This is the fourth year since Ryan's passing. In commemoration of his being, I'm putting out a series of 5 tributes: a collection of short true stories of experiences we shared and in essence, give you a glimpse of his unforgettable character. With his 35th birthday coming up on June 5th, and going into the fifth year of his absence, I wanted the world know what a big impression he left on my life.
The Ultimate Birthday Gift.
Given the tragic set of circumstances surrounding Ryan's sudden death, my life was guaranteed to change. Having someone so close in my life, someone who slept in the same bed, shared the same dreams, thoughts, aspirations and friendship, suddenly disappear left me in complete shock.
It is impossible to imagine such loss until it happens to you.
How I managed to get through the year of firsts continues to baffle me. Whole months of my life lapsed in a time warp, lost as quickly and suddenly as Ryan left. During that time, my soul traveled to unmentionable depths, into an unfathomable abyss.
Yet through the slow, steady passage of time, I started to come to a grand realization. Something that without the experience of loss would never have revealed itself. A gift so amazing, so unique, so touching and grand that I thank my lucky stars everyday for becoming apparent to me.
What is that gift?
It's living life to the fullest. It's recognizing and putting steps in motion to make your dreams come true. It's opening your eyes, heart and soul to truly experiencing life. To following your dreams, never settling, following your intuition and loving every minute of it.
After 4 years of Ryan being gone, I can honestly say I've had more growth than I ever thought possible. I"ve moved to a sunny climate, bought a house, fallen madly in love and continue to chase my dreams. I'm not sure if this would have been my path regardless of Ryan's death, but I'm accepting what happened and looking at it as a huge gift.
Happy Birthday, Ryan. You are missed but your spirit carries on in so many ways. Thank you for showing me.
I am the luckiest girl on the planet.