The Memorial Project – Why ? Chris Ritchey Pt 2
A few days ago, on December 3rd, I published another “remembering” of my son Chris.
I have, as long- time readers know, used the 3rd of every month to write about Chris, his life, the story of our journey, our pain and yes, anger .
I mentioned in the December 3rd post how I had been contacted to be part of a project on how grieving parent memorialize their children. I am now, since the project has been presented, going to share some of the interview questions put to me and the answers as to ‘WHY “THIS WAY” TO MEMORIALIZE’?
Please describe the photograph and any special meaning the objects in it may have (such as a headstone inscription, meaning of items placed in a space dedicated to a child, or anything else you feel is important).
The photograph is of my son and some of his art work. I have made a collage of a few that have meanings for him and me.
For example, the baseball hat with the flag and the word freedom was the slide that appeared behind him as he crossed the stage at his graduation from Cleveland Institute of Art. Each graduate was required to put together a slide which told who they were- this was who Chris decided he was.
The “Hands” artwork in the background was homework, sketches of different hands – my son was throwing it out after his first year and I loved it so much I wanted to frame it – it didn’t fit in the frame so he folded the one edge. After he died I had it professionally framed they informed me they could take out the crease but, he had put in the fold and I wanted it left. It was significant to leave it for me.
The reason for the collage of his artwork[ as our memorial] is due to the fact his bride[ Angela (Lombardi) Ritchey]
http://my.clevelandclinic.org/staff_directory/staff_display.aspx?DoctorID=16147 took from us his cremains and buried them without our knowledge or input.
Therefore we haven’t a place or memorial in the traditional sense.
I have had a blog for many years which covers many, many subjects. After Chris’s death and the terrible cruelty that followed including the statement[ a letter sent 4 months after Chris death by Angela Ritchey DO ] “I didn’t know my son”
I then started writing about what we were going through and going on a journey “In search of my son”
Part 19 of the series and links to the other posts are part of our journey.
using his work to illustrate my thoughts.
I, then wrote to “him”[Chris} my thoughts on the 3rd of every month for a year, and have continued to do so for the past 3 years and 10 months [the time when I was contacted for the project] although my blog covers other subjects, I continue to use his art work to illustrate my thoughts and reporting on various subjects
When did you first begin memorializing/remembering your child in this way?
The day I read his obituary in the local paper written by his “in-laws” – my son was so much more than the paltry self-serving piece written in the paper.
I could not let those words be the last words written about my son. So I used my blog (which is well read) not only for him but it has become cathartic for me.
It doesn’t matter if thousands read about his life or just one – his story is there and in some sense his art still speaks for him.
to be continued……………
NOTE: all my posts, the reactions to what happened to this family is backed up with written documentation by the parties involved as well as witnesses to the events of what I consider to be despicable, cruel and selfish behaviours by ” those that controlled” – they are in fact the “enablers’ of this memorial for without the decisions made by The Lombardis, Vykas , Gotts, Zaworski and Gonzales http://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2012/06/07/a-memory-of-vipers-chris-ritchey/
If things had been handled by them -with humanity, kindness, respect and thought for Chris’s family at the lowest point in any parents life instead of putting us in a realm where we “didn’t exist” – this aspect of my blog would not exist.……..
They have themselves to thank their behaviours are here!
Entry filed under: Chris Ritchey, Doctor/Physician, grief, hell is other people, Love, men of substance, Mothers, personal opinion. Tags: Angela Ritchey, Chris Ritchey, Christopher D. Ritchey, christopher ritchey lorain, death, disgraceful, grief, hodgkins lymphoma, Lombardi-Lorain, mothers and sons, ritchey.