Last night I built up enough courage to go through Ryan's pack he left at the base of the climb. And although it was super tearful and I sobbed uncontrollably - it was also healing. I bought him a Dueter pack a few years ago when he was wearing through his Brenthaven, which was too small for all of his gear. He loved it and wore it every where.
In the top of the pack were some drill bits for his ongoing projects that he would put up throughout the Methow Valley and New Halem. He would spend hours up on a wall drilling, scouring the rock for the best lines, cleaning big chunks of chossy rock from the wall and enhancing his play ground.
There was also a sandwich baggie full of block chalk. And a wrench on a piece of cordlet that he would use to install 3/4" bolts into the rock.
For lunch that day he packed a peanut butter and honey sandwich - he wasn't a big fan of jelly for some reason. An apple, Cool Mint Cliff bar and pieces of foil, which I suspect was from Makiah scavenging from the night.
His approach shoes had the shoe laces removed and at first, I thought what the??? And then realized he probably forgot a leash and made one to secure Makiah. Tucked into the toes of his shoes were my Cane Creek socks. He also brought some blue Poweraid, another poweraid bottle full of water with a cordlet attached to the top with a beaner attached. Only a few sips were gone from each one. And next to his pack was a makeshift water dish for Makiah.
I think the hardest thing to look at was his lunch. Carefully packed and to be enjoyed later...
The pack has been sitting in my closet for two weeks now - calling to me every few days. Ryan's small stop watch has an alarm that goes off around midnight or something - and I only hear it every now and then. Last night after going through the pack, I swear it stopped beeping. Almost as if that alarm was calling for me to go through the pack and in order to start the healing portion of my grief.