The Memorial Project- the Interview- Chris Ritchey Pt 3
If your photograph includes decorations at a child’s grave or special place in your home/nature, how long have the objects shown in the photograph been there? Are they still there?
My collage as stated is just a few of the pieces that I love and hang on the walls of our house and that of his sisters. The one black and white window piece -he standing on the outside of the window- I have had printed into card form and use them as a thank you to the people who donate to the yearly Cleveland Institute of Art Scholarship we have in Christopher’s memory.
The memorial on my blog is ongoing
Do you frequently make changes to this space (such as by adding or changing objects placed there)?
Since the space is my blog and the internet the changes are frequent
Has anything ever happened to your memorial/remembrance space (such as object disappearing or being damaged)? If so, what was this like for you? What were your emotions and reactions?
The most terrifying aspect was not my personal memorial for Chris , but the fact he was buried in a place not of our faith or cultural heritage. We [his immediate family] had no say as to that aspect or his headstone and no control over the “decorations ” of balloons and garden wind ornaments ,pumpkin lights and cake offerings ( which drew vermin and ants) put there by the in-laws.
They were not of our culture and Chris hated what they used to do to the graves of their deceased family members and stated as such many times. To have what was left of my son subjected to this absolutely wounded us to the core. To us as “HIS” family it was a desecration
Fortunately, the bride – Angela (Lombardi) Ritchey DO- has moved on to another romantic liaison and apparently she and her kind no longer visits the grave with any frequency.
Chris, was not a child to have balloons and holiday decorations, which I could understand if he were, but a grown man. We never go to that place of deceit but many friends , who visit their own loved ones, make sure to remove anything they know would hurt us or minimize the loss of Chris with childish knickknacks and for them we are most grateful.
How often do you visit this space? Are there times of year when you visit this space more frequently? Are there times in your life when you have stopped visiting this space? Why and for how long?
We don’t visit the place they buried his cremains- it has become a place of insult and control- Chris’s family visit him in our thoughts every day . Our grandchildren, only one of whom was born at the time of his death- know their Uncle Chris There is always a “Chris-miss” present from him every birthday and Christmas.
My daughter, has a wall of his artwork in her house and the children know who he is , she keeps her brother alive for them .His artwork appears on the street signs in this neighborhood and just yesterday [ AT THE TIME OF THE INTERVIEW] we were at an event and there was a mural he had painted as a summer job- a mural on a storage shed at a park. The mural is still there and my daughter took the photo of the children in front of that mural- saying Uncle Chris painted this…… and the questions started and the discussion once more turned to Chris.
TO BE CONTINUED……..
Entry filed under: Blogging, blogs, Chris Ritchey, grief, hell is other people, Love, Mothers. Tags: Angela ritchey DO, Christopher D. Ritchey, christopher ritchey lorain, Cleveland Institute of Art Scholarship, grief, Lombardi-Lorain, memorializing dead son / daughter, mothers and sons, way to memorialize.