While getting ready to take my boys to baseball practice, I loaded the four kids in the car and then quickly ran back into the house to feed the dog and grab my purse. Gone less than a minute, I came back out to the car to find this.  sadiesugar

She had gotten into a container of sugar and was making designs in the pile of shiny white granules while licking her fingers.  She then looked at me and politely asked if she could throw the dog out the window.  What had just happened, I wasn’t sure!


While taking it all in,  another child was sobbing because he couldn’t find his baseball mitt and little guy was in the back screaming “melmo, melmo” repeatedly, begging to watch Elmo on the movie player. My little red-head then let out an ear pinching squeal.  I looked back just in time to see his soda overflowing all over the backseat and onto the floor, leaving a sticky trail.  After retrieving  a towel, I cleaned up the mess, got in my seat,  took a deep breath and told myself, “The only thing to do is to laugh.”  Yes, with difficulty, I successfully contained my anger.

If this was any indication how the rest of the day would go, I didn’t know if I had it in me, as it had already been a long day.

Well, I am pleased to say the day didn’t get any worse. However, for some the darkest days had just arrived, as this past couple of weeks triggered a forefront of emotions for me. Hearing of devastating losses in my old community as well as in the Midwest, it was a strong reminder about how fragile life is. My heart just broke, knowing that dark, empty, hopeless pain these newly grieving families are experiencing.  Such a lonely feeling.

Parents mourning the loss of their children due to sudden and traumatic ways, brought back vivid memories to me, knowing the helpless feeling all too well.  There are no words for the unimaginable. Never in a million years would I have dreamed this would have happened to my daughter or my family, forever changing our lives. No one would ever be the same.

It made me think back to those early days after losing Lydia and what helped me through. Who did God place in my life at the right time?  Six years ago, it never even occurred to me that I could lose a child. I mean, I always knew about life and death, but such accidents and tragedies didn’t happen to people like me, or people I know.  It just didn’t happen.   Well, news flash. It DOES happen and we never know when, where, and sometimes why .  There is no way to prepare for the heartbreak and devastation.  In hindsight, I clearly see God’s workers;  angels that were placed in my life at the right moments. One being a special nurse who was by my side at the hospital that life changing day.

A few months after the accident, I returned to work.  Waiting for me in my mailbox, was a pretty baby blue envelope addressed to me.  I opened it and read a few of her words…”I am so sorry for your loss. My heart broke for you that day and I will never forget you and the pain you and your family are going thru. That day changed my life, my nursing approach and my realization that life is not fair.“  

It was from one of the ER nurses that were with me. Although I do not remember who she was, she was there. She treated my injuries, listened to my horrible screams when I received the news, and cared enough to send that card.

Immediately, the tears of sorrow began.  For the next few months, I would open it up first thing when I arrived at work and read those words  which would resonate within me the entire day.

This letter I kept in my purse for five years, yes, five years, reading it at just the right moments.  It was those times where I wanted to give up but needed some encouragement and hear that someone else’s life was impacted by my loss.  Now, having been working on writing my memoir, it came to me a few months ago.

I need to write to this woman to thank her for her compassion and simple words that meant so much and kept me going when I struggled to continue.

Not speaking to her or seeing her since that horrific day, I knew I must contact her to let her know how much that card had meant and still means to me to this day.

So I wrote a letter to her, thanking her for her compassion and told her of the immense impact her thoughtfulness and kind words had on me.

I didn’t know if she still lived at return address that was on the envelope, after all  five years is a long time. Well, after about six weeks, I received an email from her. She had gotten my letter, however, it was not an easy journey.  She had moved a couple of years earlier and due to the kindness of the others, the letter was forwarded to her at her new residence.

She was so happy to hear from me and stated that she often wondered how I was doing. Her life was different now, but she was doing well.  She was pleased to hear of the amazing blessings that have come into my life since then, which showed her the power a little hope can bring.

