My Panic Attacks

Thursday, March 5, 2015

It starts out fairly slow. Almost as if its warning me. Brace yourself Jacqui, in a moment you won't be able to catch your breath. My brain barrels toward memories of Ryan. My mind makes me, forces me to search for his voice. It replays his little voice in my head with out warrant. I see Ryan and I fiercely miss him. I close my eyes and I want to hold him but I can't. Then my mind starts pointing out all the negative. His toys are in storage, I hate that there might be dust on them. His clothes that use to cover his body, his clothes that he use to love to pick out are all folded and have been still for ten months. I hate that. I hate that it gets so quiet at times. I want to hear his yell and cheerful screams.

Instead I start to scream with anger.

I grab my chest and I can't catch my breath. Sometimes I punch a pillow if I'm on my bed. Sometimes all I can do is fall to my knees. That's how fast it hits. What starts it can be anything, but whatever it is, a song, a comment ... it quickly sparks a memory of my son that pulls so deep on my heart. It pulls me do deep I can't focus. All my strength and confidence of "living a full and happy life for my son" vaporizes and leaves me in a dusty reality. The dirty harsh reality that my son is forever gone. Our beautiful moments together are never to be felt or lived again. In this life anyway. In this life, his life is over. I hate that more than anything.

My body and mind panic together with my heart feeling lifeless in the middle.

I have panic attacks. About once or twice a week the big scary ones hit. I cry everyday and let myself have the moments I need, but the real panic attacks arise out of no where. I'm assuming they are happening to me because I'm going through something extremely tragic. And although I experience these a few times a week I still feel so unfamiliar with it all. They feel insane and horrible and last anywhere from ten minutes to an hour. I don't do anything or take anything to make them stop. I just succumb to whatever it is my body is doing and let it run its nasty course. I have found that if I give in and let it have control it ends faster.

My poor husband is so great and handles me with care. Though I'm positive it is not an easy task. I figured I need help to try and curb these attacks. But I'm a freak and want to try and stay as natural as possible . . . So I'm going to try and get into essential oils and see how that bodes.

We are all different, especially with the ways we handle hard things such as grief, anxiety, all of it. Oils may not work for everyone or me. Nothing may work who knows! I don't know much, but I'm eager to learn how to cope with my own struggles. I hope that you are confident to find ways that work for you no matter what it is. At the end of it all we just need help putting one foot in front of the other.

Up until right now only my close family has known about these panic attacks of mine. The thought of sharing them and what my mind and body goes through while experiencing them is scary! I usually try and stay positive but the truth is, this grief of mine is dark and twisted at times. I'm happy to write out the feelings that flow through me during my panic attacks because I want to remember them. Even though these experiences are intense and terrifying, they are mine. They are specific to the grief of losing my son. My baby boy. It is a horrible and tragic thing, but there is beauty sprinkled through out it all. My baby boy is beautiful. And who knows, maybe someone out there has these kinds of panic attacks too . . . we can help one another.


Wonton Turkey Tacos

Monday, March 2, 2015

It has been nearly three weeks since I've posted on this little blog of mine. I guess that means February was a long and busy month. We definitely celebrated, struggled and grew ... I have so much to say and feel. I'll set aside some time to process it all and write a few a things down as it helps me. Thank you to everyone for sticking by my side as I hustle through the depths of my grief. It can feel so lonely at times and then I'm swiftly reminded of the immense support. 

I recently posted a photo of these yummy little things and a lot of people asked for the recipe. It is something I made up on a whim. Dan and I love tacos and decided to switch it up one night. I always ask for extra wontons on my salad at Tender Greens so I decided to try my hand at working with wontons at home, since I love them so much. My mom always taught me to throw together things you have on hand in case you find yourself with out a packet of taco seasoning or whatever it is you may think you need to make your food taste good. So, I figured out how to make a sauce from scratch that made my food taste dang good. Anyways, thats how this weird creation started and turns out a lot of you were curious. 

