Posts filed under ‘journey’

WORDS-( are all I have)- Chris Ritchey

Who I Am - Chris Ritchey

Over the course of this “blog” I have written hundreds of thousands perhaps millions of words.

Words can heal, confuse, cause unbearable sorrow, hurt , laughter, destroy, enlighten, express your deepest emotions. I believe at one time or another I have used up those categories on this blog. The last posts have focused on words and their importance.

Advertising knows the importance of words and telling the story quickly and their visual importance to the “screen”.

During the course of Chris’s education he wrote a book- yes! a book!

The brief as I understood it – limited the number of words to be used ( under 30 ? ) – using different fonts to emphasize each wordtexture of the paper / colours etc also to give visual emphasis to the reader. Subject (of one’s choice) telling the story with a beginning , middle and end- evoking at least two emotions from the reader.

I saw the book at one of his “student shows” along with another of his interpretations of a “social message” which caused a bit of controversy that evening- whereas other students had decided on – sexually transmitted diseases, use of condoms- spousal abuse- aids – my son took on the war in Iraq/Afghanistan and wasn’t on the side of the “anti-war protest” group.

Chris’s humour was sometimes dark and irreverent ( like mine) but he used his humour as described here

Whilst in Texas( end of October) a text came through from Angela with regard to the fundraiser- Chris was told that two funeral homes had donated– Chris turned to me and said :

“You think they are vying for my business?

ED Notevacuous thinking comes to mind when that statement was made by Angela!
WHO???? gets excited about the participation of funeral homes in a fundraiser for your husband who is under a death sentence and to then feel it was important to impart that information to him? In my opinion total lack of thought to the consequences of her words. But like her other words SHE did not have to deal with the results – harbinger of words to come and end results of that sort of vacuous thinking on her part.

Back to the book– I found the book not long after Chris died – it was touchable, tangible and reminded me once again of my son , his humour, talent and how much I miss him everyday.

Obviously jpgs of the pages cannot give you the feel and texture of the paper used, the mere act of turning a page – anticipation for the ending- the process in which the reader is supposed to feel at least two strong emotions with regard to the subject – in this instance a COW– but it is the best I can do with my limited resources to show the power of words as used by in visual communication every day we “watch”

The book cover is covered in
Cow Hide

Did this little book evoke any emotion?Will you be able to have a steak tonight or look at a cow the same way ;)

Did you follow the story of the subject matter?

Can you see the significance of font and the words used?

If you did (even in this format) then his little book is truly an example of “working words”

and “words are all I have”…………

March 10, 2011 at 12:11 am 2 comments

Out of the Box-The Attic Archives

The attic, a place for “shoving everything” over the years- The attic became my place for all things needing to be stored

I just can’t throw that away- I might need it

– mainly because my husband had taken over the whole basement with his “junk”!

What has happened over the years I became the paperwork keeper. I admit it I am a disgrace – I don’t file and I don’t organize stuff- people yes- events yes -but not papers/photos cards NO!

Chris artwork 3years old

My mother is wonderful when it comes to photo albums you know where when what and who. I, on the other hand, tend to rationalize

I have to get to that

and put the photos and paper work in drawers and cupboards.

Chris was also like me in that regard as well. So as the drawers would fill they every once in a while got dumped into a bigger box- which eventually got sent to the attic.

Chris was the stronger so he would toss the boxes across to a space that was clearer- away from the pull down ladder. However even the boxes have no rhyme or reason to them- some contain years worth of scripts and all things theatre along with school certificates and Hallowe’en. it really just depended on what the drawer held at the time it was “filed”.

Chris used the attic as his personal “catch-all” as well. The attic became his “in case I need it space” and his paintings and tents and “paraphernalia from a college parties ” found a space nestled along with Christmas decorations- a twin bed ( not sure why that is there) – well you get the picture

Since Chris died and “I was in search of my son”- the journey I have had a nagging voice telling me to go to the attic.

A few weeks ago we had a semi clearout- bags and bags of junk, paperwork and hard copies of years of writing for various publications, reports on highland dancing – thousands of documents “I had to keep” just in case I needed confirmation ( I was pretty controversial in my writing and in my younger days)- All tossed just so I could access my sons clutter.

