Jayson Greene with his daughter, Greta.

Jayson Greene with his daughter, Greta.

How do you recover from losing a child?

Pitchfork’s Jayson Greene knows firsthand.

His 2-year-old daughter, Greta, died in 2015 after being struck by a chunk of brick that fell off an apartment building.

The tragedy sent him through unexpected stages of emotion, and connected him to other parents on the path to healing.

In Greene’s new memoir, Once More We Saw Stars, he writes about the life of his daughter, and the life he’s living after her death. Here’s a selection:

By the age of 2, your child is a person — she has opinions and fixed beliefs, preferences and tendencies, a group of friends and favorite foods. The three of you have inside jokes and shared understandings, and you speak in family shorthand. The part of you that used to keep calculating the odds of your child’s continued existence has mostly fallen dormant. It is no longer useful to you; it was never useful to the child; and there is so much in front of you to do.

What happens to this sense when your child is swiftly killed by a runaway piece of your everyday environment, at the exact moment you had given up thinking that something could take all of this away at any moment? What lesson do your nerve endings learn? Sitting at the foot of my daughter’s hospital bed, I am too numb to absorb any of this. But I will, soon.

We talk with Greene and others about grieving the loss of a child — and the possibilities for reclaiming hope, and even joy, after such a devastating experience.

Show produced by Denise Couture.


  • Jayson Greene Author of "Once More We Saw Stars"; @Jayson_Greene
  • David Kessler Grief expert; founder of grief.com; author of numerous books, including two with psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross; @IamDavidKessler
  • Dianne Gray Grief and hospice expert; board member, the Elisabeth Kübler-Ross Foundation; @DianneBGray

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