Let me know if any of you make these in your home. I saw all the pancakes and cinnamon rolls on Instagram and it just makes me feel so happy! You all are the absolute best ... 

Wonton Tacos



What You Need
- one pound of turkey (you can use whatever meat/meat substitute)
- 3 green onions
- tablespoon of roughly chopped cilantro
- wonton wrappers
- 1/4 cup of canola oil
- 1/2 cup shredded carrots
- 1/2 cup shredded broccoli (I use the pre-shredded broccoli slaw mix from Trader Joe's)

For The Sauce
**You can totally buy a bottle of 'General Tso' sauce if you don't want to make it yourself**
- 1/2 cup of soy sauce
- 3 tablespoons of rice wine
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of rice wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons of brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon of Siracha
- 3 cloves of chopped garlic
- 2 teaspoons of cornstarch 
- 1 teaspoon of chili flakes (we like it spicy so don't add if you don't like a little heat)


What You Do

- The first thing I do is fry all the wonton shells. To be honest they are a pain in the butt, but I hope that doesn't turn you off. They are so tasty, crispy and delicious it will be worth it. I promise. In a frying pan heat your 1/4 cup of canola oil on medium high heat. You can also use veggie oil if that's what you have on hand. Once the oil is hot put one corner of the wonton in. (It is a square so act like you are folding it corner to corner.) Use tongs to hold onto a corner of the wonton while the other other corner is frying. You fry one side of the "taco" and once it is light brown you flip it over and fry the other side. You have to use the tongs to hold one side while you fry the other so it stays open like a taco. Does this make sense? If not email me and I can walk you through it. I feel crazy typing this. I just made this up one night in my kitchen and figured it out on the fly. Once both sides are crispy light brown place on a paper towel and continue frying. 

-Once all your wonton shells are finished frying start browning your turkey meat. You can use ground beef or really any kind of filling you want. It would be great with just vegetables too. Again, I'm all about getting creative. Hopefully a few of you do! Let me know. 

-While your meat is browning start on the sauce. Again this sauce can be found in a bottle at any store and would cut dinner prep in half. It is called 'General Tso' at Trader Joe's and is really good as a marinade too. So go for easy if you can. If you are like me and make everything hard for yourself ;) prepare from scratch like this;

                             - In a saucepan on low heat warm all but the sugar & corn starch.
                             - Stir in the brown sugar and whisk until it dissolves. 
                             - Whisk in corn starch (this will thicken the sauce).
                             - Toss in chili flakes at the end...If you want.
                             - Take off heat and store in fridge for up to three days or use right away. 
                             - This amount is good for about one pound of turkey. 

- So, your turkey is brown and you've drained all the fat. Add your sauce and stir. 
- Add your chopped green onions, shredded broccoli and carrots. Cook until the veggies soften. I do like to keep the veggies a little crispy but that is totally up to you. Once everything is coated with sauce and cooked to your liking ... carefully put the filling in your wonton shells. I say carefully because  the wontons break easy. 
- Just top with chopped cilantro and enjoy!








Nine Months

Monday, February 2, 2015

It is true I guess. It has been nine months.

I went to bed and awoke with the second of the month staring at me in the face.
I pushed it away and it moved into a dark mass over my head.
I tried to shake it off but it goes no where. All the progress I've made, all the smiles I've forced to be real, all the steps forward I've taken vanish.
I'm left a heaping mess and I let myself hate everything because I have zero strength to do much else.

Nine months is a scary thought. Nine months since I've heard his voice for real. Nine months since I've touched his silky, smooth, chunky, cheek.  To say I miss it all feels like an understatement. I more than miss it all. Is that real? Can I more than miss it all? I miss you more and more everyday Ryan.

Nine months and I feel broken. Shattered.

Today I will let myself break. It feels good to break sometimes.

When I come up for air, I'll use my sleeve to wipe my tears and snot just as my son did when he had a runny nose. I'll smile small smiles when I remember Ryan's little body and the giant way he moved along his life. Slowly, I will pick up all my bits and pieces and begin to rebuild myself. Stronger. Rebuild myself with more power and grace. With more love and understanding of this life I lead.

