The Chris- MISS – Tree

December 18, 2009 at 12:00 am 10 comments

It is my belief that the rituals surrounding death are not for those passed from our lives but for the living. We all in our own way and beliefs NEED to have closure

There are many ways, traditions and beliefs that come into play as any of us of the human race say goodbye to those we loved, honour and grieve over.

Your way may not be my way and my way may find us as odds in our beliefs. But I would hope that any of you would respect the right to say goodbye and for closure.

A wicked, wicked cruelty delivered by the face of love on a piece of lined notebook paper, a simple paragraph , laughable in the stated “reasonings” had it not caused such inconsolable sadness . A piece of paper that had to be delivered by a Funeral Director 8 days after the death of my son.
This face of love who hadn’t the guts to face the terrible emotions that wracked the very core of Chris’ family when receiving the news of a promise broken.

I will never ever lose the picture in my mind of Chris’ Nana- the gentlest of people who loved and cared for him – her little body curled into and imploding upon herself with utter grief and confusion .

“I have lived through terrible tragedies, seen and heard things in my 90 years- but this is wickedness and a terrible cruelty that comes with a coldness that I have never ever experienced and it comes in the name of love.”

A promise made to that same Nana , his sister, his family in a “funeral conference” the week before. A promise to respect our way as well and grateful thanks from a grandmother and sister to be allowed to say goodbye in our way was rescinded in a cowardly note.

What couldn’t be taken from Chris’ family in his life – his family – his beliefs -his culture- our last goodbye shared- has been ripped from us in death.

I am angry and perplexed at what has happened. The need for closure of his flesh and blood circumvented by those who were part of his extended family for such a little while. I have to question is this the charity of true Christians?

Their closure complete in having taken him to ground removing all vestige of him from his flesh and blood, our beliefs and our traditions that were his too . I respected their need for closure in their belief and in their way only to be denied our own goodbye and closure.

I will not fight ( for once) over the poor broken body of my wonderful caring son . I find it abhorrent, reprehensible and unforgivable what an extended family has done to his Nana , father,sister, uncle, brother-in-law and friends and YES! to me – who cherished the feel of his first fluttering heart beat with in my own body – who was there as that same heart stopped and the washing over me of a loss that is indescribable -a horror of emotion only known to other mothers who have borne the pain of birth and death of their child

As time goes by the box that contains the earthly remnants of my son, trapped for years to come by the cold grey clay of Ohio and Ohio laws, will be forgotten. A young woman ( wife) will find another love, another life- the extended family (in- laws) will move on – my son no more than a shadowy memory – the intense pain caused not addressed as they continue to pray .

A decision made on the grounds of “not being an organ donor so there would be no division of the ashes _ to remain whole (based on ignorance of the cremation process) as that is what Chris would have wanted-“


What I do know beyond all doubt that my son, my flesh and blood , the child I bore, the boy I raised to manhood would never have sanctioned or agreed with the causing any one of us such great pain and sorrow, a dividing of those he loved. No ! That was not the way of my son .
Richard Earl Thompson (1914-1991)

There is a special place in a woodland glade where sits a weeping Norwegian Pine, a peculiar tree that represents his love of real Christmas trees and his quirky sense of humor , hundreds of spring bulbs and wildflowers planted for the colours so loved by the artist he was – a small stone with words of meaning sent by another mother , who shared the bleacher seats with me as our sons played soccer and grew into men.

A ceremony filled with love, the music of wild horses, passion for the things he loved , the child, boy and man that he became celebrating his love of life , humour , fire, freedom. the wild , love of nature and family.

As the years take their toll on the writing on a cold granite headstone, a tree will grow in strength , a field of colour at its roots – an open sky where the currents of air will play in the branches- the same air that Chris so desperately needed to save his life.

The words of my son who after coming out of the weeks of hospitalization after the 2nd stem cell transplant in a text to his cousin in England.