There was a box cardboard somewhat damp due to being next to the air vent. Now what was in this I wondered as my husband struggled to bring it down.

It was life!!!!

The contents of years of putting “I must save that” into a deep sideboard.

There were cards wishing us congratulations on our engagement from people long since passed – our wedding photos and invitations – the birth of our daughter and then son- cards sent by Nana and granddad on their birthdays, poems from Nana.
Easter bunny card pictures of a little girl then joined later by a little boy- photograph albums – some whose pages have ripped from the album- happiness of celebrations – artwork from chubby little fingers- a sister writing the card for her baby brother-

his card to her on being his sister– letter from my husband before they were born – and after they were born- Cards from great grandmothers- family photos from before I was born intermingled with high school graduation pictures – this damp cardboard box contained life – my life- my mother’s life- my daughter’s life and my sons- and a hand print given to a mother so many years ago that clutches at my heart-

As I sat on the floor of his old bedroom sorting through our lives I, of course, became awash with tears- the damp cardboard box that held happiness lost I realized that like it or not our life really is about boxes……………….TO BE CONTINUED……………….

January 4, 2011 at 1:43 pm 12 comments

A Place of Echoes- Chris Ritchey

“In search of my son- in search of me.” series
Part Thirteen

SOURCE ( ED note please check out Leonnie Isaacs poem that goes with this artwork.

In the Don’t Ask- Don’t Tell- Don’t Ignore post and answer to
How are you ?

Most days I try to get through but then there are days that I am not sure I will make it through

There are no good days , at least I haven’t found any as yet, but there are people amateur and professional that have tried to give me a good day or at least move on. We have, as a family, had loads of advice. There is always a question I ask to those of the professional kind.

Have you lost a child, a son

NO !.

Did you watch your child die -take his/her last breath -watch as their heart stopped- did you scream silently for them to hold on, not to die , even though you were the one that had to make the decision to let them go?


Do you know what it is like to relive that moment every time you close your eyes?


Have you had (due to control, spitefulness and cruelty toward you) had your closure and final goodbye taken from you – Do you watch every day the pain that has caused?


NO???? Ok! then well sorry but unless you have lived that you cannot possibly , even though you have years worth of “academic knowledge” help me because you cannot relate.

This is like nothing I have ever known- I have no words that adequately describe what is happening to me .

One Dr. (a lovely person) who is childless, told me

Take down from your house all photos, reminders of Chris put them away out of sight. Put the things that are most meaningful to you in a drawer and leave them there then when you want to remember go to the drawer relive your memories you get them out and then shut them away again.

I smiled, thanked them for the advice and came home.

As I walked up the path to the front door, through the wrought iron gate Chris had helped me choose and put up , to the pair of lions that flank the steps I once again saw the chip on the nose where a naughty little boy had tried to change the shape of the lion’s nose, still visible .

The front door where the welcome bells ( a mother’s day gift) scratch the wood- And I hadn’t even made it into the hallway where a little brass lion sits , a

I am sorry for defacing the lion

gift .

There are hundreds of reminders in this house, gifts, photos, artwork. I checked there isn’t one room including bathrooms-( candles too pretty to burn) ) not one wall that doesn’t hold some reminder of the baby, toddler, child, teenager, and young man who called this house home 27 years.

I wandered from room to room -I would need a storage unit, I haven’t even touched on the attic and basement. And then what would I keep in that drawer?

As I wandered realizing the daunting task that was ahead of me, the bricks on the fireplace caught my eye –
Yes the day of the “lion’s nose” had also found him trying to leave his name on the mortar of he brick, it is still there – first left as reminder to him NOT to do such a thing again, then forgotten with a “I must get to that” and now evidence that the child existed at all.

Which drawer? Would I choose the one where resides an envelope with a nugget of coal and some pencil flowers? Another I am sorry gift made for me after he had been particularly naughty. The homemade flowers delivered by dirty chubby hands looking for a softening of his mothers face, which he didn’t get until he handed her an envelope saying “if these don’t warm your heart ( the flowers )maybe this will” as the nugget of coal fell onto a white rug- but my heart was warmed and the smile and forgiveness followed.

