death of a child Henry Louis Granju loss

Henry Louis Granju 1991-2010

In memory of Henry Louis Granju

I am new to the mommyblogger world, and as a scholar of literature, I thought it best to do some research before plunging full force into this new endeavor. Thus, last night I began to chart this new terrain and happened upon a story that utterly flattened me:

Henry Louis Granju was the son of Katie Allison Granju, author of Attachment Parenting: Instinctive Care for Your Baby and Young Child and the prominent blog mamapundit: motherhood, and all the rest of it.

This courageous mother has laid bare the details of her son’s drug addiction and chronicled the month she sat vigil by his hospital bed as life, marvelous, joyous, painful, bittersweet, fascinating, complicated life, trickled out from his young body. As I read back through her blog, piecing together the story from a blend of her own words and those of journalists and fellow bloggers, my breath slowed and my heart pounded. Henry’s curly tresses, his piercing eyes, his vivacious spirit — all of this washed over me and left me limp. To think of Katie running her fingers through that splendid head of hair when Henry was but a boy of five and then again when he lay still fighting for his life … there are no words, only prayers. Prayers for Katie, her children (one of whom still swims comfortably in her mother’s womb unaware that her brother’s energy has passed on to a different place), Henry’s father and stepparents, his cousins, aunts, uncles, friends. Prayers for all of us who look at our own children today and weep for joy that we can press our hands against their warm faces, touch our lips upon their downy soft backs, embrace them, love them, nurture them, imbibe their impulsive grasping at life … prayers that we may parent with a consciousness that overrides the daily challenges of raising young children and that we may learn from Henry’s precious life and death so that his passing may not be in vain.

The knowledge that Katie Allison Granju, a writer who cracked open the the world of attachment parenting to many of us mainstream mammas, had to use her exquisite talent for crafting prose to pen her own child’s obituary leaves me breathless. She remembers the act as such: “It was a writing assignment so devastatingly, achingly painful that I can’t even find words to describe it.”

While I envision this blog as a place where we together can steep ourselves in natural parenting, borrow from the Waldorf and Reggio Emilia philosophies, delight in slow living and slow food, meander through aisles of natural toys, consider the importance of play, of family time, of limited television viewing, of reading with our kids, of storytelling and of dancing in our kitchens, I would be remiss if I didn’t memorialize in this blessed moment Henry Louis Granju, a bright spirit whose presence here was far too brief.

One reply on “Henry Louis Granju 1991-2010”

I think this is one of those stories that deep down, I am a little "scared" to read, but I think I "need" to read it as well. Thanks for posting!

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