Photo credit: Trease Shine Hinton

Graduation and Grief

Trease Shine Hinton
Coffee House Writers

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On May 11, 2019, amongst thousands of other names, mine will be called as a graduate of Southern New Hampshire University. With a 3.77 GPA, I will have earned a master’s degree in English and Creative Writing. Anyone who knows me knows that my passion is writing. Sit me in front of a keyboard or hand me a pen and a notebook, and I will happily sink into writing, my happy place. Since elementary school, when I was first able to string together enough words to create a proper sentence, I have loved writing. As I have grown older and life has smacked me around a bit, I have expressed everything from total bliss to complete and total darkness through my writing.

There was a time when I wrote poetry. I write fiction here and there, but right now, I’m working on a memoir of my survival of domestic violence. Parts of my story are hilarious, parts are so dark and twisted, I find myself shaking when I re-read some parts of the book. Those years I spent being battered mentally and emotionally were horrible. I won’t try to come up with a stronger word than ‘horrible’ because the degree of abuse I sustained is mind-numbing. I was raped twice by my now ex-husband and there are times when I can still feel the physical horror of those nights. All that said, my heart never felt the level of crushing it did on December 9, 2017, when my nephew passed away.

I’ve read this article from the Huffington Post a million times and I’ll tell you that I totally agree with it. Even after these 72 weeks and 6 days without him, my world is still so overshadowed by grief some days, I can’t breathe. True enough, I’ve picked up and done my best to carry on, but May 11, 2019, will be especially difficult. My nephew, Arthur Wade, Jr., was the very first person I told about graduate school. He cheered for me from the very second I said to him, “I just enrolled in grad school.” One of the things I was most looking forward to was seeing him and my son waiting for me after I crossed the stage. That won’t happen now. I’ve decided not to attend my graduation ceremony. I know he would want me to go and relish in my accomplishment, but I just can’t. As it is, I cry most days when I think about. I cried all the way to work this morning. I miss him so very much.

We were never without each other. Completing graduate school is something I had only dreamed of at one time. I will fulfill that dream in 10 days, but the cloud of grief hanging over my head is nearly unbearable. He provided the nudges I needed when I felt overwhelmed by the whole thing. There is a whole gaggle of other relatives and friends who have supported me during this time, but the void left by my nephew’s death is massive. I just pray that he somehow knows that the day is approaching and that I love him for having helped me get there. I hope he knows that he is missed every single minute of every single day. I hope he knows that until we meet again, my spirit will be restless.

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Trease Shine Hinton
Coffee House Writers

Domestic Violence Prevention Advocate | Adjunct English Instructor | Editor | Proofreader | Writer | Speaker | M.A., English and Creative Writing