Assignment by Chris Ritchey

In my world the scenes of “past life’ are so real , the colours, the voices, even those terrible last months and days, are with me – We all know about split personalities , various people living in one body/ brain.

I experience split lives, going through the motions of the present, simultaneously living the past- as it comes unbidden to the fore.
I can see the toddler as he stood at the top of stairs after finding out he could get out of his crib. I see him on the kitchen floor when, at two in the morning, he had decided he wanted more of the chocolate cake , this little boy cross-legged face full of cake looking innocently up from the mess he had made

“want some???”

The archway into the dining room where he would jump up and hit it as he grew leaving handprints on the off white wall. The dining room floor he helped me refinish whilst his dad was away just a 4 years ago. Even the damned ivy that is growing over the windows once again, he was supposed to cut it back for me. As it grows, it is a constant reminder of his not being here.

I sat on the couch where he had sat dazed and afraid ( although he tried not to show it) the day the Drs. told him you have cancer.

As I sat there surrounded by the visual reminders the echoes of his laughter, the nights he would do anything not to go to bed , even in his big boy bed-

“Dad come up and kiss me goodnight”- Mum I need a drink., How come Nikki isn’t in bed?

Children’s laughter as they tore through the house playing their games. The bedroom ceiling fan he chose. The fish ,frogs and even Misty which drawer do they go in ? Which reminders are not as important as others?

Do I move out the house altogether? I see him in the street signs , I see him at Settlers’ Watch , I see him playing over at Irving , the baseballs and soccer balls lost on the roof, the broken window ( they never fixed just boarded over) all those years ago.

Cleveland Signage design- Chris Ritchey

I see him on the storefront windows, on television, his ads, his design on signage in Cleveland. I am reminded every time I see a soccer ball, a Nike commercial, Adidas,

everytime I vacuum I look at his logo on the machine. I see him in my daughter’s eyes, in her smile – my grandson’s hands . The very sign on our street designed by my son.

No there isn’t a drawer that can contain and lock away my heart memories,

Photo Mark Teleha -artwork Chris Ritchey

there isn’t a storage shed anywhere in the world large enough to lock away and hold those memories.

My parallel world of the past cannot and will not allow confinement .

There truly are days that I wonder if I will make it through until tomorrow but I suppose the day I don’t is the day the heart memories and echoes will no longer cause the smiles, the wishing, the whying and nights of crying .

Think I Am - Chris Ritchey

“In search of my son- in search of me.”
Part One In search of my son- In search of me
Part TwoTourjours Moi-Always Me
Part Three Always Me – Always Chris
Part Four In search of My Son-
Chris Ritchey – Thanks

Part Five Dark Humour- Shedding a Light
Part Six – The Unfinished Portrait

Part Seven– The Unfinished Portrait- The Artists
(2) Part Two – Who Are We Really?
Part Eight– When Premonition Becomes Hindsight

Part Nine– When Premonition Becomes Hindsight – Part Two
Part Ten (a)There is an “I” in Death
Part Ten (b)- I didn’t know my son- Chris Ritchey
Part Eleven- Unfinished Portrait the Artistic Gene
Part Twelve- Unfinished Portrait- the Artistic Gene- Part Two

July 21, 2010 at 10:37 pm 14 comments

For Grammy – The Journey- The Comments- Chris Ritchey

Grammy left a comment on this blog and I started to write an answer but as fingers flew and “the force” took over I realized the comment was becoming a post.

I get lots of comments most of them off the blog .

Some of them question,

Some agree

Some just “hold my hand” ,

Some are worried I am becoming obsessed :)

Some feel what has happened is a private matter –

Some are just uncomfortable that I am touching upon the “realm of death and religionthis muddying up the perception of the other world- the non sugar-coating is making things a little uncomfortable. And let us face it no one likes discomfort and yet the stats tell it all ……….there is an interest !!!!

