Monday, September 5, 2011

Hard Questions

This is the beginning of the story. The story of grief, of journalism, of mental illness, of justice and mercy. I have debated for quite some time about how much or even whether to share this. I hope by sharing my story, I can raise awareness and give hope. This is a poem that has been six years in the making and nearly fifteen years living in my memory.

Grandpa's House

Hard Questions

My mom answered the phone
dropped me at our neighbor's house
and drove across town to her childhood home.
Something was wrong.

Later I learned everything.
My brother, raking their leaves in the front,
turned to continue in the back yard.
He knew, he told me, when he found him.
There was too much blood.

"Your Grandpa is dead," my neighbor wept.
"What do you want to do?"
I went to play in her leaves.

When my mom brought him home
my brother played piano
past my twelve-year-old bedtime.

Mom held me on her lap.
"Do you want to know what happened?"
But she told me
because the local news was carrying the story
and I had school in the morning
and someone would ask,
"Is it really true?"

She told me.
I got sick.


  1. Everybody has a story. Our stories shape us and wound us and heal us and ultimately we give them a place in our lives so that we can be Whole and Authentic. We can make our stories our burden or our strength.

    I think that you choose Strength. " I will lift up my eyes to the hills From whence comes my help. My help comes from the LORD Who made heaven and earth."

    I'm so glad that you are sharing your Story. Honesty and Openness bring Peace.

    I wish you much Joy today, my friend.

  2. Oh this post hurts my heart. I remember once when we played at your Grandfather's house, and I just remember how kind he was. Since my grandparents lived so far away it was nice to see him every once in a while when he would visit your house. He was a wonderful man.

    You and your family were so strong dealing with this. And, I saved the prayer card that you gave me from his service.

    What comes to mind is something that a friend told me. We are eternal creatures and we're just not meant to understand human death. No matter what, it comes too soon. But I rejoice because I know your grandfather would be remarkably proud of the woman of God you've become: a loving wife & mother, raising Peter under God's reign. And I also rejoice, because I know you will one day be reunited with him, in a very eternal place :)

    You're brave for sharing this. Big huge internet hugs being sent your way. Peace be with you <3

  3. @Patti: Thank you. Your support means a lot. I have shared my story with others in the past, but I think each new telling brings more healing. I'm glad you're one of the ones listening.

    @Mlle Michael: Such kind words, I appreciate it. I must say, the times when I am closest to tears are when I wish so much that he could have met my husband and son. But you're right, eventually he will. Such Hope we have! Thanks for the internet hugs. :)