It's been a year since Grammy (Adam's grandmother) passed away and 4 years since Ryan (Adam's brother) passed away. Sometimes it feels like just yesterday and other days it feels like it has been decades.
Losing Grammy was hard but we also knew that she lived a good long life. She died seeing her children happy and healthy and she got to enjoy many many years with her grandchildren. One regret is that she passed just before we were able to tell her that we were expecting Chase. It would have been wonderful to see the look on her face when we told her she would be a great grandma again... even nicer would have been seeing her and Chase together. Sadly we all know that you don't always get what you want. All that to say that Grammy indeed lived a good long life.
I struggle more with Ryan's death. He hadn't lived a long full life yet... he was really just starting out. I think about the idea of having brothers and sisters and how you are supposed to grow up with them. You go through life events around the same time. You have kids somewhere around the same time and they grow up together. You grow old with this person that you have known literally forever. To have that taken away is really jarring. Personally I was looking forward to having an older brother. That is something I have always wanted growing up but obviously never had. I was very excited to marry into a family where I got an older brother and a younger brother. I remember the day Adam called me. He was in Indiana and I was in Baltimore living with my parents. It was just after 7 am. No good phone calls come at that time. Adam managed to choke out "It's Ryan. He's dead." I sat bolt right up in bed. I was pretty calm... still processing everything I guess. I got off the phone with Adam so he could get ready to leave Indiana (by the time they called Adam to tell him, Adam's uncles had a plane ticket ready for him). I went downstairs so I could get ready to go to Hagerstown. My dad came down and was incredulous why I was up that early. That's when I lost it. I started crying then and didn't stop until I got to Sandy's front door. I remember just before I went in, my mom asked me "Are you ready for this?"...I answered honestly and said no. Then I hung up and walked in. It was a horrific week filled with utter sadness and hurt to reminiscing and slight laughter. Ryan's death truly left a hole in everyones heart. I miss him a lot because he should be here with us. He should be doing all the things that Adam and I are doing... getting married, having babies, growing up and growing old.
I have learned over the past few years that there is a silver lining (for lack of a better term) in everything. Ryan's death made me a support for Adam's family during that time. It also made them ready to be a support to me when my mom died. All 3 deaths have unified our family and given us a unique (albeit crappy) bond. It showed my mom how committed to sobriety Adam was (and is), he made it from Indiana to Maryland and then through the whole ordeal without picking up a drink. I believe it prompted Adam's dad to get the help he needs (for which we are thrilled and could not be happier). It has given Adam and I a chance to weather storms together and come out on the other side.
To Grammy and Ryan... we all miss you very much.
Grammy: February 6, 1922 - March 6, 2007
Ryan: October 2, 1976 - March 6, 2004