"BLOGGING ALONG" with Joyce Knock

Walk with me on my journey!


Life’s journey

Excerpts from ‘MY HEART IS BROKEN A journey of loss grief and hope’


Excerpts from my book.

Dear fellow sojourner,

Grief is personal.  I understand that I do not have the market on grief due to the loss of a loved one.  After futile attempts to cope with my sorry, I started putting my feelings on paper making my grief visible.  It allowed me to bear my pain, my broken heart and my empty soul.

If you are on have been on a similar journey I invite you to walk with me.  hopefully, was we mourn our loss and feel the pain, our brokeness will be mended.  Together we may feel less alone.

Respectfully Yours,

Joyce Knock

One Journey Ends As Another Begins   Levi reluctantly entered the world a bit battered with one eye swollen shut and a green branch break in his collar-bone.  The collar-bone break and swollen eye quickly healed and his newborn determination was a precursors for the strong, yet gentle boy he would become. I was excited to be present the day my grandson was born and privileged to cut his umbilical cord.  My daughter and her husband had not agreed on a name for their newborn son, so when I suggested the name Levi, they happily agreed it was a good fit. My husband and I had been empty nesters for several years and had settled into a more responsibility free way of life.  As coined  by John Lennon ‘Life happens while you are busy making other plans.’  Levi came to live with us when he was one year old.  My role as grandmother transitioned to grandmother aka grandmother.  Levi’s adoption was finalized when he was two. For the next fifteen years Levi was a vital part of our lives, I was a full-time parent again, a bit wiser and quite a bit older.  The days, months and years were filled with love and excitement created by a child who saw the world in  many unique ways.

Changed Forever  It was a beautiful fall day in September.  After Sunday lunch Levi was doing his homework at our kitchen table, I was struggling to resolve some computer issues and Dave was watching football in the family room, both of us only a few steps from the kitchen table.  When Levi had finished his homework, he asked if he could try once again to remove some rust spots from his target shooting gun. As he worked busily on the gun I passed through the kitchen and reached out  to ruffle his dark brown hair.  ‘How ya’ doing buddy?’ I asked.  Levi replied, ‘just fine.’  Those were the last words we ever said to each other. There were no hints that day that something would happen to change my life forever. 

When I heard a loud noise, I wondered was that a gunshot?

I rushed to the kitchen to find Dave on his knees, bent over Levi’s body.  Dave turned to me and said, ‘Joyce, call 911.’  I looked at the phone in my hand.  “Dave, I can’t.  I don’t know how.’  I was frozen in space and time, unable to move.  Dave stood, took his phone from his pocket and dialed 911.  In between sobs he pleaded with them to please come at once.  Fleetingly, I thought everything would be okay when they arrived.  But I soon realized that Levi’s spirit had left his body.

Levi was gone.

The Day the Music Stopped  The last Sunday of Levi’s life he had a scheduled piano lesson at 5 pm.  At 2:30 pm that day the music stopped.  Levi was gone!  It was lonely!  The silence was deafening!  It was unimaginable!

How Ya’ Doing’?  How ya’ doin’? I was asked the other day.  A common greeting in every ordinary way.  I paused a bit shaken.  Not knowing what to say.  Thinking don’t they know my story?  There was a death in my family and maybe they didn’t know.  Although it happened just a short while ago.  Or they did know and didn’t know what to say.  For most people it’s over and life does on each in their own way.  My heart is just shattered.  Too many pieces to count.  Somehow it keeps beating.  You’re still alive it seems to shout.

Who Was Your Loved One?  I invite you to jot down some favorite memories of your loved one.  I hope this brings you some comfort.

This what I miss __________________________________________________________________________.

I would like to ____________________________________________________________________________.

If only ____________________________________________________________________________________.

I wanted to tell you _______________________________________________________________________.

Doesn’t Anyone Care Anymore?  In the days and weeks following Levi’s death our mailbox was filled with cards of sympathy and consolation.  The donations in Levi’s memory were overwhelming.    The onslaught of well-wishers and busyness buffered our grief and temporarily cushioned us from our new reality.  Gradually, I realized something all along.  All these ‘others’ had their lives to live and their journey to take.  Life was going on and it was necessary for me to decide what that meant and how it would unfold for me.      ###













Does everyone deserve to be treated with dignity?

