Jeanette Arsenault

What is it about the power of a child’s hug or a child’s smile that melts away stress, depression, feeling down, grieving the loss of your own child?

Look at this beautiful photo of my “other” daughter Polly’s 2 children (she chose that word over “stepdaughter” and I love it).  Her children are radiant, innocent, full of life and mostly full of promise for tomorrow.

When you are grieving the loss of your child,  at first you don’t even want to see tomorrow.  Then you go into a phase where you will accept tomorrow but don’t care what it brings or looks like.  Then you go into a phase where you keep yourself super busy so that you can get through today and jump/leap/land on tomorrow.  Which becomes the new today.  So then you slip into a phase of not caring about today or tomorrow.

And then there is the phase where you think  you have to get your act together and start a “new normal” to shape the tomorrows to come.  But you get overwhelmed and slip back into the dark.  Because you have NO IDEA what “new normal” looks like.  You can’t even imagine it because you are living day to day trying to keep yourself out of the dark and not going to the polar opposite end of super crazy manic busy.

And then you see these bright, shiny, pure little beings who call you “Mémé J” because your other daughter wants them to know you as being part of their lives.  And Polly’s mother, “Mémé Mary” encourages it and is also part of the healing journey along with Polly’s brother, my stepson, Micah (our joke when he was little was always “what does stepmother mean? And he would reply “It means you step all over me” and we would both roar with laughter.)

Feeling blessed for the people on my healing journey – family, extended family, friends, colleagues.  Appreciating how you let me step back when I need to but are always near letting me know you are just a call or a message away.

Hug your children, appreciate them and let some of the little stuff go.