A Year

Hi Mo,

It’s been a year. Give or take a few hours.

I know we talk all the time…but I’ve got more to say than usual right now…we’ve gone around the sun one time and are back in the same physical space we were a year ago…it’s incredible to think about.

I realize now more than ever how those years, weeks, days, hours, and seconds were and are precious. It’s because I’ve felt those moments all tick away without you physically being here this past year. I felt like I was back in middle school math class…eagerly awaiting for that second hand on the clock to make it’s way around the clock so I’d be free to go to band.

I’ve been working hard with this time trying to find who I am without you here with me.

It’s hard work. And without you here it’s even harder.

I’ve got amazing friends and loved ones in my corner. You know who they are. They’re the same ones that stood with us while you stared down the inevitable fate of all of us with such bravery and grace.

(I can only hope I can be half as brave as you were)

There are new people too. Some are people who have also lost a huge part of themselves as well. They’re part of a club that no one wants to be part of.  I’ve got a feeling you’ve met some of their better halves where you are now.

They’ve helped me with nuggets of wisdom and support,  and helped me realize that I’m not the only one going through this at this time. At this moment. In this hour. On this day.

There are those that continue to remind me that this life is precious, and important, and worth fighting for…and worth the work.

It’s a battle every day to keep moving forward. And many times I feel like I’m taking steps backwards..more often than not in fact.

But I’m doing it. For Miriya. For you. For me. And for those that remind me.

Time has taken on a new meaning for me.

It’s about space and distance.

Space from you. Distance I don’t want.

You stopped on the physical timeline and I had to keep going. Forced by the merciless hand of time.

And yet you’re ahead of me in so many ways at the same time.

It’s a paradox that honestly I can’t even fathom…it overwhelms me when I try. So I don’t think about it…I just feel it. All the time.

You’re so close to me in my heart and mind yet so distant at the same time.

I miss you more than ever.

Even though I’m surrounded by love.

Yeah I know it’s weird. But you know me.

There are so many things I hope you heard me tell you when I was speaking out loud in the living room, or parking lot, or store

(especially that thing the other day in the car when I was really having a hard time)

…hoping that you were listening in and hearing what I had to say.

I try every day to be more like you.

One day I’ll figure out where you drew that strength from. At least that’s the hope.

I work at it. I face it down every day. I fight back the overwhelming sense of loss and despair because I know you would have done the same. I know you wouldn’t stop living even if half of you was gone.

You showed me that as you fought through seemingly endless rounds of chemo and procedures…and had pieces taken away…never complaining….always grateful for the time.

I’m not going to lie…I break down…a lot…I’m sure you see this. I’ll be ok for a while and then the reality sinks in once again..and it’s like I’m starting all over.

Back to square one.

The pain fresh. The loss acute.

It mostly happens when I have something I’m excited to tell you.

Or when I hear a song you love…

Or when I read a story you’d want to laugh about…

Or when I’m having a hard day…

Or when I’m with friends and I look around the room to see your response…and you’re not there…

Or when Miriya does something amazing like her finishing her 5k race.

She wished you were there. I know you heard it. It was the first time she told me since you’ve been gone that she wished you were there.  I felt it from her too. It’s something she’s going to feel many times as time forces her to grow up…and my heart breaks when I think of that. For you..for her.

I know that she feels that way a lot…but she’s your daughter. She smiles and bears it for me…because she sees me crying and wants to make it better.

(I hope so much that she sees this as a strength her father has and not as a weakness)

She was so proud. Her smile curled just like yours and her eyes twinkled with her scrunched up nose. I saw you staring back at me for a moment. It was magic.

I’m stronger for her most of the time..but moments like that knock the emotional wind out of me.

I’ve done a lot of the things you wanted me to do as I move on to this new part of life. Some things I have yet to fulfill, but those promises I made won’t go undone. Some (and you know which ones) are just impossible for me right now.

The world wants me to move on. It demands it. This world isn’t made to suffer or understand this type of change or loss for a long period of time…and naturally, it just keeps plodding forward…dragging me along with it.

And I know you want that as well.

I’m trying.

I’m trying so damn hard.

I carry you with me every moment of every day.

Time has a different weight to it now. I can feel it…acutely different.

Precious and painful at the same time.

So far, it has not brought relief, only reflection.

I miss you more than ever.

(yeah I know I already said that…you know how I repeat myself all the time for emphasis – that’ll never change).

I’ll keep working to make you proud…and to be as best of a Dad I can be to our daughter. She’s all the best of you. She deserves so much more for everything she’s endured.

To keep building around the loss of you.

Something new.

Something you’d be proud I made.

It’s hard navigating this world.

You are and forever will be my Polaris.

Thank you for your love. Thank you for our daughter. Thank you for making me a better person. Thank you for your courage. Thank you for your fight. And thank you for believing in me.

(I’m trying to believe in myself now more..I really really am)

I think it’s that belief that I desperately need right now.

Until I talk to you again,

(which will be in a few minutes most likely)

Endless love.

i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)


6 Replies to “A Year”

  1. Reading your every word Ryan carries and still exemplifies the deep love, admiration and appreciation you have for Mo….. Such profound and endearing sentiments… Not going to lie, it brought tears to my eyes…… Keep on, keepin-on….. One step in front of the other…. Through your words and testimonies, Mo’s legacy will always shine bright.

    1. Thank you so much my friend. My goal isn’t to evoke sadness…it’s just to talk about the feelings so maybe someone else who’s going through the same will relate and maybe just maybe it helps them. It’s something that I’ve talked about with a lot of folks in my grief group. The world isn’t really geared to talk about this stuff (at least in the US it’s not). So this is just my way to let this in some small way possibly help another…and to carry on Monas memory in that way. Thank you for the YEARS of support you have shown to Mona, Miriya, and I (and our family as well!). It has mean the world to us.

  2. I read these to my mom in hopes that it helps her with her grief as well. It’s been a little over two years for us, and it still feels like yesterday. I agree with time feeling different; how we use it and perceive it are earth shatteringly altered, like a crater piercing a huge whole into our everyday terrain. The navigation is utterly new, and my family fumbles without our compass, our linchpin, our Chief. But we continue. For so many reasons, we continue. Thank you for sharing your intimate thoughts. I read every single time you post. They’re helpful, and beautiful, and relatable. You’re still teaching me.

    1. I truly hope that in some small way this helps your Mom. Losing your partner in life is it’s own feeling with its own set of emotions. There’s simply nothing else like it. Your Dad, being the leader and Father he was to your family would want all of you to move forward with courage and love. Your family and children extend his legacy. That’s why we move forward I think. Thank you so much for your comments. They mean a lot to me. BIG HUGS TO YOU AND YOUR FAMILY. Give your Mom an extra hug for me.

  3. I fully understand ,Ry. You are doing a fine job. One day, you will feel a strength enter your body that will help you. The pain will remain but you know you can survive. Keep up the good job with Miriya.

  4. Ry,
    I am so sorry you’re hurting. I miss her and I talk to her, too. Please know I love you all and I’m here if you ever need to talk.

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