It’s Better To Love

There are a lot of hoops to jump through when you go to school out of the country. As a Canadian about to start grad school in the States, I feel bogged down by paperwork. Some of that includes a health form regarding my immunization history. That is how I found myself in a health clinic today, realizing that I needed one more shot to be completely vaccinated.

I’ve always loathed needles. Since I was small the very sight of them has brought out in me pitiful sobs and I begin to sweat, grow tense, wriggle and fidget. Today, the nurse commented on how well I did considering my phobia. I told her it’s due to the thousands (more like hundreds) of needles I had to endure leading up to and following Zachary’s birth and death, and in the nine months of genetics testing afterwards.

My skin has been poked a lot. My threshold for pain has dramatically increased. (Is that from the needles or from Zachary…? Hmm.)

After sharing my story of loss, the nurse cried with me. She understands my pain – from her own experience. We sat together, strangers, tears falling for our loved but absent children, and somehow had everything in common in those moments.

“We have the children we are meant to have,” the nurse said.

I had Zachary, even for a brief moment, because I was meant to have him. I still don’t know what this idea means to me – but I know it does mean something and I do believe one day I will know, really know.

I had a quote come to me today. It was a phrase I have known for a long time.

“It is better to have loved and lost

than never to have loved at all.”

– Alfred Lord Tennyson

This quote used to mean something different to me; the loss of a romantic love, the loss of a family member like a grandparent, and the state of being open as a person. Now, it touches a deeper corner of my heart. It will forever be a statement of my love for my son, my never-ending-even-in-the-face-of-death kind of love.

It’s better to love.


  1. Charlotte
    May 23, 2013

    You have a special way of sharing your experiences that give me great insights to my own thoughts and experiences. I had wanted a second child which I never had and thus never loved. Is that better than to have loved and lost as you have experienced? Each of us will have our own answer, but I am comforted by the thought we each have the children we are meant to have. The one I have is a continuing source of love, pride and respect.

    • Alexis Marie
      May 31, 2013

      You make interesting points, Charlotte. Your comment makes me think… Thank you! No matter where we have come from or what we have endured or what have you, it really is comforting, as you say, to know we have the children we are meant to have. It’s not a very helpful belief when we are in the trenches of loss, wounded and looking for answers. It’s more of an acceptance that we cannot control life and that we can find a greater depth of happiness by simply enjoying what we have.

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