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Elizabeth's Family

This page is dedicated to Elizabeth`s immediate Family. I have created this page because I understand that our Friends and Family are very concerned about us. It is designed to inform everyone about how we are doing, how we are making out. Thank you for caring!

Mike Ryan

My thoughts on being a Father.........

The absolute happiest two moments in my life were when my two children were born........The absolute saddest moment in my life was when my 'Baby-Doll', Elizabeth, died!
I believe and hope that someday things will become 'normal' again. Not the old 'normal', but a new 'normal'. The new 'normal' will alow us to live again, to live every day to the fullest and to enjoy life again. I understand and accept that 'life' will never be the same, or as good again. Like I said about Michelle, when Elizabeth died, a big part of us (Jonathon, Michelle, and I) died.

Michelle Ryan

Michelle is doing OK. There is no doubt that she is struggling. She has lost her Daughter (her best friend), and her Mother (who she was very close to) all in a two month period. My heart breaks when I think of Michelle without Elizabeth...They were truly 'sole mates'. They loved every moment they got to spend with each other. Elizabeth’s 'dreams' were Michelle’s dreams, and when Elizabeth died, a big part of Michelle died.

Jonathon Ryan

Jonathon is home for the summer. He is having a rough time accepting that Elizabeth is not here/home...He has been away for the winters (playing hockey) since he was 17, but Elizabeth is always here/home, when he comes home for the summers. They are so close, it is a very hard adjustment! He will be heading back to The University of Windsor, in about a month, to hopefully complete his 1st Degree. He is taking his Bachelor of Fine Arts, an Honors program, and hopes to take his Bachelor of Education next year. In Ontario, if you complete an Honors Program, you can do your Bachelor of Education in just one year. He has played CIS hockey for Windsor University (The Lancers) for the last three years so he hope to finish both degree`s in the next two years because he is eligible to play CIS hockey for a total of five years...Thus he is eligible to play until he graduates. I`m not sure if he really knows how proud of him we are!

The 'Other Side'

This is a letter that I wrote several months ago to another parent that is going through this same ‘hell’, of losing a child. I felt concerned that she might do something ‘stupid’ and wanted to try and help ease her pain, so I tried to express a ‘new belief’ that I have found/realized since Elizabeth’s death, to her. In writing this new ‘belief’ down, somehow it all began to make sense. At first, and even now, I don’t feel a/the religious aspect. It is more spiritual for me. But believing in something as ‘big’ as this...I would be silly not to believe that there is ‘something’ in control of all of it...something much ‘greater’.

The Other Side

Losing Elizabeth is the worst thing that has ever happened to me, and to my Family. My wife's Mom died 2 months after Elizabeth, so my wife Michelle is really having a tough go. My son and daughter were as close as a brother and sister could be...This sucks...Life sucks. I now understand why some people commit suicide; it’s the wanting to be with her/them...wishing that you were dead...wishing your days/life away. I've read a lot of books hoping/trying to find some answers and....I think that maybe I have. For several months after Elizabeth's death I tried to bargain with the Devil...I offered him my soul in exchange, if he would just roll back time...The accident didn't happen. No one would have to know. I would live out the rest of my 'planned' life and then when I died, I would go with him.

I didn't meet the Devil, time didn't roll back, and Elizabeth isn't here. Do you know why? It's because there is no Devil...there is no fiery Hell! I want to start this by saying that I don't think that I even truly believe in a 'God'. This isn't about religion; this is more about fact/facts. I believe that most of us don't bother trying to understand religion, or what happens 'next', until we need to. It’s normally not until we get old/older, or in my case, until we lose someone that is a part of us. Then we want/need answers. When you look for answers, with an ‘open’ mind, the fact is...you will realize that there IS more!

We are like a caterpillar, stuck inside this body until we die, then we are set free. For those of us that have lost a child, our children are now free, there, on the ‘Other Side’, waiting with the rest of our loved ones that have already passed, for us. What we need to understand is that we have to wait until it is our turn, to be with them. If we try to 'rush' our death, we don't get to be with them, not YET. My belief is that this (earth) is Hell, or Purgatory, or whatever you want to call it. We are sent here to pay for our wrongs (sins), wrongs that we have done in a previous existence. Some of us will have to come back many, many times, depending on the ‘wrong’ that we committed. If we don't change, or if we do more ‘wrongs’ (like rushing our deaths, suicide), we are sent back here again, and again, as punishment.

When we pay back for our wrongs, and when we understand things like unconditional love, selflessness, and probably many other things, we ‘graduate’...to the Other Side. The Other Side is unbelievable. Our words can't possibly describe it. It is where we all end up once we become 'Pure'. Our children, and loved ones, left us because they achieved/paid back for their previous wrongs, and they are now 'Pure'.

They didn`t/don`t feel the pain of death. Only WE feel that pain...it is part of OUR punishment. At first this ‘belief’ had a major flaw for me. I didn’t understand/often wondered why children, or our loved ones, 'suffered' so badly at death if they were in fact be ‘rewarded’. The reality is, when someone dies, they don't feel/remember the pain. Suffering and pain are only feelings that are known in this world...that pain and suffering is not a punishment for them....it is part of OUR punishment. I believe that if we were lucky enough to have our loved one die instantly, or quickly; it is only because WE are close to getting to the 'Other Side'. We have almost 'paid back' for our wrongs, so our loved ones were allowed to leave us with a little less pain and suffering (again, we are the only ones that feel the pain and suffering). If our loved ones suffered/died painful deaths, it wasn't to punish them (they don't feel/remember the pain) it was to punishment ‘us’.

Now that they are gone, we are forced to 'deal' with the 'hand' that we have been dealt. Some of us consider taking our own lives. Some of us allow the depression to excuse us from moving on. Some of us look for, and like, the ‘sympathy’ so we procrastinate our healing. Some of us try and learn to 'understand', and we become stronger/better people. That ‘understanding’ is a BIG step closer to being with them.

I am not trying to preach. I don't have all of the answers. This 'new belief' of mine is way to long to write in a short letter, especially when you type about three words a minute, like I do. One of my 'turning point' books was "on LIFE after DEATH" by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. It is a quick/good read.

Even knowing that Elizabeth has been 'rewarded' and is somewhere ‘better’, waiting for us, and knowing that we will ALL be together again for eternity someday, doesn't make her being gone any easier. It does make it a little less painful but 'knowing' doesn't take away the sadness or the loneliness. I still cry every day. I look at her pictures, shake my head in disbelief, and ask why, even though I think that I already know the answer.

This 'knowing' has helped me cope with Elizabeth's death. If you have lost a child, you quickly understand that only someone else who has lost a child ‘truly’ understands. The only thing that I want to leave you with is...it does get different/easier. It's only seven months for us, and even though we really fight it...life does go on. Never the same, never as good, never with the same joy. I now know that I/we have ‘work’ to do. I am working hard to do more of what I know is right, and harder to do less of what I know is wrong. I am going to be with my Baby-Doll again....When it is my time, and once I fully understand what it takes to become 'Pure'.

I honestly wish you and yours,

PEACE!

JEMM (Jonathon, Elizabeth, Mike and Michelle)