Live Loud ... Live Wild

Once we had the heart to start planning our son's service, I had it set in my mind that I wanted to write and deliver his eulogy. I didn't write it until the night before...and I just focused on Ryan as he was when he left us. It turned out just fine, and his service went beautifully. We had hundreds of red balloons that filled the church, lots of bubbles and ring pops. A giant stuffed Mickey Mouse held onto Ryan's ashes and large photos of our beautiful son smiled at everyone who came. 
Ryan loved balloons, bubbles and candy...he especially loved looking at himself whether it was in a mirror or photographs. While people started filing in and sitting down, I turned to my husband Dan and said "Ryan is loving this!".



Thank you to everyone who came. We couldn't believe how many people squished into the church to celebrate Ryan. It was heart warming and my husband and I felt every one's love and support. We feel so overwhelmingly grateful for the incredible people we have standing by our side and all of those who are thinking of us and praying. 

I wanted to share a glimpse of Ryan's funeral service and below is his eulogy & program. 


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We have a three and half year old son. His name is Ryan Cruz.


Ryan came into our lives at the tail end of the hottest summer we’ve ever known. They told us he would come out September 12…though the three of us couldn’t wait to be a family of 3 any longer. So, our baby boy was born on September 5th. Ryan greeted us with no cries, just lots and lots of fiery red hair. In fact, Ryan stayed pretty quiet until we got home…once we got home he made sure to make plenty of noise. Each day he showed us that even though he looked a lot like his daddy, he was extremely loud like his mother.


Ryan was never just a normal child. His personality lit up every room. He loved to be the center of attention and he loved to make his cousins laugh. If he wasn’t running full speed or playing sports he was playing board games or watching Disney movies. While watching Disney movies he would run and grab all his toys so he could re-enact the scenes. Ryan had toys for every movie, his current favorite was The Incredibles and his all time favorite was Cars. Ryan had every toy imaginable…and lots of shoes too. It was no secret that Dan and I loved to spoil our son. 


On a typical day Ryan would wake up before Dan and I. He would creep into our room to make sure we were sleeping and then grab his little iPad. He stayed quiet for a few minutes then he would crawl into our bed and yell “Its get up time!”. Dan would get up and I would take forever to get out of bed. As soon as I was in the kitchen making coffee, Ryan would come in and start grabbing things from the fridge to make his morning smoothie. He loved eating the frozen fruit and his favorite was picking out a colored straw. “I’m gonna have a geen one today mom.” he would tell me. Getting Ryan dressed for the day was my favorite and we would take photos of his outfits everyday. Dan always picked him up from school, and Ryan loved riding in “Daddy’s race car”. Those typical daily moments are what we will miss most.


Aside from Disney and running around, what Ryan loved most was his family. Ryan was very because, he was the only kid around with 3 sets of grand-parents, great-grandparents and more aunts, uncles and cousins than anyone. The best part was that Ryan had a special bond with each and every one you, and you all have your inside jokes and games with each other. Ryan has been known to play hard and he love hard. He loved giving giant hugs and big wet kisses. What we pray for is that you all never loose sight of the bond you had with our son. And may you always think about him with a smile. 


On Ryan’s last day we woke up early, stopped by Starbucks for a Chai latte and hot chocolate as usual, and then went to Disneyland. We had so much fun and he was able to ride the Cars ride for the first time. We ate churros and sent daddy lots of pictures and videos. It really was the best day. On our tram ride back to our car, I sent Dan a picture of Ryan just sitting there and a text that said “We really do have the coolest kid ever!”. Dan and I are so proud of Ryan, we will forever be proud of our son. 


Ryan left us entirely too soon. Although we don’t know the answer as to why he is gone, we can be happy that we were given three and half years with him. Our lives have been forever changed for the better because he came into our life. Let us take Ryan’s enthusiasm and spread his love. 




Together Dan and I stand here still a family of three. We have a three and half year old son. His name is Ryan Cruz. And we ask you to please, please continue to remember how incredible our child is. Promise that you will Live loud, live wild…Live like our Ryan Cruz. 