Maybe we will meet again one day, but for now, we will exchange kind words, holiday cards and life stories.  I am so thankful that she will be contributing to my memoir by sharing her experience with me that devastating day.  After reading her recent email which illustrated my daughter’s death from her point of view, a nurse tending to a mother’s tragedy, pierced my heart and was difficult to read, yet filled my soul with God’s love.   Here’s a brief excerpt of her words

“I will NEVER forget the horrifying sound of Daphne crying over the loss of her daughter Lydia. Still to this day, I cry when I think of it. It broke my heart! I still remember her wheeling out to go home from the ED and her head was down and I felt such pain and sorrow for her.  I mailed Daphne a card shortly after. I had never done that before to a patient. Maybe it is because I had never been so moved emotionally before like I was with Daphne. I was a newer mom with a 1 year old. I had fertility issues and wanted my child so badly and went thru a lot to have her. I kept thinking that I could never live with the pain I somehow felt she was living with, by the loss of her daughter. “

While we may never realize, it’s pretty incredible how our experiences impact others. Hearing her side put everything into perspective. It wasn’t only about me.

I cannot emphasize the incredible importance of people like her.  Please pray for those who are the first responders, the officers at the scene, paramedics, firemen, emergency room workers, and chaplains and more. For these are truly God’s workers who serve others with all their heart. The situations they face day after day, is no small feat. Heroes they are, so deserving of our gratitude.

Consider the power and impact that a few words can make in someone’s life. Take the time to send that card, email, or quick note.  It could be the difference they have been waiting for and forever change the course of their life.


18 thoughts on “The Day My Daughter Died-The Blessing of a Nurse

  1. This is so beautiful! When my son had his accident, the entire staff at the hospital right down to the maintenance men were wonderful. I went and got all their names yesterday so that I can send them a card of thanks and gratefulness. I will continue to pray for you.

    1. What a wonderful thing to do. I have realized that even after five years, it’s never too late to say thank you and let them know just how appreciated they are. So sorry to share this journey with you. God Bless you.

  2. Ever so true, Daphne! Sometimes a very few words speak volumes and can be heard forever! Peace and happiness to you and your family!

    1. Oh, thanks for reading Brenda..I’ve found in my last few years the true impact of few words. Very thankful for the kind gestures of others. Hope you and family are doing well!

  3. I am especially glad that the woman to wrote to you was a nurse. Nurses are at the site of patient grief, pain, both good news and bad. They truly care for their patients but most times they take the deep feeling home with them and rarely share their feelings with those they care for. What a special person your nurse was to send that note to you.

    1. Marianna-You are so right. Nurses are a unique and special kind. I am so grateful for her for sharing those moments with me and opening her heart. I have a new found admiration and respect for these amazing people. Thank you !

  4. Dear Daphne,
    I am so glad to meet you! I am a new follower so I have lots of catching up to read, but I gather you have lost a child and I am so sad for your loss! There is an instant understanding between moms who lose a child and we are bonded for life. Our days are forever marked by loss, but both of us wish to record the blessings so that others may know. Thank you for sharing in my blogs as well. As an author, I wish to encourage you on your writing journey. I wrote a book, or rather God wrote a book thru me after I lost my son to suicide. Co-writing helped relieve so much pain and help others find the words they could not say. God is in this mess with us! Continued blessings, Gracie

    1. Gracie,
      I enjoyed reading your blog and seeing how God has impacted your life since losing your son. I am eager to write my book and to share God’s work as well since losing my daughter. What a wonderful, brave, and inspiring thing you have done. I look forward to reading your work. Blessings to you as well!

    1. Angleia, Thanks so much for your kind words. Words are impacting and life changing and we never know just how much then mean to others! God Bless you and your work as well!

  5. Daphne, I was very touched by this post. I’m glad I had a chance to visit your blog. Thank you for subscribing to mine.
    It has been many years since my son died. I received some wonderful notes and was numb with grief, at the time. I put everything into a box that sat in my closet for decades. 18 years ago, I decided it was time to revisit my grief and write about my loss. I opened the box and marveled at the outpouring. Even though I was numb at that time, I remembered how much it helped me.
    Perhaps the lesson from grief is one of transferring it to others – I have found myself reaching out to other bereaved people, just as certain people helped me long ago.
    I hope to continue doing that with my songs and music. I offer hope because I never believed I would feel peaceful after losing my child. He is always my angel and holding my hand. Lydia is next to you, too.

    1. Hi Judy! Thanks so much for finding me also. I am so sorry about the loss of your son. I’m glad you have taken to writing about it and you are so right, reaching out to others and finding that connection with others who have endured such a devastating loss really helps. I look forward to following your journey. Hugs to you!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s