Posts filed under ‘grief’

March 3rd -It’s OK- Chris Ritchey

Reaching out- art work- Christopher Ritchey

It’s OK – (okay)  the origin of OK  has many  theories

but basically   translated – Ok (okay) means it is alright, it is fine  or will be OK – will be alright – will be fine.

When something traumatic happens  either in real life or in tv / movie land – invariably , along with  the hug and the patting on the back comes the  words – “it’s OK”

No  it isn’t OK  really …. but like shaking hands when you  meet someone it is something  those  who  try  to comfort  do.

I found myself yelling at the television as yet another traumatized mother – having disaster over take her family  – and the well-meaning friend , the “it’s Ok” tripping from their mouth for want of something to  say – throw away  words ….

NO it isn’t OK, it will never be OK – her  “ok world” is no  more – stop telling them it is OK- alright – you  will be fine – just stop! hold them tell them they  are loved

but I  am here to  tell you   when you  lose  a son or daughter   nothing is ever alright, fine or okay in your world   ever again.

OK! well I  maybe be making a mountain out of a molehill…  and bitching about the human condition when we are at a loss for words and trying to  be kind and give comfort  but it cuts me to  the quick when I  see and hear those words spoken

The flawed Hand of the Healer by Chris Ritchey

AND  it is not okay  that my  wonderful, talented, loving  son with  his whole life ahead of him- is nothing more than a memory- and in some cases not even that – whilst the dregs of mankind and other sons cause terror and destruction to the world’s children.


AND it is not OK that once again I am losing from my  life  a sweet, caring , selfless , sparkling wine of a woman to  the obscenity  of cancer- another family  waiting and watching as she leaves us slowly. It is not OK that she is leaving whilst   the cruel bitches of this world thrive………

It is NOT OK Chris that I  am here and you  are not…….. I love you


March 3, 2018 at 12:20 pm 1 comment

Feb 3rd -Helpless- Chris Ritchey

Heart of Thorns- artwork Chris Ritchey

Another February , and  the beginning of the  scream , the weeks of feeling totally  useless and helpless . Walking in two worlds – trying to  remain calm, positive  and supportive for the journey  thrust upon your young life.  All the while my  chest  collapsing, jaw clenching to  stop the tears and terror I was feeling from showing.  The weeks and months after you  passed   trying to  stop from going mad,  running from the “black dog” of Churchill fame.

The emotional incontinence – staying close to  home  – not wanting to  drive  incase the sight of a young man in black  Ford 150 truck  would split my  reality.  I learned how to  hide, how to  suppress the emotional nightmare with tricks of the grief-stricken. We, who  have lost our son or our daughter  learn lessons no  one should have to  learn.

The nights  when the dying days visit –  the  mind tools kicking in  to temper the  ferocity  of memory so sleep can come.  Turning a corner , one would think, but like the damned cancer it is there lying quietly , building upon itself.  I thought I  was managing quite well in the last few months  and then- not cancer- but once again wanting and trying to  get your Nana  through a situation caused by  bureaucrats. Weeks and months of fighting , trying to  make sense of a situation beyond my  control . Holding on,  trying to  be the Loraine I  once was …. A bureaucratic wall was thrown up

I couldn’t get through , your Nana’s physical and emotional well-being  compromised by an officious, pseudo-listener  “gatekeeper” . After months of dealing with  her ilk  and they,  not knowing or caring how this situation was causing such distress to   a 98-year-old woman- as the phone was hung up – and I  sat stunned – bewildered  not knowing where to  turn next.


BFA project
Chris Ritchey

And then it happened – the trigger- those feelings  of the dying days were unleashed , not in waves but  with a flood- overwhelming  logic – nothing could stop the torrent- hours  and hours of raw emotion, tears that just wouldn’t  cease, the sobs that wracked  were back – brought forth  from their hiding place. Worried faces of family  , concern , the questions  upon  furrowed brows.

Then just as “anger ”  at  the cretins  of your bride’s family  kept me upright in those days of   total despair and surrender… anger once again surged through the dark and made me strong enough to  continue- to  fight back against  the ignorance  – the   “people” inflicting pain  upon those I love.

Your Nana survived the bureaucrats, thanks to help  from those that did and do  listen .  And I  realized once more  the wound has not healed- the scar is still only  surface deep and it waits…… because there is nothing I  can do – even in anger- to  see you  walk through a doorway  once more , hear your voice laugh with you  and enjoy  you  being you………

February 3, 2018 at 1:28 pm Leave a comment

Jan 3rd- Relativity to Time – Chris Ritchey

Chris Ritchey CIA

Time  and relativity – I admit the highest  mark I  ever received from Norman Niles- my  Physics teacher was D minus! I  hated Math  and I detested Physics- loved Chemistry  and History.

However  ” Events that occur at the same time for one observer could occur at different times for another.”

Black Holes I never understood – more a case of not wanting to  be bothered- BUT and there is always a but I feel I am ( as well as probably  many  others of my  kind) lost in time .

