July 20, 2003
Today, we met with a woman who shared with us her 6 years of grieving of her son who died at 5 year old at the dentist chair because too much meds were given to him to put him under. She said that the grieving process takes a long time....she felt that she started to really feel the pain during the 2nd year when people thought her grieving was done since a year has gone by. She said she had many friends who have moved on but also some friends who always managed to remember such as her son's anniversary. However, she suggested that I asked for support when I need to. She often tells her friends a couple of months before her son's anniversary to start giving her more support. She celebrated her son's anniversary by doing the things that they did right prior to his death. They do a bike ride at Angel Island, have pizza and watched video of her son. Friends will send cards and flowers to show they remembered.
In celebration of Ryan's anniversary, I would assume we would be watching fire wards and John going on a bike ride (he took the boys to Sawyer Camp in the back of the Burley for 2 hours long -that was the first time). She and her husband also saw a grief counselor for a few years. Also, John has read up so much on grieving from all the books our friends have bought that he claimed that he may soon qualify to be a grief counselor. He is the kind of person that often does so much research...just like with his cancer...he armed with so much knowledge before his first visit with his oncologist that made his visit very efficient.
She also suggested that I go back to do all the routine activities that I do with the boys. I went to music class with Matthew yesterday (I have Matthew's godmom and godsister with me). It was so hard...On one hand I was happy to see Matthew having fun while feeling the loneliness and emptiness of Ryan's absence. Same environment but just no Ryan. (There were 2 babies named Ryan in class though). But at the end, I felt good about being in class for Matthew and realized that I really can't short change Matthew with my involvement with him (as difficult as it is).
She said I am going to feel "pain" going down my new path. It does not matter whether I resume activities now or later...the pain is not going away. So I might as well face it now and the next time I go to music class, it may be a little easier. I think she is right.
With that in mind, since most of you are wondering if I can handle going back to the same environment such as UMC, Little Wonders and the twin club activities. But then I asked myself....is it easier to be with a bunch of new people who do not know about my past? Or is it more manageable to have friends like you who have been there with me during the darkest time? Even if I become not as myself at times, I think you will have the history to understand why I react that way. To my friends, not that I don't want to see you, but I am just starting to meet everyone slowly and in more personal settings.
Yesterday was a day of escape for me. I did my facial and I made my facial person teach me how to put on makeup within 5 minutes. I gave Matthew a bath and I just balled. There was no Ryan in the tub and it was hard for me to swallow. Today was a difficult day too. I missed Ryan for 75% of the day, spent an hour with John talking and trying to connect at Ryan's grave site. I am trying to carry a journal around so I can jog down my memories of Ryan too. I am so afraid that my memories of him will fade as I do not have a strong memory bank. So I really try to grab onto whatever memories I have of him. I need to do a memory scrapbook about Ryan's life.