Thursday, April 29, 2010

My "person" is gone

I still mostly feel like I'm in a dream. Because Ryan had moved into the pad at the end of January, we had some time to adjust to our house without Ryan in it and so most times I can trick myself into thinking we just haven't seen him in a while. But then I remember the reality of things.

The hardest time of day for me is the morning. Waking up to a new day, sun shining in and turning over and remembering that he's not there. It feels really lonely and that will take a very long time to get used to. Some people have asked me what is the biggest change and I know exactly what it is.

You know when someone cuts you off in traffic and you need to tell someone? You know when something hilarious happens and you know exactly who you're going to call first? You know the person that makes you feel better when you're sick? Well that one person that I had in my life is now gone. That is the biggest change for me.

Talyn has been doing okay. Both at preschool and his dayhome, they are noticing some anger coming out. This is unfortunately normal for what he's dealing with, but breaks my heart. He spent the first two weeks after Ryan died trying to figure out how we could get him back and why he wouldn't just come back? But now he's mostly accepted that isn't going to happen and spends his time trying to figure out how we can get to daddy.

Sometimes he wishes we could both die so that we can be a family again together in heaven. And sometimes he wishes he were a giant, so he would be as tall as the clouds and then he could reach daddy to give him a big hug. I just wish I could make it all better for him, but I can't and that brings tears to my eyes to even write.

We are coming up on what might be a very hard "first". Talyn turns five next week and his birthday party is this weekend. Although he is excited about the party, he chose a Star Wars theme for daddy and we chose to have it at home in case daddy could be with us. I am sure the day will be hectic and with much distraction, but I am also sure that we will feel a big hole.

Then next week on the actual day we go into his preschool and talk about the years of his life. Last year Tricia helped us create a beautiful collage and Ryan, Talyn and I got to talk about it to his class. This year he asked if Kevin and Tricia could come because Ryan can't...I think I might be the one trying to hold it together that day! For his present, I am suprising him with a trip to DisneyWorld with the Crowes. I figure we could all use some of the happiest place in the world in our lives these days.

We continue to see signs of Ryan scattered throughout our lives and I am not ready to change that. I also continue to feel a true "pit in my stomach" sadness at the loss I feel every day. The life that Ryan helped us build was full of laughter, smiles and hugs, so we are trying to keep those things a big part of what we do. I feel like I have slowed down a bit and am more reflective about wanting to live a really great life today and be genuinely good to other people. I don't know yet exactly how I have changed, but know that I have and will continue to do so as we continue through this new journey.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

The hardest 2 weeks of my life

Good Friday things started to turn for Ryan and we knew that the end was near. His breathing made a distinct change that afternoon and his headaches were getting worse. He put his hand to his head (the signal we had learned as his speech had lessened) and we called the nurse for some more drugs. After Carol gave him a top up and came back in to ask him "how's the headache Ryan...are the drugs helping?", he answered his last word "AWESOME!" - typical Ryan. That evening he entered a comatose state and we didn't really see him again.

I stayed on the cot at the foot of his bed that night and listened to the steady 3 breaths and the long pause that happened after that - and wondered whether more breaths would start or not. The nurses came in every 30 minutes to check on him. His heart rate was climbing steadily, but otherwise he was sleeping and non responsive. In the early hours of the morning, I texted Kevin to give him an update and he came up to be with us. From 5 to 7 am that morning, Kevin and I stood around Ryan's bed and told him all of the funny memories we had of him. We both laughed and Ryan raised his eyebrows a couple of times to show that he was listening.

Saturday some of Ryan's family and mine arrived and everyone came in to see him. In the mid-afternoon, the AMAZING pad doctor also came to see him - on her day off. By that time his breathing had changed again and the rhythm was more like a gasp for air coming from his stomach followed by a pause. Although he was in a comatose state, it was really hard for all of us to be around him and listen to his laboured breathing - wondering if his pain was really under control and if he was struggling for air or not.

When his colour in his face started changing rapidly, the doctor told everyone to say what they needed to as he probably wouldn't be there one hour later. Everyone rushed in to say some things to him and gave him one last kiss and one last "I love you". But that was around 3:30 Saturday afternoon and you all know when things actually went down...Ryan the ultimate fighter! An hour or so later some colour came back to his face and his breathing remained unchanged. So we all waited.

Ryan had been clear that when he passed he wanted me on his left side holding his hand and Talyn on his right. But of course with the laboured breathing and the sounds that go along with that, Talyn wasn't really comfortable staying in the room for long. So he would run in and out throughout the day. And it was a long day and everyone was getting tired, so in the later evening everyone left to go home for a bit. They thought that he would likely still be there in the morning, so said their goodbyes for now. But Ryan had his plan...

Before they left, Tricia did the most amazing thing. She got Talyn to lie on the cot at the foot of Ryan's bed and tickled him to sleep there. That is where he slept soundly for the entire night. And then it was just me left laying on Ryan's left side holding his hand, Talyn at the foot of the bed sleeping and my brother and Kevin on the second floor sleeping and waiting with us.

The nurses were in every 15 minutes with a flashlight looking for all the signs of a change, but our superman kept up the fight. I spent the night laying beside Ryan for an hour and then went to lay with Talyn for the next hour. At about 3:15 I woke up with Talyn and noticed that Ryan's breathing had definitely changed again. The nurses came in and confirmed that things were slowing down. They went downstairs to get Kevin and Chad.

Ryan's breathing was then just one very shallow breath with a fairly long pause after it. Every pause we all waited to see if another breath would follow or not. This continued until just before 4 am, when I said to Kevin....what is the date today? He said...I think it's the 4th. Just then I was the 4th month, the 4th day and he stopped breathing at 4 am. It was at that time that he took his last breath and in the long pause that other breath came. A week prior to this, Talyn had come running into the house holding a ladybug but said "momma, it's a ladybug - but why does this one have 4 spots?" - we didn't know at the time...but now do.

The last 2 weeks have been the hardest in my life. The first week was filled with preparations for the amazing celebration of his life. He had done all the planning in advance to ensure it was an upbeat celebration full of laughter and it was! Talyn even got up and spoke about his daddy and how he told really funny jokes...I was so proud of him and thought Ryan must have been standing up there with him, because Talyn had no fear.

Then last Sunday everyone went home. Talyn and I have been alone this week and he has gotten back into his daily routine - which I am also so proud of him for. I have been busy with the big lists of things to do and that has been good for me. But as the people have left and the list has decreased, we are only left with the sad loss of Ryan.

Today was the hardest day yet. Our first weekend day of loneliness and heartache for our daddy and husband. I know that with time this should get easier, but right now it just feels grey and empty. Ryan left a huge void to fill and we were so lucky to have the time we did! We miss you like Talyn and Tasha