Photo by Trevin Rudy / Unsplash

It’s been 2 weeks since you left us.

I know intellectually that you’re gone, yet I constantly have moments throughout the day where I think “I gotta tell Ryan this” or I’ll see someone driving your model car in town and wonder if it’s you.

Teddy keeps asking “Where Dada Go?”

And even though we believe in the afterlife, and the kids talk all the time about seeing you in heaven again some day… I find myself wondering the same thing as Teddy.

Where are you?

Is your soul nearby?

Can you hear us celebrating you, talking to you, crying for you?

Me and you have always talked about everything… all day, every day, we texted and talked.

Remember when we’d go out to dinner for our weekly date night, and we’d have so much to say… and the time would FLY by…

And we’d see other couples sitting nearby in silence and

Quietly wonder “how can they possibly not have anything to talk about?!”

We thought we had years and years of those weekly dates ahead of us.

And I still have so much to tell you and so much I want to ask.

What did dying feel like?

Did you know that’s what was happening?

Were you scared?

Are you happy with how the funeral went?

Can you BELIEVE our 8 yr old son said “penis” at Church in his eulogy?! (He is so YOU!)

Did you understand when I showed you the Amazon bestsellers list that YOU are one of the best-selling children’s book authors?!

I just want to talk about you, and watch videos of you, and hear stories about you.

Because every picture, every video, every story someone shares of you is like a little gift… a little piece of you to hold onto, helping me feel close to you.

And that’s my biggest fear… your drifting farther away and out of reach.

I miss your hugs

I miss the way you always said “You’re so beautiful” when I’d wash my makeup off and get into bed

I miss your smile and laugh and the way your humor made everything seem lighter

Most of all, I miss the security of knowing we had a whole lifetime together.

I just miss you.

Samantha Russell wrote these words earlier this week. Her husband, Ryan Russell, tragically passed after a 17-month battle against brain cancer.

I don't know the Russell family and can only hope Samantha is okay with me sharing her story. I wanted to share her words in their entirety because, as a young family with seemingly their whole future together, they hit hard in our house.

I wrote a bunch of words about the Russell family's experience and how it's touched us. But whatever I say is completely hollow compared to Samantha's own words and the post linked at the end (and all the posts on their blog).

Give it a read, and hug your people a little tighter.