Blog post

It’s Okay To Laugh

May 11, 2018

It is okay to laugh.

No, it is.

It was such a release once I allowed myself to do whatever felt natural, to not force myself to feel one way or another. There were so many times I felt like I had to be sad ALL THE TIME. I could not smile, I could not laugh, I could not enjoy my son for what little time I was going to have him. I felt that to grieve properly for him, I had to force emotions onto myself that were not necessarily there.

I was happy to see him, to love him, to touch him. I found certain moments funny and laugh-worthy. I shed many tears over him, but I also laughed many times about him.

It is okay to laugh.

In the beginning, when Drake was in the hospital and something occurred that I just wanted to laugh so much over, I felt I was doing a disservice to my son by laughing at something he had done. I felt it meant I did not care that he was in this situation. It took me a few days into his 12-day stint to realize that I am human, that no matter the sorrow I was feeling, sometimes you cannot control your emotions, your thoughts, your laughter.

Related: Let The Light In

It is okay to laugh.

Laughing does not mean I love him less. It does not mean I did not know the dire situation he was in, that we were in. Those moments I laughed I can look back on with fond memories, those are memories I can share that make others laugh.

One day we came into his room to ask “Where is Drake?” — he had been covered with his stuff animals by the nurses, you could not help but smile.

It is okay to laugh.

Looking back (as I do often to try and remember everything) I am grateful for those moments I could laugh. Those moments helped keep me sane in moments of utter shattering grief. I am grateful to have fond and sorrow-filled moments to look back on. Because in the end, I loved my son then and I love him now. I love thinking of those moments that brought a smile to my face. I can always smile through the tears if that is what I need.

It is okay to laugh.

I am so glad that I learned early on in his hospital stay that it was ok to smile and cry, laugh and plead. I was a new mother, going through something new, strange, and terrifying. I should have been learning to feed him, change his diapers, bath him, and watch him grow. Instead, I had to learn to touch him without shaking any of the (what seems like) millions of tubes. I had to learn to ignore the constant beeping of the machines. I had to learn to make the decision to let him go. I had to learn it was not about me and what I would deal with afterward. I had to learn it was always about him and what was best for him.

Related: Finding Joy After The Pain Of Loss

It is okay to laugh.

Laughing makes memories; memories create special connections to your child.

Laughing allows you to relax — even if only for a moment, and relaxing allows you to enjoy your child for just a bit more.

Laughing allows you just a moment without grief being the most important emotion you are feeling.

It is okay to laugh.

You may feel, much like I did in the beginning, that you cannot laugh, smile. You are not a bad parent, you are human.

It is okay to laugh.


Photo by Johann Siemens on Unsplash


  • Marisa Michaud

    Marisa is the mother to 3 boys, one gone too soon and 2 keeping her on her toes. Drake died in 2010 at 12 days, 16 hours old after being pulled from life support due to injuries he sustained during delivery. Her other 2 boys: Aden and Gavin, whom she loves every minute with them.

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