We are waiting for the car – Tony I had no idea how great fresh air tastes and feels – I never want to be locked in again……………

My son , I am sorry that your passing along with great grief has also produced a cold callousness and perhaps spitefulness I hadn’t thought possible in remembrance of you .

We will remember you with every blue sky, with every wag of Misty’s tail , with every splash of the waterfall and in every croak of the 8 frogs and flash of silver of the koi you gave me last Mother’s Day …. We love you beyond words ,beyond life and death………

Til death us do part” , as Nikki stated in her letter,is not part of any promise or commitment made between a parent and son, a sister and brother, a grandmother and grandchild , and uncle and nephew .

You have been with us for all your life and we will hold you close forever never to be replaced or forgotten.

Entry filed under: Chris Ritchey, men of substance. Tags: , , , .

WILD HORSES- Chris Ritchey Goodbye my “luvleyful” grandson- Chris Ritchey

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. truth  |  December 18, 2009 at 1:57 am

    Loraine, at first I didn’t understand what was going on and then I talked to Jim. I’ve tried and tried to rationalize what has been going on and can’t. Now I’m Irish/Scots Catholic so I understand traditions. So-called reasonings are a load of bunk! There is nothing that prevents anyone from fulfilling a promise. The most important thing would be to reach out to one another in this time of indescribable grief. I think you’ve tried to do that and don’t understand why it hasn’t been reciprocated. This seems more like a power struggle if you catch my drift. It’s almost as if they’re challenging you as to who loved Chris more! Don’t they understand that a mother’s love is totally different from what love they may have shared with Chris? I have prayed for you every day. Your poor mother! She’s just one of the loveliest people around! You, you’re a bit cheeky but that’s what we expect from you. Regardless of what their “reasonings” are, this is beyond the Pale! There can be no justification in this. Want to go with me to the cemetery after dark and we’ll do what we need to do? lol I know you might actually take me up on that so I have to clarify that I’m only kidding (partly) but I am truly incensed and outraged on YOUR behalf over this. It’s like “Thanks for giving birth to Chris and raising him and supporting him his ENTIRE life but get the hell out”! Loraine, this is so wrong! I just wish there was something that could be done. I think you need to come right out and state exactly what is going on so that people get a good idea of what you’ve been dealing with on top of all the tragedy! A travesty on top of tragedy! It’s almost Shakespearean!

  • 2. Loraine Ritchey  |  December 18, 2009 at 2:24 am

    Well to be honest I am so angry and appalled by all of this … I have just been trying to hold what is left of my little family together and honestly anger is about the only thing that is keeping me standing upright.

    I have to question the lack of basic civility – manners and Christian value they “all ” profess to have to do this to his family because of a legal if not moral right and the enabling of such a wicked cruel and cowardly withdrawal of our closure. after 8 days during which time we had of course been making arrangements…..

    As I said I know the son I raised and he would be disgusted and furious as to the sheer pain and heartbreak we are all feeling….. My grief has been compounded a hundred fold and on top of that I have experienced a coldness of heart that I never thought possible with connection to my wonderful son…… I am in a way glad he never experienced “true colors” he died in love and loving…..for that I am thankful……..

  • 3. Judy Hines  |  December 18, 2009 at 2:14 pm

    I cannot even start to understand or know what you must be going through.
    Your place must be so dark and the feelings of hurt and anger must be overwhelming.
    All my thoughts are with you and as I speak to and see Austin these thoughts become even stronger. How precious life is and is so easily balanced on a knife edge.
    I just send my hugs and kisses to you all at this time – please give Aunty Vi a big kiss and let her know I have been in touch.
    I am so sorry – Jude X

  • 4. Anne Hayward  |  December 20, 2009 at 12:18 pm

    ‘As they giveth, so shall they receive’. With interest hopefully.

  • 5. Judy Hines  |  December 21, 2009 at 7:50 am

    Karma – We all have to believe what goes around comes around.
    Jude XXXXX

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December 2009

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