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Perspective: Weathering the cold through connections


I recently registered one of my children for a local grief support group to process the death of their father last March. They don’t know anyone else who has lost a parent — at least not anyone else their age. But I wanted to make sure that they had an opportunity to know that they aren’t alone and that other children have experienced what they have been through.

(I am using gender-neutral pronouns because I have more than one child, and my children’s privacy has become more important to me as they have gotten older. Having grown up with a writer-mom, my own privacy often was not sacred while I was growing up).

I am not a psychologist, but I believe that knowing that we are not alone in whatever problems we are facing is a fundamental part of facing our troubles. When my ex died, I turned to a friend whose partner died the same way to understand how to cope with all of it.

When I publish a news story that I put my whole self into reporting, it’s rare for someone to reach out compared to the times that I’ve poured my heart out to the world. When I wrote my first personal essay, my social media inbox became a sort of confessional for people going through the same thing.

In February, it gets easy to feel isolated and alone. But if you can find one more person who feels that way, it could save a life.

I’m Nia Norris and that’s my perspective.

Originally from Pittsburgh, Nia Springer-Norris moved to DeKalb in 2021 to pursue a Master of Arts in Communication Studies with an emphasis on Journalism Studies. Nia is also a freelance journalist, editor, and communication consultant.