Here’s to us, again.

It’s fair to say there have been some changes in my life and communication style, possibly my personality and most definitely my perspective over the last 1,704 days since my son died by suicide. It may not be fair to place the onus entirely on grief and trauma. Perhaps it is age. Lately, I think it is rage. I feel fortunate that those who love me seem to give me a wide berth to explore the caverns of emotion I routinely kick the dirt around, in– believing I am good and kind and soft beneath the armor I’ve built around the anguish, reminding me when I forget her voice and face, that she at least existed once upon a time. The love is proof of something lovable.

But it feels pretty fucking important that this iteration of me is the one showing up right now. I’m not sure if I’m being encouraged/empowered or bullied by her, but there is no doubt she has plans to stay awhile; her baggage is stuffed full of crap and she says we are going to narrow it down to just the essentials. She showed up this winter in the middle of a night that had me sleepless and terrified of what to do about my early breast cancer–apparently she has been here before and I refused to acknowledge her, but this time she’s dug her heels in.

I don’t always feel so wounded anymore. In fact I feel quite fierce, though still sensitive to those energies who try to over power me. If I were to paint an image of my current default mode, it would be with my dukes up; ready to protect, deflect and bust some chops, if need be. I do not feel soft and pliant, though, some part of me remembers fondly when I did, when I was; a slight yearning knocks at a small door in my heart, but a crabby old troll seems to abruptly answer and then slam the door right in the face of tenderness.

Like so many things in life, I didn’t know “this” could happen to me (Bitchfest 2019). I thought I was immune because of some story I kept telling myself that I was nice– which was really a story about denying my feelings about the injustices I’ve faced, the people who have hurt me, and the right to feel a full range of emotions and still be loved. A story about growing up as “too much” that led me to hide it under a bush. Heaven forbid I risk vulnerability, risk rejection, risk someone saying I wasn’t nice. Jesus. It started so long ago it was completely unconscious until it was gone. And I couldn’t fake it.

I was never taught or shown how to be all of myself. Or that it was ok to be.

And that fucked me up as much as any of the other shit did.

And I know I am not alone. This is not a singular experience. I am everyone.


I write less, for others to read and more for myself, to feel. I am writing a book, in theory. It has changed course so many times with each phase of feeling more into myself. I am not sure I can call it healing anymore because it seems redundant to always be healing and never just healed. So I think the proper term is fucking feeling. I feel therefore I am. I’m like a psychedelic cartoon flower that blooms without end. Infinity Blooms. Ever becoming. Life is happening all around me like double dutch and I am thinking about jumping in one minute and wadding up those damn jump ropes into a tangled pile no one can use the next and still, other times, im just standing there watching the clouds with everything around me moving on.

My mom always said if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all, as moms do. Thats a big reason why I don’t blog so much– also because the more time that goes by, the more that life reveals itself, I just don’t know what the point is. We are all in pain. Do we really need to read about someone else? Does baring my soul offer me anything I actually want in my life? For awhile it was a compulsion. A way to carry the load more comfortably. Now it sorta feels like narcissism. Look at me, I’m grieving. Look at me I’m bleeding to death. Look at me I’m resentful bitter and pissed off. I don’t need words made visible to see how ugly this part of feeling it all is. For Fucks Sake.

Ahhhhh….As I write this I feel the proverbial tap on my shoulder from my winter guest, reminding me that feeling all of my feelings is the way through. The only way out. That I felt all sorts of feelings all day, as I do everyday.

Some high some low.

Some yes some no.

Feelin it all is my M.O.

I don’t bury it, numb it, run away from it, make it pretty or chew it up for baby birds to swallow anymore.

I am all of me.

And I want that for all of us.

So I write. So I share. So maybe you will feel. Write. Share.

So, here’s to us. All of us. And all our feelings. And all those we love and lost who didn’t get the chance to find the other side of their feelings, the ones who couldn’t go through them anymore.

And here’s to being “messy and complicated and afraid and showing up anyway” {Glendon Doyle} Here’s to telling the truth. Here’s to the contradictions that are inevitable with authenticity. Here’s to life, or as my sister Jenn says “WOLO”.




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.


2 thoughts on “Here’s to us, again.”

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