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Hannah B. Wild 1971-2014

March 10, 2016

ScanHannah at our house in Billings in ~1986.

March 9, 2016

March 13, 2014,  Maggie Graham sent me word that our 42-year-old niece, Hannah Graham-Struckman Wild, died.  Her parents were Dana Graham and my brother Tom.  She left her mother, three children: Jacob, Savannah, and Henry.  Also her sister Maggie, other aunts and uncles and cousins, nieces and nephews.

My brother Tom called her “a good sort.”

About ten years ago her ex-husband Jason and she showed up at our house when her grandma died.  Jason had a black eye.  Hannah had started a fight in a bar; then Jason stepped in and got punched.  A similar thing happened in 2000 at the Oxford in Missoula, only her cousin Bob took the punch.

I could tell Hannah didn’t think much of me, just a guy who worked all the time, until I showed her my compost bin in the alley.  Her scowl turned to a broad smile and delighted laughter as I described the snake carcass within the rotting vegetation.

Hannah struggled with the demons of substance abuse and four months before she died, I texted her via Facebook asking her if she was okay.

She replied: “Well, actually no. But I will survive. Thank you for asking.

Hope you are well.

Love, Hannah”

Only she did not.  Who knows?  Perhaps she took a strong drug or drank too much.  We learned that she had been staying at a shelter near Kona, Hawaii, but they refused her admittance because they thought she was drunk.  They gave her a blanket and pillow and she laid down in a nearby field where they found her body.  Her clothes were neatly folded and there was no sign of violence.  Dana and Maggie flew out to Hawaii to identify Hannah’s body and return with her ashes.

Loss like this continues to hurt.

Tom's daughter Hannah

Tom’s daughter, Hannah B. Wild, in 1997.


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