Guest Post: Still Learning

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I graduated college many years ago but I’m still learning. Learning something that is not taught in school. Something only life can teach. Only life can hand you this type of lesson that no matter how many years you put into it – you are still learning.

I’ve been on this life lesson for 7 years now. Yep, 7 years. I know others who have been on it even longer. Are you wondering what lesson life could throw at you that you continue to learn for the rest of your life.

GRIEF.

Does everyone endure grief at some point in their life? Yes, we all do. But the grief I’m talking about is so much more than the loss of a grandparent; or even a parent.

This type of grief is: earth-shattering, totally absorbing sorrow, lost in a black world where you feel nothing will be bright again, you question who you are, what could be done.

You question life.

This grief that I just described but can sometimes never be put into words.

This grief is what one endures over the painful death of their baby. Their child.

I joined this grief club 7 years ago when my first born son died at 12 days old due to a medical error that caused injuries during his birth.

I’m still learning each and every day how to continue on with life as I walk hand in hand with my grief. Grief will be my constant companion until the day I die, because I loved him so deeply and I accept it.

I’m still learning that this type of grief, this loss has changed who I am. DO I fear more? Yes, I know we never know what will happen tomorrow. Do I love differently? Yes, I love more because I know how precious life is. Would I have changed things so my son lived? Without a doubt.

As I sit here, thinking about the last 7 years, I think about how I’ve changed.

  • I’m angrier than I used to be – it is so much closer to the surface.
  • I no longer fear death because I’ve already endured the worst pain ever.
  • I’m even more of an introvert now than I ever was.
  • I’m less carefree, less go with the flow. Maybe I feel structure will make things easier.
  • I tend to hover/ fear more with my 2 sons I had since Drake’s passing. I’ve already lost one son; I don’t want to lose another. This one is heard for me because part of me says they need to be boys and do stuff – but the other part wants to wrap them in bubble wrap to always be protected.
  • No matter if I’m have a great day full of smiles and laughter – there is always that underlying sadness. The aspect of knowing there is one missing. What would he be doing, etc.?
  • In the beginning, I felt I had to always be sad; I could not smile or laugh. Sad showed love, smile and laughter showed moving on. But over my 7 years, I’ve realized it is ok to smile and laugh, they don’t mean I love him less – it means I’m human and I’m learning to move on with my grief. Being sad all the time will not help him, will not bring him back.

Learning to live again, learning to function as a grieving mother, learning to tell people his story, learning to keep his memory alive – this honors him.

I’m still learning how this grief has changed my relationship with my husband; we both love and lost, we both grieve differently, we both had different connections with our son. This grief, this loss changed both of us but we knew we wanted this to make us as a couple.

I’m still learning how this grief will affect my relationship with my boys. I want them to know I love them as much as I love Drake. I don’t want them to fear I love them less because they lived. This is a very delicate balance I will always have to do. I also want them to know about their brother.

It breaks my heart when my 6-year-old cries because he misses the brother he never met, the brother he never got to play with, the brother who will always be missing from family functions. As out boys get older, they will know more and more about what happened to their brother – they will have questions, we will never hide him.

My youngest at 18 months is too young to know about his older brother but as he gets older we will tell him just like we told our other son.

Will I ever be done learning? No, I don’t think I will but I’ve learned to embrace it; learning keeps me connected to Drake, learning allows me to remember him.

Grief is a very powerful emotion and I will always be learning something new because there is no right or wrong way to grieve just what works best for you in that moment.

I loved, I lost – Grief is my teacher.


Author: Marisa Michaud

I’m Marisa and I live in Georgia with my hubby and 2 sons. I am a true boymom, 3 boys over the span of 6 years. Two boys keeping me running in circles, but loving every second. Back in September 2010, my first born son Drake passed away at 12 days old due to injuries he sustained during delivery. Since then just trying to learn how to walk hand in hand with grief while still living.

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