A mother who  has lost her child – there are no  words  or labels for us – not a widow, an orphan, etc  unless you  consider  “tethligons”  (Sanskrit word which means ‘against the natural order’)which,  for me ,conjures up some sort of terrible monster- but then losing your  son or daughter makes you  feel like you  are in the world of monsters – caught , crunched between the teeth of the monster  and then spat out – only  to  be caught again

Most of humanity   live in a 3 dimensional world – and then again….

We can portray our reality as either a three-dimensional place where stuff happens over time,” said Massachusetts Institute of Technology physicist Max Tegmark, “or as a four-dimensional place where nothing happens [‘block universe’] — and if it really is the second picture, then change really is an illusion, because there’s nothing that’s changing; it’s all just there — past, present, future.

The diagnostic box- self- portrait Chris Ritchey

My  universe, Christopher,  since you  have been taken away  has left me in a world where I float, for the most part, between the time before, then and now- New Year’s Eves  have come and gone but every  day  and night I am elsewhere  lost in time, as it no longer registers or is linear,  the time  that has come in between observed only  by others in the 3rd dimension   . I wake never knowing the year…………………. my  4 dimensional  world apart from the normal .


Struggling toward some knowledge of the “physics of it all” and once again a barely  passing grade. There are glimpses of understanding  but the are illusive  , on the edge of conscience , just out of reach –



but they  are there – if only  my  tired brain could grab them – the tools of science notwithstanding in their cold calculations .

I continue to  love and exist in this dimension – nothing changes our  love or missing of you……….except they  grow in strength no  matter the time ….




January 2, 2018 at 11:42 pm Leave a comment

Tree of Love- Gabriel Miller- moonbeam and light 2017

A few weeks after my  son passed, a good friend also  felt that same terrible pain of losing her child. There isn’t much you  can do  or say  after those initial weeks to  those that have not felt what it is like to  be absolutely  “gutted” and whose world is no  longer together.  You  are expected to  get over it  –  move on-  people  can get impatient with  your grief, you  are a dreadful reminder that a loss of a child can happen to  them . You  have no  outlet for your love that continues to  grow.  In the following May after Gabe’s passing from  this world,  Gabe’s father and mother planted a tiny tree ( supposedly a dwarf variety) in the area known as Settlers’ Watch.


Through the seasons the tree was tended with care  and love ; the little tree grew . Every  year Gabe’s mum and dad light the now  the not so  little tree- 2015 found  it a bit of a stretch for his dad.  This year  more than a stretch was needed

and night fell on a snowy Christmas

The little tree, no  longer small – grown tall- fed with  love and watered with  tears  shone through the darkness and cold reminding us of a little boy

a sweet child – the light of his mother and father’s very  being – the love that is his alone  -lights for just a little while the cold  dark nights.

Gabriel Miller August 17th-2009- December 31st 2009

Photos Lisa Miller – Lorain 365

December 31, 2017 at 2:13 pm 4 comments

Figgy Pudding – A celebration tale – Chris (tmas) Pudding

Traditions in this house took a 180 degree about-face when my  son Chris died. I could no  longer have Christmas  in this house- Oh! my  mum has her “Christmas Grotto” in her little living room  and Gavin and Braedyn come a decorate her little tree and hang the ornaments.

There are no  longer twinkling lights inside or outside this house in celebration of  anyone’s birth- the beliefs of my  childhood torn asunder.

I have  “visited the holidays ” at my  daughters for the sake of her and her family  and the boys. Traditions changed from my  “English  Christmas of yesteryear” – now Christmas Eve  finds lobsters in the pot – named for those that are not very  nice.. and laughter yes, but the traditions of my  daughter’s youth  and of this house have gone the way  of so many  things. Yes! I visit  the holidays – peace on earth  and good will toward men – has a sour note…….. ( too many religious  hypocrites, sadness and questions  added to  the mix of my  life)

But Christmas  is for children and like every  other grandparent last week I  smiled, laughed and cried as the kindergartners at Braedyn’s school put on their holiday  program .  As all the children wore their Santa, Reindeer, Snowflake and Frosty  hats  little faces all a glow , voices were exuberant  in their renditions  and they  joyously  proclaimed the fun that was coming . My  eyes and heart  fell on  Braedyn singing along

Oh, bring us some figgy pudding,Oh, bring us some figgy pudding,Oh, bring us some figgy pudding, And bring it right here.Good tidings we bring you and your kin;We wish you a merry Christmas And a Happy New Year!

I realized not one of them, including my  own grandson, probably  had any  idea  what figgy  pudding was . For the cooks among you  there are two  versions – Figgy  Pudding and Christmas Pudding –

Traditionally  we and my  family, through the generations,   used the  Christmas Pudding   and this is the recipe  that is close to  what we  always served.( although instead of glace fruit – which  I  hate -we add dried apricots , shredded carrot and a shredded Granny  Smith  apple .)

