How do you celebrate ones life?

Is it through a memorial? A foundation? A quiet spot upon which you can reflect?

Just recently I met a woman whose husband of many years had passed. The grief lays heavily on her head. I can see such profound sadness in her eyes, and the fragile way she holds herself.

I understand. It is like grief is lapping at my heels, whispering “Surrender”. “Come, its time.”

But I don’t dare.

There is still so much that I must do. Everyday feels like a chore and I am task oriented. My head hurts. My thoughts. Others’ opinions. One of us will be right. But I will still lose. Vindication or absolution will never be mine. Not truly.

Ryan will still be gone.

I fear one day that woman will be me. For now, my loved ones pull me one step away from the waves. This is my blessing: since the beginning, we have always talked about Ryan. We laugh, we cry and we remember. No one is afraid to mention his name. No one wonders if they should tell a story or share a memory. No one forgets.

Memories that are stored in their own storybook that will be worn with the rereading and retelling. It is how we hold onto Ryan. It is the way we celebrate his life.