Building a House of LOVE
by Nancy Grason -- images by Max Haynes

Gone is a house that was on a lot near our home, torn down for development. If your drove by today you would never know there was a house, a family or at one time a “home” on this piece of dirt with tall summer weeds.

It came to me that upon seeing this now empty lot, that if Peter and I don’t speak, volunteer and do things in memory of our son, it would never be known Joel Albert Grayson exists. He was born, he died and it’s a beautiful truth he is our child and we are his parents forever.

I remember speaking with a woman that quietly mentioned her daughter had died. “When” I asked? “Oh, many years ago”, she said. I then asked, “What is the child’s name”, and the mother hesitated for an uncomfortable amount of time, and then apologized, as she had not spoken her daughter’s name out loud in years. Knowing at this time I would not hear about her dear daughter, this mother in her silence had given me a gift...This will never be our story - Joel’s mom will not pause. His name will be spoken often and always with my love.

Years later the lessons are many. Facilitating grief support group meetings and volunteering for MISS in the State of Idaho, we have served hundreds of families, and listened to many stories. Always respecting that the worse grief, is your very own. I repeat to parents new in grief, to try and separate your child from how they died, and remember they are sons and daughters long before ‘the cause of death’. Embrace your parenthood, despite the situation. Build on to your house of love, the love for your child, your memories and dreams.

To my son, Joel - I love being your mom.
Dad & I are dreaming of you in Camp Heaven!
See you when we get there! MOM

Dear God - Could we have a Polaroid. Please!!!


Images loaned by ‘Camp Heaven’ creator: Max Haynes Camp Heaven LINK - Visit Camp Heaven today!

About the Author
Nancy and Peter Grayson - Joel's Mom & Dad
MISS Foundation Idaho programs:
Mothers and Dads in Sympathy & Support
Children of HOPE, KISS kids, Grief Happens for teens 208.861.2407

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