So why do I write about this most uncomfortable of subjects and situations. I have explained here and here as to the reasons I am exploring every avenue of what happened to us in this “OUR STORY”-
The “story” of romance, death, thievery, ill-gotten gains, heros and heroines, religion , politics, lies and deception, cold cruelty , kindness, love and bitterness.

Truth and transparency has always been important to me in other aspects of my life- why not in this?

Uncomfortable as it is to read at times it is our truth and our life and journey at the moment.


Grammy said :

That, though very small, is a comfort. Someone actually listened.

I started to reply :

The letter from the Cardinal/Vatican didn’t actually bring me solace etc. or tell me anything I didn’t already know EXCEPT it was a validation from the hierarchy of the religious community that the Lombardi’s and their crew (that they hopefully pay more than lip service to )was in need of my forgiveness of such an act.

It was and is wrong in the eyes of their beliefs otherwise no forgiveness would be required.

I needed that documentation as I am not of their beliefs so I wanted to be sure that the church of their choice understood the need for a family’s closure . And I needed “in writing” for those that are also of their beliefs who are trying to “justify their actions”. by sending out emails of erroneous happenstance to defend the actions. ( Ah Brucee B you know not of what you write!)

Any good researcher , when delving into a situation or story , requires documentation and provenance -of paramount importance when trying to write the truth rather than a fictional perspective. :) ( Ah Brucee lesson No 1. )

This series was but a small stepping stone across the river of grief as I explore my son, his life and his death and all that made up the journey .

Too long have disease, and the actions of others beyond my comprehension or our control made up the swirling waters of doubt , loss and confusion- I refuse to let that be the case any longer

I am crossing my river to reach my son and take him back from lies and doubt …. AND WILD HORSES COULDN’T DRAG ME AWAY

It is for Gavin I write and the knowledge that one day he will know his Uncle Chris , the young man who was so looking forward to being a part of his life. He will know the story of his family and who they were in the thousands upon thousands of words, this journey will take. And hopefully he will see the Good the Bad and the Ugly and learn from this journey of ours.

It is for Nikki – who was accused of being a liar and was also accused of not knowing her brother as she read the letter stuffed in her dead brother’s clothes. Having him wrenched from her by cancer and cowardice was apparently not enough for his bride of 500 or so days.

It is for my husband , my mother and those that loved Chris for who he was !

I will give them closure .. I will give them back their Chris…… the only way I know how…

I can do nothing but show the injustice that was done to those he loved and show that indeed it was an injustice not born of faith but selfishness. I will chronicle the agony both emotionally and physically this act of “control’ has taken upon those I love .

I will show the truth and document each step as each ‘stepping stone of an answer” carries us across to the other side.

In this small 1st step I have found that my foundation of thought and conclusions with regard to my son , who has been so cruelly wrenched from us because of disease and words written on cheap paper is as I thought……

I have explored this part of the equation of religious beliefs and how they pertained to our loss.

( RELIGION )and those that preach shouldn’t have and needn’t have caused the pain to those that love their son and brother- they tried to bury the act along with his ashes– I will shed the light of their actions and the results of those decisions to all who care to read.

I am not going quietly into the night- The reliance on keeping death a private affair by “it just isn’t done to discuss these situations “ is not part of my make -up . I will discuss anything I choose because no matter how uncomfortable it is to read OUR STORY


I am not obsessed as I explained to one writer -there is no end in obsession –there is AN END to this journey BUT we are only in the middle chapters….


July 11, 2010 at 10:40 pm 4 comments

Don’t Ask – Don’t tell- Don’t IGNORE

No! I haven’t segued from the Roman Catholic Church and IGNORE to Gays in the Military but to the thinking that is behind this “way of dealing with life issues.”

You see if we ask the question you might get an answer – the answer may make you uncomfortable- and then you may have to pursue a solution.

During these past months I asked the questions – I was IGNORED locally by men of the cloth – WHY??? because – in my humble opinion – to answer may have led to actually having to acknowledge there was an uncomfortable situation and everything in the garden wasn’t perfect.

