Ten years without you can fuck the fuck off.


Ten years ago today, you left this earth; you left me, you left us.

Prayers didn’t save you.
Medicine didn’t save you.
My primal screams didn’t save you.
Love didn’t save you.
I would have done anything to save you. I would have traded my life for yours in an instant, but unfortunately, that’s not the way life works.

You left me behind, and on most days, I am ok. I have learned to carry this grief and carry it well. And on the days where I cannot, like yesterday, I give in to this pain. I let myself weep for your touch, your voice, your mischievous laugh, and your smothering kisses. I let myself go to the darkest places where I end up saying things like, “I’m a bad mom. I’m a bad mom. I didn’t hold him after he died. I just let them take him away from me.” I watched them wheel you down the hallway on a gurney—your tiny, lifeless body. I should have gone with you. To wherever they were taking you. But I didn’t, and that guilt haunts me still. It is essential to my healing that I allow myself to go to the darkest places. I learned long ago not to fear the darkness of this. For as much as this pain hurts, I know I must allow myself to feel it as rawly as I can. My grief is a testament to my love for you; my grief is my superpower. It has taught me that my love has no limits and that empathy is what makes the world go round.

In my darkest hours, I eventually find my way back because of words like, “You were the best mom to him. You are the most incredible mom still. I love you, and I’m not leaving you.” In those moments, I find my way back to your brothers: my gentle giant, Liam, who has the most brilliant mind and the heart of the fiercest lion. Your brother Quinn lights up a room with his infectious laugh and quick-witted banter. Your little sister, Poppy. The one you begged me for, and I will forever think you had a hand in giving to me. She is your twin flame, your wild ways with the most thoughtful soul. She fills me with so much peace and is the best thing to have happened to me since losing you. Often I find myself sobbing in my car over the love I have for you and the three of them. I wouldn’t have been able to go on if not for them, this I know.

Love didn’t save you, but it has saved me. My week has been filled with messages from people checking on me. Family and loved ones checking in. Friends sending messages things like, “How can I support you?” There have been so many messages about you. How much you are loved. How you will never be forgotten. How our love has changed lives. There is a constant acknowledgment of my pain. There is genuine concern for our family. There is no judgment, only unconditional love. My tears finally have the safest place to land. My days are filled with whispers of “do you know how much I love you?” And “you made me a better person.” I found my freedom and a love that has saved my life. My life is full of the kindest people. The most compassionate people. For as unlucky as I have been, I am also the luckiest.

Happy Mother’s Day? Happy Mother’s Day. Thank you to all of you who have checked in on us. Thank you for acknowledging the loss of Ronan, and thank you for forever carrying him in your hearts. Your words and your endless support means everything to me. It’s one of the reasons that I will not only get through today, but I will continue to get through this life.

I love you, Ro.
I miss you.
I love you.
I hope you are safe.

I love you, JV.
Take care of our Ronan for us.

Fuck fucking cancer.

8 responses to “Ten years without you can fuck the fuck off.”

  1. Maya, I think of you often. I think of Ronan and Lincoln daily. I never knew them personally here on earth but I feel their precious spirits. I am not sure of your political party, or your religion or your spirituality but I do know better days are coming. All these children with Nueroblastoma, DIPG, all Cancers, Noah, Haley, everyone of them was dealt a wicked, undeserving hand. Nothing, I mean nothing can make what happened and is happening to these children is fair. It truly makes me sick. I think maybe Ronan is everywhere now that he has left this plain. He belongs here with you and I know this but now he is part of all of us. He is now an Angel in the highest order. I for one am fortunate to have him on my team.

  2. Maya, I have thought about you, your family, and especially your little man Ronan often since finding your blog nearly ten years ago. My biggest fear has been that one of my children would follow in their mother’s path and be diagnosed with childhood cancer.

    I cannot fathom your pain and loss, but reading your messages allowed me to relate to the love that you have for your four children. You are an incredible mother and have touched so many people that you will never meet through writing about your love story with Ro.

    Stay strong, keep trying to change the world and impact people with your story. My heart and thoughts are with you and your family today

  3. I have been following your blog about the extraordinary Ronan since the beginning of your grief journey. I never imagined I could lose a child, but in 2019, my oldest daughter died due to a medical mistake. Your words now feel familiar; the regret, the ache, the loss and the defiance to survive. Thank you for reminding me that grief is the love we carry..fovever.

  4. 10 years later… I still feel the rawness that you describe as the bystander in this journey. I connect I several ways now more than ever. My heart goes out to you momma. Love and hugs always

  5. For the last two weeks, I have been searching for a Rockstar Ronan post. For some reason, I just needed to hear about how you & the family were doing. What a relief to read your post. When I see the photo of his angel face, it renews the passion within me to do whatevet I can to fight against pediatric cancer. Blessings to Ronan and to those who continue to love him.

  6. Sending you Rolove…. always Rolove!

  7. Loved reading this and glad you are doing well. Reading you since the beginning . . .

  8. Ten years and I still think about Ronan frequently. I have a large pencil sketch of him framed in my office, with all the words of Taylor’s song in red ink as the background. (My daughter drew it for me several years ago.) All the good I’ll do in my whole life will never stack up against the brilliant spark of greatness Ronan brought to this world in his 4 short years. His inspiration still drives so many of us. Thank you for sharing him and (((HUGE HUGS))) to you.

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