It is true I guess. It has been nine months.

I let myself break and now I can begin to conquer this ninth month, just as I have been doing with months eight, seven, six ...




Not Just Pancakes

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

My mother loves to tell this story. When it happened she called me right away and was convinced her little grandson was in fact a comedian ...

Dan and I were enjoying a weekend away as parents do. My mom was watching Ryan as grandparents love to do. Saturday morning she took Ryan along for breakfast with her girlfriends. While the waitress was taking orders my mom told Ryan to tell the nice lady what you would like for breakfast. My mom, always an advocate for "Do it yourself". So Ryan perks up and says "PANCAKES." My mom tells him to say please so Ryan orders again this time with "Pancakes Pwese". The waitress then gets down on his level sweetly and asks "Would you like bacon or sausage with that sweetie?" At this point I'm sure the waitress thinks this kid is cute ... She also probably can't decide if this kid is a boy or girl as my son's long red hair fooled many. Then as my mom loves to tell it ...
 Ryan gives the waitress an awkward confused look (aka a dirty look) and says "I want dem wif syrup!" (insert my mom's laughter here...okay I'm laughing now too)
Duh lady! Give the kid (boy or girl) pancakes with SYRUP!


If you knew Ryan personally you would know in detail of his strong sweet tooth. Actually, if you can find a three year old who doesn't have a severe soft spot for sugar congrats! My son is just like me, coat it in sugar and we will eat it. Aside from sweets, Ryan had a continuous love affair with Macaroni and Cheese (shocker). His favorite though was pancakes. Pancakes were his jam and they were mine too when I was little. They are my jam now! The second Ryan was old enough for solids I was so thrilled to mix up pancake batter just like how my grandma does and serve him right! That is right buddy! Breakfast gets way better than mushy baby cereal and bananas! His first pancake day was fun. I had music playing, Ry was squeaking and bubble babbling in his Bumbo chair. Probably thinking "my mom is a fool!" I had read somewhere that you should talk out every little thing you do in front of your baby in hopes of the baby learning words and in turn learning how to talk. So I did and my whole family thought I was nuts. I narrated everything from cleaning, diaper changing to cooking. It was annoying I'm sure. It makes me laugh though thinking of myself  saying "I'm cracking the eggs. I'm mixing! This is called mixing Ryan ..." Terrible, but Ryan did start talking early so there you have it. Coincidence? I think so yea.

From the first pancake morning to the last it was an adventure. Never the same, but always fun. Now, I've just begun making pancakes again. With Ryan looking down at me. I imagine him squeezing in-between my legs. I think back at the times when we would drag his stool into the kitchen and request "I help now ... I can do it mom!" I can see his chubby hands strangle an egg until it cracks and oozes through his fingers. He always looked up at me with a smile and giggle. I'm making pancakes again and it sucks with out him. But making pancakes again, that is progress. It shows I'm growing with Ryan within me. Pancakes for me are not just pancakes. When I make, order, eat pancakes its me thinking of Ryan and all our pancake quests.



It never is "just pancakes" or "just breakfast" ... It is an adventure. 



 Jacqui & Ryan's Go-To Pancakes
What You Need
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 1 cup of almond milk
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon melted butter for batter
- more butter for the pan in between pancakes and more butter ...
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- a few table spoons of water to smooth the batter




What You Do
- mix dry and wet ingredients
- melt the tablespoon of butter in the pan. When it is melted add to the batter.
- add water and whisk your batter till it is smooth (no lumps)
- add a pad of butter into your medium hot pan.
- once the butter melts add about a 1/3 cup of batter.
- let it bubble. Once the bubbles are evenly popping up all over its time to flip!
- once it flips add a little butter to the top
- after a few seconds  and the butter on top has melted the pancake is done.
- serve warm with your favorite toppings. aka syrup!



