A gamut of emotions runs through my being when I realize that my son is dead. A tidal wave of emotion that takes the breath away, still rolls in and over my person as the words "my son is dead" goes through the mind. There is a want to deny that it is possible, that I will never see him again, all the missed opportunities! You can be crippled by grief and thoughts of what could have been. However, thoughts do not change what is and what is, is that you are no longer here in this world. I will never touch you again. I will never kiss all over your face again. I will never hear your voice again. Death has a way of waking one up and then knocking one down. I see you so differently now Mikel/Michael. MyMichael. Death has made you my beautiful boy again. I lost you. I had lost you and now I have found you and you are not here.
I was fifteen years old when I gave birth to Mikel ... he was a month early. He had been due on Christmas but showed up for Thanksgiving. I was so thankful he showed up. It was a horrible time in my life, basically he saved me as I had found out I was pregnant after a suicide attempt. It changed everything. Everything. There was something, someone to live for and reality rapidly changed. It was not an easy life for him or I, basically we grew up together. We played many different rolls for one another through the years, but I don't think he ever fully grasped that he has been raised basically by a child. He just saw me as "Mom" like we all see our parents, we don't think about their lives outside of ours. However, he did one time mention that someone had complimented him on how well he turned out in spite of being raised by a teenager and it is true, he turned out really well. He was an incredibly smart and gifted child. Sure, every parent says that but he was moved into the gifted class in second grade and always did well in school. He was a very sensitive boy. His feelings were easily hurt and he was very protective of me for a very long time. He also was a ball of energy and enjoyed sports. He played football with his best friend Ryan Hill, until we moved from NJ to AZ and then he stopped wanting to go. In fact he started to hate it so much that he would get in-grown toenails that had to be removed by a doctor just so he wouldn't have to play. We had two toenails removed in one season. Finally, we gave up the ball and he picked up the board. The skateboard that is and he was in love, madly in love. We spent much of our lives after that at skateparks, skateshops and doctor's offices from injuries. He met his friend Matt Price at Unity Church and they were nearly inseparable for a time. He was always interested in art and photography ... just like Matt and they created a skate video called: TOO HOT TO SKATE which I am unable to locate so if you have a copy or a link to where it can be found please send it along.
There were many bumps in the road for Mikel, we all have them but he had some cards stacked against him, not to make excuses just to understand that he struggled as he got older with many of the same things that I go through myself. There is a saying that an unhealed healer cannot heal and that is certainly the case in my relationship with Mikel, especially as he got older. We went through many of the same things. I know his dark night(s) because I know my own, but this is all in retrospect now and that is always 20/20. I had no idea it had gotten as dark as it did for him. I didn't know that because I was dealing with my own dark night(s). He just didn't make it through.
There is a small sense of relief that he will not have to face another one, if you know of what I speak then you understand, but there such deep sadness that he couldn't see his way through that night to see that it would have worked out, whatever he thought wouldn't work out, would have, but that is over now and I know that you cannot tell someone that is in the midst of darkness that there is light. I know this personally. When the dark night comes it is as if there has never been light and one doesn't even recall what light is.
He just didn't make it.
I am not saying that it shouldn't have gone the way it did. I don't know his agony, I only mine. I only know that sometimes it gets so dark that you may not make it out. Only someone who has gone through this will understand what is being shared here. There are some moments where there is no bright side. Mikel struggled with this but I didn't realize how dark it had gotten for him and there are no quick fixes to these kinds of things. Chemistry has much to do with how the body functions and a few members of our family have had chemistry that is dibilitating. Again, I didn't realize that he had inherited this chemistry. I knew that he had some challenges with drugs but that is typical in this day and age. However, what he was going through was more than addiction and I didn't know that. I didn't understand it and even if I did, I don't know that I could have helped him, we might have just sunk together. You don't ever know and death ends your ever finding out.
