I think lately, my blog has been a bit heavy. Maybe that's a product of the 6 month milestone being so intense for me. Or maybe it's just a product of my own increased anxiety lately, I don't know. But writing about those feel-good moments yesterday felt like a good thing, so I think I'll continue that trend today.
I know I have focused a bit in the past on those things people do that are a bit insensitive or selfish. But I've been very fortunate in that the majority of my experiences with people in this grief have been positive. I have been immensely touched by the compassion and kindness of others constantly throughout the past 6 months.
Something that really moved me very early on (within a month of losing him) was something done by a group of students from my school. My husband and I work in a very unique situation. Both teachers at the same school, a small private school of about 200 students. We work in a very tight knit community of teachers and students. So after Ryan died, our whole staff was quickly brought up to speed by our principals and they delicately "broke the news" to our student body before Rich returned to work. Over the first few weeks we received many emails, well-wishes, cards, and gifts from the staff, students, and parents from our "school family."
But the outreach didn't stop there. Our men's prep lacrosse team played in a tournament in October. They were acknowledging Breast Cancer month with pink tape on their helmets. A few of the students (none of whom I had ever taught before), approached their coach (a friend of mine and my husband's) and asked if on the tape they could write Ryan's initials (R.R). The coach obviously consented and sent us photos of the team honouring our son in such a sweet way.
I was so touched that a group of 16, 17, and 18 year old boys would have such sensitivity and thoughtfulness for our boy. I teach quite a few of them now that I'm back to work and I must say I have a bit of a soft spot for them even when they're pushing my buttons.
I can only hope that I could have raised Ryan to be so thoughtful someday.
We are so lucky to be surrounded by a group of people who know our story and our son and are very supportive and sensitive to my (our) needs. I will always be grateful for them and how much they've helped me heal in these first 6 months without him. I can't imagine what it would have been like to navigate through this time being anywhere else.