Troy mom shares her story of grief


TROY — Tonya Lee Carrie, of Troy, published her short story “I am my Sunny’s Momma and my Mommy’s Daughter,” on Sunday, April 9, on Amazon to honor the one year anniversary of her son’s passing in 2022 and to celebrate the relationships between a mother and child.

Carrie is a motivational and public speaker who has dedicated her life to God and to sharing God’s love with everyone. Her short story is an expression of her grief following the loss of her son and the struggles of caring for her mother who was diagnosed with COVID-19 shortly after Carrie’s son passed away. One of the biggest struggles Carrie faced in caring for her mother was deciding that despite anything her mother did not provide to her as a child, she is her mother and deserves her respect and care.

“What makes this heartfelt short story straight from a mother’s grieving heart is that I was very vulnerable and devastated throughout the process of writing about the loss my 39-year-young son on April, 11, 2022. Symbolically, as if I bled on the pages. Then to almost lose my 86-year-old mother from a near-death fall along with getting COVID the same year…(became unacceptable). It’s my son’s 1st anniversary since transitioning to glory. April 11, 2022. The grief is nothing any parent would ever desire to walk through,” wrote Carrie in a Letter to the editor of Miami Valley Today.

She chose to begin writing the short story as a way to help begin healing from the loss of her son. In her story, she bares her grief to her readers, shares nuggets of wisdom and the passion and love from mother to son and viceversa.

A few of her bits of wisdom shared in her short story are, “hold everything and everybody loosely. Grieving is part of the healing process. Memories are bundles of tiny keepsakes of love.”

Her favorite piece of wisdom she included in her short story is “uncover, recover and discover.”

“Uncover: get honest, get transparent; the more honest we are, the more we can recover. The first word is uncover; get honest with yourself. In that honesty, nobody can just say anything to me and think I’m going to keep being around you,” said Carrie. “A lot of people talk and they don’t even realize they are not sensitive to someone who’s lost someone. That’s one thing I see.”

“The second word is recover. I take responsibility for how I act and how I respond. Well, I’m a very outgoing, extrovert type person. In the grieving process, it has brought me in,” Carrie continued. “It’s a rough ride uphill in the process of grieving, but I hear my son — it’s almost like he’s saying, ‘Keep going. Keep moving’ … the last word is discover. In discovering being honest and taking responsibility, I am discovering that I’ve got something … I’ve always said if you come behind me, you better be ready, because I am. I’m prepared. Success comes when preparation meets opportunity.”

Carrie hopes her story will help her readers recognize themselves in their kids and to continue to foster their relationships with their children. She also wrote this to share her universal message and to touch the hearts of anyone going through grief.

One of the best ways Carrie has found to deal with grief and honor her son is to volunteer on the anniversary of his passing,

“Volunteer on that day they passed away. Do something so you won’t focus on what you don’t have, but what you do have is your life. And in your life, their life lives, and expressing through giving, there’s something about it,” said Carrie.

This past April, on the one year anniversary of her son’s passing, April 11, Carrie volunteered her time to minister at SpringMead Health Center in Tipp City. While there, she conducted room visits with residents to pray and held a special presentation titled “Conversations of Hope With Tonya.” Volunteering at SpringMead Health Center was extra special to Carrie, as it is where her mother now resides.

Carrie is open to sharing her testimony with anyone who wants to listen and can be reached at [email protected]. She is also on YouTube offering more bits of wisdom and love at Carrie’s short story can be purchased on Amazon Kindle at

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