Pancake Tips

-Make sure the batter is smooth with no lumps. The lumps are flour pockets that won't cook. Use a whisk and your muscles. Also you can add a little water at a time to get to that smooth texture.

-Always add a teaspoon of vanilla. For all you box pancake makers even adding a dash of vanilla will change the taste for the better.

-Remember! The first one is always a throw away. I don't care if you are a professional chef the first pancake is always burnt, not cooked through, whatever just throw it away and start the second. I feel like that applies in life the first attempt at anything is always a throw away. Dust yourself off and start again.

-Butter Butter, give me the butter baby. If you are afraid of butter you can use coconut oil with ease. You have to butter your pan in between each pancake. Once your pancake is finished spread a little butter on top to melt away as you pour the batter for the next one. Honestly butter is where its at.

-Let the littles do it! (with caution) Let them crack the eggs, mix or pour. Trust me you both will love it and you'll all get used to crunchy pancakes. Egg shells add texture and confidence.


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The goal here is not to steer you from creating pancakes from a box or however you do it. The goal is to just create a fun loving breakfast with your little one. A breakfast that has cake in the name and can be sweet, smothered in more sweet. The goal here is to create memories and get messy while doing so. Enjoy!


Together

Sunday, January 25, 2015

"It's easier to be brave when your not alone." - Amy Poehler

For me I can only be brave when I am surrounded by incredible people who love life and cherish all that it brings. This is not to say I'm never alone or if I'm alone I am crying hot mess ... But to really do good and get through the grit I must be with people who support it all. Plus, it is much more fun when you aren't alone. It is easier to laugh, it is easier to take on the things that scare you, it is easier to learn more about yourself and how your insides work. 

This past week I attended Alt Summit with zero intentions. In the back of my mind I had hope to learn more about blogging ... though that notion was broad and it scared me so I pushed it away. The other scary thing was the fact that I was about to toss my fragile self into a pot of talented strong women. I was about to test myself and how I'd hold up in this hot soup of brilliant bloggers, photographers, mothers and business owners. Would I wilt away and become tasteless or melt right in and prove flavorful?

I arrived clutching my best friend Alissa Circle's arm and made her promise to not let go. I've been to blogging conferences before, but this time I was different. This time I was attending with most everyone knowing every detail of my life and the tragedy I now walked with. It's one thing to be on the Internet talking and letting it all hang out ... It's different talking in person and letting them see it all out. Alissa let go, but only because she knew I could handle it. Though she never ventured far. We were in this together. 

As  I met amazing women and sat through knowledgeable keynote speakers I learned  a whole lot. However, one major theme stood out day in and day out. There is one thing that all this Alt Summit magic has been built upon. Togetherness. We are all great and incredible because we are all doing it together. We are buying from each other, contributing for each other, listening together and laughing together. This community it is special because we are together. 

For me it isn’t about networking so much as its about making friends. I found myself with business cards only to exchange phone numbers instead. It was a truly beautiful experience to meet the people who have been supporting, praying and keeping Ryan on their hearts. I had heart to hearts with strangers and cried with a few who just wanted a hug. I realized this hot soup was indeed flavorful with me in it. This hot soup was damn good with everyone in it. 

What I learned at Alt Summit was pretty simple. In order to do good and get through the hard stuff … You have to surround yourself with amazing people. I learned that spending time knee deep in a conversation about how twisted life is and how we are coping is worth everything. I learned that laughing that real deep laugh about something silly is worth everything. Crying because you finally met the person who drew a beautiful sketch of your son holding a red balloon is worth everything. 

It was overwhelming and by the last day I ditched the last keynote speaker and went back to my room to order a hamburger via room service. I realized I felt whole for a split second. As if all these new friends of mine were stuffed in my wound to stop the bleeding. For a fleeting moment my heart wasn’t broken anymore. 

The thought is simple. Together. We can do it together. We are doing it together. Thank you to all of those who let me hug you. Thank you to my roommates for making me laugh and letting me be myself. Thank you to all my new friends … I look forward to the good we will do together. 









