With & With Out Ryan // San Francisco

It goes with out saying that Dan and I go back and forth between hell and a somewhat tolerable hell. There are times that we can breath with ease, and times that we can't. Between the good, the bad and the awful are a few 'moments'. Moments that glimmer hope and give off peace. Moments that heal our sad souls a little bit at a time. These moments are given to us with the help of our family and friends walking this loss with us. But truly they are guided to us by Ryan as he works with God to help his parents get through. At least that's what I believe. I have to believe my son is working hard to make sure Dan and I come out of this strong and more in love than ever. Otherwise, I'll drive myself insane with continuously questioning things that will never have answers. I have to believe my son can see us. If I don't believe my son is with God, if I don't believe he is truly happier in Heaven...then I have nothing. Then his death will be a waste, instead of a lesson that leads to not a better life, but a stronger one. 

When Ryan isn't working for us he is with us. I have to believe that too. Ryan was such an active little boy. He always wanted to be doing something. We always tried to be doing something fun for him. Sometimes I would feel like I failed him if I only took him to the park. I always tried to take him somewhere fun and then get a treat along with it. As a family we tried to take trips, even if it was just local. When we didn't physically go somewhere we would do crafts or cook something fun. Always up to something...

Now, Dan and I have promised to continue to do the same. We recently went to San Francisco (a trip we had planned for the three of us) and it was the first time we had ventured out since everything fell apart. At first I felt guilty. I felt guilty for going ahead with our trip. I felt guilty for wanting to try really hard to have a little fun. What kind of mother wants to try and have fun while she morns her son's death? These inside struggles happen quiet frequently and then they slowly subside. My guilt wore off as I thought about how my son would hate it if we sat at home all day. I thought about how he would get bored and get stir crazy. That is when Dan and made our promise to honor our son instead of let his life and ours fall by the waste side. 

With and with out Ryan. Meaning he is with us in our hearts, but we are with out his little body. He is with us when he feel the wind blow against our faces, but we are with out hearing his laughter or tiny voice tell us stories or jokes. We are with him when we see things that he loved, but we are with out feeling his hands hold ours as we walk or run. It is like feeling okay and then its like having a knife pushed so far into your heart and all you feel is deep sharp pain. You shake with hurt and heartbreak and you think to yourself how are we ever going to do this? 

Then we force ourselves to remember he is with us even though we are with out him. This balance is the hardest thing to learn. Thank God for our family and true friends. Dan and I went to college up in Northern California, that's where we met. During our four years there we made friends that have become family. Friends that have the most incredible hearts and the most selfless souls. While up in SF our friends rallied around Dan and I and made sure to help us create those 'moments'. Those moments that glimmer hope and give off peace. Those moments that heal our sad souls a little bit at a time. 


And with that, as I have said before, Dan and I will force ourselves to travel and live. 


With and with out our Ryan. 




San Francisco has been a location that our family has been to a thousand times. 

It was Ryan's first trip. And Ryan, we promise to take you everywhere baby. From here on out. 



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74 comments

  1. Rachel Reeves says…
    05/31/2014

    Praying for you and thinking of you constantly. All my love a thousand times over.-Rachel Reeves

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. cornelia nilsson says…
    05/31/2014

    I am praying for you each night when I go to bed. I pray for my son, and i finnish my prayer with asking God to hold your hearts. Ryan is with God, he has the best life in heaven. And I know he sees you from there. I know he loves you so so much. He will be there when its your turn to leave the world, and you will be back together again, with blood, physically. Until then you are together by heart and soul. <3

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. "AudRêve" en Scrap ! says…
    05/31/2014

    Thinking of you and baby Ryan every day guys. All my love forever.Hugs from France. Audrey (instagram : lacroizfamily)

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Ashley Rooney says…
    05/31/2014

    Your words are inspiring. I continue to think and pray for you and your husband everyday.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. The Every Day Extraordinary says…
    05/31/2014

    Praying you through all kind of days. Janene

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Pat Patt says…
    05/31/2014

    We are thinking of you guys constantly... We are praying for you and your little dude every single day...xxxPat (from Poland)

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Dakota Boyle says…
    05/31/2014

    Your writing helps so many people. It.cant.be.easy. Ryan flows through you; it's so obvious in your writing. Prayers always

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. may ann says…
    05/31/2014

    Hey Jacqui and Dan I wish I can turn back time for you, everyday I say a prayer for both of you, even I don't know you my heart aches for both of you, Ryan where ever you are please take care of your mommy and daddy, give them strength and peace in their hearts!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Vanessa Recalde says…
    05/31/2014

    Lots of love and hugs xoxoxoxoxo!! As you fall apart your angel will always be the one that shimmers the strength and hope. He will guide you to that place where you will feel peace and calm. This roller coaster comes with promise of a future that will be ok with and without your boy. Forever in my heart and prayers.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. tessfontanetti says…
    05/31/2014

