Like I’ve been tied to the whippin post….

Last night I had a phone date with my Life Long Friend, Dilas. It was everything you want in a good date; easy, tender, tear and laughter filled and completely satiating. At 11:11pm, after 2 hrs and 29 minutes, we knew we had to bring it to an end. There were good night stories to be read in Wyoming and a good nights sleep here in The Mitten. 

I’ve had the uncanny good fortune to have several deep friendships that endure the test of time and the challenges of making time and I thank my lucky stars frequently for these women. The truths we share and the ground we cover and the wit and the wisdom we swim in seem to age like fine wine, richer and more potent, yet with subtle nuances that remain unchanged. 

My tribe of women have been bearing witness to my evolution, the highs and the lows, for decades. They each cultivated a personal relationship with my child, even those that live far away. We share in the grief and the loss; it is not simply that they ache for me, they ache for themselves and for their children who adored Isaac, the oldest of all our babes. 

They have learned how to let me be with this and some of that has required having a fraction of the friend they used to. This past summer, a few shared that it has been like two deaths, because I am not who I was. They show up anyway and remind me of her. They bring out my giddy silly side and they also carry the weight I seem only to be able to share over the phone. In person, I continue to struggle to just lose it, even once. They wait patiently for a time that may never come; the ability to sit with my pain beside them. 

Today I pulled into the driveway at home after work and felt that love holding me in solidarity as the tears I cannot face with others poured from my heart. These moments come and go when I am alone. But because of them, I am never lonely with a sense of belonging. I belong to these women, and they to me. I miss Isaac in the bones of my bones; I often feel lost, adrift, aimless, unmoored. I can stay there longer than is wise, if left to my own instincts. 

But because of these women, I am only ever steeping in my shit for a short time before one of them, beautifully intuiting this ache, maybe as they watch their children play or as they draw a bath or pack a lunch or fold small clothes, sends me a text or picks up the phone and reaches across the energy lines with just the right words, joke or medicine to bring me back to the center.

Last night I shared with Dilas that up until & including October 24, I felt like I had somehow managed to raise an amazing boy because despite my endless shortcomings and doubts, I loved him enough to believe in my heart that he would move mountains. She could see how that has unraveled as I live with the questions. She did not let me stew nor did she blow sunshine up my ass. She just listened. 

I know that love is enough, because I’m living proof. I will try to take that with me through the labyrinth I am weaving my way in and out from. And I will try to be as good a friend to myself as they are to me. 

I really feel inept handing out advice anymore on just about every topic. The only wisdom I feel capable of sharing continues to persevere, just as my friendships do just as my love for Isaac has, and just as my spirit does:

Don’t Abandon Yourself


Let Yourself Be Loved.
Much Love, from my driveway to yours,



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.

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