Preschool

Friday, January 16, 2015

One of Ryan's favorite places was his preschool. It was a long road for him to really fall in love with preschool, but once he understood the place and made tiny friends you could literally see his heart expand when he chatted about "kool" (that's how he would say school). At first, quite frankly he hated preschool and would scream and cry at every drop off. His teacher softly explained to me that I should drop him off quick, sign him in and scram. You know ... not drag out the "Good Bye" process. Talk about heart wrenching! As we got ready for preschool I chatted Ryan up totally pro-preschool;

 Me: "Ryan! You ready dude! Today is going to be so fun with all your friends!"
 Ryan: "No. I can stay home wif you."

Once in the car we were fine. All smiles coming from the back seat with quick requests for "Mom, pay my song! .... Pay my song pwease." While Katy Perry and Pharrell crooned  in the background I would still be trying to plug positive about preschool;

 Me: "Aren't you excited to paint and read books with all the other nice kids?"
Ryan: "Yes! I can paint." 
Me: "Alright! Ya! You can totally paint! It is going to be so fun!"

I'm telling you he was all smiles...
As we pulled up to the school and the smiles started to fade...
We get out of the car and the pleading to go back home starts...
At this point I stopped talking up preschool and started talking up myself...Because I needed a little encouragement. I'm not a terrible mom am I? My kid is screaming and I am still making him do something he doesn't want to do! My voice is loud, borderline shrill...
"Mommy loves you Ryan. Everything will be OK, I promise. I love you..." 
In the school lobby Ryan melts down and really lets me have it. Giant crocodile tear drops, fall down his rosy cheeks. His beautiful giant brown eyes (that look similar to mine) narrowing in on me...As if he is trying to tell me "You better not be leaving me here woman!"
His teacher sweetly takes his hand and gives me a nod and a  reassuring smile...
I walk back to my car and cry. That big time wheepy cry where you can feel your heart break in two and the tears and snot fall free all over. I call my mom and ask her if I'm doing the right thing.

The truth is, I was going back to work full time.
The truth is, Ryan needed to go to preschool because both his parents had to work.
The truth is, the crying only lasted a week and three days.

I like to imagine him still running into his class and all his friends scream "HI RYAN!". I sometimes sit really still and think hard about the countless times I dropped him off and picked him up. I can smell the glue and sack lunches, I can hear the kids scream "RYAN YOUR MOM IS HERE!". I like to imagine him running around the playground laughing with his friends all sweaty ... whenever he played he always got a little sweaty. And I can still hear him say "ya! I have fun. I play wif Emawee" He loved a little girl named Emily ... I wish I knew her parents so I could just tell them that their little girl was so loved by my little boy.

I would take a photo every morning before we would get into the car and head to preschool. I can't tell you how many times early morning walkers would look at us funny. But it was just what I did and I'm so happy I did it. I can barely look at the photos now with out crying or feeling all the bad things, but I'm so grateful I have them. I have them all to cherish and look at when I'm good and ready.  Also, I can't post about preschool with out showing you one of my favorites.
His favorite shoes and his favorite monster lunchpail ... Ready to run and have the best day always.



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When SoulCycle reached out to me about hosting a charity event I felt so honored. Who would we raise money for? Some place, some thing that had to do with children. My dear friend Megan suggested we raise money for Ryan's preschool and I immediately started to get hot with excited and teary eyed. Of course, what an honor to be able to give back to the place that helped shape my little man. A place that was such a vital part of our life. A place the three of us loved.

I'm hosting a SoulCycle ride February 7th at 2pm and we will gather with Ryan and his friends in mind. Dan and I are beyond excited and the support that has been given thus far is just insane. So much so, I can barely wrap my head around it all. Doing good for others is a great thing. Watching people come together and do good for others, do good for strangers ... That is a beautiful thing.