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Here are the programs, made by our extremely talented friend Heather of River and Bridge.






We also were able to wear the 'Sunshine Daydreams' t-shirt Ryan last wore. Thank you to my amazingly talented friend Sarah of Geo Fox Apparel for having these done for us. It meant the world to us. 



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207 comments

  1. núria says…
    05/19/2014

    I have no words. Just sending you lots of love. You will always always be a family of three. Y él nunca será olvidado. xoxox from Spain

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Jessica says…
    05/19/2014

    So touching and heartfelt. Sending you so much love and support from LA xo

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Chinoshortcake says…
    05/19/2014

    Your beautiful little guy will forever live in the hearts of all he's touched. May God continue to grant you and your family peace and serenity now, and always. Love, from Chino, CA.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Jen says…
    05/19/2014

    Really beautiful!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Donkers says…
    05/19/2014

    Ryan will always be your son, and a part of your amazing family. He really is one of the coolest kids ever, and I love that he lived and loved so hard. His spirit and love for life is just so tangible, looking through your photos. He will be remembered often - every time we play shapes with the sidewalk chalk or make chocolate banana pops. You and Ryan have inspired so many fun times with my little ones. I have been thinking of you every day and sending so many prayers. I know that you will see Ryan again, and I know that he loves to see his Mommy and Daddy holding onto each other so tightly through all of this. I want to thank you for sharing his precious life through your blog. I am inspired to be a better mother, to be patient and appreciate each moment with my little ones, and to teach them to live loud and live wild, just like Ryan! Love and prayers from Canada

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. lindsey. says…
    05/19/2014

    Sending love today and always to your beautiful family of three. I saw a little red-headed boy the other day and I thought of Ryan. I promise to keep him in my heart. Love!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Breann Nash says…
    05/19/2014

    May God forever bless you and your family. What an incredible little boy with an incredible story and legacy.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. sakshi buckshey says…
    05/19/2014

    So beautiful!!!! Am sure he's lighting up heaven and giving the angels wet kisses :)

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Katie Cheesman says…
    05/19/2014

    You're such a strong person, and you've inspired so many people! May my prayers reach you at this difficult time.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Heather @ Glitter and Gloss says…
    05/19/2014

    This is beautiful, Jacqui! Continued prayers and love from myself, Tony and the girls!

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. The Lady says…
    05/19/2014

    Just wanted you to know your faith is inspiring and the love you and Dan have showed through sharing Ryan's story has touched my life in such a way I will never understand. I have prayed for you daily and will continue to do so. Your strength is beautiful.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Karissa Marker says…
    05/19/2014

    Such a beautiful and touching eulogy. What an incredible little kid, with some amazing parents! Sending much love from the UK

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Cate says…
    05/19/2014

    Your family has touched my heart deeply. I have a two and a half year old son (almost 3) and he sounds like Ryan in so many ways. I will continue to remember your son, and cherish every moment that I have with mine. The world is better for Ryan being in it. Continued prayers and strength to you and Dan. I know I will continue to try and live loud and wild in his memory. Love to you and your family. -Cate

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Ashley says…
    05/19/2014

    Such a beautiful tribute to your little man. I'm so sorry for your loss. My cousin lost her almost 3 year old almost 9 months ago. I wish I could tell you the pain isn't as strong with time but it is. Luckily for both you and my cousin, you have an amazing support team in place. Your son will never be forgotten and neither will his parents! I know you don't know me but if you ever need anything please let me know. You have so many people on this journey along side you, so please don't feel like you're alone! Love to you and your husband and sweet Ryan Cruz!

