The Fragile Stems of Crimson Leaves

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The walls came down on Sunday.

I lost it.

Michael and I had a day out. Watching the Browns/Steelers game with friends. Then we went to Joe’s to talk about Ryan’s birthday. When all was said and done and we pulled up in the driveway of home it was just too much.

We parked, and I look up at Ryan’s window and I notice his light is not on.

The light from the TV in the den isn’t glowing.

He’s not here. He’s not here.

He will never be here again, my head screams. I started crying hard.And then the words I’ve been keeping from Michael came out, echoing in the silence of the car:

“I’m lost.

I am having such trouble separating the horror of Ryan’s death. How finding him there…like that, kills me. It kills me.

I can’t separate the way Ryan died from who he was to me. It’s beyond hard to remember Ryan, his smile, his gentle grace, without getting caught up in that one horrifying, life shattering, things will never be the same again moment.

And I am beyond broken.”

I wept as I spoke.

And hearing me, Michael wept.

And then we just sat, holding each other as the car engine cooled.

Weeping together until our tears mingled, and our hearts connected in our brokenness and all we could do was hold on while the flood washed over us and the healing that can only come from tears that wash your soul clean began. …

. . . then finally, we got out of the car…holding each other up as we made our way to our house.

We got into bed, still silent, and still holding each other…tears still flowing until finally, spent, we slept.

And on Monday morning, the wind blew hard, and the waters rose again….

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