Loretta Lynn Remembers Late Daughter on 9th Anniversary of Death: ‘There’s No Pain Like It’

by Jim Casey

Few country artists can claim a career spanning 50-plus years, but Loretta Lynn, 90, can . . . and then some. She’s been a musical force since releasing her debut album, Loretta Lynn Sings, in 1963. However, Loretta Lynn was just 16 years old when she gave birth to the first of her six children with husband Oliver “Doolittle” Lynn. The couple’s first child, Betty Sue Lynn, was born in November 1948.

Of course, Loretta wouldn’t release her debut album until more than 15 years later in 1963. And by that time, Loretta and Doolittle had welcomed three more children—Jack (1949), Ernie (1951), and Cissie (1952). Twins Peggy Jean and Patsy were born in 1964.

Unfortunately, two of Loretta’s children have passed away. Jack, 34, drowned in 1984, and Betty Sue, 63, died of complications from emphysema on July 29, 2013.

On the ninth anniversary of Betty Sue’s death today, Loretta shared a heartfelt post about her first-born child across Instagram with four accompanying photos.

Loretta: ‘There’s No Pain Like It’

“She was first. It was Betty Sue who made me a momma,” wrote Loretta via Instagram. “I was just 16 when she was born and three more weren’t too far behind her. Those early days were full and long. Keeping house, working the garden, and keeping up with the little ones was more than a full time job. Betty Sue became a little boss to the next three! She was feisty, she was fun and in many ways it felt like we raised each other! Over the years Betty Sue worked with me a lot with the ranch and entertaining. She was an amazing songwriter, too. She loved people, she loved to cut up and she had fun wherever she was. And she had a heart of gold and she thought everyone was important. People nor animals neither one went hungry if Betty Sue knew. She was just good to people—no matter who they were or what they had going on. She loved her little junk shop and visiting with everyone that stopped by. We talked on the phone every day and saw each other a lot when I was home off the road.”

“It felt like part of my heart died when she left us,” continued Loretta. “I hated seeing her sick, but I didn’t want to let her go. She was more than a daughter; she was a best friend. She’s been gone for nine years and it feels like I haven’t seen her or heard her voice in forever. How I’d love to sit down with her to talk a while, laugh, and sing together just one more time. Betty Sue was 63 when we lost her but that doesn’t matter to a momma. Young or old, no parent should ever have to bury a child. I’ve buried two of mine and there’s no pain like it. Make peace today, forgive each other, slow down and make time for each other, spend time together, say, “I love you”. You always think you have the time until you don’t. Momma loves and misses you, Betty Sue.”