Let's get back to the brighter days. Mikel was actually born Michael Ryan Surget. I had named him Mikel Ryan Surget but the person that took down the information for the birth certificate put down Michael and I never went and legally changed it. However, I told Mikel this story when he was a teenager and he started spelling it that way. You probably know him as Mikel, but there was a time that he was Michael.
He was a beautiful baby! My files are currently a mess and I can't find his baby pictures at the moment, but the first time I laid eyes on him I knew the depths of Love. Even at my young age I experienced a profoundly deep sense of LOVE when I looked into his amazingly huge and LOVE FILLED EYES. I can still see them right this minute as if I am there looking at him again (happy tears).
He was so small, but actually huge for a premature child. I had gestational diabetes while pregnant which made him gain weight quicker than a normal pregnancy, which worked well since he came early. They kept him in the hospital to gain weight and he was jaundice as well ... it was torture to go home without him. He was colic for the first two months of his life, if you don't know what that is, it is gas in the intestines and it is very painful and he cried all the time.
All the time.
But like all things, it passed (gas ;o) and the first three years of his life were pretty good. I won't say it was easy. It was not easy and I have challenges that I have had to face all this life with depression and bouts of instability in my mental well-being and so I don't know how this affected Mikel when he was young ... I just know that it did, there is no way that it couldn't have. However, he was such a resilent boy. He cared for me so deeply and I him. He was the most important thing in my life and it probably wasn't fair to make him the whole world, but for the most part, he was my whole world and I was his for quite a long time.
I have dedicated many songs to Mikel one which you will find on the photo page, "Thanks for my Child" is one of the first one's I did. I was so grateful for him. At that point in time he was the best thing that had ever happened to me.
He loved to draw me pictures and write little stories and that grew as he grew up. He started a company with his friend Matt Price called KWESCHIN (For Life) and he made hats and t-shirts which you will see in the photo section. He was exteremly creative. He made this video out of still photos he set up and took himself ... it blew my mind and still does:
There are so many stories that can be shared ... we took cross-country road trips ... stopping at all the skateparks along the way and we listened to THE TEACHINGS OF DON JUAN in the car:
We read books together and went to Disney World and we snaggled ... he loved to snaggle (snuggle) there were endless amounts of hugs and kisses while he was growing up. He would often grab me an throw me down and hug on me in a very affectionate way. He was a very talented and creative person. He didn't mind torturing me with things like staging a car accident photo shoot (see photos) which made me fear his death for years after that. He liked to make you think about things that aren't always easy to consider. He used to get so mad at me at times and say:
"The only consistancy in your life is inconsistency!"
"You always state the obvious!"
It used to make him mad that I always would state the obvious. But he never held a grudge until he got older. When he was a teenager he was such a free spirit ... a free bird ... I know many of you out there ... Matt, David, Eugene ... you guys knew the Mikey I knew ... but things changed after I left AZ. Something shifted in him and never went back. He grew angry and it didn't go away.
My mind wants to keep making attempts to go back and do things differently, to be stronger, to push him harder, to help him more completely, but that person did the best they could with what they were at the time and it wasn't enough. However, you can see and take responsiblity for the inabilities in one's life without a guilt trip. You just see what you see and maybe it shifts things in you and for someone else, even if you can't give it to the one who helped you see it.
You never know what life is going to use you for.
Life used Mikel to touch many lives. I know there are so many of you out there who's lives have been touched by knowing Mikel and I hope you share those stories ... I know it is helpful to write what is being written here right now. It is helpful to me because I have been missing him. The Heart is Breaking. It has broken many times since April and continues to Break but this pain is a Gift. MyBaby. Dammit. A very painfilled HeartBreakingly Beautiful Gift.
There is a saying:
"There is beauty in the pain."
It isn't always easy to see, but it is there. MyBeautifulBoy. It probably seems I am rambling, but it is what is needed at this time, to have an outlet to remember myBaby. To let the Heart ache and break and the tears flow. I hope you use this space to process out anything that you have come up for you around Mikel as well. Thank you for taking the time to read this and for whatever relationship you had with my Son.