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Amazing Grace

October 2002

Before I start, you should know that our family Manor goes all the way back to the Georgian era in Dublin, in fact our family Manor is one of the few Georgian mansion's that is still privately owned in the Merrion Square area around St. Stephan's Green.

Back then we had a very famous twenty year old ancestor named Grace Hathaway who was known for both her singing talents and her beauty. She was supposed to marry a young man around the same age as Grace herself whose family were equal in wealth to her own. However, the young man Grace was engaged to, Nathan, was drowned in a swimming accident with his father. It's said that Grace was so traumatised by his death that she'd walk around the house in her soon to be wedding dress singing 'Amazing Grace'. Some days she'd sit in the drawing room staring blankly out the window twirling her long dark hair around her fingers as if waiting for Nathan to come strolling down the front walk.

Eventually, so little Nanny tells me, Grace suffered some kind of psychological breakdown and would speak to none except the small children around the house or one of the maids, whose name I think was Eliza. She began to seclude herself from everyone and refused to see friends or relatives outside immediate family.

At twenty-three she went up to her room and didn't come back out again. When Eliza went in to see what the matter was her screams travelled down through all four upper floors to ground floor. It's said that even the kitchen maids could hear Eliza screaming.

Grace had smashed a mirror on a dresser and with one of the shards, had ripped open her wrists. She was slumped on the floor drenched in the blood from her gashed wrists, her green eyes wide and staring, above the slashes on each wrist were more small slashes cut into the underside of her lower arm in the shape of stars...

When I was seventeen, my Granny, Grace's great, great, great niece took me to see the old cemetery where Grace's grave was. All the graves were kept clean. Eventually we found Grace's grave. Of course being seventeen my eyes were averted to the gorgeous girl sitting down on the grass at the grave next to Grace's. Her dark hair was loose and her eyes were the brightest green. We smiled at each other and as she raised her fist to cough her other hand went to the small bag by her side. She lifted out a handkerchief and as she did I noticed that she had scars on both her arms just above the wrists. I felt a pang of pity, obviously she'd tried to commit suicide. At least I did feel pity, which was quickly replaced by fear when I saw she had two other scars, each above the scars on her the shape of stars....

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