The Lowest Ebb – I knew my son- Chris Ritchey
Part 16 In Search of my Son
Only those who have lost a son, a daughter, no matter the circumstances, can fully understand the absolute “gutting” a parent feels. We share a loss that hasn’t any words that I have been able to find to even give the reader a “glimpse” into this world of pain and ever flowing tears that only burn , compounding the icy coldness of our grief.
When Chris died that damp cold December day , the days and weeks that followed locked me in some place other than this life. My mind churned and wheeled – I tried to “wake up” from a nightmare reality that sucked me into the depths- I couldn’t think ,I couldn’t comprehend what had happened what was happening. I felt I was on some hellacious “trip”- my world was one of pictures, and sounds that made no sense, had no logic.
I have no words that can convey the ride of terror , hope, despair and desperation that we went through daily from the time of Chris’ diagnosis- the putting on the brave face, the swallowing of fears, the daming up of emotions- appearing to be normal whilst your mind is screaming. It takes an awful toll and then as you lose what little hope you had and you lose your child you lose yourself who you were.
Along with the unreality of reality doubts , guilt and self- recrimination set in .
Should I have done this – what could I have done differently- why didn’t I do this or that- why did I not ….
and then the worst thing the breaking of your promise to your child – because I don’t care who you are every mother as she holds her child for the first time makes that child a promise – to keep them safe And yet somehow you have failed -it is a terrible burden to bear – knowing that you failed.
Just try to imagine being at the lowest ebb of your life when you are in a place so dark and dank – a prison of grief – longing to hear a voice that will never say –I love you mum again, to see his smile , feel the touch of his laughter.
You desperately need someone to take away pain -to take over- to get you through to the other side – someone to please help ease the pain – to help you through – but instead you receive coldness and callous acts that take your son even further away- no healing touch- just more bewilderment, more shocks and disbelief heaped on the already untenable .
As you are locked in this terrible place you are denied your final farewell-
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/12/15/a-letter-a-legacy-nikki-to-chris-ritchey-sister-to-brother/your closure snatched from you
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2009/12/19/goodbye-my-luvleyful-grandson-chris-ritchey/ and then weeks later whilst you are still reeling from the loss of a child, a denial of your closure you receive notes from someone who supposedly loved your son – wicked callous notes that arrive in a dead son’s clothes and to those you love -spewing forth a vicious vomiting of narcissistic musings as to who our son , brother grandson nephew really was and that we didn’t know Chris. https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/04/20/i-didnt-know-my-son-chris-ritchey/
trying- for some unfathomable reasoning to take away even our relationship with Chris- the last vestige we had. This from a young woman who has chosen to be a healer Angela ritchey DO. How damaging her actions were and are to those Chris loved and loved him at the lowest ebb in a life I would only ask you to imagine . Yet it happened!
The words written by Angela , she of the 900 days – that were meant to punish and hurt ( I know we never knew her apparently – this quiet soft-spoken young woman who hid her apparent intense dislike for us very well as she dated and married my son- when would she have shown her true feeling for us I wonder?).
Her words and actions
https://thatwoman.wordpress.com/2010/12/04/dec-4th-how-cold-is-cold-lombardi/left their mark but then just a little while ago I received from a young man this e-mail
Hello Mrs. Ritchey,
I was in Chris’ class in Junior High and High School and I was on the
soccer team with him. A few days ago I was looking online at news about Lorain Catholic and I came across what happened to Chris – it felt like a punch in the stomach. I am very sorry for your loss.
I feel bad that I only now have learned of it, I live out of state and my family in Lorain did not see it.
Chris was a great friend and teammate for all the years I knew him.He was always very kind and I still remember him always smiling when he talked to me and joking around. He was just a great person to see on any day. Throughout the years I knew him I never saw him treat anyone badly, just with kindness and friendship.
I remember during our Junior and Senior year he was captain of the soccer team and he pushed everybody to work hard, but he always respected us too. He was
a great leader.
I regret not knowing him better, but I think I still remember a few things.
In around 1995/1996 we had “Indians Day” at school where you could wear jeans if you wore a Cleveland Indians shirt. Well, I forgot about that special day and just wore my regular dress clothes while the rest of the school wore Indians clothes and jeans. But I noticed that Chris was wearing regular school clothes too because he
said he didn’t follow baseball and the Indians.
During that day I felt really awkward being the odd person out but it was nice to know Chris was with me as well.
I also remember practicing soccer in the summer before our Freshman year. I signed up for soccer thinking it would be just a fun thing to do, but I realized that coach Dave Thomas was going to make us work hard. All the running and practices were really tough but Chris never complained and he was always there to help me through the drills.
Chris was great at soccer and it was nice watching him score goals…from the bench. I remember going into the games and getting a pass from Chris, and always passing it right back to him. I’m sure that annoyed him, but he never said anything about it to me.
Speaking of soccer I remember hearing you at the games and how you would yell out “Move It Or Milk It!” or “Come On You Reds!” (I recently learned that is from Manchester United).
I still use the white laundry bag with red lettering that you and the other mothers gave to us as gifts, thank you.
Chris’ artwork that you show on your blog is AMAZING! They show great
talent. It is wonderful that his work that he created continues to be
seen. It’s also great that you have set up the scholarship funds at
LCCC and CIA, I will contact them soon.
I am so sorry about Chris. I feel privileged to have known him for as
long as I did, my only regret is that I didn’t know him better.
People like him do not come along very often unfortunately and I am thankful to have known him when I did. After more than a decade I can still remember his smile and laugh, and I know I will remember them for more decades to come.
As I read his words I remembered the Chris before cancer and contemptables entered our world – this was the Chris I knew– this was my son and the young man’s words brought forth, wrenching from the depths, the memories of a time filled with hope and love and expectation –
I was back on those bleachers watching him run, the determination to succeed, the pride, kindness, love and yes his laughter. I really couldn’t stop crying for days.
Entry filed under: Chris Ritchey, grief, hell is other people, Love, Mothers, personal opinion. Tags: Angela ritchey DO, Christopher D. Ritchey, death, grief, Lombardi-Lorain, mothers and sons, opinion.