Our World Turned Upside Down: Life After the Death of a Child


By Kristi Hay

Kristi Hay suffered the loss of her second child when he was just four days old. Kristi and her husband, along with their elder son, had carefully planned for the family’s new addition. Suddenly, the vision of their family of four was shattered. It was as if their “world had been turned upside down.” The author relates how she and her family found healing with the help of family, friends, and support organizations, and by identifying with others, even well-known figures, who have suffered similar loss. She questioned, yet drew strength from her faith; and through the years, Kristi and her family have found ways to maintain a sense of their second son’s presence in their lives. Kristi continues to work as a Labor & Delivery nurse, uniquely positioned to empathize with other families who suffer similar loss. Part of her redemption is her personal ministry of reaching out to those families to offer insights, both professional and personal.

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In a deeply personal narrative Kristi Hay, RN, describes the loss of her infant son, Aidan, and the effect of his death upon her grieving, close-knit family. She writes candidly and creatively about the depths of pain and loneliness that accompany anniversaries and affect relationships.  Drawing from, among others, the thought of C.S. Lewis and N.T. Wright, she finds the strength of soul to accept, like the Virgin Mary, the loss of a beloved son. In showing that there is no single way of experiencing grief, this Labor and Delivery nurse traces a powerful path from unspeakable sorrow to redemptive healing. It is a rich narrative, especially for families dealing with loss.

Rev. Stephen F. Brett

Chaplain, St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital

Murfreesboro, Tennessee

By recognizing that no two people feel their grief and mourn in the same way, Kristi Hay describes how their family has striven to accept each person’s grief, helping them bond more deeply as a family rather than growing apart.  In this very readable book, the author reaches out to others who have experienced the loss of a child and are coping with their own grief.  A book that moves from utter despair to a pathway towards healing, these pages are an excellent resource for grieving parents and those who seek to support them in their grief and healing journey.

Carol Michler Detmer, Ed. D. (Retired-AAMFT Clinical, LPC)

Retired Marriage and Family Therapist–Grief and Trauma Specialist