Life, Liberty, & Happiness

Grief Visits Again


rief visits again. It is fog, descending upon me on the anniversary of my son’s death. I lost my handsome 25 year old son 2 years ago today. And it feels like only yesterday.

I’ve felt everything from anger at God to wondering if God exists at all.  Having faith in anything is hard after losing a child. Yet faith is essential to survive such an ordeal. An emptiness fills my body, constricting my ability to think or breathe. I have a big reservoir of sadness - and I know it’s always just below the surface.

I’m not the same person. I’m a work in process. I'm more thoughtful, more aware of the pain in the world around me. I’m more empathetic to others. I’m now defined by how I’ve learned to handle the hard stuff. I’ve discovered that I’m stronger than I ever imaged. I will survive this tragedy. I walk this journey of hope to honor my son. He guides my path.

I’ve written this tribute to Ryan to mark today - and wanted to share:  I've titled this "It Only Took a Second."

“It only took a second
to fall in love with you,
That moment you took your first breath -
You owned my heart.

It only took a minute
To re-prioritize my life around you,
Once I held you in my arms -
Nothing else mattered.

It only took an hour
And I was already making plans,
I could see you growing into a man -
And I’d have the honor of helping you get there.

And now that I’ve lost you -
It will take the rest of my life to grieve.
Re-living what was;
And dreaming of what might have been.””

I love you Ryan - always.


About Dr. Michael Burcham

Michael is an executive coach, entrepreneur, investor, and strategist with 30 years of experience leading investor-backed, high-growth organizations.

“I built and sold a $40M company with Dr. Burcham as my mentor. This is the thing: if you EVER get the opportunity to learn from this man, from that moment forward, you’ll list him as one of the most influential people in your life, even if you live to be 90. And, you’ll know how lucky you were to have that opportunity and you’ll immediately say YES to any chance to be in his presence again—his wisdom is that impactful.”

Sherry Stewart Deutschmann

Former CEO, Letter Logic

“If you are looking for a trusted mentor and coach for yourself or your leadership team, I highly recommend Michael Burcham. He has worked with me as my executive coach for well over a decade now. Our conversations and his feedback have helped me sharpen my critical thinking skills. He’s a trusted advisor that I can confidentially speak with about any issue—and I know I’ll get valued feedback. I highly recommend him.”

Ryan McGrath

CEO, Asset Living

“Dr. Burcham’s depth and breadth of experience makes even the most ADD entrepreneurial leader sit up and take notes! His coaching skills bring out the ‘best you’ possible. He selflessly shares the good, the bad, and the ugly—leaving you with an authentic and moving experience sure to spur action and professional growth!”

Julie Lenzer

Director, U.S. Department of Commerce


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