"There's a bit of magic in everything, and some loss to even things out." -Lou Reed

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Justice for Henry --You Can Help

I am going to ask for your help. I am going to ask for a few seconds of your time to sign a petition. Your signature will mean the world to a family who has lost their dear son, brother, cousin, nephew, and grandchild. His name was Henry Louis Granju and he was murdered.

I have written about Katie Granju before, and the tragic loss of her son Henry. (see posts here and here). I have been deeply touched by Katie’s love for her son and her strength in fighting for justice for him. The loss of a child under any circumstances is the worst imaginable tragedy, and for Katie and her family, this devastation has been heartbreaking. I have wept as I have read her words—filled with such pain and loss—sharing a story she can barely believe herself. I have watched videos of Henry and have seen photos of him from all stages of his life—toddling around in diapers, posing for family pictures, and holding a guitar in many of them, his love of music evident from the look on his face. Without knowing him personally, I could just see something in him—a beauty he could give to the world—so many gifts. Sadly, his life ended last year when Henry was just eighteen. Eighteen. He had so much more to give, so much more to do- he had only just started.

Henry battled addiction—a fact his family has never denied or tried to hide. He struggled to find his way back to being sober.  

But Henry died because he was murdered. And he suffered. He was beaten and suffered while the criminals involved in his attack (and who provided the drugs for him- a lethal overdose) refused to call for help and let him suffer for too long.

I cannot stand to think of anyone I love in that situation. I cannot imagine as a mother how painful life is after losing your son this way.

What has been worse is the way that Katie and her family have been treated by local authorities and the DA’s office. I have been shocked to read correspondence sent to her by the very people that should be her champions…Henry’s champions. They have been anything but. I have been awed by her ability to hold back telling the world these horrible things—while hoping and waiting that somehow justice would be done for her son. She waited as long as she could.

Now, she has told the whole story—piece by heart-wrenching piece. Not only has this mother lost her son, she has single-handedly had to fight to just get the authorities to do their jobs. Thankfully, she is starting to get support through lawyers that have stepped up to help, and through some articles and national media outlets.

Because Henry battled addiction, the authorities have called him an “unattractive victim” and have seemed to send the message that some cases, some people don’t matter as much as others. I don’t believe that.
I have written about how much I have learned and been changed by Henry’s story. Learning about this beautiful, talented boy who comes from a wonderful, loving family has shown me how much we all judge people and terms like addiction- even on some small level. We think of an addict, and an image pops to mind. But, anyone is at risk--whether it’s addiction or mental illness or life paths we can never imagine—we are all steps away at times from our whole world turning upside down. We can all say “I never would” or “My child would never”, but I promise you, no one knows what may happen tomorrow.

And all the Henrys out there…they are someone’s son, someone’s cousin, someone’s brother, someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone who is LOVED- no matter their mistakes or choices.

Henry was and is loved. He is remembered. He was a beautiful, talented boy who did not deserve to die the way that he did. I have to believe there will be justice for that.

Please help. Please take a few seconds and sign this petition for Katie, for Henry, for his family. And for all the other Henrys out there.

Click HERE to sign the petition asking that Henry’s case be fully investigated as it should be.
Other important links:

Henry’s Fund- started by Henry’s family to help other teenagers in need of treatment for addiction
Katie's blog- Mama Pundit – she outlines all of the details of Henry’s case part by part here.


Eva Gallant April 29, 2011 at 8:43 AM  

I remeber reading those posts when you first wrote them. You have a wonderful way with words and this post today is even more heart-breaking. Thank for caring so much.


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