Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

Over Her Grave


She was barely recognizable.

Her co-worker collapsed, slipping her hand out of mine, at the first glimpse of the flattened body. I tried to remain strong being that I was an assistant to the chaplain in the hospital. Eventually I couldn’t handle the smell of the mashed corpse and the wailing of her loved ones so I released myself from the morgue to sit outside under the African stars. Selah. Breathe. “It’s just a dead body, a shell, the remnants of the life once lived. I’ve seen tons of dead bodies before.” I tried to convince myself that I would be ok, but truthfully, I didn’t think I could sleep with the image of that body lingering in my thoughts.

Vanessa was still in surgery. She hadn’t been told that she was the only survivor. How do you tell a 10-year-old girl that her mother wasn’t lucky enough to get flung out the car, like she did, before the car went head on into a bus? “I will give her a few days to heal and then I will break it to her slowly” I told myself as I trudged back to my apartment.

Days passed and I continued to visit Vanessa while she healed from her major surgery. I quickly fell in love with this little ray of sunshine. We laughed, played, talked, told jokes and prayed together. My heart was getting too close only to, inevitably, break hers.

Finally, it was time to tell her. The other chaplain and I held her hands tight as we gently told her that her mother was dead. The girl didn’t shed a tear. Instead she looked up and told us, “I know she is happy in heaven. She will take care of me from up there.”

Tears strolled down my cheeks. Vanessa began rubbing her thumbs on my hand to comfort me. I should have been the one comforting her.

A few days later she managed to get out of her hospital bed and stand up on her own. With a little help, she wobbled out of the hospital gates, staring back at me to give me one last smile.

She called me right after her mother’s funeral. “Nikole, I just stood over the hole as they put my mother in it.”

“I am sorry my girl.”



amymorros's picture

A Survivor

Thank you for sharing your story on World Pulse. Very moving.


ccontreras's picture


Your story was very powerful, I feel really moved. It is amazing how children have sometimes a different view on life and death, more innocent and pure. I would have started crying just as you did, I think what you do is amazing! Thank you for sharing your story!

"I embrace emerging experience. I am a butterfly. Not a butterfly collector." - Stafford

wairimu's picture

Road accidents are a menace

Road accidents are a menace in Kenya, it is good that you were there for Vanessa.Keep up the spirit.

mystika802's picture

Thank you for sharing this

Thank you for sharing this powerful story. Its amazing how resilient children can be, she was lucky to have you there with her.

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

Face to Face with the U.S. Special Envoy to DRC

Face to Face with the U.S. Special Envoy to DRC

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Highlights of the 2014 World Pulse LIVE Tour

Highlights of the 2014 World Pulse LIVE Tour

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative