Compelling story of loss.



imageBy Carol Long on June 29, 2017
Format: Paperback

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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.



Grief is personal. I invite you to walk with me. Together we may be less lonely.


I do not have the market on grief as the result of losing a loved one.  With that understanding I invite you to walk with me as l share my journey of loss, grief and hope.   Sharing may ease our pain  and develop into caring and understanding.  ###


A Little Bout A Lotta Things 


My blogs to date have covered a variety of topics.  This shall continue to be my style as I am a multi dimensional person as are my readers.

img_4228My third published book is entitled ‘My heart is broken. A journey of loss, hope and grief.’ Many of us have experienced the loss of a loved one. Understanding and accepting our common experience I will share the introduction of my book laying the groundwork for the writings that will follow.

Dear fellow sojourner,

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 sorrow I started putting my feelings on paper making my grief visible. It allowed me to bear my pain, my broken heart and a soul that is often times empty.

On this journey, we have the right to grieve, to cry, to sob and to grow from the choices we make each day. If you are on a similar journey I invite you to walk with me. Hopefully, as we mourn our loss and feel the pain, our brokenness will be mended.

Together we may feel less alone.

Respectfully yours,

Joyce Knock


My life in India.

When?  1966 – I had just finished my 3rd of teaching and was in the 2nd year of marriage to my high school prom date. 

What?  Inspired by the words of President John F. Kennedy ‘Ask not what your country can do for you ask what you can for your country.’  we applied and accepted an assignment with thepeace-corps_t PEACE CORPS.  Our assignment would be in indiaINDIA.

What next?  After 3 months of training as Village Level Food Production workers in a camp outside Julian, California we were off to India.  Another month of in country training and  the Indian 36 volunteers were given assignments.  Dave and I were assigned to Bhopal, Madya Pradesh a city of 300,000 with a land mass the size of Cedar Falls, IA whose population is about 30,000. 

Then what happened?  Eventually my assignment changed and I worked with village women on gardening and sewing projects.  The village we worked with was 15 miles from our home and we biked there almost daily.  I also worked in a slum nursery school where we deloused the children weekly and bathed them in the lake water near the nursery.

And?  We spent 1 year in India and it was one of the most wonderful learning and growth experiences in my life.

  • Living in a city that had on a handful of Americans I  learned what it like to be a  minority person. 
  • I learned what it was like when  most of the 300,000 residents of Bhopal did not understand English and how poorly my Hindi was even after a crash course of 5+ hours of language for a month. 
  • I learned what it was like to be different in skin color, religious choice and practices and clothing worn. 
  • I learned so many things about myself and the world that were to become a part of me for the rest of my life. 

I am forever thankful that I had this  experience.  ###

What’s your time worth?



I invite you  to consider some thoughts about time.  Within the past 5-1/2 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.     ###


Every Immigrant Has A Story

immigration-clipart-illegal-immigrationAre you an IMMIGRANT or from a proud family of immigrants?  My great grandfather, John Hempen, was born in Germany and proudly sailed with the German navy.  Wanting more opportunities for his family he and his family immigrated to the United States in the 1880s where he served as a mayor of a small community and raised a family.  When his granddaughter, my mother  Helen Hempen Brocka,  started school in Grundy County Iowa German was the primary language spoken in her home.  She was often cautioned not speak German outside the home.

Am I a proud descendent of an IMMIGANT….YES, I am.  I would also imagine that many of you reading this are also proud members of immigrant families.

I have had the good fortunate and pleasure to have  interacted with immigrants or fellow descendants of immigrants most of  my life.      They are American Indian, Asian Indian, Chinese, Vietnamese, Korean, Hispanic, Latino, Chinese, Iranian, Black American, Native Hawaiian, Tai Dam, Pakistani. and Caucasian.  We have learned that we are MORE ALIKE than we are different.

And….my life has been enriched by having them in my life.


great grandfather I understand why they wished to come to America.

pilgrimsWHAT if this had happened back in 1492?