Shattered Silence

Shattered Silence

Sunday, February 12, 2012

When Inspiration Comes Knocking

My dear Grandma Lois,
about the mid-1990's
On Thursday, January 26, 2012, my grandmother, Lois Geniel Adams Walker, slipped peacefully beyond the veil of this earth and into the rest of her Heavenly Father. She was 81 years old. Her life was nothing short of a legacy of love and devotion to her family. Though she may not have realized it, she instilled within others, especially her family, a deep and passionate ability to love and be loved; she did so always by example. Her willingness to give generously of herself and her love fulfilled that basic human need in all of us. Her legacy will undoubtedly live on in each of us, her family members, as we share the love she gave to us with all those who come into our lives.

As I pondered recently about how I could best honor my grandmother’s memory and legacy of love, I kept a prayer in my heart for inspiration. Carrying on in love is not something that is hard for me to do, thanks to the leading examples of people like my grandmother. And the love-light she kindled here on earth will certainly live on through her posterity and every other life my grandmother touched. But for me, I prefer tributes that are a bit more unique, and slightly more tangible. And for years I have used writing as the tool with which I create lasting memorials to people, ideas, experiences, and feelings in my life. 

I wanted to offer a tangible tribute to the memory
of my sweet grandmother, but I wasn't sure how.
However, a tribute in words is not as easy as sitting down with paper and pen and writing just whatever comes to mind. For me it is much different than that. Almost always I require inspiration from another source, and that source is the Holy Spirit. Everyone feels the Holy Ghost in different ways, but most of us seem to know just how the third member of the Godhead likes to speak to us, and we recognize Him when He is with us. I am no exception. When I pray for divine help, and am visited by the Holy Ghost, He often inspires me with words. Whether speaking or writing, using words comes much more easily to me when the Spirit is upon me. And when that inspiration hits me, I know it; my thoughts become more fluid, and the words begin to flow like a waterfall.

Recently, late at night (which is usually when all my inspiration comes), I was thinking back to the day of my grandmother’s funeral. Before the services started, family members gathered in a private room to say their final goodbyes before the closing of my grandmother’s casket. The first to approach the casket was my step-grandfather, who had been married to my grandmother for over thirty years. Grandpa Lyle, as we call him, has a rough exterior, but a gentle heart. Never in my life have I seen him express any tender emotions. But as he approached my grandmother as she lay in state, he began to sob. Tearfully, he kissed her forehead, and said, “Goodbye, sweetheart. Goodbye.” 

It wasn't until my family members said their final
goodbyes at the funeral that the emotions hit me.
At that moment, the emotion and reality of my grandmother’s death finally hit me as I watched this rugged man break down like a child and weep freely over his departed spouse. Tears filled my eyes, quickly breaching my eyelids, and began flowing down my cheeks. Grandma Lois and Grandpa Lyle had many differences and difficulties over the years. I knew that towards the end they often struggled to get along with one other. But there at the casket of his wife, all the good and bad they had been through in over thirty years seemed to culminate in just three words—one final expression, one last declaration. 

After several days of legalities, making preparations, making phone calls, signing papers, receiving condolences, shaking hands, and thanking guests, it seems he didn’t have time to face the reality of what lay before him. He had forgotten himself, and forgotten her. But as he came face to face with his dear wife lying in her casket, he remembered. She was his sweetheart; and she was gone. There was no time to linger or carry on. It was time to say goodbye.

The words of a poem came to me one night by
inspiration, an answer to my prayers.
In Grandpa’s tears I somehow sensed regret. Perhaps a bitter longing to take back harsh words once spoken, or an aching over lost “I love you’s” that were never said. I suddenly wished that Grandpa’s one last moment with Grandma didn’t have to be this way—that it didn’t have to be their farewell. I wanted to tell him that death is not the end, goodbye is not final. We would all see her again and rejoice in our reunion. 

Lying in bed with these thoughts surrounding me, I repeated Grandpa’s words: “Goodbye, sweetheart. Goodbye.” And that’s when the inspiration came. I recognized it immediately, and for a moment thought I could ignore it long enough to actually get the sleep I had intended on getting that night. But as the ideas and words began flowing into my head, I knew that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity I had been praying for. 

I rose from bed, turned on my lamp, and opened my writing notebook to a blank page. Using my grandfather’s tearful goodbye as a pattern, I penned ten verses in just over an hour. Though I tried to tap into the emotions I personally felt having to say a temporary goodbye to my grandmother, I also tried to tell a farewell story to which anyone who has ever had to let someone go could relate. I’m grateful once again for answered prayers.

Goodbye, Sweetheart, Goodbye


The summer now has turned to fall,
“Goodbye, sweetheart, goodbye.”
I’ll do my best to stand up tall,
“I’ll try, sweetheart, I’ll try.”

It hurts me now to watch you go,
“It does, sweetheart, it does.”
Why you must leave I do not know,
“Because, sweetheart, because.”

My eyes are wet, my flesh is weak,
“Don’t grieve, sweetheart, don’t grieve.”
Just hold me close and kiss my cheek,
“Believe, sweetheart, believe.”

Now as we part, I breathe a sigh,
“You’re gone, sweetheart, you’re gone.”
Your memory will never die,
“Live on, sweetheart, live on.”

Your time with me, a cherished stay,
“You’re mine, sweetheart, you’re mine.”
Now days pass by in shades of gray,
“I’m fine, sweetheart, I’m fine.”

Sometimes I pause and feel you there,
“It’s true, sweetheart, it’s true.”
I bow my head and say a prayer,
“For you, sweetheart, for you.”

I hold the light you kindled here,
“For me, sweetheart, for me.”
With it, I know I’ll persevere,
“You’ll see, sweetheart, you’ll see.”

So dry your tears and don’t you weep,
“Be still, sweetheart, be still.”
Your love for me I’ll always keep,
“I will, sweetheart, I will.”

I look to when we’ll meet again,
“In time, sweetheart, in time.”
How joyous our reunion then,
“Sublime, sweetheart, sublime.”

Rest now in peace—the battle’s won,
“Don’t cry, sweetheart, don’t cry.”
Thank you, my love, for all you’ve done,
“Goodbye, sweetheart, goodbye.”


- Wade A. Walker -
February 5, 2012

My Grandma Lois loved orange roses.  I made a tradition of
giving her a dozen of them on her birthday every year during the
last few years she was alive.  We also chose orange roses to adorn
her casket.


** NOTE:  I share my writing on this site trusting that visitors are scrupulous enough not to plagiarize.  If you'd like to share this poem or other content with others, please share the URL to the entire blog post.  Please DO NOT copy and paste any text for personal use without written permission.  As the original writer of the content herein, I’d like the credit for these pieces to remain mine. **


  1. That was beautiful! I got teary and everything. Thanks for sharing that with us! :)

  2. Beautiful Wade...very beautiful. You do have such a way with words. I was crying too. You have a great gift, keep it up.