An open letter – “Mama Sue” Lombardi
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. ”
“CAN YOU BELIEVE ……”
“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: Angela (Lombardi) Ritchey Murphy, Angela (Ritchey) Murphy DO, Angela Marie Lombardi Ritchey Murphy, Angela Murphy Westlake, Angela ritchey DO, Angela Ritchey DO Cleveland Clinic, death, disgraceful, Dr. Angela and Dr. Chris Murphy Cleveland Clinic, grief, Lombardi-Lorain, mothers and sons, Sue Lombardi Lorain, Sue Lombardi St. Mary's Lorain, Tim and Sue Lombardi Lorain, Tim Lombardi First Federal Savings and Loan.