An open letter – “Mama Sue” Lombardi

October 14, 2010 at 12:05 am 37 comments

I won’t start this letter with a salutation – I am not sure how to address you .

The days, weeks and months continue to pass after the death of my son, Chris – he was MY SON until the day he died and he still continues to be MY SON. In another time another place You, Sue, and I would not have shared any sort of relationship of that I am sure!

The only things we had in common was “motherhood” , being a “woman “and our childrens’ love of each other .

Now, as the months have passed since my child died , people have become more comfortable in telling me of what exactly happened at the “visitation” at the funeral home and elsewhere.I have come to the conclusion that we don’t even have what it means to be a woman and a mother in common.

There are a couple reasons I did not attend the “funeral home visitation”- planned by YOU and yours.
I couldn’t be part of that , not only because it was not of my culture or creed
( A fact of which both you and your husband were already aware!) Someone needed to be with my grandchild- I saw it as no fit place for an 8 month old.

And to be honest I needed to be with “life” not death in the hours after I watched my son die just hours before.

I needed to hold a child of my blood close in my arms
to stop my heart from breaking altogether.

I could no more have walked up those steps into that room of despair than I could fly- it was not to be borne! I was not strong enough to be on show and also to accept the love of well -wishers – I was and am still too raw.

I still, after all these months, have to get my self geared to meet with people whom I haven’t seen since Chris’ death but you don’t want to hear that or care and I am not making excuses..

Apparently , you took it upon yourself to assail some of the people who came to pay their condolences at the “visitation” planned by you and yours as to MY reasoning for not being there – Sue you said:

“Can you believe it, his own mother isn’t even here! She boycotted the funeral because it wasn’t done her way!”

“You cannot believe what we have had to put up with”


“Yes, she’s an UNNATURAL mother.”

I am perplexed as to your apparent lack humanity and feelings toward those that grieve especially another mother.

You see YOU and yours stood by my son’s bed in his final moments, leaving no room for his own father …. it wasn’t even given to me to look at the face of my husband as our child died but that of YOUR husband.

And HOW he could have looked into my eyes as my son drew his last breath and see what I KNOW he saw in those eyes as I looked up into “HIS face” and then HE enabled YOU and his daughter to take from us our closure sickens and makes me question even his humanity– certainly compassion was and is absent!

My husband , who tried so hard, three times to stay in that place of mourning at YOUR visitation . The prancing about and smiling by your other daughter in front of his son’s photo and no tears shed drove him away , the fact YOU had complained

“what are we going to decorate”

when you found out there would be no casket, sickened him as he gazed on the receiving line of grief as he thought of your concern for decorating as being paramount.

It was more than he could do to stay but he tried – he felt there was no honor in your attitude toward his son.

Your stoney face and holier than thou stance finally took its toll on him – he was brought back home for good. And it seems he was right, as you had other things more important than honoring his son, criticizing and insulting me was first and foremost apparently.


E. Munch- 1895

“Death Bed scene”

YOU were there three days earlier as my son’s heart stopped and he drew a last breath.

YOU stood watching ( with what in your heart????) a mother ( whom even your own daughter states had an “intense love” for her son in her notes of destruction) trying to reach through the curtain of death as it drew closed – trying to give a mother’s last comfort to her child – trying to hold back death, almost crazy in her pain of having to say goodbye to her son .

YOU were witness to the most private , personal, poignant and heartbreaking moments between a mother and her dying child.

YOU stood there with your relief ( because it was relief I saw in your face )- a mother’s relief that your daughter wouldn’t have to be dealing with an invalid) waiting and hovering like some black crow over its carrion .

How COULD YOU ? as a mother who watched as another mother saw her child die – the most emotionally terrifying moment any mother can face – the unbearable pain that comes with those final moments as your child slips from this realm. HOW COULD YOU?

