I wrote this the day after Ryan’s funeral.
This was the first non-church funeral I’ve ever been to. In a way, it was a relief. There was no guilt for sadness. No pressure to smile and say “well, he is in a better place”, “God’s will is perfect and mysterious”, or “God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle without his help”. None of that crap. It was raw, open grief. And we all cried together.
Sobbed, some of us. Wailed. Those deep, body-wrenching sobs that start deep in your abdomen, burn our chests, and explode out our throats. So deep even your toes and shaken and you have to hold on to someone else not to fall. It was a relief to be honest about grief.
This sucks. Its so wrong. There is no divine purpose in it. Pretending there is or that there is an afterlife does numb the pain, but it also negates it. It brings shame and deceit and guilt for lack of faith.
There were so many people that the after party filled 2 venues. It was good to get together. Somewhere someone was crying, somewhere someone was laughing. It is hard to think about Ryan without smiling. He brought joy.
He wasn’t afraid to play. To be himself. To dress up in whatever costume for whatever reason. To make art and music and love.
People came to remember and grieve. People who had barely known him, like us. People whose life he had touched even with only one or two conversations.
It hurts like hell, but I and many others have a profound gratitude for just having known him. One of his friends said that he had caused us massive psychological trauma, for which we are grateful. I agree.
That is Ryan, with the green eyes.