(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)
NOEL KING, HOST:
It's Friday, which means it's time for StoryCorps. Today we have a hard conversation. It's about suicide. Sylvia Grosvold was 5 1/2 years old when her mother died. Ten years later, she came to StoryCorps with her dad, Josh Weiner, to talk about that day.
SYLVIA GROSVOLD: I pretty clearly remember going to school. And mom would always walk me inside to the classroom. And this day, she walked me onto the playground, and then she said I could go in by myself if I wanted. And I felt so grown up. And I didn't give her a hug that day, and I didn't say goodbye. And I got into the classroom, and I immediately started crying. And I ran back out, but by that time, she was gone. I just felt so guilty that I hadn't given her one last hug.
JOSH WEINER: I remember getting the call from the office that she had not picked you up. In those first year or two after your mom died, I just remember feeling helpless - you know, like there's nothing I can do to fix this. Do you remember when I apologized to you for throwing away...
SYLVIA: For throwing away the note.
SYLVIA: Yeah because I learned that some people write suicide notes. And I was like, where's mom's? I really wanted to read that for a long time.
WEINER: I know. And I felt really bad. But I think I was just so angry when I read that.
SYLVIA: I mean, I totally understand why you did it.
WEINER: Do you remember how when you were little, you would look up at the moon?
WEINER: And you would say, oh, mom's up there on the moon.
SYLVIA: I had this whole story about how she lived in a city on the moon. We had that bathroom window that opened up and didn't have a screen. And you could see the moon perfectly from there, and so I'd look out the window and talk to her.
WEINER: So what would you want your mom to know about you now?
SYLVIA: I'd want her to know my personality. And I would want her to know how tall I am. I'm almost taller than you, and I don't know where I get being tall from. It's not like our family is giant.
WEINER: I think she would be very proud of you. Is there anything that you've learned about yourself?
SYLVIA: I've learned a lot about death and dealing with it because I struggled with that for so long. I couldn't go to sleep. I didn't want you to leave because I was worried something would happen. But one time, I was at camp, and we were supposed to say our biggest fear. And I was, like, death. Hold up. Wait, that's not my biggest fear anymore.
SYLVIA: So I guess I'm stronger than I think I am.
(SOUNDBITE OF CHRIS ZABRISKIE'S "THAT KID IN FOURTH GRADE WHO REALLY LIKED THE DENVER BRONCOS")
SYLVIA: That was Josh Wiener with his daughter, Sylvia Grosvold. Their story is part of StoryCorps's Road to Resilience Project. It uses storytelling to help kids cope with the death of a parent or loved one. If you or someone you know is in crisis, you can call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.