Posts filed under ‘Chris Ritchey’
ED NOTE: I don’t know how I am going to write this today- I have been told due to the surgery earlier in the week not to blow my nose – ( I won’t go into detail)- that is hard not to do when tears are streaming down cheeks and all that goes with that. Writing about the events of the past year has been tremendously difficult – there are times I am crying so hard I can’t see- but our story has to be told- the truth must see the light of day because Chris is worth every tear , every word- He was taken from this family- by Cancer and by self-serving cruelty – this is the story as it effected and still effects this family and it will be written – it is the only closure given to me………….
December 11th 2009– was a Friday – for 8 days we had walked zombie like through life- the shock of losing Chris still not allowing reality of the situation to sink in. In hindsight the signs of what was to come were there but unnoticed –
1. Moving our son from one ICU to another by the “committee of control” without even discussing it with his parents or sister.This act caused such a trauma to his poor body – heart rate up to 169- shock to his already compromised system- But of course this is the same decision-making bunch that decided it would be perfectly fine to send him on a 18 hour journey via trains and cars when he couldn’t cross the room on his own. I have said it before
Remember that night Angela you and your parents were making arrangements to put him on a damned train to Texas. You felt ( even with your medical background) this young man who couldn’t make it to the bathroom would be able to leave at three in the morning on a train to Chicago, change trains, to Austin and it was only a three-hour drive to Houston from there…..
Personally I am not sure what you people use for brains at times.
2. Neglecting purposely(imho) to tell us of our son’s deteriorating condition after moving him to that ICU which caused us all angst and Chris to fail further.
3. Allowing total strangers to us to crowd into his room and sitting holding a death vigil- I still to this day don’t know who they all were- and that was something that would have caused my son such anguish- after he could no longer speak (because of the vent) you allowed the ” death clutterers to oggle and text around his dying body” disgraceful behaviour and totally lacking respect. And there was nothing I could do- because I still had hope and every thought was for Chris and I didn’t want to cause him further distress when he did come off that vent- (you see I always thought he would.)
Oh! the list of ‘control incidences” continued unchecked in our time of losing. Two more incidences I just found out about this past week.
Maybe had my mind not been full of disbelief at losing Chris I would have seen the pattern starting to emerge.
Maybe I would have realized my son , had become to them a commodity- a possession not a son , child, brother but something to be owned by the Lombardi and Company .
Maybe I would have not been taken by such surprise when a call came from the Boyer and Cool Funeral Home (8 days after my son’s death and ONE week after Angela (Lombardi) ritchey had agreed to cremation and the decision of Chris’s ashes) stating that I need to meet with Mr. Cool. These “people” didn’t have the common decency or courage to face us personally with one of the most personal decisions one can make .
That morning of December 11th my mother was here staying trying to deal with her own pain- worried about me and the state I was in and my husband when the phone rang. I knew something was wrong- apparently my mum hadn’t even been acknowledged at the memorial service – no concern for her by the dry-eyed controllers –
I threw on something to wear and ran over to the funeral home. What a sight I must have presented wild-eyed with grief and confusion. I was met by Bob Cool- he said ( and I paraphrase- I was at the time having trouble processing his words)
Angela has decided not to honor the request for the division of Chris’s ashes.
I was perplexed-
How ? Why? She agreed a week ago- we have made arrangements for my mum to fly home with Tony – to release Chris’s ashes in England- we have made arrangements for our own service of closure here in Lorain- things have been put in place so that we can say goodbye in our way – Does she understand what this means to this family? Does she have any idea what this will do to my husband, Chris’s sister, all of us ? THIS IS A WICKED, WICKED THING THEY ARE DOING..
Bob Cool handed me an envelope and written on the lined notebook paper was the explanation
“After much thought and consideration on what Chris would want, I have decided not to separate his ashes. This decision was not made as a reaction to recent events. It was not influenced by family or friends. Religion did not play a role. I reflected on what Chris would want me to do….
Then came the diatribe of Chris not being an organ donor and wanting to leave this world with what he came with………
I knew up until Chris’s last drivers licences ( he had cancer by then) that he always had been an organ donor. I have his previous license.
None of this was making sense –
Recent events – I hadn’t spoken to her or seen her since the morning of Chris’s death.