In fact by ignoring the motivation of an emotional abusive act they didn’t have to deal with it.

It was essentially easier just to IGNORE and hope “I” would give up go away- because that is what usually happens- and not just with this instance of the Roman Catholic church locally ! ( that was a mistake I don’t give up and I don’t go away ).

This is however, a course of non action that works 95 percent of the time. by those that don’t want to “deal” with unpleasantness or problems. They ignore people and situations until finally every once in a while they can’t ignore anymore, by then a lot of damage is done. I found that out the hard way and the reason we are now dealing with this cruelty of control

As readers, how many times have YOU been ignored in life by your respective governments , politicians, religious affliations , corporations, media , schools etc.

Have we become so lily-livered ( funny word that)-

Means cowardly. People once believed that your passions came from you liver. If you were lily livered your liver was white (because it did not contain any blood). So you were a coward.)

as to run from issues that make us uncomfortable or prod us into action?

Is that what we have become as generation of cowards so that if we
1. We don’t ask

2. It follows we can’t be accused of knowing

3. Therefore , not knowing relieves of the responsibility of “acting upon the situation.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Come to think of it the Military establishment being cowardly doesn’t equate and they of all groups shouldn’t be lily-livered about anything. Honestly if someone is putting their life on the line for mine the last question I would be wanting to know is if they prefer the same-sex or opposite sex to share their bed. That isn’t a case of ignoring or not asking the question it just isn’t a question for me anymore than the color of their skin or whether they are Roman Catholic or Protestant, right or left handed .

When I do rise to the surface and go out in the parallel world to mine I am often asked by some who know me and some who are just being polite to their customer

How Are You ?

To a man ( or woman) they expect

“Fine and you”

But because I am no good at pretending I answer truthfully to people who ask

How are you ?

Not good, been better, holding myself together barely, bloody awful or most days I try to get through but then there are days that I am not sure I will make it through !

Very few people really want to know how those that grieve are really. They want you to give a polite answer to a polite question – it is after all the done thing in society to “ask”.

It is not the done thing “to tell “


Truth and Transparency are words that are touted on blogs, in political arenas, forums, newspapers but I think real truths are only for the few and the brave, because the answer may mean we would have to face the demons and open wounds and that may make society uncomfortable.

Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell even when it comes down to a mighty nations military because otherwise we might have to actually face unpleasantness and we have become a community of wanting “sugar coated truths” and if I ignore it maybe it will go away .

The highest hits daily on this blog is a post about Dachau and Germany ( June’s total 14,473) – another, albeit an extreme case, of IGNORE – and a local population who lived around these camps of IGNOREDont’ Ask – Don’t Tell taken to the extreme –

Poster Design by Chris Ritchey – 2000 AD -Stocker Center Production

Don’t Ask – Don’t Tell or Ignore is a mantra of those taking the easy way out because sometimes the “truth hurts”!

“…For a long time during those frightful years I waited for a great voice to speak up in Rome. I, an unbeliever? Precisely. For I knew that the spirit would be lost if it did not utter a cry of condemnation when faced with force. It seems that that voice did speak up. But I assure you that millions of men like me did not hear it and that at that time believers and unbelievers alike shared a solitude that continued to spread as the days went by and the executioners multiplied…. …What the world expects of Christians is that Christians should speak out, loud and clear, and that they should voice their condemnation in such a way that never a doubt, never the slightest doubt, should rise in the heart of the simplest man. That they should get away from abstraction and confront the blood-stained face history has taken on today”. —French author, Albert Camus, in a statement made at the Dominican Monastery of Latour-Maubourg in 1948.

Understanding the Vatican

July 7, 2010 at 10:37 am 4 comments

IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church Part 6 –

IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church- Part One
IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church- Part Two
IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church Part Three.
IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church –Part Four
IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church – Part Five

I waited,wept and wrote on this blog ( for which “for the most part is “ignored” ;) and then on March 26th just one month to the day after I had sent a letter via the international real mail to Archibishop Foley I received a beautiful cream coloured envelope in my mail box.

