Grieving Well

March 1, 2015




On November 11, 1971, my grandmother was killed in a traffic accident. At dusk that evening, she was driving a tractor with a wagon attached behind the tractor. A drunken man, traveling about 60 miles an hour in a zone marked for 40 miles an hour, crashed his car into the back of her wagon. The force of the collision sent the wagon up into the air and down on top of my grandmother. She died instantly.

My grandfather, who was driving a second tractor in front of her, slammed on the brakes when he heard the crash. He ran back to her, and with superhuman effort, pushed the 1700‐pound wagon off her and cradled her lifeless body in his arms.

When my parents and I arrived at the farmhouse 2 hours later, grandpa was sitting in the living room on his La‐Z‐Boy recliner, with grandma’s blood spattered on his bib overalls. Never before or since have I seen someone in such a paroxysm of grief. He was wailing and crying in a loud voice: “Pauline, Pauline, oh my Pauline! Why has this happened? What am I going to do without you? Oh God, Pauline!”

Bible References

  • Genesis 50:1 - 14