What was she talking about???- getting her busy body mother out of my son’s ICU room when we were all told to leave… Not religion Religious beliefs I could have understood –but she clearly states that wasn’t the case. I didn’t understand
“leaving this world with what he came with”
My mind was racing I said out loud to Bob Cool
” Does she even know what cremation is – what happens in the process? She a damned Dr. (supposedly) does she not know what happens to organs in the cremation process– this reasoning ( if wasn’t so wicked and callous) would be laughable..not an organ donor this decision is wicked wicked wicked and totally wrong. To base all the pain and turmoil this will cause to my family on such reasoning- it is unbelievable……….
How can she change her mind? You all witnessed the agreement- she stated her decision and agreed in front of witnesses
Yes, she has legal rights but there must be someway to stop this to appeal through her church – to initiate a legal process as to binding verbal contracts under Ohio law – and then the thought struck me:
Chris was not cremated yet- they– I know that family are all about “embalming– Cadillac casket and burial something that is abhorrent to me and I knew my son’s thoughts on their ceremonies only too well- but this way was preferable to them and they obviously were not considering anyone else but THEM.
I knew from Nikki that Angela had signed the papers for cremation after my son-in-law stated Chris had talked to him about it on their way back from Texas.
I said –
Chris hasn’t been cremated yet has he? She can’t change her mind on that can she? She signed papers she can’t go back on that?
came the answer
Angela could very well change her mind up until the very last minute-
I remember the breath leaving my body- I was stunned- my mind and emotions exploding thoughts, running rampant, pictures in my mind of decomposition, his smile , his laugh , his dying all rushing through a brain still reeling from losing him . The faces as the funeral home staff watched me disintergrate
Oh God I thought no – I can’t let them do that to him– not Chris-
So I too had to make a decision -one nearly as hard as taking him off the vent – I had to say and do nothing – I couldn’t go to attorneys about verbal contracts– witnesses – appealing through her church- the only thing I could do was “NOTHING” -nothing until my son’s poor body was cremated.
I couldn’t risk stirring the “keepers of cruelty and wickedness” from their self-righteous slumber in case they changed their minds again. I had to let them think they had signed a contract and hope to hell ( not heaven) that they didn’t realize they could have changed their minds for the sake of my son knowing the consequences would be they would take his poor body and put it through their rituals of death as they are want to do and have done since they interred him.
I came back home across the alleyway that separates the funeral home from our house, knowing that Chris’s body was just a few yards away that December 11th morning to my gentle mother broken even more as she heard what was happening- to a husband who was destroyed by the news they had denied his own goodbye ( now as I learned lately twice) by these people.
Nikki who was full of anger,grief and questions ( more on that in another post)
Chris’s cremation was tentatively scheduled for the 13th of December- so for 72 hours we waited- holding our breath – dreading the phone to ring- waiting – knowing that once again we were being collectively culled from anything to do with our son, brother grandson and nephew- the child , boy and man we so loved.
I watched through my own pain the pain, the desolation caused by Angela and her collective cohorts – what this did to the rest of my family. And I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt Chris would NOT have wanted this emotional torture visited upon us.
On the 14th we were told Chris had been cremated- As I got off the phone that morning my mother was coming down the stairs- she looked at me- her lovely little gentle face afraid , eyes full of tears and said
“Oh no! what has happened now has she changed her mind? They aren’t going to bury him after all are they – Loraine you can’t let that happen- why are they doing this
No! Chris has been cremated
and a 91-year-old sank to her knees on my living room floor in relief , sobs wracking her little body- this same little wonderful Nana Chris had so loved – hurt in such a way – No! this is not what Chris would have wanted and Angela certainly did not honour him by causing his much-loved Nana such torment.
I cannot adequately describe those 72 hours, words fail me.
How Angela could have a few days earlier received a hug from that Nana who thanked her for her decisions for cremation and sharing the ashes, allowing closure in our way too- how Angela could then dismiss that face and that love from her mind as she wrote those words that would just add to the pain and suffering of his Nana is beyond my comprehension?
So on the 11th Day came the beginning of the beginning as I started to take back ownership of my grief and who my son was and the consequences of what happens when a mother and family are denied closure – then closure does not happen and a wound festers and bleeds still…………………“first do no harm”- the harm has been done
to be continued – unfortunately….
Note: all posts are from my perspective and how the documented situations effected this family upon the loss of our son and our closure. It is our story to tell from our perspective- All documents and witnesses available to all the events.
