Fear can stop you from doing everything. It will stop you from crossing a bridge, jumping off a diving board, riding a rollercoaster, starting a business and now I’ve found out, it will even stop you from ‘healing’.
Without going through something like this it’s really hard to explain what it’s like. It’s such a rollercoaster ride of emotions from the extreme highs to low lows that I never thought were even possible. There are questions with no answers and some answers that don’t even have questions.
What I’ve realized is that fear was stopping me from doing that one thing I was trying to achieve the most – healing.
I was scared to heal because it meant that I had to acknowledge a number of things that would cause me internal pain and the fear of that pain was stopping the healing process in its tracks.
First and foremost I had to acknowledge that Ryder is no longer physically here. This of course is the hardest of all and I still flip back and forth on this. I had to sit there and say it out loud in order to start the healing process. This makes it real but there are still times when I think to myself, did this really happen?
Then there comes the acknowledgement that it’s going to hurt, that no matter what, it will hurt and will make me cry and that the crying might get less frequent (might not) but it will always hurt which to me was a very scary thought.
Next is admitting to myself that everything I’m feeling is completely normal and I’m at exactly the right place for this moment in time. That there isn’t a rule book of how and when you feel this way or that way, just a realization that you’re along for the ride and not driving the bus. Admitting that I can’t decide what, when or how I will feel at any moment in time, that I can be as happy as pie one minute and for no real reason be crying the next. Giving into this ebb and flow rollercoaster ride is not easy at all.
Fearing the feeling of vulnerability when this happens is another one that’s hard to get used to. Leaving myself open to the process is a scary thing. I was scared, and still am, that once the door of grief opened I wouldn’t be able to close it or control it. Nobody wants to be a jibbering wreck 24/7.
Probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to come to terms with is not being able to look at pictures of Ryder. This started about a month ago and it tore me up. I couldn’t figure it out, I felt like I was disrespecting him but then I realized that ‘it is what it is’ and I know that it’s all part of the process. I also know that when I can look at pictures of him again there might be tears but hopefully more smiles. I long for the memories of Ryder to bring me joy instead of sadness. I know it will happen and I know I have no control over when.
So today I consider myself open. I am open and accepting that it’s a scary journey ahead of me. I am open to the feelings that come and go, to the pain and the tears that come and go.
I also consider myself lucky that someone walked into my life at a time when I didn’t expect someone to walk in. I know that without this person who has been as solid as a rock, who could have run at the first knowledge of all this but didn’t, has helped me survive the most painful part of my life. Never questioning, but just being there for me every single time. I believe that without angels like this the world would be a harder place to live in.
So as I sit here typing, thinking about the coming holiday season, I am reminded that even though the journey I am on has only just begun, I am blessed to have the strength which allows me to simply carry on regardless.
When someone you love passes there are a series of firsts. This Christmas will be a tough one. It’s a time of year that for me is about family and togetherness, but this year it will be without Ryder here in person. But I know that no matter what, he’s looking down smiling, he’ll be looking after me when I need that injection of strength and all the while shouting:
“See ya soon ya big baboon”
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone. For those of you that are still fighting the big fight I’m sending my love and energy your way.
Jimi Brockett: Fundraising activist since 2008
In 2009 my 5 year old son Ryder died because of brain cancer and since then it’s been my mission in life to raise as much money as possible for cancer research so that the doctors and researchers are kept in the labs searching for a cure. I’m so fortunate to be able to impact the lives of others, all the while partnering with some of the most passionate and driven philanthropists on the globe. It is my mission in life to raise as much money as possible for cancer research and I will continue until this devastating disease is no more.