The feel of the envelope and the paper is silk like – admittedly I thought as I went to retrieve my reading glasses

This will be just a thank you for your thoughts or another form letter

but I was pleased I hadn’t been ignored.

However the letter was so much more than I expected- Oh I expected the legal right issue and the perspective of the Roman Catholic Church re “family” to be in the main body of the letter

( those aspects were not going to be news to me – I already knew that perspective and expected them to be front and center)

BUT what pleased me was his man had actually read the letter and the enclosed letter that I had sent to Bishop Lennon and Father Divis. And for once in this whole debacle I had been heard and acknowledged by the very church that I feel enabled the taking of our closure – I hadn’t been ignored!!!!

The opening paragraph :

“I was sorry to read that you have not received an acknowledgement from either Bishop Lennon or Reverend D. Divis at the time you wrote me; I hope that has been rectified by now.”

ED: Note : Sorry Father – not one word has come through from the illusive Bishop Lennon or Reverend Divis… even though you also cc’d your letter to me to the said Bishop Lennon as of today July 1st 2010.

” I hope you will be able to forgive Angela”

AH! so it seems John Cardinal Foley -Grand Master Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem believes the actions of Angela require my forgiveness and therefore follows what she and her family did was wrong ……SIGH!!!! Thank you very much Archbishop…my thoughts all along.

I sent one of Chris cards , hand written, to the Archbishop thanking him for his thoughtfulness, his concern and the fact I hadn’t for once in this whole Roman Catholic scenario been “IGNORED”

I also stated to the Archbishop to forgive one has to understand the reasoning for such an emotional abusive ( in my opinion) act that was perpetrated NOT IN THE NAME OF RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE” – and to be able to forgive I would first have to understand and I don’t– had this been about faith, family beliefs, that I could have understood and actually no forgiveness would have been required

This as these many months of writing and exploring “our story” have pointed out to those that read and to this family this had nothing to do with faith or religion- but “CONTROL”, with a possible side of vindictiveness – certainly wasn’t about faith or honor!

IN THIS JOURNEY OF DISCOVERING MY SON AND ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS BROUGHT ABOUT BY 2ND GUESSING BECAUSE OF ANGELA’S ACTIONS- I have more of an insight which will be revealed at the end of my journey . And the journey will end eventually just not quite yet.

But for all of those that have been ignored here is one for you !

Click the letter to enlarge.

July 1, 2010 at 10:22 am 14 comments

IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church Part 5

IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church- Part One
IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church- Part Two
IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church Part 3.
IGNOR(e)(st)ANCE and the Roman Catholic Church –Part Four

My Roman Catholic friends either laughed , shook their heads or knowingly smiled when I said

I am going to write to the Vatican.

I went on the Vatican’s website– No! I wasn’t going to write to the Pope he has his own problems ( because situations in the Roman Catholic Church that had been ignored, disregarded and swept aside – were now coming to light with a vengeance.

Investigators also opened the graves of archbishops in the St. Rombouts Cathedral in Mechlin, north of Brussels, looking for possibly incriminating documents, said Jean-Marc Meilleur, spokesman for the Brussels public prosecutor.

Austrian Catholics ramp up quest for church reform

Vatican opposes interrogation of pope in sex abuse case -USA

Pope Names Team to Investigate Abuse in Ireland

Walter Mixa, German bishop and ally of the Pope, faces new child abuse allegations

It seems the Vatican and the Pope are trying to sort through decades of problems world-wide because they were “ignored” in the first place (imho) . I figured I would get lost in the shuffle of “those that were ignored” and quite frankly they certainly deserved to be heard more than I!

Searching through the Vatican site I came across

Il Gran Magistero dell’Ordine
The Grand Magisterium of the Order
John Patrick Foley –

Ah well here is a someone who was born in Pennsylvania so certainly wouldn’t need an interpreter as to American “mid western” thinking.

I wrote the following:

Archbishop John Patrick Foley
President, Pontifical Council for Social Communication
00120 Vatican City State,
Rome, Italy February 26, 2010

Dear Archbishop Foley.