Artwork by Chris Ritchey
ED NOTE: I am writing this on the 3rd of December- a year has gone since that awful day Chris died BUT in the past 36 hours two terrible acts ( at least I think them to be terrible have come to light- One was the fact that on that day last year Chris father was “SHUT OUT” of the ICU room where his son was drawing his last breath – instead of his father at his side Tim Lombardi watched my son die – that was bad enough and the anger I felt when I learned that just yesterday has been magnified because today my wonderful daughter finally told me what happened to her in the ICU room.
You see she had wanted to protect me but today was too much and as we shared our grief it finally came out. So the following post has me seething with an anger toward those that perpetrated this callousness and coldness. It doesn’t matter to me that it was one year ago – finding out about it today it becomes as fresh as the snow that is falling.
However at that meeting Angela (Lombardi) ritchey ( flanked by the ever-present Sue and Tim Lombardi )along with Bob Cool, Ken Ritchey, Nikki and Jim Beres and my mother discussed the “arrangements” and agreed to certain things but it seems we had already upset the “pre funeral planning” by the Lombardi clan –It seems arrangements had already been made before my son was dead! Whilst his family were still hoping to hope they had been busy little “controllers” making arrangements and not saying a word to Chris immediate family-
Less than 24 hours before I had been summoned into a conference room for Angela’s “family meeting”- I had come down after falling exhausted into sleep to be woken by Nikki-
Mum you have to go back
– I said
Nikki I can’t- I can’t even stand
and she said
Mum, you have to something is wrong- I will come down as soon as Jim gets here to take Gavin
I rushed through the hallways- to this day I have no idea what clothes I had on…. I found my son’s room empty – no one was with him I went in- a new nurse said
You are wanted in the conference room
my husband is there I am not leaving my son alone I promised him-
YOU HAVE TO GO!
I looked at this officious nurse and said
“I DON’T “HAVE” TO GO ANYWHERE OR DO ANYTHING I AM NOT LEAVING MY SON ALONE!
It was then Nikki arrived – still in pajamas purchased from the hospital gift shop- they were pink and blue and brown and white striped- like some bizarre clown outfit. I remember thinking Chris would find it funny
Mum you go I will stay with Chris I promise
The meeting that day was about taking Chris off the vent they
“didn’t want any trouble”
so they needed my permission as well as his wifes- I had the night before made sure that the staff were now aware that Nikki and I were also on his paperwork.
The Dr. explained what would happen and our options and what each option would mean when they did this- how they were going to have to wait until one of the medications wore off so it would be a little while- ironically the same Dr. who had stated just a couple of hours previously to Angela as I stood there at 5 in the morning :
OH ! this is the first night he had held his own
Cool Beans! we now have to feed my boy
Dr. We have to do something about a bowel movement first
As I stood there like some peripheral groupie I mentioned the scan and that
“the ICU nurse was very concerned as his pupils were fixed and dilated and had called the Neurologist for a scan”
Two faces and pairs of eyes ” in the know medical (Drs.?) turned and looked at me like I was some sort of “ignorant irritant”
The MD on duty – I don’t remember her name just her face- I had seen it through the early morning hours looking at the monitors through the glass – never once coming into the room – said:
Oh I am not worried he is on a boat load of medication
Giggles from the “Dr. to be ritchey ( Angela)
Oh he is on enough medication to fill up an elephant heehehehehee!
With that I left to try to sleep as I was exhausted………
Two hours later the same “I am not worried about that Dr. was informing me my son was brain-damaged and possibly already brain-dead but they weren’t sure – a decision to remove the vent had to be made.
I can’t remember much in those next few minutes I stayed back in the conference room with my husband- I knew Nikki wouldn’t leave her brother- I couldn’t think that my beautiful son was going to die- I truly still thought he will show them he will come out of this – I never gave up hope and none of us said to goodbye-
My husband when he was in a coma told us that he had heard every word that people spoke but he couldn’t let us know. So we all acted on the fact that Chris too was aware and were so careful not to say or do anything that would distress him- trapped as he was…….