Below is the invite, which I posted on Instagram and the event sold out in less than an hour! I am thrilled that I get to meet some of you and give you all hugs and say 'Thank You' face to face. You can still sign up for the wait list and there is an option on the event page to just donate if you are interested. This community I have, this little space of mine and my many Instagram friends ... It is all so special to me. I have so much love for you all. Thank You now and again over and over.



2014 . . . A Beautiful Year

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I’m sitting in a beautiful Tahoe cabin as I write this. I stayed behind as the rest went snowboarding. I felt the need to get some thoughts out of my head, to really explore my thoughts and what they mean. The past few days I’ve felt so heavy. Physically heavy and quick to cry. I cry everyday, though lately the tears come and flow with out warning. Dan and I made it through Christmas and it was hard. We celebrated us, we celebrated Ryan and we were able to celebrate with family. All the while I felt so anxious. Christmas brought out this terrible streak of jealousy and fierce anger. I was just plain mad that families were able to celebrate as a whole and Dan and I were not. However, on Christmas Eve those feelings kind of absorbed into each other and melted away. I still felt sad (I’m positive I’ll be some version of sad all my life), but I also felt OK. I wasn’t angry anymore. We lit three red candles as we opened gifts and I remember thinking 
“We are celebrating as a family. It just looks different than what you had imagined. And Jacqui that is OK. You are OK. You got this.” 

2014 was a beautiful year. It really was. There were parts of 2014 that were really terrible. Parts of 2014 that ripped my heart out. Parts of 2014 where my head was so foggy, clouded with sorrow and every emotion possible. 2014 brought out severe panic attacks and if I’m being honest with myself…2015 will most likely hold a decent amount hurt, pain and panic attacks. Well if I’m being honest then I’ll say; The mother who lost her three year old boy in a flash hates 2014. She hates the month of May. She hates the 2nd of every month. She hates every Friday around 6pm until she falls asleep. I understand her. Who could blame her. That mother is truthfully me and yet I still can’t bring myself to truly say Good Bye to 2014. I pictured myself up to bat and hitting 2014 so far into the stands that it explodes and is never to be thought of again. But, if i’m still being honest, I don’t want to say to Good Bye. Speaking of things I hate … I hate goodbyes. I truly hate having the time of my life only to say  “Good Bye” to it all. It sucks. 

I don’t want to say Good Bye to the last time I held my son. Or the last time I took him to Disneyland. The last time we walked to get coffee. The last time we made pancakes or rice crispy treats together. I don’t want to say Good Bye to the year where I heard my son’s laugh for the last time or felt his little body climb into our bed in the early morning. 
I don’t want to continue to get farther and farther away from all those moments. 
Do you know what happens as you get farther and farther away? 
You start to forget. 
And that right there, is my worst fear. 

My worst fear used to be death or if my grandparents died (because who would of thought my son would be the one?) Or sometimes my worst fear would be a shark bumping into my paddle board in the harbor (holy crap!) or slamming my finger so hard my nail would turn black and fall off (yikes!). Actually, my sister had that happen to her in 2014 and as I’m writing this out I know I’ve taken a left turn and here I go on a tangent... But that truly is a fear now having seen her go through the trauma. She was in so much pain she nearly blacked out. In a few weeks her nail actually fell off, and no amount of gel polish can fix such a thing. I’m sure she is happy to have that moment in 2014 past her.
Slamming my finger, yes that is a real fear because it isn't fun. 

Anyways, the point is I had / have many worst fears. Don’t we all? Now my number one fear, is to forget. I remember the day after we lost Ryan and the flood of people flowing in to pay their respects and drop of copious amounts of food. I remember thinking in my head these people, all these people knew Ryan or knew of his outgoing, wild personality. I remember saying over and over and over again to anyone who would listen “Please don’t forget my son.” Sometimes it would come out soft like a whisper. Sometimes the words would fall out of my mouth in a desperate scream. A few times I would beg. I remember grabbing Dan’s older sister, begging her to never let her kids forget Ryan. “Please, don’t let them forget him. Please!” I begged her so hard as if I was starving and needed food. Please! Please…

I know I am biased. Because Ryan is my son. But if I’m being honest I feel as if my son is just to damn good to forget. Ryan had so many amazing moments. He was quick witted, hilarious, obnoxious and had such a vibrant way of living. Every tiny moment that made up Ryan’s life was special and I am so afraid to forget it all. I am so afraid of people forgetting those moments. 

