I’ve been thinking a lot over these past 3 months and as I’m learning a new way of being, of living after the loss of my son, I’ve also become aware of how difficult it is for my friends and some family to be around me. They don’t know what to say, how to be, how to act, and quite honestly, I’m not too sure I know how to ‘be’ either. It’s definitely a new world I’m inhabiting and I thought it would be a good idea to share what I’m understanding about this journey right now. So here it goes …
What I know now:
There are things I know now, that I never considered before. I wish I didn’t know them, but I do. As the days, weeks, and months pass the distance between my last days with Bryan becomes wider, longer, deeper. I can’t believe how time has gone on. I remember when a friend had passed away someone had said that the cruelty of the world was that after such a loss the sun still rose, the breeze still touched our skin, and life went on. And conversely, the beauty of the world after a loss is that the sun still rose, the breeze still touched our skin, and life went on. This is so true. The sadness doesn’t leave. It embodies me. It has been likened to ocean waves, and I agree. Sometimes I can ride them out and stay afloat, other times they crash into me, take me under and I battle it to find my way back up and I gasp for air.
What this journey feels like:
I think people don’t quite know what to do with me. In kindness people have said that they don’t want to bring Bryan up because they don’t want to make me sad. I understand what they mean, they don’t want to be the cause of my tears. The thing is, I am sad, all the time. I cry when I least expect it (I never quite know when that is going to happen). Most days I hold it together, I work, I teach, I move through my life. Then there are times when it feels like I lost Bryan yesterday. I relive the moments before and after we found him. I can feel them, they are a part of me and I am learning to live with them.
Talking about Bryan, hearing his name, smiling at a memory actually makes me feel better. I would say to anyone who doesn’t know what to say, talk about Bryan, bring up the good memories, the laughter, make his time on this earth special, honor him for what he brought to this world.
When I receive texts and emails from my dear friends I smile. Knowing that their hands are outstretched toward me makes these grieving steps a little less treacherous. So, if someone is suffering through a loss, send an “I’m thinking of you text”, or a heart, a smiley face, or even a funny picture. These all help and bring a normalcy to a world that is in pieces. Trust me, it helps.
I’ve learned over the course of these past 3 months just how deep Bryan’s friendships had run. Bryan was a great friend. I knew that, I could see it throughout his life, but I don’t think I knew the depth and breadth of his friendships. He was loyal to a fault, he could be counted on to be there for anyone who reached out to him. Anytime, any place, he would be there. He was funny too. He had a dry sense of humor but he never directed it at a person. He always took care with his relationships and he respected his friends and their journeys. I look through his pictures and I see his smile, his eyes crinkling, I can see his laughter bubbling out. If someone was his friend in elementary school, they were his friend now. His acceptance of everyone was what led him toward his career as a special education teacher. He saw the best, the shining moments, in everyone and he celebrated that.
Bryan was a gift to this world, his time here was short and though his life became a battle that he did not ask for, he fought it. He had strength and courage and heart, he never backed down.
I miss him.
I am so very proud of him.
I love him with all my heart.
He is my son.
Thank you for being you.