Fashionistas Sue Lombardi and Angela (Lombardi) ritcheyThis apparently was not consideration given by the Lombardis as Sue Lombardi and Angela joined Nikki in the ICU room. Nikki was putting cool cloths on Chris’ brow , holding his hand and talking to him that everything was Ok and she wouldn’t leave him-
However that was not the reason apparently the Lombardi women were in the room, not for them comfort and saying farewell NO they had other reasons for seeing Chris they were choosing his “laying out clothes”
So before my son was dead, two minutes after Nikki had learned they were taking Chris off the vent – Angela Ritchey DO and Sue stood over my dying son having already decided without even the courtesy of discussing with Chris’ family the Gluvna Funeral Home would handle the arrangements-
We will lay him out in his black pants, blue shirt and silver tie
Yes, but no suit jacket Chris wouldn’t like that
Nikki couldn’t believe what she was hearing her brother lying there still breathing, still warm, his hand still in hers and they are discussing “funeral fashion!” –
Nikki said to me today between her sobs –
Mum who are these people. how does a “bride” stand there as her husband is dying and calmly decide what fashion statement he will make in his casket- I was standing there trying to memorize every piece of his face, his hands everything about him knowing I would never see him again and they are discussing what to dress him in and he wasn’t even dead. I just cannot believe they were so cool and calm and cold when Angela said
“Yes but no jacket ” it was in the same tone as saying
I will have honey mustard sauce with the nuggets…….
Nikki turned to them and quietly said through her teeth so that Chris didn’t hear
NO! you are not laying my brother out, there will be no casket he is to be cremated, he isn’t to go to Gluvna but to Boyers – I will fight you on this – he is to go home
but this will be a huge funeral and what would we do about the parking….
I still find this scenario incredible What kind of people are more concerned in the “funeral fashion statement” of their son-in-law and new husband will wear as he is clinging to life. Who calmly looks at their dying groom and is concerned about jacket or no jacket, what kind of people are these ?- How could you even discuss this as a sister holds her dying brothers hand and tries to give him comfort. How could Angela even contemplate that next move? I just know that anyone who loved my son deeply would not be thinking of “dressing him in his coffin” in their last moments together !
I didn’t know any of this until today – I am even more filled with disgust that someone who was so full of life, love and caring has left this life and those that should have mourned his loss stood over him – as he lay dying deciding how to dress him in a casket to look good!
I just can’t get my head around this thinking is this normal for death in this country? I don’t think so- is this normal for Catholics? I don’t think so – is this normal for a “bride”? I don’t think so- but you tell me – those who read this – because if this is normal then the Catholic USA has a problem!
The disgust I feel at such pious hypocrites is indescribable – to think my son was subject to this in his last moments “what would he be wearing as they decorated him in the casket “ fills me with a gut filled sickness, it is beyond my comprehension as to what he did to deserve such coldness…….may it be visited upon them 10 fold.
Peace on Earth Good Will toward….. light a candle Tim, Sue and Angela you need them they are the only warmth that will emote from your souls this Christmas time and anytime . In my opinion you are all beneath contempt.
To be continued on the 11th…..
Chapter Two- Avarice Abounds in the Land of I-ME-WE
The young Knight was in Texas the day of the fundraiser with the Wicked Witch– he was not happy about asking people for money –
this is what our savings is for-
But he knew that his family was not wealthy and they had already paid out for the airfares to Texas and the accommodation and spent many thousands besides during his illness.
He was not sure how many months, if not years, that he would have to travel back and forth to Texas in order to stay alive- he had after all been told it was his only hope. So he reluctantly agreed to the fundraiser as did the Wicked Witch She even wrote about it in her blog
However. he was not happy about the way the fund was set up with the “Aunts” being the signatories on the checks and said he would deal with that when he returned home. He also told his sister and Dad that he would be paying back his Uncle and Dad for the monies they had paid out.
His sister told him ”
don’t worry about that now just wait until you are well again and throw a party and give them a check- they are trying to help and it makes them feel like they are doing something.
It was not to be . The young Knight did not get to buy a pony for his nephew , a horse and land like he wanted to do , or ride the forest trails anymore on his four wheeler .
His body was taken back to the Land of Loss– he lay waiting for The Princess of I-ME-WE to proclaim her wishes.
The Wicked Witch , stayed away from the ceremonies of grief– she didn’t need to expose her soul and sorrow to those that had taken the dignity of his last days with feasting and ogling as the young Knight lay trapped by machines- quietly dying.
There was disgust as strangers to his family sat around his poor broken body, as his life was draining away – texting on their phones, or swapping taco recipes in the hallway. The gypsy caravan of crass that followed the Princess of I-ME-WE .
