What you see before you is a book in the makings. I'm going back, reviewing my posts in small chunks. Right now I'm focusing on the first month after Ryan's death.
You would think poking around in the past would stir up all sorts of grief demons. And it does. But underneath it all and only a few days into his passing was a current of acceptance. I knew right away that was the choice I wanted to make. I didn't want to play the victim.
"Being angry isn't going to change anything."
"I was sad thinking about not bring able to share this with him - no one to come home to and get a big enormous kiss and hug and celebratory beer with. But as night wore on, I'm learning to be okay with that. Or more like get used to it."
So many things change over time. Getting used to Ryan not being here, and learning to love again. I get a big enormous kiss and hugs from Benjamin now. He fills me up in his own, authentic and beautiful way. I am so lucky. I also appreciate all of the lessons I've learned despite the hardship: wisdom, acceptance, limitless possibilities, true love, to name a few.
And now... a little sample of what I'm working on today....
I want to wake up from this nightmare.
That’s all I could say or think at first. That everything I experienced was surreal and hopefully a figment of my imagination. My heart, my head and my soul would never be the same. Sure my heart would continue beating and my lungs still gathering air. But when you loose someone, someone who is as close as Ryan was, it feels like you get lost in an undertow. Swirling around, practically drowning and you become uncertain which direction is up.
I started mooning people. (Who moons people!? Seriously!) My inhibitions were down and my reasoning thrown out the door. I would laugh hysterically and cry, all at once. My sleep irregular, I often woke up at 3 am, unable to fall back asleep. The easiest thing to do was to think about Ryan. I let memories we share fill the blank void. I didn’t want to be alone in my house at first, and instead opted to stay at my mom’s house.
Being home alone meant contending with the ghosts. And facing the reality sooner than later that I had to untangle the life I knew in order to make room for a new one. Friends started asking, why don’t you throw yourself back into training? Why don’t you race at Nationals in a month? Why aren’t you over it?
I don’t know if anyone is capable of loosing their mate and then acting as if everything is normal. It’s not. And pretending that it is would only set me back.
It didn't prevent me from trying to act normal. I surrounded myself with friends and things to do. During the day, I had no trouble hanging out with friends and keeping my mind occupied. But whenever I would go home, emotionally drained from having to pretend I was ok, tears would stream down the minute I closed my front door. My pillow and sheets would be covered in snot come morning. I missed Ryan and felt hollow without him there.
Falling for my strong front, people started relying on me emotionally. It had only been 10 days since Ryan passed. I felt incapable of shouldering anyone else’s emotions and ended up secluding myself. My smile, although easy to come despite the tragedy, was a mask for how bad I hurt inside. I wished Ryan were around so I could vent to him. He always had a way of listening to me and by doing so would help solve the problem. But he wasn’t around anymore and I needed to find the careful balance between being social and taking care of myself. Sometimes I needed to just feel the ache.