It is now a new year. A fresh start right? The time people make lists of resolutions and plans for an abundant year. It is the time for new and with each passing day we fall farther and farther from the last year. I sit here with tears flowing down my face hot and fast. Dan and I kept with tradition and ventured to Tahoe for New Years as we always do. Our friends wanted to celebrate the New Year and I just wasn’t feeling it. I felt angry like why would anyone want to celebrate right now? Can’t we just sit and talk about Ryan? Can’t we just sit and let me cry and feel sad? Can someone just hold me as I let myself have a good hearty cry about my loss? My heart is still so broken even just 8 months out. My heart is so broken there really is no room for any type of true celebration. But, I don’t expect our friends to understand that. I don’t expect anyone to understand that. Holy crap! I don’t even think I understand my grief and wild emotions half the time. 

Now as I sit here in this elaborate Tahoe cabin, the snowboarders are back and I can hear muffled reggae music coming from the deck. My husband is trying his best to have a good time, and I am so proud of his strength. I wish I had some of of his strength. I’m sitting here and I feel less heavy after writing out all that was bouncing around in my head through New Year’s Eve and now into New Years Day. I feel a bit better. The tears are still to quick to brim my eyes, but that is expected right? 

I like to let myself feel all there is to feel while walking this grief. I like to assess my feelings so I can kind of learn from them, grow from them. I’m so desperate to learn the ins and outs of this life with out my son in hopes of understanding it all better. Maybe I can learn how to control it. Or at least learn how to live with my loss better and better each day. 

So, what have I learned from my New Year’s Eve meltdown and sappy New Years morning? I learned that I am not as strong as I say I am. I learned that I am still extremely sensitive. My wound is still gaping open and raw. I learned that in order to feel really good, a deep from the depths of your soul cry is needed to be had. Like a cry so crazy deep you can’t catch your breath and your body shakes with each whimper. A good cry lets me feel relief. 
I learned all that. Just 8 months ago we lost Ryan and I’ve learned that I still need a lot of tender love and care. I’m walking around, living life made of glass and at any moment a memory, a song or a statement can come crashing into me and break me into a thousand pieces. Leaving me strangled with sadness, fear and possibly anger as I slowly try to piece myself back together. 

I’m now understanding that I will always be putting myself back together. Each time with a little more strength. Like that three little pigs story; the first time I put myself back together I was weak and had only the knowledge to do so with hay. the second time I knew a little more of myself and what I am capable of with this grief looming over me, so I built myself again with sticks. The next time I will be stronger. I can’t wait for the day I will have enough power and force to re-build myself with brick. That will be a beautiful day. Maybe I’ll invite everyone in and have a party. 


I lost my son in 2014, but I don’t hate 2014 for that. I don’t love it either, but in order to rebuild myself stronger I need to reflect on all the good that came of 2014. This life of loss is all over the place…as I’m sure my words are (Thank you to those who bare with me on this written journey). 2014 was a wonderful year. I’ve learned that much. It had so many amazing moments intertwined with some terrible ones…and really isn’t that what every year is made of? I will never fully say “Good Bye” to 2014. No way! I can not. I will hold 2014 close to my heart as I do the day I held my baby boy for the first time. I will relive every moment of Ryan’s life and celebrate them till the day I join him. I have to. 

To forget is my fear… but to forget is inevitable. Everyone (including me) will forget some pieces. I just need to remember that as we slowly forget, new incredible moments will fill in the cracks. And with that notion I able to finally say… 
Hello 2015, You better be a good one.

Happy New Year
 

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