The Princess , King Weak n”Weedy, Queen B and the courtiers held their “ceremonies” . The family of the young Knight offered to pay for the expenses of the cremation and in the Princess’ own words in an email:
The day we made
arrangements, Nikki asked what I wanted her to pay for and I said that I was going to use the fundraiser money. Chris would not of
wanted anyone to pay
for his funeral. We
( WW NOTE the word WE there I guess the WW and family had nothing to do with that fundraiser Sigh !!! I forgot this is the land of I-ME-WE)
raised that money with the intention to pay for plane
tickets to Houston but it didn’t work out that way. Chris would of wanted
me to use that money for the funeral
Dec 7th they of the Royal Righteousness held a memorial service in the late morning early afternoon at their church presided over by the King’s good and loyal Priest. The Royal Righteousness did not acknowledge any of the young Knight’s family even his beloved Nana
The Wicked Witch stayed away taking care of the Knight’s father and nephew.
The Princess of the Land of I-ME-WE had proclaimed ( in front of witnesses)(DEC 4th) she would grant the wish of the Knights family to be cremated ,as was the custom of his family , and separate the ashes so all could have their closure in their own culture. The young Knights Nana went to the Princess at the meeting and thanked her for doing this.
The morning of December 9th was surreal, the family of the young Knight huddled for comfort- numb- not knowing what to do how to deal with this terrible emptiness and grief. Not one person wanted to or could make decisions or to face the loss of the young Knight. The day before ( December 8th ) had been so hard – the young Knight’s loved ones went and chose his living memorial, plans had been made for him to be honored in the land of his ancestors and also a final goodbye under the woodland canopy – a place he loved – a place of life and beginnings.
“Hey, I have got a question about the four-wheeler when you get a chance” ( 1.21 pm. Dec 9th)
Dutifully the son-in-law of the Wicked Witch called The Princess. she said:
I know you already have a four- wheeler but I will be selling Chris’ and I thought I would ask you first if you would want it ?
I already have a 4 wheeler but I am sure that Chris’ Dad will want to keep it – I will check with him and Angela let us know when you will be having your graveside service for Chris.
Ok but if he ( Chris’ Dad) wants the 4 wheeler he will have to pay it off! I checked with the funeral home it will take a few days for the paperwork so Chris hasn’t been cremated yet
There was a discussion amongst the family assembled – the Wicked Witch was furious her thoughts now confirmed about the crass , self-serving, money-grubbing aspect of the inhabitants of the Royal I-ME-WE
– My son isn’t even cremated yet hasn’t even been dead a week and they are calling about paying off the 4 wheeler. How mercenary, crass and cold can you be ?
My son is lying in a cooler and all she cares about is paying off the damned 4 wheeler. THIS IS WHAT IS IMPORTANT! I DON’T BELIEVE THAT BLOODY FAMILY !!!! – I HAVE NEVER MET SUCH GREED AND COLDNESS – We are not giving that family one more dime let them sell it!!!
But NO , The young Knight’s father already broken at the loss of his son wanted the 4 wheeler – it was something he and his son had shared – he would meet the Princess’ price and pay it off and give the Princess the “money” because he knew that the young Knight would not want the “beast” sold to strangers . The young Knight’s sister
“Chris would be so angry that she is doing this- you can’t let them sell it mum, we have to buy it off of her- he loved it – I can see him riding out back on it – you can’t do it mum”
In fact part of the ceremonies planned by the family of the Land of Loss was to take the young Knight’s ashes on one last ride and scatter them in the woods he so loved . It is symbolic of release from the ties of the earth.
The Wicked Witch deferred to her husband and her daughter – The young Knight’s sister sent a text to “Princess of I-ME-WE”
The text to the Princess on December 9th at 1:51 pm –
We will definitely take the 4 wheeler
“ Cool Beans” Next time I am at the apartment I will look to see what the bill is I think it is over 6 thousand dollars….. December 9th (1.53 pm)
Not one time during the text messages or the phone calls did the Princess mention that she had changed her mind and was not going to separate the young Knight’s ashes. Although apparently the important self serving decisions of what to sell and getting money was important enough to text and contact the family of the young Knight- but the fact that she was taking away a families closure wasn’t deemed significant to mention.
This Petulant Princess let his family go ahead with their plans for closure , air fares arrangements all being put in place…….. but less than 40 hours later she denied the family of the young Knight closure and went back on her “royal word” with apparent blessing of her minions without even the decency of a personal contact from the Royal Righteous Family of I- ME -WE
TO BE CONTINUED……..