We recently, tragically lost a young man who was part of the Impact family, and it’s been difficult to process.
Over the years, I’ve tried my best to support youth who have experienced similar loss, encouraging them to open their hearts to all the feelings that come with it, and fully move through. Since Ryan’s passing, I’m moving through those feelings myself, along with those who are lucky enough to have known him during his short time here.
An unexpected death can be so shocking, seem so senseless, that we feel completely detached from reality. I’ve been feeling that way. His consciousness has left his physical form and gone to a different place, and I don’t think anyone really knows what that looks like. That thought can be scary, but my personal experiences have taught me that our physical self is not all we are. And I believe that who Ryan is, isn’t gone.
Anyone who met Ryan knows how joyful he was—how sweet, funny, special. All my memories of him are of a happy, loving kid, and that’s something that makes his passing all the more painful. My heart hurts, badly, for his family and friends, yet we were blessed to experience his shining light first-hand.
It took me some time to work myself up to writing this. There’s no way to really convey these feelings through a social media post. I only hope that by trying, those of us who grieve Ryan—anyone who has ever lost a loved one—know that we are not alone in our grief.
In spite of the pain, I’m thankful for the privilege of working with so many amazing young people and their families. This organization exists to help us come together and learn and grow as a community, and we deeply value each and every one of you. Please know that we’re here for you—to talk, to listen, or simply to be—whenever you need.