I have realized that this heart of mine will never mend. This is a sad frame of mind but it is also a bit freeing. Knowing that time does not heal all wounds – time just allows me to figure out ways to manage. I have been reminded a few times of the significance of today – March 24th – six months since Ryleigh chose to end her life of pain and suffering. Friends and family helping me cope with the 6 month mark…remembering and reminding how this must be a difficult day.
I reply (in an unintended rude tone) that every day is difficult. And it is…from the start of the day to the end. Difficult has been my journey for many years but this is a whole different kind difficult. It is relentless. The endless wonderings of why? What could I have done differently? The feeling of emptiness – realizing how Ryleigh was so much part of my being and daily happenings. I miss the hospital stays – how ironic is that! It was a time with Ryleigh that was focused, intense, real, and honest.
When Ryleigh and I used to stay up late together I would be so tired but I wanted to be there with her and for her but would wish for a full night sleep. But now, my nights are seemingly endless. Not getting a full night sleep – but I do not wish for it anymore.
I am on Spring Break – lost on how I am going to spend the time. I am not used to time. Chloe celebrated her 18th birthday and is finding her way to being independent. Living in our basement – converting it into her little apartment. She has left the nest so to speak. A year ago I was not worried about letting her fly – because I still was on the parenting path with Ryleigh. But now, I have been thrown into being an empty nester. Something I looked forward to – but now I dread it. I was not prepared…I was so busy caring for my daughters I do not know what to so now. A friend said to me that is like I am untethered. It is true…I am. I feel lost in the grief not sure of my role in the world anymore. I spend time in Ryleigh’s room smelling her pillow and trying to remember as much as I can. Memory is a weird thing…I remember the oddest moments with Ryleigh. How she liked to have her ham and cheese cut in a particular way, her lipstick, butterflies and fairies, her music, and of course her giggle.
Remembering my last 12 hours with Ryleigh are bittersweet….
Ryleigh finally wanting to share her writing with her English teacher, Lisa Thiessen.
Having lunch with myself and a former student – chatting away about devices, apps, and what they both liked on the internet
Wheeling her down to her social studies class. Getting her settled as inconspicuous as possible and as I walk out of the class room I hear her say “Mom?”. I turn around and she comes right up to me giving me a big hug and sloppy kiss. “I love you Mom, you are the best”. She knew these were to be my last words I would hear from her. She was always so generous with her love and caring. I had no clue that would be my last conversation with her. I told her I loved her too and that she was also amazing
Four hours later – I am in a panic as Ryleigh is unconscious and I cannot revive her. Waiting for the ambulance. Trying to resuscitate. Hospital. Decisions. Singing her the songs I used to sing to her as a baby as she took her last breath.
Now I am without her…wondering how to be. My heart will always have a hole- the work will be building a bridge over it so I can still be at least part the person Ryleigh loved.