    I know that your family can be together forever, and that your little boy is with his Father in Heaven watching over you. I don't know if you've seen this website, but I think it helps answer a lot of questions about the afterlife and how we can be with our loved ones forever. It's brought me such peace, and it's something I would like to share with you!http://www.mormon.org/faq/topic/resurrection/question/together-forever

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Kay says…
    05/31/2014

    I know we all have to live no matter what, even after such painful event. But you guys are doing it in honor of your beautiful son, Ryan so good. SO GOOD. He is proud of you guys. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. This really encourages us to go on. Go on even with hearts full of pain and sorrow. Because if we stop, there will be nothing. Thank you Jacqui.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. modepunkt says…
    06/01/2014

    You are so strong. I have no words for your loss and I just want to say that I feel so sorry for you and will keep you in my thoughts.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. jackieM says…
    06/01/2014

    Never feel guilty Jacqui that little boy of yours only knew love and every moment with him was cherished. Think for yourself and trust your own intuition, another's mind isn't walking the journey you are. To be absent from the body is to be present with the lord. Always thinking of you, dan & ryan.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. jackieM says…
    06/01/2014

    Levi Lusko's blog may help ease some of your inside struggles, http://levilusko.com/ he is a young pastor from Montana and his five year old daughter went to heaven.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Bree Miner says…
    06/01/2014

    Thank You for Sharing Your Journey with Us,I Pray for Your Little Ryan and for You and Dan Everyday and Always will!Ryan is a Amazing Little Boy and He does want You to get out and Live,Live for Him,Live for You,and He is with You ever step You take and You will when the Time comes,Hold Him again Forever,Stay Strong Momma!;**8

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Toby Palma says…
    06/01/2014

    Hi Jacqui, I logged on today to grab your gluten fee banana muffin recipe, and read this. Your loss takes my breath away and I send my deepest condolences. I woke up today thinking about you and your family and sweet little Ryan. I love that you will continue to live your life as the Ryan would want you to. My heart aches for you. But, at the same time, it makes me happy to see you have a great group of friends/family to lean into. Your faith is so inspiring and so important in times like these. God and Ryan and working with you, and Ryan will always be with you. Hour by hour, mama. I will continue to pray for your family. Sending lots of love, light, and positive vibes. Keep smiling when you can! Thanks for sharing with us. ((Hugs)) and Love, Toby

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. AlteredGrace says…
    06/01/2014

    Dear Jacqui and Dan - I found your sight while randomly clicking on other blogger favorites lists. I know I am not anyone to you however I wanted to express my sympathy for your loss and to let you know that I think of your precious little Ryan daily. I think of how brave you are and, in honor him, you have continued to live when the easier road would be to stay emotionally frozen in a previous lifetime. I wanted you to know that I don't feel I'll ever stop thinking and praying for you and Ryan. Though I doubt we'll ever speak, I had to express that through you, Ryan's memory continues. You are teaching others (me) how to live.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Miranda says…
    06/01/2014

    You are amazing people. The three of you will always be thought of and prayed for in my house. I know you will see your son again and I know he is working just as hard for you on the other side. Thank you for sharing

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Melissa says…
    06/01/2014

    You have an unbelievable strength that I cannot even comprehend. It hits and hurts my soul. You are an amazing family. You have taught me SO much, I can't even begin to explain it.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. QueenG :O) says…
    06/01/2014

    You loved Ryan perfectly and completely!!! He left here being perfectly loved!! You gave him the very best gift a parent could possibly give to their child!! What an amazing legacy Ryan has left behind, one that you and Dan get to carry on!! My thots and prayers are with you!! Let this beautiful love you have for Ryan and the love he gives to you bring you peace and strength!!! Know in your heart that God is taking care of him till Mommy and Daddy come home!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. beyondthegrayskies says…
    06/01/2014

    Jacqui I can't begin to tell you how incredibly sorry I am for your loss. I am moved by your story and continue to pray for you and your family. Your and Dan's strength and resilience are remarkable.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Tanya Dempsey says…
    06/01/2014

    Bless you both. It's true. Little Ryan is with you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Mindy Golds says…
    06/01/2014

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Mindy Golds says…
    06/01/2014

     I share your story almost every single day with someone new. I catch myself thinking about you and your husband and how much pain you're enduring. I have an overwhelming since of empathy for you. Just know that when you cry, we cry too. You have so many people praying for you and your family. I tell everyone how strong of a woman you are, how much you inspire mother's around the world to not take one second for granted with their children, and how much you showered your sweet son with love. You are truly an inspiration to many♡

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Katie Mancuso says…
    06/02/2014

    Your strength and faith are inspiring. Your tragedy is heart breaking, even for so many us complete strangers, we some how feel connected to you, Dan, and Ryan. I wish for the absolute best for you both and hope you know that people all over the world are keeping your son's memory alive.

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