November 3rd- “take my breath away” -Chris Ritchey

November 3, 2013 at 1:01 pm 3 comments

Once again, my recent life has been “preparing for the suffocation” that is my grief. These past few weeks have been especially hard – I knew I would have to be laced in a corset of control – keeping me upright – bound tightly, each breath measured, so I could get through .


The art show in Cleveland was the first hurdle
, but I knew with your dad’s and sister’s support I could manage the getting together of your work and the pre show. We three, are like three different poles bound together, lashed to one another by our love of you , supporting each other as a “whole”- but knowing it would take just a moment of weakness from any one of us and the knot of strength would come undone causing all to topple in a fragmented and broken heap.

This event was followed by the meet the young people who were awarded your scholarships both at Cleveland Institute of Art

and then days later at Lorain County Community College.

You would think walking through the halls, even the parking lot, would get easier- it doesn’t! I still see you there, memories flood back but I have managed to control the intense emotions that stir knowing they would be with me and gearing up for their onslaught. I have the armour of knowing!

Yes, I have managed even when little fingers once again mimic those days of your childhood- I prepare for those flash back memories as they burst in and out of this reality.

And then, thinking myself safe in the mundane, some thing as insignificant as looking for a recipe for a friend, causes me to let down my guard on grief.I feel protected here in my home where I know all too well where the emotional mine fields are. – mumbling to oneself ,

why do I not “put things away “- why can’t I remember where I put something I just had a couple of months ago?

and then I become the victim of your death once again as my eyes focus on your face and photos I didn’t know were there or had even been taken as they appeared amongst the papers and folders piled willy-nilly in a box marked recipes!

I am undone, the corset tightens, no longer a tool for getting through, it becomes murderous turning upon me, squeezing all breath from my lungs, the pit of my stomach recoils , my heart feels like it is stopping, I shake, my teeth clench and my jaw locks so hard as to send a searing pain through my temples – I try to carry on- to push aside and down the agony that wells up from within but I am no longer in control……. the rawness of your loss , the life you should have had , the weeks, months and now years since you died are for nought, they were not lived- I am back in that damned room watching your life drain from your face……… I am crippled by a smile………

Entry filed under: Chris Ritchey, death, grief, Love, Mothers. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lisa  |  November 3, 2013 at 2:24 pm

    Sending you much love this day and every day ♥

  • 2. Michal Michelson  |  November 4, 2013 at 12:32 am

    also sending hugs and love…you are so articulate, and your words resonate so true throughout my whole being

    I feel as if I am in such a fog, and hope never to come out of it. This is just too hard, waking up again in the morning, another day, another week, a whole lifetime of agony left. I don’t want to burden my bereaved mom by pre-deceasing her, but I hope in my heart of hearts that she won’t live so very much longer, and then that I will fall into her grave and expire from the exhaustion of living with such sorrow. My kids have their spouses, and 2 their kids, and they will bear it as I have (losing a parent and sibling), but a child too has been too much for me.

    Life is so cruel.

  • 3. Loraine Ritchey  |  November 4, 2013 at 6:15 pm

    I understand completely Michal I just wish I didn’t…. ….. my heart is with yours Love Loraine

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November 2013

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