Pain and a Pen: Love Note

12 Oct

Sometime on the morning of October 3, my grandmother had a stroke. Grandma Knox had been in poor health for a while, and the stroke was more than even her resilient, stubborn body could take. She went home early Tuesday morning, surrounded by sons and daughters and grand kids. I know it’s hard for most everyone to loose a grandparent, even when they’ve lived a long life and we know the end is right around the corner.

I love Grandma very much. And this was a pretty difficult ordeal for me, just as it was for the rest of the family. Difficult because I love her, difficult because I watched her suffer through her final days–days where every breath was a painful marathon for her, and difficult because I promised my Grandpa just before his own death that I’d care for her when he was gone. Mostly, though, it was tough because I didn’t want to let go.

During the three days where so many were gathered at her bedside, day and night, to comfort her as she walked into the next journey, I found myself tuned in with a pen. It was an outlet for the myriad of emotions I was experiencing, and it gave Grandma one final voice–at least through my perspective. So, I committed to opening up and being an instrument for the words that seemed to want to be born through me. I captured most of them in the back of Grandma’s last journal, a spiral notebook with a blue and brown floral pattern hardcover.

Now, maybe in my last therapeutic grieving step, I’ll share them with you. If you’re in the Knox family, you may have already read some of these. I will post one at a time, in chronological order, every day or so, over the next few. Each will come with a  short preface giving some context. I hope they’re helpful, or at least interesting.

Number One.

I had an opportunity to spend a couple hours alone with Grandma late one night after the stroke. This is when it really sunk in that she was dying before my eyes. I held her hand tightly, and cried a lot by her side. And I wrote this, and read it to her softly:

Love Note

you are going
through the door
jiggling the handle.

be rested
be peace
along this anxious journey.

wrapped in a blanket
of love
and life lived long.

the circle has no end
just new beginnings
laying the path
as you walk it.

take with you this kiss
and grip tight my hand
my love wells up as a fountain.

update: the rest

Part 2: Onward

Part 3: Home

Part 4: Barbed-wire Sunset

Part 5: The Wake

The Pain and a Pen Collection in PDF


Posted by on October 12, 2009 in Family, poetry, writing


Tags: , , , ,

2 responses to “Pain and a Pen: Love Note

  1. Sarah McAreavey

    October 14, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Thanks for sharing! It’s still hard….


  2. Kelly

    October 15, 2009 at 2:21 pm

    Somehow you were gifted with the voice for all of us in this wonderful, terrible experience. Thanks for sharing those inner thoughts with the world so others can “know” Grandma. Your words have captured our feelings. Reading them makes it easier for me somehow… Grandpa would be proud.
    Love you,


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