After witnessing that moment then HOW COULD YOU? decide 3 days later it is appropriate later to tell anyone who would listen “your thoughts of her as they came to grieve for the child she brought into this world and watched leave –

Of course I now know why your daughter, Angela (Lombardi) ritchey, felt that it was acceptable behaviour for her to send notes with a dead son’s clothes her interpretation of Chris’ thoughts of his family – a vicious trait shared between a mother and daughter perhaps?

If YOU are the epitome of a “natural “ mother, then I thank whom ever made me I was not made in your image.

For all the wrongs I have ever done , all the hurts I may have caused in the lowest of my low moments I would never have sunk as low as to the depths of coldness , cruelty that apparently YOU find acceptable.

Three days after watching a young beautiful son die and his mother’s pain YOUR thoughts were of tearing that mother apart whilst her daughter and mother mourned Chris’ loss -steps away from your vindictive mouthing. .

I am not sure I want to be a “natural mother” if that is what is the definition of your faith and culture .

You can take our closure Sue, your thoughts of appearances , the money and your opinions and lock them in a place where your heart should be because I think it is empty , cold and dark place , both from the stand point of being a woman, a human and a mother.

We are desolate that our son’s earthly remains are locked in a box beneath a ground that heaves with decay and toxicity – surrounded by those not of his kin, but used as a decoration for tacky balloons, plastic flowers and the odd slice of cake, which attracts the earths vermin to this place of supposed repose. This is what the memory of my son has become a platform for balloons and store-bought cake… it disgusts and appalls me – that you and yours celebrate the birth of my son at that place in such a manner and it causes the bile of my stomach to rise in my throat.

NONE of you have a right to desecrate and belittle his memory in such a sickening fashion. You were not part of his birth and I find it abhorrent and insulting to him that you had any rights after his death.

I do not visit this “place” you have deemed worthy of my beautiful child as I find what you and yours have done reprehensible in this world and the next. YOUR need for control outweighs any human compassion – some christian values seem missing in your clan .

May the “Holy Mother ” you worship forgive you for the anguish, pain, and anger you and your child have caused for I will not . If there was such a thing as a “mothers curse” I would lay it at your door for I have found no soul as worthy of execration as you and your fellow cretins of the cemetery.

MY SON– who found your “cemetery carrying ons” sickening and irreverent who is now subjected to them in death when he refused to be part of them in life only has HIS MOTHER to speak for him and I WILL- THAT IS MY RIGHT!!!!

“Nothing should be hidden or untouchable , if it is your truth and you stand behind it – no one should be able to silence you “

Quote Chris Ritchey 2005

Disclaimer :All opinions and perspectives are entirely my own . The story told is what happened to us as a family as a direct result of the actions of the people mentioned here and in previous posts. All posts referencing the events leading up to my son’s death through the current posting have all copies of documentation of statement and witnesses to events on file.

Entry filed under: Chris Ritchey, death, Doctor/Physician, grief, hell is other people, medical, Mothers, notorious opponents of exactitude, personal opinion, weddings and funerals. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

THE DRAFT POST- History Mystery- one man’s tourism anothers flower bed

37 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Mary  |  October 14, 2010 at 1:01 am

    Those ashes, the few remains of Chris, need to be returned to his mother and father! Angela and Sue, I know you read this blog! You can’t help yourself! For the love of God and for any hope for your immortal souls, give this mother her peace! I cannot imagine a sin more grievous than the one that is being perpetrated upon this poor grieving family! Claim all the grief you like but if there is any Christian compassion and if you have learned ANY of the teachings of our faith, you MUST return these ashes to his parents! It is the only humane thing to do! Because karma is a funny thing. It will come back and bite you in the ass! And I’ve personally seen the evidence of your cavorting in the cemetery and, personally, I feel that it is an action of desecration in a holy place! Would you do that in Mass? In your precious St. Mary’s? What you do in that cemetery is disrespectful to all that repose there. This has been building up in Loraine ever since her beautiful boy passed and now it’s out there! As a mother, as a Catholic, as a wife, as a woman, as a human being all I can say is SHAME ON YOU BOTH! Your actions have been disgraceful and are definitely not a reflection of the Catholic faith I was raised in!