human dignityI have some new people in my life
and I met them in a rather unusual way
because a couple of Sundays a month I drive
25 miles to volunteer at a library where they live
the women all live together
and for now that is where they will stay
we always meet where they live 
it is not possible for them to visit me where I call home
they work in the library which I supervise
which is housed on the grounds where they live
hard workers they are proud to check out
and shelve books as a part of their job
earning about 49 cents per hour
time with them is spent chatting and sometimes being a bit silly
always polite and respectful they call me Miss Joyce
 often they  are complimentary about the clothes I wear
 expressing their likes about colorful pair of tennis shoes
with multi colored laces
maybe because their attire every day  is
 either blue or gray sweats, sweat shirts,  tees or knee length shorts
I believe that each of them has a special story about why they
are living here
however they are closed mouthed about who they are and the
  their life details
what I do know is that they are a human being
just like me and worthy of being treated with dignity
  in truth I know they have all made a mistake are now paying the price
for a choice or choices they have made
we all have make mistakes and in some cases lucky
that we have escaped the legal consequences
 I am hoping the wrong choices they have made
and now the price 
they now pay 
and that the stigma of that error will not
forever be who they are
 maybe someday I will see them after there stay here is over
somewhere else wearing colors bright
with their freedom a present sight      ###

Joyce Knock - volunteer - women's prison

#prison #mistakes #women #inmate #life 

How is our journey going?

img_2007Most would say I am nearing the end of my journey and technically they are correct.  However as I am approaching my eighth decade of life I prefer to focus on where I am going and not on where I have been.  I use my ‘where I have been’ to steady and keep me measured.  I have known love, loss, sadness, hope, excitement, disappointment, friendship, adventurous experiences, and most of all happiness.  My happiness stems from individual moments that have touched my heart and filled my soul. I have so much  I can still share and give to others and these moments fill my heart with joy.

By the way how is your journey going?     ###        

Grieving alone.

Excerpt from my book

My Heart Is Broken

A journey of loss grief and hope


Doesn’t Anyone Care Anymore

In the days and weeks following Levi’s death our mailbox was filled with cards of sympathy and consolation.  The donations in Levi’s memory were overwhelming.  Our home was filled with caring people drifting in and out offering support and encouraging us to stay engaged with others.

The onslaught of well-wishers and busyness buffered our grief and temporarily cushioned us from our new reality.

As I struggled through lonely days I became painfully aware that others appeared to be going about their lives just as they had prior to Levi’s death.  Why weren’t they as sad as I was?

Why?  Why?  Why?

Gradually, I realized something I knew all along.  All these ‘others’ had their lives to live and their journeys to take.                      ###



Compelling story of loss.



imageBy Carol Long on June 29, 2017
Format: Paperback

Verified Purchase
Joyce has written her compelling story with so much heart that it hurts the heart to read it. Her grandson’s sudden and tragic death stunned her and it stuns the reader. She takes us on her journey through loss, grief and hope by using story-telling and poetry. Her determination to create something lasting from her loss comes from a deep well of honest, Iowa farm girl strength and grit. Read, weep and heal with Joyce.

AMAZON review of Joyce Knock’s latest book.



A never ending journey.


The cover for my book that will be released June 2017. ###

#grief #loss #death #hope #sadness #child

What’s your time worth?



I invite you  to consider some thoughts about time.  Within the past two years I have experienced the loss of a loved one in my family.  This loss was crushing to my soul and at times I felt like I was lost and in a black hole.  However, MANY people gave me some of their time to sit with me, listen to me and cry with me as my soul was healing.  Their time was valuable and yet they were  sharing something they could never get back.  It was the greatest gift of all.

In my lifetime I have shared my time volunteering in a variety of ways. In early marriage it  was  supervising a cub scout unit…and no, I didn’t have any boys…I didn’t have any kids.  Like many of you I volunteered when my children were in school as a home room mother.  In later years I have and continue to volunteer at the Women’s Prison in Mitchellville, at the Ronald McDonald House, as a CASA [Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children] and as a  mentor with the Drake Literacy Program.   These experiences have given back to me more than I could ever have given to them.  I have found that when I do something with and for others it frees me from focusing too much on myself.  It provides me an opportunity to engage in someone else’s life and not spent too much time dwelling on what I might consider my woes and worries in life.  It is healing.  It is TIME WELL SPENT!

I invite  you to think about how you spent your time.  Consider the time that others have given you and what you given to others.  Ask yourself.  Do I like the way I have spent my time?   ###


Aren’t we all a bit broken?

Spent the early morning ‘shelling’ on a beautiful   Sanibel Island beach.  As an amateur at shelling   I observed others painstakingly searching for the perfect or unique shell.   As I engaged    in conversation with other ‘shell searchers’  it became  apparent that they had a vast knowledge of shells….. their names, where and when to find particular shells  and bits and pieces of other ‘shelling’ information.  I was just looking for shells.

Today I found what I thought were some very nice shells although most were not perfect.  Many  were chipped or had entire pieces broken img_3445 from their original shapes.    Their  brokenness intrigued me and  I imagined the journey they must have taken riding the waves of the incoming tide to reach the shore.  But they made it.

I also felt  a  connection  to these   shells  as they reminded  me of  many people,  myself included,  who have  gotten a  bit battered and   broken  along life’s journey.  However, many of us  have also survived   and made  it to the shore’s safety.     ###


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