Seeing her children smile again

Nicole Puente
Nicole Puente spends quality time with her son, Andre (left) and daughter, Audriana.
HONOLULU – Nicole Puente is the first to admit that her divorce six years ago from her children’s father wasn’t easy on them.

It pains them still.

But the 35-year-old patient-care representative for a local hospital insists that staying in an abusive relationship for the sake of her two children — Audriana,13, and Andre, 11 — was not an option.

“I needed as much help as possible for all of us to understand that the divorce was permanent,” Puente said, referring to the role Kids Hurt Too Hawaii played in bringing solace to her children.

“Kids Hurt Too Hawaii helped them to see that they weren’t by themselves,” Puente said. “They saw other kids going through the same situation. It made them more aware of their feelings and helped them better express their feelings.”

Puente’s two children are among the more than 250 grieving children, between ages 3 and 19, who every year turn to Kids Hurt Too Hawaii for a safe space to express feelings about their loss of a parent to such factors as divorce, death and incarceration.