Ever since August 7, my brain has kicked into overdrive thinking and planning for Ryan's 2nd birthday. The honest truth is I think about his birthday all year long. Ways to celebrate him. Remember him. Honour him. But come August 7, just like last year, my gears really get turning and I feel this crunch. Only one more month until we're marking this huge milestone.
Another year without him.
Except I try not to think of it that way. I try to think of it as:
Another year of knowing him. Loving him. And spreading his love as far as I can.
So, birthday prep. How to celebrate him. How to make his life touch the lives of others.
We'll certainly be making another donation to the bereavement team of the labour and delivery unit where Ryan (and Brayden) were born. Last year's supplies were used within 2 months of dropping them off -- something that makes me feel at once both sad that it was needed and grateful that we could be of some help to a family who greatly needed it.
Last year, I had a few friends and family reach out in search of somewhere to make donations of their own in Ryan's memory. This year, I'd be so appreciative if those donations be made to the Grieving Parents Support Network. They are responsible for publishing the Surviving My First Year of Child Loss book that I've contributed an essay to this year.
From their website: "...donations help the charity arm of Grieving Parents Support Network provide sponsored copies of our resource books to hospitals, bereavement centres, grief retreats, and other not-for-profit organizations. Each book purchase, sponsored copy and direct donation helps us gift books to the individuals who most need it – bereaved parents in the earliest stages of their grief."
CLICK HERE TO DONATE
It would also mean a lot of if you do donate, to take the time to have that donation be dedicated to Ryan Russell.
In my grief, I have never sought out counselling or therapy. Instead I relied on support from a community of parents experiencing a loss like ours. Because of this, I feel an incredible urge to give back to that community that helped me so much. I want that to be part of Ryan's legacy. Providing support. Healing hearts.
Less than one month until he's 2! So much to do!
Love you forever, Ryan.