Susan Austin Short shares her grief journey after the death of Emma Hope, her daughter who had Down Syndrome. Emma narrates the first part of this story, presumably from heaven. They walk together through her mom's pregnancy, Emma's short life on earth, and her death. In the second part of this story, Susan shares excerpts from her journal entries after Emma's death. During every stage of her mom's grief, Emma shares her unique perspective and insight into what her mom is experiencing.
The journal writing helped Susan to stay on track in more ways than one. Most obviously, it helped her to process and work through her feelings at different stages of grief. She could share every emotion in the pages of her journal and not worry about hurting anyone's feelings-she could be herself. Her journal was a friend who did not judge or have a vested interest in her getting better, being happy, or even moving on. She could see that she was making progress, that things were changing, and that life continued.