I hate funerals. Especially now that I am old enough to understand them. Daddy's funeral offered no closure because it was so detached from his life and strictly a sermon on the bible. Ryan's funeral hurt so bad I spent the entire service hunched over, clutching my legs trying to sob quietly. Closure is not a word I associate with funerals.
Today I went to my first funeral since losing Ryan and let me just tell you, it broke my heart to pieces again. I refer to them as my second family - the Eastins. Torre and Merrin are the same ages as Sabrina and me & our mothers are best friends, so we all grew up together. Gina lost her mother this year right around Mother's day. We all went to the funeral to support them because I love them all like family, but there are a few things I payed attention to this time that 3 years ago I don't think would have crossed my mind.
I saw Gina and her siblings mourning the loss of a parent, and I instantly remembered the grief I felt after losing daddy 2 years ago. Then I saw her dad, who had just lost his wife of 44 years. They told their story...they met in college and found their happily ever after. It was nice that they told their story, true love is rare and when it is found it should be shared.
People often ask me, "Arianne, how are you doing so well?" My friends who are as deeply in love with their boyfriends as I still am Ryan tell me all the time, "If my boyfriend died at all I would die too, let alone dying by suicide..." and I remember thinking back to our relationship together....
It was FULL of happiness, and laughter was not in small measure around us. Ryan brough sunshine to my life in ways I never thought possible, he made me feel like the greatest girl in the world, and next to the women in his life like Elissa, Barb, Natalie & his great friends from Los Alamos, I knew he loved me on our level just as much. He made it a point to make sure I knew that I was beautiful and deserved so much out of life because of how compassionate I was.
We'd share stories of our lives together, and one day in Denver we were unpacking and he was very annoyed with my 'girly music' so he decided to turn on his stuff. As the night went on, the songs started to get a little more depressing each time. Finally he put on "Comfortably Numb" by Pink Floyd. He sat there at the counter and watched the lyrics flash across the screen and mumbled the words to himself. I walked up behind him, put my arms around his chest and asked him what was wrong. "This song describes me, I am very comfortably numb." We had a long talk and he finally said that he had been so hurt that numbing the pain was the only way to keep moving. He mentioned that he was very much in love with me, but numbness was how he lived his life.
Someday I have faith that true happiness will find me once again. I pray that somehow someone else in this world will be able to see past my mistakes to my beauty within just like Ryan did, and right now it kills me to say it because I wish it was Ryan, but I want love...the things that Ryan and I planned, I'm much too young to throw it all away. I will carry Ryan with my in my heart always, and if the day comes that I meet someone who believes we can fall in love - they will know the story of Ryan and I.
My first true love was to a man named Ryan Owen Barber, and true love is not a memory that fades easily, if ever at all.
Until I can let go of my guilt, accept myself for who I am, and honestly move forward -- now I am comfortably numb, and it helps me to keep moving too.
I love you Ryan.