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Nashville Native Turning Pain Into Poetry 1 Year After Orlando's Pulse Nightclub Attack

Posted at 7:17 AM, Jun 16, 2017

This week marked the anniversary of the terror attack at Orlando's Pulse nightclub. Memorials were attended all over the world as friends and families remembered loved ones lost. NewsChannel 5's Kristen Skovira spoke to one family member who has channeled her pain into poetry. 

It was the deadliest mass shooting in recent U.S. history. Forty-nine people were killed that day, including 29-year old Antonio Brown.

His sister, Nashville's Janine Maryland, said she thinks about 'Tony' every day.

"He was just an amazing person. With just a beautiful kind heart. He was a giver. He was a go-getter. He was always striving for more education. He was actually in the process of getting his doctorate degree before he was tragically killed in the Orlando massacre June the 12th of 2016," she said. 

After the shooting in Florida, Maryland said oftentimes, cards meant to console her didn't reach her emotionally. The words fell short, or worse yet, her friends just stayed away.

"Because these are those awkward moments. You don't want to say something cliche or something generic," she said.

Maryland said being at a loss for words shouldn't keep anyone from reaching out.

"It's not that they don't care They just don't know what to say," she said. 

So Maryland, a graphic artist and a poet, took her pain and found a way to help others. She created Granny's Conversations LLC, named for her grandmother who taught her so much about life.

Her cards aren't afraid. They tap into raw emotion and confront the stages of grief we don't often talk about, like anger.

One card reads, "Scream as if the house is on fire. Let that pain be free. Be mad, cuss, spit, throw-up and beat the walls, just don't hold it in like me. If you let that sit in your insides and fester a bit, child it's going to turn on you." 

Maryland said she hopes she can help others find their way after tragedy.

"That's my goal to use my pain, my testimony, my pain to help someone else," she said.