grief & gathering the troops


ryan, 3.5 years old.
yesterday, i learned of a sweet boy, ryan, who passed away. tragically, he was struck by a truck and killed when he darted into the street to retrieve his frisbee while at a family member's home.

in the blink of an eye, he was gone.

to say that it is heartbreaking and absolutely unfathomable what that family is now going through is a grave understatement. it's every parents worst nightmare. death is difficult for everyone; but the pain of losing a child is different. our kids- our legacies- are supposed to say goodbye to us, not the other way around. it's life turned upside down, a constant thought of a life yet-to-be lived and hopes and dreams for a little soul, unexperienced.

i cried a lot yesterday. i would randomly look over at marlo while she played in her own little world and my heart would break at the thought of losing her. this morning, as i sit here writing this, the thought of losing her or joe- of losing the two people who mean more to me than any thing or any one- the thought just won't leave me.

global good can come from tragedies like the death of baby boy ryan. i imagine that all of the mamas and papas who read about ryan and instantly pictured their baby being taken away from them hugged their babies a little tighter all day, littered extra kisses on their cheeks, read one or two more books than normal at bedtime, possessed more patience throughout the day, and loved them a little louder. i know that i didn't hold the love back that i showered on marlo yesterday. even marlo went down for her nap, i couldn't bare to leave her and i felt paralyzed by fear. i sat beside her bed for twenty minutes just staring at her, being grateful that she was safe and sound and there for me to touch and hold and kiss.

tragedies have a way of putting things into perspective like nothing else can: things don't get their feelings hurt if they're ignored. things won't hug you at the end of a long day. things can't love you back. things are not people and people are what matter. love is what matters. connection is what matters.

the people whom you love knowing without a doubt that you love them is what matters.

people from all over the world came together to support and lift up this dear family. collectively, people have raised over 27,000 dollars in a little over nineteen hours so that ryan's parents may be able to take the time they need to grieve and not worry about the loss of income. multiple vendors also came forward to donate the proceeds of the sell of various items dedicated to the memory of ryan. (i purchased this sweet baseball tee for marlo from our friends over at littleboogaweezin.) it's really beautiful to see so many strangers rallying together to support people that they've never met simply because, as humans, we get it. ryan could've been any of our babies. ryan could've been any of my friend's babies or our neighbor's babies. tragedies can happen to any one of us.

this entire situation also get me thinking a lot about doing good. 

not just when i have perspective thrown in my face, but, always.

what if we all put forth this kind of effort on a daily basis to spread love and light and support? what if we, as a collective group of compassionate people, wanted to build rather than tear down? imagine how different our culture would be if we stopped thinking about ourselves first and instead began thinking about the humanity's best interest. we don't necessarily need to throw money at problems, although, money does seem to help ease various burdens. what the world desperately needs more of is good and love and support. life takes care of the hard part on its' own; it'll never stop throwing difficulty at us. if there was an army of people backing us every single day, every step of the way- the way that so many people have rallied behind the cruz family- what do you think could happen?

what good could come from people caring more, feeling more, and helping more?


Anonymous said...

Oh, this hit my heart. Thank you for sharing.

Alicia Chavis said...

I could not imagine, gone in an instant, so heartbreaking. Beautiful post. My thoughts and prayers are with this family.


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