home · contact


Grandma Michel

Mom's Thoughts After Kristen's Death

Grief reinforced by guilt makes it difficult to understand that what happened to Krissie was inevitable, totally beyond anyone's control. The loss of the physical being of Kristen is to all the loss of a cherished possession, which is what most children are to parents. One day I am sure we will come to understand that we cannot think of our children as possessions or try to possess them. They are only loaned to us for a brief time. We may support them and help mold them, but in the end they must be their own person, fulfilling whatever destiny they have come to earth to fulfill...no matter how full or how empty, how lengthy or brief, or how beautiful or tragic it may be.

Kristen's death has left an unrelenting vacuum in our lives. The sudden separation that death brings to every family is truly unbearable, and I pray that God will give us the strength and understanding to live with our loss.

The house rings with Kristen's presence. Now it is spring again and the park is budding with reminders of happier days. We hope and pray that Kristen's soul will find peace and fulfillment in heaven and the day will come when it will be free to continue its journey to perfection.

Grandma's journal
Spring of 1977


The waves rushed in and took their toll
In their wake, anguish filled my soul.
Where have you gone and why?
Clouds of gray, sheets of mist filled the sky.
You didn't wait to say good-bye.
I searched in vain but could not find,
A trace to ease my troubled mind.
In my despair I turned to prayer
And looked to heaven above,
And there, trailing rainbow colored ribbons in your hair,
You waved good bye with love.

Grandma Michel
November, 1976


This day that was
Has come and gone.
In its place a tree grows strong.
Its leafy arms gracefully sway
As gentle breezes through them play.
The sun beams down,
It's warmth to give...
And the rains, the will to live.
So it is, and life goes on.
A tree now stands where this day has gone.

Grandma Michel
April 19, 1977
Written after Kristen's tree planting ceremony
On her birthday at Helman School, Ashland, Oregon


Dear Krissie,
Thought I'd write you a letter...
Time has dimmed the memory
Of that gray November day.
When God reached down
His loving hand
And carried you away.
I do not know the reason
Why this had to be.
I only know, when my day comes,
Reach out your hand to me.

Grandma Michel
November 13, 1980

Card Cover