My beautiful friend Katie Granju is living every parent’s nightmare. Last night, she lost her eighteen-year-old son to complications stemming from a drug overdose coupled with a brutal assault. As I expressed in a recent post called The Trail, no amount of effort, dedication, or planning can prepare us for every single scenario that’s out there. The same holds true for parenting. All we can do is all we can do. The rest is up to someone else. Katie was reminded of this the hard way.
Still, she decided to detail every step of her family’s hellish journey in hopes that their story would serve as a grim example from which the rest of us could learn. Her platform became enormous as tens of thousands of people waited for her every post with bated breath. Her virtual community of readers cried tears that were real as they prayed alongside Katie and her family for the miracle that never happened.
But what did happen was a healthy conversation which encouraged all of us to tackle the issue of drugs with our children even more aggressively than we already were. A few cowards anonymously sprang from the woodworks during those conversations to sling their putrid arrows of insecure hatred, but Katie didn’t care. Perhaps because she knew the overwhelming majority of her readers saw her for what she is–an incredible mom turned heartbroken hero, tenaciously fighting for her son to the bitter end while simultaneously contributing to the greater good of her community, both virtual and real.
Thanks to Katie’s candor, bravery, and incredible writing, Henry’s legacy will live forever, and lives will be saved.
I strongly encourage each of you (particularly my Knoxville peeps) to read this post by fellow Knoxville blogger Shane Rhyne, who works with Katie at Ackerman PR. He details how you can reach out and help Katie and her family during this devastating time.
May God reveal the perfect path of healing to both of Henry’s biological parents, Katie and Chris, as well as to their spouses and their entire family. You have all been in my thoughts and prayers and will continue to be.
God bless you, Katie.
And, Henry, may you rest in eternal peace.