartfelt words, I gift my poem: My Little Angel.

My Little Angel, You’re Gone Now

Gone to a place where other Angels will show you the ropes Learn all you can from ’em to quickly earn your wings

Sure, this old world was a destructive place to have lived

But you’re free, as free as an eagle, the sky, the moon, and

the sun


No more worries, no more meds, no more fighting the toxic diseases

And all those ugly things that living here does to one.


My Little Angel, you’re starting life freshly anew

You have an eternal life and such a glorious life

You’re back home, from whence He sent you to me

When we were introduced, I was known as a Mommy figure I named you, raised you, and gave you all my love

Mommies don’t really know it all, but I did the best I knew.


My Little Angel, now that you’re back home, remember

I’ll always embrace your existence on this earth and cherish its memories

I couldn’t have prayed for a greater child than you

Our paths have parted, but that which we shared lives forever.


My Little Angel, life on earth doesn’t remain the same

Your life was short-lived, and that gave us such little time to grow

For now, I’ll learn to be brave and begin to relive

‘Cause I know we’ll reunite in the Hereafter

My Little Angel, just know when I get there, our bond shall forge again.



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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