This is the third of three interview segments that took place in the homes of parents whose children died traumatic deaths. Each excerpt illustrates a theme described in the text.

A mother tells why she felt she that she could not "break down" after her three year old child drowned …..


RO: Well, when you, we had a phone call and I kinda told you what this was about and I sent the letter and explained a little bit, what were your feelings, reactions?

VK: Ah, it's about time. I thought that, you know, I think they should have done a follow up on that a long time ago. For people that are uneducated as far as emotional help. I always knew that it was out there and that I could go get it, and, you know, my husband's family, they always seen all that and knew where to get it and, but some people don't. Because they don't know that it's there and some people don't realize that they need help. [end of first side] And then, I knew I needed help, I just didn't, I didn't deal with it in terms of going to a physician. I dealt with it myself. Myself, self help, I guess.

RO: That's what I hear. Yeah. I hear you saying that for two years you just tried to put it aside in order to kinda hold everything together.

VK: I knew that I couldn't break down because I knew that the family, what we had left, would just dwindle down to nothing. I knew that if I didn't hold on, there wouldn't be anything. And I still feel that way today. That I couldn't let go, that ...

RO: There was a real desperation there.

VK: Determination. [10]

RO: And determination. Yes. Well, talk to me about the help that you think you still need.

VK: {Sniffling} Well, {sigh} the anxiousness, I guess. I don't know if that's just my personality or else seems like it's caused from that, or, I'm just real anxious.