Time comes and goes without my really knowing how much has truly passed.  I was  asked by a few followers when my next blog was going to be posted.  I was not certain when I was going to post again as I have difficulty with finding the lens of optimism  that I have had the gift of looking through.  I always attempted to write in a hopeful manner to inspire myself mostly.  But, my journey cannot always be one of the rose coloured view.  Sometimes spending time in the darkness of grief, loss, and loneliness is needed.

Losing a child is the greatest heartbreak I can imagine.  It was always my greatest fear to have Chloe or Ryleigh die before me.  But having Ryleigh make the choice to die by suicide rips my heart to shreds.  Her suicide leaves me in a state of pondering—what clues were there? Was this a choice made form mental illness or from mental strength?  Isolation, pain, lack of hope for a “cure”, financial and familial stressors—she experienced all of this.  As a mother, how come I could not protect her from such misery.  I do not blame myself but am aware of the whispers around me of doubting my abilities to really know Ryleigh.  I taught both my daughters to believe in themselves, trust their decisions, and be independent.  Ryleigh through her choices showed us she could be that.

I am different—losing Ryleigh has made everything different.  I know I am strong and will find my way but I have had to come to terms with the fact that I am not who I used to be.   In reality this has affected all parts of my life—relationships, work, self care, and every day living.  It is not really negative—just different.

Those who are close to me may find the difference challenging to deal with as I am not as sensitive to other’s needs as I once was.  I cannot explain this.  I was once able to counsel, show empathy,  mediate, create stronger bonds, forgive, create moments where others feel loved and cared for. Yet now, I cannot find the strength to be there in the way I once was and as a result some of my relationships have fractured.  I am deeply sorry if I have not been the friend, sister, daughter, co-worker, teacher  that I once was.   I am navigating this difference in a way that only I can understand….I cannot explain it.  Sometimes I may be insensitive and hurtful, it is not my intention it  just happens.  Perhaps one day, I will venture back to being the person others want me to be.  But right now, I am who I am…please understand that my journey is now  different.


5 responses to “Different”

  1. My friend. Sending love to you. Thanks, as always, for speaking your truth. XO

  2. Jo… I am compellled to comment and yet I struggle for words. Whisperings of others? I dare think not!
    You knew your child as well and much more than anyone can know their child.
    I can’t imagine my child clinging to life and being terrified to die….I can imagine them deciding leave on their own terms in what I think would be the final act of love for themselves. What I can’t even begin to imagine is the pain you are suffering. All bets are off Jo. You get to stand in your own space being exactly who you are

    1. Jo I love you- you need not venture back to be the person other’s want you to be. I love you for being you in whatever wrapping that is. You taight me to live in the moment of today, not the past amd to not plan to far in the future. May you remember those many lessons of love, kindness, patience and hope that you have shown me as a mother, sister, teacher and friend.

  3. Dear Jo, My heart aches for you. I cannot know the depth of your pain but I do know You yourself are a gift to this world. Keep being you, whatever path that is. You are enough.

  4. I do SO understand about being a different person, that it’s not negative. It’s mourning the loss of your past self in addition to the profound loss of a loved one. I can compare it a bit…to the change you experience after having a baby. You’re not the same person in heart, mind, spirit and not to mention physically. It’s an alchemy. A change of state.
    Thanks for your thoughts Jo💜

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