  • 2. tony  |  October 14, 2010 at 12:42 pm

    Well said Mary. I would just like to add Sue and Angela, I was the one who took Ernie back to his house and on all occassions, in flloods of tears he kept saying to me, “Tony how can they be laughing and joking, I have lost my son”

    I will not comment on the way things are done in the US, we all have our different cultures, but I was very shocked by the whole experience

  • 3. Grammy  |  October 15, 2010 at 12:33 am

    I’m glad for you that you’ve finally had your say. Holding in those thoughts in regard to their actions was not a healthy thing for any of your family members. It is amazing that some people can be so uncouth, uncaring, self-centered, condescending and hard-hearted. I can only hope that this treatment doesn’t come back to visit them in the future (even though they would be entitled to the same treatment if not more). Revenge is not for us to mete out unfortunately. To hurt a person whether it is physically or verbally is not something that can be overlooked or forgiven easily. (if ever)

    I have experienced some of that same self-centeredness and isolation from others in regard to a family loss, it isn’t easy to move on, but it is an ongoing challenge. We do it for our other family members who need us and who may be able to lend us support. We do it because we must, we are mom’s and grammy’s who need to protect and nuture those that remain.

    Love and hugs,

  • 4. thatwoman  |  October 15, 2010 at 2:11 pm

    Thanks for the comments – I have spent months now trying to make sense of selfishness in such totally inappropriate time to be selfish – the death of our son-

    in the blog post

    I wrote that my husband was unable to attend the “memorial service” at St. Mary’s

    “I was not at the service, I was taking care of my grandson and my husband who was emotionally and physically unable to attend.”

    His condition was directly attributable to what had happened the previous evening at “their visitation” – he, and quite frankly all of us are still dealing with the after effects of their “decisions” on behalf of OUR son and brother and nephew and grandchild. It does not go away – it is unfinished-

    My mother is still bewildered about the selfishness of not even telling us when they interred her grandson, it is something she cannot understand……. the knife wounds to the heart and soul inflicted upon us have not healed and we will always bear the scars.that is what happens when there is no closure………. and that also is directly contributable to all of the committee thinking of 19

  • 5. thatwoman  |  October 15, 2010 at 2:33 pm

    This post , Grammy

    explains why we have no rest or peace …. every day as I look at my husbands eyes and see the pain compounded by the actions of the Lombardis etc and I see what they have done reflected in the faces of those that surround me – Oh Grammy until we have closure we are raw and bleeding……. we need our goodbye without the hovering of those that feed upon appearances and selfishness, bloated and drunk with control.

    I cannot rest whilst my childs remains are subject to such “ceremonies of the cemetery” – it truly sickens me – as it does the rest of our family and friends.

  • 6. Mark  |  October 18, 2010 at 8:42 pm

    You know as well as I know, Loraine, that there is no way “Mama Sue” will see herself in any of these words. With a woman such as her comes a wall of denial higher than anyone has ever seen. She will claim those words were never said, that things were not like that, and blah and blah, etc.

    There is a special place in the afterlife for the acts such as these that have been perpetrated on others. Angela knows full well what she is guilty of, too, in Chris’ last days.

    How they can hold their heads up in Church and continue to call themselves Christians baffles me.

  • 7. Loraine Ritchey  |  October 19, 2010 at 11:51 am

    She can say it all she likes there are witnesses , woul;dn’t have printed her “words” otherwise ….. baffled is right…….

    well as I have said in the years that Angela and Chris dated and were together we spent less that 24 hours total with these people really didn’t know them and now unfortunately I know them too well..however they obviously didn’t know who I am either if they thought I would “give up ” on my son……..

  • 8. Loraine Ritchey  |  October 21, 2010 at 3:35 pm

    apparently the footer for the designer headstone is in place ……..I am filled with disgust!

  • 9. Loraine Ritchey  |  October 22, 2010 at 11:54 am

    From a reader 🙂 to mama Sue ( name witheld due to fallout) what power does a bank teller have anyway ? Amazing the control factor here

    “Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.”

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October 2010

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