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Episode 13: Show Notes.

Through all of life’s challenges and even the devastating loss of a child, there are always moments of beauty, gratefulness, and hope. Today’s conversation with Nancy Jensen underlines this message emphatically, and our guest is extremely generous with her story and reflections on her relationship with her daughter, Jessica. Nancy explains a little about the devastating diagnosis that Jessica received at birth, and how this impacted her approach to parenting her. We consider this idea of anticipatory grief and the many lessons that Nancy learned through the time that Jessica spent on Earth. In the end, this is a conversation filled with reminders about what is most important and how finding support and solace in surprising places can make all the difference to us during difficult times. This podcast discusses miscarriage, pregnancy, and infant and child loss, so as always, please listen with care.

Key Points from This Episode:

  • Looking at a little of Nancy’s background and family life.
  • Nancy talks about her second child, Jessica, and the heart defects she was diagnosed with at birth.
  • The months preceding Jessica’s first heart surgery, and the stroke she suffered.
  • Jessica’s life at home, the stories and movies she loved, and the activities that lit her up.
  • How therapy and effort improved some of the challenges that Jessica faced.
  • Grieving losses while holding onto small amounts of hope.
  • The game that Nancy devised to underline the positive parts of Jessica’s life.
  • Jessica’s network of inspiration; Nancy talks about how she affected those around her!
  • How Nancy connected with support online in the early 2000s.
  • The feelings that arose in Nancy as she mentally prepared for losing her daughter.
  • Jessica’s last birthday party and Nancy’s wishes for her passing.
  • Hospitalization and in-home hospice, and the final parts of Jessica’s life.
  • The beautiful and tragic last moments that Nancy was able to spend with her daughter.
  • Some of the inspiring things that Jessica said before her passing.
  • The image of the butterfly and Jessica’s promise to her mother.
  • Advice from Nancy to parents about taking it a moment at a time and enduring difficulties.
  • Information about the podcasts and initiatives that Nancy is currently involved with.


“When she was two weeks old, she was diagnosed with several very serious heart defects and that was back in 1988. So she was very sick and was hospitalized and we were devastated.— Nancy Jensen [0:02:31]

“I was terrified I was going to do something wrong, I was going to miss something and she would die because of me.” — Nancy Jensen [0:03:55]

“My husband was never home because he was trying to secure a future for our family, it was hard. The nurses at the hospital became my best friends.” — Nancy Jensen [0:05:48]

“If I need to grieve, I allow myself to grieve but I don’t let it consume me because I have so many beautiful memories. I turn to those and I believe that’s the person that Jessica wants me to remember.” — Nancy Jensen [0:11:22]

Links Mentioned in Today’s Episode:


Bereaved But Still Me

Hearts Unite the Globe

Heart to Heart with Anna

Harry Potter

Lord of the Rings

Pirates of the Caribbean