The year of firsts

6 03 2016

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There are so many ‘firsts’ in life that you’ll never forget.  Your first kiss.  Your first love. Your first car.  You can look back through your life and the things you go to are generally happy things.

Today concludes my year of firsts.  There are plenty of happy things that happened to me this year.  My son was born.  We bought a new house.  A new car.  Had great movements in my career.  Lost 40 pounds and I’m the healthiest I’ve been since high school.  And yet, somehow all of those are overshadowed by the other firsts.  It has been 1 year today since my brother passed away.  This year of firsts, while included many great things, were very focused on his absence.

It was difficult the first few months.  Seemingly very random things would make me think of him.  As the months went by, I allowed myself to not feel guilty for turning the focus to my family.  My newborn son and daughter; neither had any idea as to what had happened and why I was sad all the time.  I was constantly beating myself up and feeling guilty for not keeping Ryan at the forefront.  But I realized that the first step to healing is to continue with your life.  Even now, that feels like a terrible thing to say.

One thing I realized is that, moving forward with my life does not mean leaving him completely in the past.  And that I don’t need to feel guilty for doing so.  I haven’t forgotten about him, not in the slightest.  But I allow myself to bring other things in my life forward.

I think about Ryan quite often.  Usually it’ll just be some random thing that reminds me of him.  I’ve come to the point where I can actually laugh while I’m thinking of him.  He was always just a happy and fun person.  I still get sad that I won’t be able to share it with him, but I am allowing myself to turn the thoughts into some sort of happy memory.

The holidays were the toughest for sure.  The first Thanksgiving.  The First Christmas.  It was a difficult time for my family.  It was difficult to get into the Christmas spirit.  I usually am really excited to Christmas to come around.  And while I still showed my excitement for my kid’s sake, it didn’t feel the same.

Will it get easier?  I don’t know.  I’ll always miss him; that will never change.  But I know that the year of firsts has passed.  The yearly anniversaries will always be difficult.  His birthday, Christmas, things like that.

Today, I hug my children and think of you.  I think of the great times that we had together.  I try not to think of all the things that you’ll miss.

I love you Ryan. I miss you.





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