Books·Canadian

Mourning Has Broken

A memoir by Canadian radio personality Erin Davis.

Erin Davis

On the morning of May 11, 2015, Erin Davis, one of Canada's most beloved radio personalities, suffered a devastating blow when her daughter Lauren, who had marked a joyous Mother's Day with her husband and young son only hours before, failed to awaken to her baby's cries.

Thus began Erin's journey of grieving out loud with her family, friends and listeners, and of demonstrating by example how to pick up and keep going after suffering the worst loss a parent can endure.

For months after Lauren's heart stopped beating, the reason for which the coroner said might never be known, Erin would awaken from a restless night's sleep and look at the clock wondering, Is this the time she died? How could a mother sleep through the night when a part of herself had been torn from this life? How did my heart not stop too? she wondered. (from HarperCollins)

Our hearts were full of excitement the morning of May 9, 2015, as we boarded a plane bound for Jamaica to host the winners of an annual contest on Toronto adult contemporary radio station 98.1 CHFI. Trip winners were to arrive the next day, but my husband, Rob, and my radio partner and our producer were being given a chance to settle in and become familiar with the all-inclusive luxury hotel a day in advance. The tradition was to greet our listeners with big hugs, cool towels and cocktails as they emerged from their air-conditioned buses at the resort. It was almost always a highlight of these events.

On a few listener trips, we'd been lucky enough to bring our little daughter along, and I'd even tried to entice her as an adult to come with us for extra hands-on help. But this year in particular, she had her own hands full at home with her new seven-month-old son.

That was fine with me. I knew that when the week was over and we were on our drive home from the airport to our cottage (probably in the dark), the journey would be brightened by a long phone conversation with Lauren, catching up on her week's adventures with Colin and Phil and bringing her up to speed on our trip. And we always had countless emails and texts; her last text had reminded me to have fun and be sure to have "a virgin piña colada for me." That was the plan, anyway. The best part of coming home from a trip was always knowing that Lauren — at any age at all — was waiting to see us or talk to us. Every ending was a new beginning.

Ask any mother if her child is special, gifted or extraordinary in some way (or many) and there's little chance you'll get any response other than "of course!" Even that one on the playground who insists on celebrating the perfect fit of finger and nostril at every opportunity — as well as the child whose knack for public meltdowns makes every outing seem like a (tenser) sequel to the bomb-defusing scenes in The Hurt Locker — has a mother, father or grandparent who will attest to just how amazing that child is.

It will come as no surprise that Rob and I were pretty much in awe of our offspring too. And now that we count our time without her not in weeks or months but in years, we have come to adore her even more, if that's at all possible. As the saying goes, hindsight may indeed be 20/20; there is a certain amount of gentle airbrushing that the heart and mind undertake when remembering someone who was so loved.


From Mourning Has Broken by Erin Davis ©2019. Published by HarperCollins.


On May 11, 2015, life changed dramatically for broadcaster, Erin Davis, who was in Jamaica for work, and picked up the phone to learn her 24-year-old daughter, Lauren, had died. Lauren had awoken in the night to feed her baby, and in the morning, her husband found her lifeless body in their bed. No cause of death has ever been determined. The death made news across the country as Erin was a long-time radio personality in Toronto and Lauren was a news radio anchor in Ottawa. Now, in a new book entitled "Mourning Has Broken," Erin Davis writes about her experience with grief and how her family learned to reclaim the joy in their lives. 12:08
Erin Davis was in Jamaica for work when she got the call that her 24-year-old daughter, and new mother, Lauren, had died. Her new book 'Mourning Has Broken' tells the story of the family's grieving process, and path to reclaiming joy. 11:03