Wednesday, December 1, 2010

The Pain behind the Tears

I was not able to register the words that came out of my mothers’ mouth that day. I continued to ask her over and over “Ryan? My Ryan? My brother Ryan?” and every time the answer was the same, a tearful, and sobbing answer “Yes my girl”. The answers were barely escaping her lips. As I sat on my living room couch in a blank stair I could feel my face getting warmer with uncontrollable tears flowing, I looked at my son. He was playing happily unaware that anything tragic had happened in life. I wondered how I would tell him when he grew up. What would be the story? How would I explain it?
My boyfriend Marc walked in the door stopping as he saw what he walked in on. No really knowing but not wanting to ask, scared to know what the answer was. I didn’t have anything to say to him because it wasn’t true yet, the reality of it had not settled in. Unable to grasp it, I grabbed my phone and called my brother. After what felt like forever of ringing I got the answering machine and for the last time in my life I heard Ryan’s voice. I remember the words exactly “Hey you’ve reached Ryan, leave me a message” Still in shock I ran to my computer pulled up facebook to see message after message of R.I.P Ryan. It hit me. Instantly there was a knife stabbing me in the heart, my stomach was empty like someone had punched a hole through it.
For the days following I lay in bed, almost a week. I wasn’t able to sleep or eat or function except the hourly visit I got from son to feed him. But even that was emotionless. I was unable to bond with him. People came in and out of my room offering endless advice on loss and death. Everyone always making sure to ask if there was anything I needed. What I needed was my brother, my best friend.
The following Saturday was the 8th of September 2009. I pealed myself out of bed, had a shower for the first time and dressed myself in black, knowing it was time to come face to face with his death.
I walked into church to see hundreds of eyes staring back at me. All with sad eyes, they all had one thought. After a 30 minute slideshow of my brothers short life and a few never ending stories by friends, it was over. His life was over. I walked out with streaming tears to see Donna, Ryan’s mother waiting for me. She wrapped her arms around me which made the tears roll even faster and harder as whispered in my ear “Ryan loved you more then you’ll ever know”. She handed me a tiny urn, which held Ryan’s ashes. I couldn’t get any words out to thank her, I drew a blank. All I couldn’t think about was me, standing there hold my brother in my hands. This day felt like as every moment passed there was that stabbing knife twisting a little more. The pain was getting worse and worse. That was it, I couldn’t take anymore I had to leave. I didn’t want another hug or to hear “I’m so sorry for your loss” again.
On July 28th, 2009 my brother Ryan Patrick Hunter at the young age of 24 took his own life. This event has by far changed my life more than any other. I will never have the answer to why he decided to take his life or why he thought he couldn’t come to me for help. But one thing I do know is that he loved me very much.

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