Tuesday, December 14, 2010

For a reason

All of this had to happen to me for a reason. I lost Bryan and became a single parent at age 24 for a reason. I had to go through this terrible grieving process and emotional pain for a reason. I started blogging and expressing my emotions for the world to read for a reason. Everything has happened to me FOR A REASON...

I want to know what that reason is! I want to know why?

I have spent a year and nearly four months racking my brain trying to figure out WHY ME?

I know that I do not want to sit behind a desk and do meaningless work for the rest of my life. I know that I do not want to fade into oblivion and sit silent while the world passes me by. I know that I want to make Owen and Bryan proud of me. I know that I want to turn this terrible situation into something positive. I know that I want to give back.

Now is the time for me to follow my gut and do what I think is right for me... for my son. Now is the time to not be scared... to not question... to just do!

When I lost Bryan, I did not have anyone to turn to or anywhere to escape... I felt lost and alone. Sure, I had a great family and group of friends... but none of them had lost a spouse/life partner at age 24. Everyone was grieving the loss of Bryan, but I was grieving him in a different way. Not only was I grieving the loss of his life, but I was grieving the loss of mine. My plans... my future... everything was gone.

When I read "widow" books I felt even more alone. Instead of a story that I could relate too, I felt like my grieving was being put on a time line. I felt like I was being told what to do and what to expect when I just wanted to know that someone my age had been through a similar situation. I wanted to know that I was not alone... that I would be okay. But everywhere I looked I could not find a story that I could relate to... I could not find that "escape" or the comfort that I was looking for.

I originally started my blog in 2009 for Owen. I wanted him to be able to read about this time while all of the emotions were still raw and heart wrenching. I wanted him to be able to see these pieces of Bryan and feel my emotions before they started to fade away. But, since then, my blog has turned into something much more than just a virtual diary for Owen to read when he is an adult. It has turned into my outlet and my escape. It has become my therapy... my release.

Through my blog, I have realized that I want to help people. I want to reach out to people, that like me, have lost a spouse at a young age. I want them to be able to read my words and feel like they have someone out there that can understand where they are coming from. I want them to know that they are not alone. That they will make it through...

I am not quite sure how I am going to do it... but I have decided that I would like to write a book. I want to use pieces from my blog and personal stories from my life to make something that will help and inspire people. I feel like my one gift in life is my gift with words... and maybe just maybe my words can be there for someone when they feel like no words can explain how they feel or what they are going through.

Not only have I decided to take on the daunting task of writing a book... but I have also decided to try to go back to school. Before Bryan's death I was never a believer in therapy and I never would have considered going to see one. But through my grief therapy I have become a stronger Ashley. I have found my voice. Although I am not sure how it will all work out... seeing as I am a Journalism and English major... I would like to pay it forward and look into becoming a grief therapist. I want to help people. I want to inspire people. I want to be there for people when they have lost everything. Help them feel comfort when they feel all alone and lost.

I might be way off... maybe I am shooting for the stars. But, I know that I have to follow my heart. I have to believe that maybe all of this pain and all of this grieving has happened for a reason... to lead me towards grief therapy and writing a book. I know that Bryan would want me to follow my gut and be the best possible version of "me".

While talking to one of Bryan's good friends the other night he said something to me that I will never forget. I told Matt that I just wanted to find my purpose in life and do something to keep Bryan's name and spirit alive... and Matt said that "a sacrifice of that magnitude is beyond anything I could do. I hope that when I move to the next life, Bryan and I will see that we made an impact and changed peoples lives." That is all I want and I feel like through my words... I might just be able to accomplish that.


  1. I remember when my dad died, a new friend of mine came to the wake. We'd been friendly through work, but his visit to pay his respects really turned it into a friendship. We were talking, and as often happens, we were laughing and I was telling stories about my dad, who this friend had never met. My mom came over and yelled at me for laughing. I got a bit defensive, but I'll never forget my friend's response: "Krys," he said, "you're mom's grieving."
    I have to say, MY response was, "Uh, so am I! How could you say SHE is and I'm not?"
    He explained. "You didn't pick your dad. Your mom picked him as the one person she wanted to spend the rest of her life with, and he picked her. And that one person she loved over all others was just taken from her."
    He went on to say that it's "just different." It's not that I didn't love my dad, or that the loss wasn't crushing, but that choosing to love someone over everyone else is different than loving your child, or your parent,... I don't know if I'm expressing it well enough - but my friend's words really touched my heart and I realized exactly what my mother had lost that day.
    You lost that same person - the one you chose over all others, the one that chose you over all others, and when that happens at the same time??? What a bonus! And your Bryan was taken from you.
    To turn that loss into something positive, to help others learn to grieve, and Lord knows it IS a learning process, that is such an admirable intent on your part - I admire you.
    Bryan would be/is proud of you and Owen will be, too, when he understands.

  2. I don't think there's anything wrong with shooting for the stars. Not only will you do things in this life to honor Bryan but you will be showing Owen that dreams are worth shooting for. Good luck!

  3. I came to your blog through Matt Logelin's blog. He is a great inspiration for what you are talking about doing! Good luck! Keep your head up and remember why you are doing the things you plan on doing! I look forward to following your story.....

  4. Those are beautiful, marvelous goals that I absolutely believe you can - and will - achieve. I am so looking forward to seeing how God uses you and what He brings forth through all this - how He uses you to be a blessing and how He blesses you. It's sure to be beyond lovely.

  5. I found your blog through Matt Logelin's site and I rarely never comment on blogs at all, but I felt that I had to on yours. You're strength and outlook is incredibly astounding to me, in the short time that I've been reading your blog you have become an inspiration to me. I lost my brother last year in a work accident, and have been struggling on how to move on. Reading your blog has helped me in so many ways, and I sincerely thank you for that.

  6. Life has no "how to" book Ash; you will write something epic that people can empathize with and actually HELP!!

  7. I came across your blog via the LLF and reading this post I just had to comment. While I did not loose a husband at 24 I did loose my first love at 25. We had been together since I was 16 and he died all of a sudden. I think that there are a lot of people that would benefit from a book about loss at such a time. I know that there were no books written for me and that I searched for someone out there to be able to connect with. You really struck a cord with me when you talked about now you not only mourned the loss of Bryan but also the loss of your planned future. I rarely comment on blog but I wanted to give you some encouragement.

    Thank you for writing.