I am writing to you as you were born in Pennsylvania so presumably you know the “culture “of the Midwestern thinking. Also, quite frankly not knowing the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church, I am sending this to you as you seem to be in charge. I am curious to see what happens – will etiquette at least produce a letter of receipt or acknowledgement which hasn’t been the case so far in my journey of grief?

You can put this letter down to a grieving mother who wants some answers or who just wants to reach out and make someone of your faith aware of her terrible pain caused, in part, by decisions of people of your faith and enabling of such by your church and an acknowledgement of such.

I did write to the local Bishop ( Richard Lennon) and the priest here in Ohio involved in my secondary loss of my son. (Please see enclosed letter). However, I have received not even a “thank you for you letter, your concerns have been noted and filed” . As an aside the withholding of my son’s cremains was not done for any “religious reasoning” but because he wasn’t an organ donor so she wanted him “intact”.

Maybe I expected too much. I suppose in the grand scheme of things my grief and loss is tantamount to a mere blip on the screen of life , not worthy of acknowledgement , but to this family it is our world- one of unbearable heartache. Do you not think that I should have “expected” an acknowledgement? It does seem that the consensus among your flock here in Ohio they would not have expected any answer. I find that disconcerting actually that even your own people have told me “don’t expect any response”. Why shouldn’t I have expected a response to a letter sent to “men of the cloth” and the human experience?

So I thought I would reach out to the “almost” top and follow through. Thank you for your time in this matter- I await with anticipation your views or acknowledgement at least.

Yours sincerely

Loraine Ritchey

You see if Angela (Lombardi) ritchey IF she had said:

”due to my religious beliefs I cannot separate the ashes”

Believe it or not I would have understood that reasoning – I would have tried to intercede to change her mind to have people of her faith explain BUT remember that is NOT what she stated in the “note” over her signature – in fact she went out of her way to state that religion wasn’t the reason

Angela Lombardi ritchey

(emphasis mine)

I have decided not to separate his ashes. This decision was not made as a reaction to recent events . Religion did not play a role. Chris did not want to be an organ donor he wanted to leave this world with what he came with…I feel this is one last thing I can do to honor my husband…..

CAN YOU BELIEVE ALL THIS ???? – ALL THE HURT, ILL FEELINGS AND TURMOIL FOR A REASON SUCH AS ‘NOT AN ORGAN DONOR”- BEGGARS BELIEF…….( especially when he WAS! …..guess she didn’t know Chris as well as she thought she did.
This is supposedly an intelligent individual who hopefully takes in account what the outcome of her decisions make ( Dr. ) on fellow human beings. Also medically speaking she certainly should know what happens to the organs during a cremation

During the cremation process, a large part of the body (especially the organs) and other soft tissue are vaporized and oxidized because of the heat, and the resulting gases are discharged through the exhaust system.

Didn’t she give a thought to how her actions ( based on such asinine reasoning) would be nothing less than an act of cruelty of the most emotionally abusive kind perpetrated on this family –

Did she discuss this with her Roman Catholic family ? ( according to Sue Lombardi the morning of Dec 11th when confronted by my daughter- “Angela thought long and hard about this”- ( even more worrying in my opinion as to lacking in consequences of one’s actions- (but then again they wanted to send Chris on a 28 hour train journey when he couldn’t even walk to the bathroom)

Did she discuss her reasoning with her priest?

Did she discuss her thinking with fellow colleagues in the medical field?( after all some on them were part of the gypsy caravan in the waiting room .

ED note: looking at the scene that day where medical professionals ( my son’s “new” Dr. whom I met for the first time) piled into an already crowded 25 ft area .. sitting on that filthy waiting room floor carpet ( dressed to the nines)…… sharing soup and sandwiches – gathered around the feet of Angela whilst her mother (imho) figuratively crooned and swooned over the “professionals” reminded me of some alien picnic . It was very surreal and not conducive to my having “faith in the profession”- but I digress…….

Did they all think this was the “right ” thing to do?

Did not one soul have compassion for the people who would be traumatized by this act of “legal ” right?



June 29, 2010 at 8:39 pm 6 comments

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