Telling Stories

Sacred Sojourn…

Im not sure if im closer to my pain here on the ocean or further away– so much remains unbearable– as if the grief bubbles up to surface and then some brilliantly designed mechanism (denial? Shock? Numbness?) steps in and takes over– i have the most concise recall of the play-by-play immediately following the news that Beauty had left my world– the agonizing hyperventillating, the unearthly noises that bellowed from deep within this mamas heart & guts- throwing myself on the ground and writhing; screaming nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo, begging for a rewind button, utter disbelief–and then this thing– this understanding beyond understanding– this clarity–absolute certainty that i must get off the ground or the ambulance would haul me away– in a stretcher– in a straight jacket– if I did not pull it together– a knowing that someone else would have to tell my parents and my sisters– if i did not get my shit together– the clearest memory of not wanting to be drugged or confined– surrounded already by Millzee, Lamerson, Johnny, Phil, Joshua, Troy, Meredith (who in that moment appeared like an angel– literally– finding out only later it was her) neighbors, EMT, police… Feeling dislodged from the web of reality– a sudden shift into complete focus– an action plan formed from the ether– get clean pants and get to Honor– avoid looking in the woods– at the ambulance–into anyones eyes– followed by a week of fierce grace– accomodating visitors– mourning on the inside– leaking tears outwardly but unable to scream– unable to touch this pain– an acceptance of the facts; a confirmation of my deepest fears– a fear that i always knew that i would lose Isaac too soon, somehow– a mamas intuition that he was always a little bit melancholy since he was 8 or 9– was it real? Was i projecting? Did i do enough? Followed by praying him into the light, for safe passage, for peace, counterintuitively letting go so i would not hold him back, still needing to be a perfect mama, perfect in my grief– while fearing I had failed him, racked with what ifs and oh no’s and shoulds and should nots… Out of body observation of myself and everyone else– unable to help my husband, or Phillip or anyone in my family or isaacs friends or Sophie– unitentionally fasting, morbid curiousity of details that help nothing, planning a conscientious celebration of extraordinary light with precise details , writing a heartfelt obituary and eulogy, opening my heart to others but barely to my own self– seeking to comfort despite unbearable discomfort– watching life around me resume– with peace and acceptance rather than anger– but unable to return to normalcy myself– unable to imagine i will ever return to my calling– my work-my clients- my family my tribe my life my self– trying to think my way through the maze of grief only to discover i must feel my way thru– but numb– too distraught to touch the ache– to question his choice– to understand it– surrounded in love like a blanket, like a quilt– while burning with fever– wanting to feel– needing to– but unable to–truly in any appropriate sense– feel this loss– is it because i am feeling him everywhere– staring into the sky– lost in a moment? I bring myself back, over and over to the day, as if putting a puzzle together will change the outcome– could i have prevented it? Every person i try to ask tells me no– is it a balm? Will i ever believe them? Its only been 48 days– i know that this is not enough time to have any answers or even to expect peace– i get that it will take a lifetime to find MY OWN answers and peace– i do not share my story or my process here and there or anywhere because i am seeking sympathy– there is plenty of that already (thank you) –nor to be elevated anymore than i already have– no– it is simply the undeniable feeling of already having shared the tremendous loss of my beautiful boy from day one of everyones overwhelming generosity kindness and empathy– that i want– i need– i must continue to share this– because it helps me, and perhaps it will help us all– i have always loved to weave words to make sense of my world– it helps me catalogue– it soothes, and sometimes it answers my own questions as I go– all i can write about is my journey– and all that is truly unique is that it is my perspective– my story– we all have stories and each of us comes through with different truths–

“The story knows more than the storyteller– it is as though we are all swirling within the words and music of our story; and we tell each other about our lives so that we can better understand each other– and in that understanding of the other, understand ourselves”
–J. Collinsimage

Published by: christinaryanstoltz

I write to touch the supple center of unguarded ache~ To release myself from the pressure of not knowing how to move forward from the unfathomable loss of my beloved son, my beautiful boy Isaac, to suicide, of not knowing how to release my grip on of the past, both the worshipping of it as well as the beating myself up for it, and letting go of the need to know what I could’ve done or what on earth I will do now. I write to heal.


8 thoughts on “Telling Stories”

  1. I love this, and you. I know it’s the last thing that matters, but, perhaps this is a launching point. Your words touch people because they are raw and visceral but also eloquent and beautiful. You, my dear, find words that most of us cannot and even though our hearts bleed for you and for ourselves we are also thankful for them. We find comfort in them, solace even. You’ve known for so long that your trade (healing touch) was slowly depleting your physical resources. Perhaps this, now, is where you transition and find a way to make your way with your words. People flock to your words, Christina. Please keep writing. FOREVER.


  2. Beautiful. This journey you are on will take you to places, physical and spiritual, that you never imagined. And I will follow you closely. 💛


  3. Christina,
    I am honored to listen to read to feel along with you. Tears streaming down my face. I think of you daily. I feel love and deep sorrow. XO.


  4. Christina, this is absolutely beautiful and Jessa has said it so perfectly. There is not a day that I don’t think or pray for you and your family. As a mother, I feel the raw pain as I read your words,seeing your motions through the day and the process of trying to understand and heal. Keep writing, Christina, it helps all of us, I truly think. Love and hugs!


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