'They miss their mom. They want their mom," Diann Aldridge says of her slain daughter's kids
Nykea Aldridge was killed in gang-related crossfire in Chicago while pushing her baby in a stroller
Losing a child is more than most parents can bear.
But having to explain the loss to your grandchildren can be just as heartbreaking.
“They cry to each other,” Diann Aldridge told CNN’s Rachel Crane after her daughter Nykea Aldridge was killed Friday in gang-related crossfire in Chicago while pushing her baby in a stroller.
The baby was unharmed, but Nykea’s four children will grow up without a mother.
“It just hurts to hear kids saying they want their mom and their mom won’t be in their lives anymore,” the grandmother told Crane on Sunday, fighting back tears. “Only through spirit, only through pictures – that’s the only way they will know their mom for the rest of their lives.”
Nykea Aldridge, a cousin of NBA star Dwyane Wade, died less than an hour after sustaining a pair of gunshot wounds, the result of two paroled brothers with gang ties opening fire in the street.
Her death refocused attention on Chicago’s epidemic of deadly gun violence and even became an issue in the presidential campaign when GOP nominee Donald Trump referenced it on Twitter.
But for Diann Aldridge, it brings unimaginable personal sorrow.
“It’s just heartbreaking. It’s really – oh, God, it’s heartbreaking,” she told Crane. Her daughter’s three older children are 12, 10 and 8.
“They tell each other, you know, they miss their mom. They want their mom.”
Wade, a 12-time All-Star guard who recently left the Miami Heat to sign with his hometown Chicago Bulls, mourned his cousin’s passing on Twitter.
Police have charged Darwin Sorrells Jr., 26, and Derren Sorrells, 22, with first-degree murder and first-degree attempted murder.
Somehow, Aldridge finds mercy for her daughter’s killers.
“I truly, truly from the bottom of my heart, I forgive them. I forgive them,” she said. “I can’t bring her back, but I forgive them.”