From Grief To Growth: A Milwaukee Mother Tells All In Her Book About Losing A Child

Feb 18, 2019

It might be cliche to say that Susan Miller dealt with a parent's worst nightmare — but it's also true. Ten years ago, Miller's previously healthy 14-year-old daughter was suddenly diagnosed with a brain tumor and died just days later.

The following decade has been a rollercoaster for Miller and her family, including meeting the woman whose life was saved by her daughter's donated organs. And, then, Susan surviving her own bout with a brain tumor. But Miller's experience, while tragic, also taught her and her family about resilience and, what's known as, post-traumatic emotional growth. 

"Thrive means you deal with what's in front of you and you're honest with yourself and you're authentic and you take the help that people give you and you live the best life you can, even despite life," Miller says.

She discusses how although it was one of the most trying times of her life, she knew she had to move forward.

"As my mother says, 'It is what it is'. It's just a reality. It's a reality of our human existence, and, even though what happened to us was incredibly rare and incredibly dramatic and tragic, it happened and Laura wouldn't have wanted us to stop living," Miller says.

She wrote a book about her experience entitled Permission to Thrive: My Journey from Grief to Growth. Miller will discuss her book Tuesday night at Boswell Book Company. To learn more about organ donation, go here.