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Written by Vicki Hinze

On August 11, 2021


Noteworthy Article


Breakdown, Vicki Hinze, one incident changed everything, debra webb, vicki hinze, peggy webb, regan black


One Incident Changed Everything–Twice


Death and loss and grief impact us in different ways but the burden is always a heavy one.  We struggle with healing, with feeling normal or even letting light penetrate the veil of darkness that enshrouds us. 


No one is immune from the effects of death or loss.  No one escapes the trials and burdens of grief.  As adults, we struggle.  But for children the burdens are in ways even heavier and more confusing.  Most don’t fully understand the finality of death.  Children are young and inexperienced and most things are new and different to them.  So too is death and loss. 


When death or loss occurs as a result of violence, for most kids, that too is a new and different experience.  Parents and caregivers typically do their best to shield children from those harsh realities.  When the death or loss happens in their presence, kids are as shocked and as terrified as adults.  They lack the coping skills of older people who have had more experience at coping, so the kids look to adults they trust to see how they should react to the event, to death, and to loss.


It’s been said that kids learn what they live. There’s a lot of wisdom in that. They also learn from those they trust and how those people react.  If a parent or trusted one reacts well, the child will take cues and react well.  If the adult does not, the child will follow that lead.


After a tragedy, children need information and tools.  To know it’s okay to be sad. To miss the person who has died.  To heal, and recover, and continue on with life.  They need to know that it is okay to laugh and play and be happy again. That it is not an insult to the person no longer there.  They need to know that life goes on, as it has and will in the future.

With grief typically comes guilt.  For smiling again. For going a whole day without thinking of the departed.  For feeling happy.  For some, they feel guilty that they survived while others died.  Especially if they were responsible for the departed’s safety.

The emotions that come with death and grief are harsh, merciless and few escape them.  Striving for perspective is a struggle and a journey.  But we make it.  At first, the pain of loss is such a shock, so intense, we feel we’re ripping apart inside.  Rightly or wrongly, we regret everything we did or didn’t do.  We buckle under the weight of what ifs or I wish I had, and our souls cry for just five more minutes with that person, for one chance to change something, anything and cheat death.

With time, the numbness of shock wears off, and we grind through all that to acceptance.  We adjust.  And we ache.  But we go on, and one day we see the sunshine and don’t curse it as being arrogant for daring to shine when we’re in such a dark place.  We hear laughter and aren’t appalled by it but intrigued to see what brought that joy.  In other words, we crawl out of the dark abyss of grief and rejoin the world of the living.  That too can make us feel guilty.  Make us question whether or not we deserve more life.  We do, and eventually we accept that and we do recreate our life and go on.  We don’t forget, but we do move forward and live.

Read More…

Breakdown Series

The Breakdown series consists of 4 novels and 4 prequels:



breakdown series, vicki hinze, debra webb, peggy webb, regan black

The novels are best read in order.

About Her Deepest Fear, Vicki’s Prequel.  (What brought Dana to Shutter Lake):

THE BREAKDOWN DEEPENS… Seven years ago, Dr. Dana Perkins, a psychologist who elects to teach kindergarten, suffered a traumatic experience at school in Phoenix. Everything in her told her to leave the school and find shelter.  But Dana knew that was the last thing her students needed…and their needs must supersede her own.  So she stayed until the end of the school year, giving the students the tools they needed to overcome the trauma they all had endured.  But that effort was not without personal costs.  Ones that forever changed Dana’s life…

Short Read.

What is the one moment in time that forever changed your life?

This is the story of that moment in the life of Dana Perkins.  Where her life and purpose were defined, and she had to choose to stay on her current path or risk everything for one that would challenge and fulfill her in ways, at the beginning, she couldn’t even imagine.

Get Her Deepest Fear

So Many Secrets Novel.

THE BREAKDOWN DEEPENS… Seven years ago, Dr. Dana Perkins came to idyllic Shutter Lake seeking safety from a traumatic experience in Phoenix. She became the principal at Shutter Lake School—and found her refuge . . . until Sylvia Cole was killed and one of Dana’s best and brightest students, Vinn Bradshaw, confessed to the murder. A murder Dana is certain he didn’t commit. But who is he protecting? Why? Seeking the truth shatters Dana’s safety. Yet who could have predicted proving Vinn innocent would jeopardize her friends and neighbors . . . and expose so many secrets?

Get Breakdown Books


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