Tuesday, August 23, 2011


If we would have been asked what our worst fear was, the worst thing that could possibly happen, the one thing that we could never recover from, we would have answered without hesitation. Losing Ryann.

Now that the unimaginable has happened, we're left trying to right ourselves. Just last night Jared and I were talking about our feelings of loss and fear for the future. There are two very specific, very different outlooks that we each have. A part of us now knows how quickly things can be taken away. Even though we've lost Ryann, we still have so many more things that we're thankful to have and it's scary thinking of how easily we could lose them as well. Thoughts of crashing on the way to work, finding out about a disease, a fire burning our house, or even silly little things like breaking our computer. Losing a pregnancy. Losing each other. Or losing another child. All the fears make it difficult to live, to move, to breathe.

Another part seems to think that now that we've hit something so awful, we must be past the worst. Surely we've used up our portion of horror. Even though I know that this thought has no truth to it, that's not the way things work, I can always feel the thought sitting in the back of my mind. And then I remember how false that security is and the fear surges back in.

Although I hate the fear, it does somehow has a bit of comfort in it. Comfort in reminding me that I still care. That I'm not numb. That even though I could, I haven't lost everything.

When we moved to NE at the beginning of the summer, I was worried about how well Jared would handle the heat. Jared has never been good in the heat and generally tends to be fairly miserable in it. In preparing to come here I would frequently tell him that the trick is to just give in to the heat. Don't fight it, let it soak in, enjoy it. Jared has found that this little trick really does make the heat seem not quite so ferocious and occasionaly, even enjoyable.

So far I've found this to be the same way with the grief. Pushing it away only makes it worse, holding it close is smothering. Relaxing and letting it do what it will has been the best thing I could do. Sometimes it washes over me and I feel like I'm about to drown, but afterwards I'm always left refreshed, if somewhat exhausted. Most of the time it's simply present, a small thorn to make me remember. And really that's not even all that bad, because the absolute worst thing that could happen now would be to bury the pain and the memory of Ryann along with it.

We miss Ryann and we're scared to step forward. It hurts moving on without her. Knowing that every day that passes is one more day that separates us from her. But I choose to believe that there is more joy and love in our future. And Ryann will be a part of that.


  1. LOVE this picture. So beautiful, all three of you. Still praying for you, grieving for you, thinking of you with a heart and mind that will never quite be the same after all that you have shared with me and so many others about this horrible event. Your fears are so real, so understandable, and you are right to have them. But I know how strong you are and I know that you won't let those fears control you. God's love will cast them away and renew you like you never imagined. Thank you again for your unabashed honesty. You inspire me.

  2. Oh Damie - this is so profound on so many levels! I can tell you from my own personal experience with grief, fear and anxiety, and even from a psychological standpoint as a therapist-in-training that you pretty much hit the nail on the head. That fear of loss - the awful sense of being out-of-control of your own life can be terrifying and overwhelming. I didn't realize for about 10 years that it has been controlling my life, exacerbating every little bit of "normal" stress that I encountered in life. I am so, so happy to see you guys approaching such realistic feelings with such a relaxed and mature attitude! You're right - you can't bury yourself in the pain, but you can't ignore it either: like most things in life you just have to "let it be".

    And I think you're also right about facing the deepest pain possible and sensing that somehow, the worst is over. Not so much in the sense that nothing bad could ever realistically happen again, but in the sense that YOU are different now. The grief changes you, makes you stronger and eventually.... hopefully... will make you deeper and more complete as you edge closer to acceptance and peace. In this sense, you CAN feel like the worst is over because you have faced the worst and now know that you can handle it!

    You guys are amazing - keep on, keeping on!

  3. That's my girl. Life is so much more than the present, than feelings, than events. No matter how happy we can be or how painful the path is when we know and look toward truth nothing on this earth can control us. It's not an easy path to arrive at this place. It's a narrow rocky one. However we are promised it is passable and when necessary we will be carried through to the other side.

  4. Aw Damie, so poignant... so raw, yet so hopeful. And inspiring. Still praying and holding you both close in heart and thoughts, yet rejoicing that He is able and is working through you and because of you to touch lives around you. You are loved. Ryann is loved. And eternity is closer than we think!

  5. The more we love something or someone the more it hurts to lose them. Your pain testifies to the love you had for Ryann. She will never go away because she took part of your heart right with her. I can't even imagine how you must hurt. I am so glad that separation isn't forever though. You WILL see her again. YOU WILL. :)

  6. You are both very brave, and I continue to be inspired by you guys!