Once my son had passed we had a few days there after to just be in a sad solid daze. Dan and I just gripped to each other really not understanding life at that moment. Not understanding anything really. We just went through the motions, hugged everyone back, listened to everyone talk. Things got really terrible when talks of a funeral started buzzing around. A funeral for my son? The process was heart wrenching and one of the hardest things I'd ever had to do. A few days before his funeral I wanted to call the whole thing off because it felt more comfortable to just sit and be sad and angry than it did to go through the act of a damn funeral. I remember crying to Dan, begging him to make it all stop. Ryan's funeral, it seemed impossible. No matter the pain and gut wrenching act of sitting through my child's funeral service, we did it. We banded together and we knocked the whole funeral thing out of the park and it. was. beautiful. Painfully beautiful.
'Live Loud Live Wild' was something I came up with while my brain was deep within fog and my heart shattered in a million pieces. I was inspired by my son and his personality as I had to come up with wording for his funeral program. How can I make this funeral program positive and uplifting rather than sad with verses unknown to me? I knew I wanted it simple and saturated with Ryan. I think it turned out perfect. And now this 'Live Loud Live Wild' has become a way of life...in honor of our son.
My son, he was loud and he was wild. He lived life to the fullest and even at his young age I believe he knew what that meant. He definitely taught Dan and I the true meaning of living. With Ryan we were loud and wild all the time. Now, we try everyday to honor our son by living life just as he would want it ... it is so hard and some days I live by just barely breathing in bed while I watch television to numb my mind. But other days it comes easy, smiles and laughter comes easy.
Live Loud Live Wild.
It could mean so many things for so many people.
This week we come up on five whole months with out our beautiful son. And as timing is truly everything, yesterday I received a package from a sweet stranger. Her name is Lindsay and she taught yoga at a children's summer camp in New York this year. Lindsay taught her little yogis one day about living loud and wild. She asked them what they thought it meant and their responses were wonderful, innocent and a few hilarious. Lindsay sent Dan and I the sweetest card and all the children's responses. It is painful to see other children's artwork and read their hopes and dreams of living loud and wild. I can't help but think that my baby won't get to do any of his hopes and dreams here with us. As parents ... we had hopes and dreams for him that will go unseen and un-lived. It breaks my heart. But then I think, Ryan was so great and amazing ... he taught his parents how to really live. And now, because this sweet stranger felt inspired by Ryan and his little legacy, a lot of children will ponder just how they want to live loud and wild. That is something special.
They are so important those hopes and dreams. They are such a beautiful thing and vital to living. What I need to remember is that even though I feel depressed and sometimes so sad and angry about Ryan's hopes and dreams being gone, there are different hopes and dreams in the midst of my grief. Hopes and dreams I need to hold on to and focus on during my times of sadness. What keeps me living loud and wild are my hopes and dreams for the future. I get stuck sometimes on the fact that I now live with out my son, but he is here with me and there with you. I hope we can all think about how we can live loud and wild. How we can cherish this life given to us, no matter how hard it can be. Ryan would have wanted us to live loud and wild just as he did. Just as he does.
Below are some of our favorite responses and drawings these creative children sent us.
Lindsay, we have no idea who you are but we are thankful for your heart. Thank you for having us on your mind and doing this exercise with your students. You are a special person and we are grateful that you taught these kids about Ryan and you let them explore their very own hopes and dreams and how they can live loud and wild.