Every  year my  mum and I  faithfully  made the “real” fruitcake -( not that terrible American facsimile  that is tossed like rotten pumpkins) and Christmas Pud.  It was tradition and Christopher’s job from about  the age of 7 was to  bring in the lighted pudding  to  the table – he loved lighting the pudding  but never ate any. The only  ones eating it were my  mother and I  and my  husband would “force a little down”.  Christopher was the last to  light a pudding in this house.

However, as I  looked at all those little faces – I  said to  Nikki:

Gavin and Braedyn have no  idea what they   sing about with  this song . They  have never seen a Christmas pudding !

I  decided then it was time to  hand the tradition over to  my  daughter and grandsons. We had missed out on  “Stir Up Sunday”  but better late than never

All the members of the family, especially the kids, need to take a turn to stir the mixture and everyone should make a secret wish while they stir.

Gavin had gone hunting with  his Dad  but Braedyn and his mum were game –  so  over the river and through the snowy streets they  came today . Ingredients all measured out  and we have a new pudding maker in the family  under the watchful eye of his Nana .

We all made our wishes , there were smiles and a few opinions as to  how much  brandy  went into  the pudding and now they – the puddings ( we made too much  mixture so  now we have two)  bubble and sing on the stove for the next few hours.  I am not sure about the traditional pudding  boiling away  on Christmas Eve this year with  the lobsters in the pot – but to  each  his own………..

December 16, 2017 at 10:18 pm 5 comments

Dec 3rd- The waiting – Chris Ritchey

The dark days are here – night-time draws ever closer- I am as a child  frightened of the coming bleak hours/ days –  cuddled down in the bed that is life -looking for warmth- a place to  escape  the dreading –  a window has a glimmer of a lighter shade of night illuminating the place where I  lay.

Still my  eyes are drawn to  the corners , where darkness has gathered  and I know that as the dying days draw ever nearer I will have to  face that darkness that has accumulated  and grown over the days , months and years .  As hard as I try to  keep back the darkness of those days of death  , they are ever-present waiting  to  be released by  the memories of your dying   and those terrible days.

The hope – massacred  by  cancer  causing the onslaught of a pain so deep , a scream that never ends  just becomes silent – to  all but a few.  Every  year I dread these days , the holidays  that hold so  much  more to  me now than pumpkin pies, turkey, lighted trees , singing – they  are tinged with  a blight  that dulls happiness to  that of a  shadow  of holidays past.


You  are with  us , I  know.. more so than any other … and for that I  am grateful.. but I  long to  see your face.. hear your  voice…… and laugh at your irreverence instead  I have to  pull over my  face  the  covers of protection-   muffle my  sobs into  the bosom of my  family   and wait…………….

I love and miss you  more with  each  passing day


December 3, 2017 at 12:15 am 2 comments

Nov 3rd – Moments to Hold- Chris Ritchey

Thanks to  school starting times , every  weekday morning I spend with  your nephews Gavin and Braedyn.  I am lucky  in that respect  every    morning I  see the two  little boys so  dear to  my  heart and to  my  happiness.


Gavin , is definitely  the morning person, he is chatty  and excited about his day. Braedyn is just like me , we do  not do  mornings at all well.  Leave us alone, don’t  force us awake into  the morning, especially  when it is dark out.

Knowing how to  wake a non-morning person is half the battle .  So for now, after everyone has left , tiptoeing into  the bedroom ,  a gentle rub on the back, a small warm plump  hand of a little one, curls warmly  around my  fingers, a soft pink cheek flushed with  sleep  and for just an instant  a tiny  start of a smile plays across his lips, ,then the realization it is time to  wake- don’t talk , move quietly , let the half asleep non morning person dictate the waking process.


My  hand rests upon  silk soft curls  and a kiss on the forehead can be met with  an unknown response – depending on the mood.  I wouldn’t change one thing, and I  hold those moments in my  heart – the laughter of Gavin  so grown up – his take on the world as he has his breakfast, his humour a lot like yours , Braedyn’s temper so  much  like mine and yours, soon over it and then all smiles and hugs.

Soon Braedyn  will wake with  the rest of the household, no  more moments of the time of warm wakefulness- the time between dreaming and morning for me. He will be too much  of a big boy . But I  will hold these moments, grab onto  them  as they  melt away   too soon.

Moments of you  fly  into  my  mind all day  and most of the nights, some are of another little boy’s silky  hair, skin so  warm and soft, arms  reaching out , chubby  fingers, hearing your voice,

“come up  and kiss me goodnight”

stroking your cheek, a kiss on the forehead a smile……….-

And then  there are the moments that come unbidden , a man full grown but still my  child ,  a hand that squeezed mine  when  you  could not talk , silenced by  the vent , with  such strength I  jumped with  surprise…..what was it you  were trying to  say ????

… my  thoughts vary  was it goodbye, was it a final I love you …

Your cheek as soft and warm as any  child  . I stroked your forehead and placed cool compresses that final night, kissed your burning forehead  knowing something was very  wrong.

My  heart rages within me  trying to  hold onto  the moments of you…..



I love you  Chris  , you  are not forgotten, two  little boys know you and you  are a part of our mornings, days  weeks, months and lives………

November 3, 2017 at 1:05 pm 3 comments

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