Monday, February 28, 2011

Dear Ryan,

I’m crying as I write this, trying to see through a cover of tears.  I’m not concerned with the flow of my words or the picture they paint.  I just need to talk to you.  I’m racked with emotions and need to crawl into the warm embrace of your lap.  I need your arms wrapped tightly around me.  I need your reassuring voice in my ear.  I need you.
I needed you this afternoon.  I’m pregnant and need to be taken care of.  I was getting stomach cramps at the gym and they scared me.  Their company didn’t last long and left me frightened and alone.  Isolated in a room full of people who look at me and think everything is just fine.  They see me as an endearing pregnant woman, trying to stay in shape, working out before going home to her loving husband.  Little do they know I’m there to keep my sanity and that I go home to a house quiet and full of grief.
I need you Ry and can’t feel you anywhere.  I miss your laugh, infectious and strong.  I miss our life so full of laughter.  I wonder how many times we laughed each day.  Living without you has taken the laughter away and without it, I feel empty.  How am I going to do this without you?  Who will make me laugh?  Who will take care of me?  No one is here to tell me I’m beautiful, Ry.  I keep swelling and no one is here to admire my shape, talk for the little person inside of me.  I need you, love you and miss you.  It hurts so bad, Ry…

Sunday, February 20, 2011

To Watch you Shine, to Watch you Grow

I am at an utter loss and can no longer control the pain that I feel.  Images have been blinking through my mind, pictures no one should ever have to imagine.  I see Ryan lying in a casket.  I see his code being called, the team lifting his lifeless body onto a gurney as someone yells “clear”.  Like so many other aspects of my life, these images control themselves and I can do nothing to alter or seize them.  I don’t know the cause, but can assume, now that some time has passed, that my brain is beginning the sickening task of processing this heartbreak.  It’s time for my subconscious to grab hold of all that’s happened and begin to organize the facts, images and feelings that are along for the ride.  Unfortunately, the process has proven to be gut wrenching and wholly exhausting.  In the end, I can only hope for closure, but for now, as I work through the final tasks associated with this tragedy, I can declare that things seem far worse than they’ve ever been.
I wrote the check for his funeral last week.  I sat in the kitchen writing out a check for my husband’s funeral.  I signed it and nestled it inside the envelope, right next to the itemized bill the funeral home sent.  Done, finished, over.  The pain of this task was unbearable and sent me into hysterics.  As with so much else, it was an offensive reminder that this really is happening to me.  One would think after four long months, I would be able to come to terms with the staggering fact that this indeed is happing to me.  Yet there are still times when the realization that Ryan is never coming back hits me like a head on collision.   I look at pictures, snap shots of him looking so alive, smiling back at me, warm and real.  I wish I could say these pictures give me comfort, but currently, it’s the opposite of that.  I look at them and immediately feel warm tears rolling down my cheeks.  He was just here!  Before I know it, I’m on the floor, clutching my stomach as if my insides are about to fall out.  How can something hurt this bad?  How can someone be here one minute, so big and full of life, as much a part of my life as I myself am and then just be gone?  I kissed him goodbye, called him from the mall to tell him I bought him jeans and that I missed him, loved him.  I woke up in the morning elated to see him, ready to drag him to the baby stores regardless of how tired he was, not that he would have ever complained.  But he didn’t come home, he was gone.  He is gone.

Ryan will never hold his child; he never even felt her move.  He’ll never see his wife swell with life, something he had looked so forward to.  He won’t play volleyball this summer or pout about being the worst on the team.  Ryan won’t take another trip to Negril even though I promised him we’d go every year.  He won’t design another Moose Nuts logo or hold another tournament.  He won’t take that trip to Ireland or experience Amsterdam.  Ryan won’t be the proud daddy with his baby girl slung to his chest; he won’t be the dotting husband who spoils his wife.  Ryan will never take in another stray or wear another offensive t-shirt.  Never again will he take too long to finish a project, knock a hole in my wall or short out an oven.  He’ll never fall asleep scratching a lottery ticket or find himself immobilized by sunburned feet.  Ryan won’t be here for Starbucks walks, he won’t be here for warm breakfasts at One Way or late dinners at Cafe Hollander.  Ryan won’t be here to hold my hand during delivery or to hold his baby girl tight.  He’ll never get to tell her all the wonderful things he feels about her, never make her feel the way he made me feel:  special, admired, worshiped.
“I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you'll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father
Who loved his daughter more than I love you…”

Monday, February 14, 2011


“The String of reason, the splash of tears.  Love emerges and then it disappears”   -Paul Simon
 At this time last year, Ryan and I were sitting at a romantic dinner, bottle of wine chilling, candles casting light across an otherwise dark room.  As was our way, we'd been at the restaurant for hours enjoying each other's company.  I excused myself for a minute and upon my return, found a small leather bound book waiting for me, a book of baby names.
Inside was handwritten in a script unique only to him:
      Happy Valentine’s Day, 2010.  I want you to know how much I love you so I got you this because you love books so much.  This book is a symbol of my whole hearted intention to create a family and spend the rest of our lives flourishing together.  Maybe you can find a name to attach to our future. 
               Sincerely, your best friend and love, Ry   xoxoxoxo”
And tonight?  Tonight I sit and wonder where he can be.  How can he not be here?  I stare at pictures of him looking so happy and handsome and I just don’t understand where he is.  There’s a special spot in the middle of his chest where my head fits just so.  A security blanket lost and longed for.  If I could just nestle my head there, whisper in his ear how I am feeling, I know he’d have the right words, but where is he?  He’s not here.

Friday, February 4, 2011

My Someone

“When the hurt is strong you need someone to comfort you.” –Bob Marley

There are many aspects of grief that I have been forced to come to terms with.  I’ve learned that the second you feel like things are getting better, they get worse.  Grief is a constant companion, one day quiet as a mouse and the next, roaring like a lion.  I’ve cried every night this week because every night I come home to a life without Ryan.  Friday comes with a slight relief, but also carries memories of the past.  Date nights, movie nights, lazy mornings and intimacy.  These things are gone for me now and I’m left with a quiet routine I did not ask for.  I could call friends, but friends are busy.  It’s been four months and the excitement is gone.  Their lives have gone back to resemble something close to what they were before.  They go home to their families to laugh and fight and live.  The pain doesn’t stop for me, in fact, time acts like a fertilizer, making the pain stronger, sharper - my new reality.  I wonder if anyone stops to imagine this pain, not that they could, but in the beginning I know many tried.  Now, as I watch the world around me rotate and move on, I can’t help but feel incredibly alone.  My someone is gone.  The one person who could lift this weight is no longer here.  He left for work one day, almost four months ago and that was it, I never saw him again, not even once.