Updated: Mar 28, 2019
Maya Angelou, an American poet, singer, and civil rights activist, once said: “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.”
On March 31, 2018 my life changed forever.
I have a list called “The Best Day” it’s a list of all the dates that consists of exceptionally good days. There isn’t anything specific or certain qualifications these days have to have to make the list, it just has to be a day I want to relive. It has to be a day I’m happy and content from start to finish. March 31, 2018, started on that list. It was my husband’s 25th birthday. We had just gotten home from New York, celebrating our 1st anniversary and his birthday, the weekend prior. We had such a good trip that we came home on a high, rejuvenated, and ready to chase the world. We got lunch and had a picnic at the park. The weather was warm, there was a soft breeze, birds singing, and I remember being completely happy. Content. We hadn’t planned a whole lot to celebrate on the day because we had just got back from New York. Our day started out simple and quiet and for some reason, it just felt good. My husband did have one request for his birthday and that was dinner at Sakura. On our way to dinner I realized I forgot my phone back at the house, this is weird for me because I always have my phone on me, but we were already late for dinner and I didn’t think I really needed it. We arrived at Sakura I had surprised my husband by inviting some of his close friends and family. He was surprised and we were all celebrating. We were all happy. After dinner we were trying to settle some problems with the bill when my husbands phone began to ring, we were in the middle of talking to the waitress so he ignored it. It immediately sang out again and my husband repeatedly ignored it. When it started ringing for the third time in a row my husband answered it. That’s when I saw it.
I saw the bad, the doom, the “my entire life just changed” look. After this point in my story, I don’t remember a whole lot. I remember being told Hunter, my little brother, was in trouble. He wrecked, CPR was being done and had been done for 30 minutes, waiting, screaming, banging my feet against the floor of my car, and collapsing on my kitchen floor. Everything is a blur. It’s difficult to tell a story when the most defining parts are a blur; yet, I still feel like my story is important to tell because this is only the beginning of it. Hunter Steven Syddall died on March 31, 2018 at around 8:OO pm. He was racing motocross at the Bunkerhill Track in Delta, UT. On the last race, last lap of the day, my brother came off a jump and lost his life, and that’s where my story really begins.
I’ve been thinking about sharing my story for a while, not because I seem to have an incredible amount of knowledge or know how to manage words in a unique or beautiful way, but because writing helps. I’ve always loved writing and the power it holds. I’ve never considered myself a good writer or even someone that knows how to write. My spelling always has to be checked with Google and my grammar is on the very basic elementary level; however, I’ve always had an interest in writing. I’ve always been interested in the beauty and power writing can have. The way arranging words can effect and change people and because death is weird. It is a hard transition to understand and it's inevitable. Everyone will experience death and the grief it brings at some time in their life in some way. If telling my experiences can help someone else deal with the waves of grief my story is worth telling. It has been a year since Hunter’s passing and I have yet to find the right coping strategy, or even how to weather through the storms of grief. I have read multiple books, watched different advice videos, talked to others who have lost loved ones, and nothing seems to really “fix” grief. Through all of the self-help and motivation books I’ve read everyone talks about their trials in past tense. They write about how they got through the storm, after they got through it. None of them talk about the ugly while their experiencing the ugly. That’s where I come in. For the past year I have kept a journal and am still experiencing the ugly, I am here for those who feel alone or are waging their own war against grief. You are not alone. I may not have any answers yet, and I may never find the “fix”, but maybe while going through my war it can help ease your own. We can be on the same side and experience the ugly grief brings. With that being said, Hello, I’m Shailee Garnier, and I am the newest member of Team Grief.