Saturday, September 29, 2012

Homeschooling after loss

Struggling to find ways to cope after the loss of a child is hard enough, but having to homeschool in the midst of grief seems near impossible.

I am in the midst of a grief session. Until now, I had never heard the term before, I don’t think anything could have prepared me for it either.

After Joaquim passed away, I think I stayed in the shock part of my grief for a long time. I had 3 living children who needed me, and I found that diving straight back into my daily routine was a welcome distraction. We homeschooled with a new fervour, and everything seemed fine.

I threw myself into projects, lesson blocks and party plans. 

Joaquims birthday fell slam bang in the midst of those plans.

My forward momentum skidded to a halt.

And it has remained there……..stuck in limbo…… while I stand back reeling from the shock and disbelief. Has it already been a year?.

Our baby died.
This is my reality.
There is no getting over it. I did not have a cold.
 We had a baby brother!

Our baby brother who was with us one minute, and gone the next.

Our baby brother who’s tiny hands we had held as we formed a family circle every morning in circle time.

Our baby brother, who we carried around the garden, showing him the weaverbirds making nests in the trees.

Our baby brother, who we ran outside with the first time it rained to show him the rain fairies bringing drops of water to the seed babies.

Our baby brother who listened with wide eyes as we practiced recorder, the same songs over and over.

Our baby brother, who slept peacefully in the Moby wrap hugging mommy’s chest as lessons were taught and stories were told.

Our baby brother, who I can still see on the lounge ottoman, gazing in wonderment at his busy little family.

Our baby brother, our pride and joy, who was stolen from us in the blink of an eye by Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia,.

Tell me? How do you go back to normal after that?

There is no going back.

There is no moving on.

There is only moving with…..
Moving with the memories so fresh in our minds, moving with the heartache so deep in our souls.

I have taken the the time to embrace all of my feelings, all of my memories. I have let the tears fall, and I have spoken of little else for the last month.
I have realised that I cannot continue the way things were before.

I need a new rhythm. And the panick starts to creep in as yet another week has goes by without lessons, but then I realise, we are learning something far more important right now.
We are learning to cope with just breathing in our home after loss.
The home he was born into and the home so full of the empty space that his memories occupy.

I don’t have the luxury of spending months in bed grieving for him. I have to pick up the pieces, and start preparing the next lesson block. Next week we are doing man and animal in Grade 4, and St Francis in Grade 2. We will start our circle times by lighting a candle for Joaquim, and embracing our loss as a part of our new life. I will look out for the little signs that he brings me every day, and be inspired by his memory. I will look at things the way he did, with newborn wonderment at the simple miracles in life. The birds in there nests, the silkworms spinning their caccoons, my daughter singing and dancing with careless abandon, and my beautiful boys.
I will stretch my arms as wide as I can and embrace this new space that I have to learn from the beginning how to hold for my family.


  1. This is so beautiful and touching Sam xxx

  2. My hubby and I lost our daughter at 4 days old just over two years ago. Your words perfectly express so many of the same emotions I have felt. Thank you for sharing. <3 Hugs and continued strength to you! <3