RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- A Raleigh child therapist said her lines were flooded with calls after the tragedy at the Christmas Parade.
She knew it was time to do something, so she helped organize a community conversation Tuesday night inside Nash Hall at the Church on Morgan Street.
"I think these are hard conversations about the death of a child," said Jennifer Birch, who's also a mom of four. "Our hope was to make this conversation a little easier."
She handed out children's books at the event, which was attended by about 20 people.
Her advice is to leave space for your children to ask hard questions and remember not every child is going to respond the same way.
"Not every child is going to go through grief, but if you notice these signs and symptoms, then that is when it is helpful to seek professionals," she said. "Our job as parents is to really be aware of whether our children are in a place of connection or in a place of protection."
She's been bringing her four children to the parade since they were little
"So this wasn't even on our radar that something like that could happen," she said. "I think everyone understandably has been shocked and really think through how to process this."
Audrey Vallone looked away from most of the news as a way to process what happened.
She is an aunt to many who are around the same age as Hailey Brooks. the 11-year-old who died when she was struck by an out-of-control truck pulling a parade float.
"A lot of them are 11 years old or younger," Audrey said. "They're so innocent and sweet and you don't want anything bad to happen to them ever. If that were to happen, a part of you dies with that."