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Kaella Neithercut says…
    05/19/2014

    I didn't know Ryan but your love for him is so strong! He is the coolest kid around! I've been hugging my guy (London-- 19 months) a little tighter each night. RIP Ryan.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Blanche Dee says…
    05/19/2014

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. AmyLou says…
    05/19/2014

    So beautifully written. What an amazing little boy. Sending love & prayers from Quartz Hill, CA.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. DamiansMommy111410 says…
    05/19/2014

    Jacqui Jacqui!! Thank you so much for writing a blog on this. We are so very blessed because you have shared your beautiful son with us. I just left you a comment on IG earlier this morning asking you to continue blogging, and I am so happy that you are sharing your memories, thoughts, and love with us. We will always be here for you, even when the dark days come and all you want to write about is pain. Thank you again for allowing us all to become a family through your story and your son. God Bless! Rest in heaven Ryan! <3 Granada Hills, Ca

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Hannastromi says…
    05/19/2014

    I just wanted to send you my condolences and tell you that you are truly an inspiration. Looking through your instagram feed, it was obvious how much love you and your husband have for your son and it breaks my heart that this tragedy had to happen to you and your family. Your strength and love shines on through your instagram and this blog post and as sappy as it all sounds, you honestly make me want to be a better person. I never knew Ryan, but I have fallen in love with him and will keep you and your family in my thoughts and prayers <3.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Unknown says…
    05/19/2014

    Ryan and your family have left a permanent mark on my soul. Over the last few days my heart has felt a mixture of sorrow and hope for you. I don't know you, but I stand by you, and I will never forget Ryan. I ordered the Sunshine Daydream tee for my daughter, along with the Remember Ryan tee. We will think of him often, and we'll call on him for help in understanding this life, this world. We will also do our best to live loud and live wild. Thank you for the reminder. And thanks so, so much for sharing your story with us. An aside: a good friend of mine died of cancer in his 30s a few years ago. His father told me that he talked to Dino often. Once he asked Dino, "What's it like over there?" And he said Dino answered, "There is no there...just here". That brought me so much solace. Ryan is here.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Laurie says…
    05/19/2014

    How beautiful. Thank you so much for sharing such amazing words. Thinking of and praying for all of you.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Stef says…
    05/19/2014

    I don't know you personally, and live across the other side of the world, but your story has touched my heart. I am sorry you have lost your beautiful boy, thank you for sharing your wonderful memories with all of us. I wish you love and hope for the future, I will hug my children tonight and think of your lovely flame haired wee man who is watching down on his incredible parents. Look after yourselves. Much love.

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Lindsie Zeismer says…
    05/19/2014

    Hello, I came across your Instagram... And am just completely at a loss for words.. I can't imagine the pain you are feeling and I pray that each day gets easier and brighter. June 2012 my husband and I miscarried identical twins. It felt so unreal. Being able to see our two creations and knowig we wouldn't ever get to meet them.. We planned our wedding after in hopes to try again... June 2013.. We ended up miscarrying again.. Not knowing or understanding why God would make us go through the repetitive heartache we knew that we still had each other and gained 3 angels up above... This past Christmas Eve, 12-24-13... We found ourselves pregnant again, I guess you can say, third time was a charm.... I call it a blessing... I am now 6 months pregnant with our son, Hayden Ryan. When I read your eulogy aloud, my son was kicking my like crazy..... I read the first paragraph- and paused.... Our Hayden's due 9/5/14... When I read that your Ryan's birthday is the same I just was filled with smiles. Your son is living and alive, he will continue to give you signs, and allow you to know he is still with you and around you. I pray for comfort in your household. Here's a poem I used to read on my days where the losses my husband and I went through made me the weakest, each time I read these words, I felt immediate comfort in my heart..-Daddy please don't look so sad,Mommy please don't cry.I am in the arms of Jesus And He sings me lullabies.Please do not try to question GodDon't think He is unkind.Don't think He sent me to you,And that He changed his mind.You see, I am specialAnd I'm needed up above.I'm the special child you gave Him,The product of your love.I'll always be there with you.So watch the sky at night.Find the brightest star that's gleaming.That's my halo's brilliant light.So daddy, please don't look so sad.Mommy please don't cry.I am in the arms of Jesus.And He sings me lullabies. Red balloons for Ryan Cruz

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  24. Kelly Levo says…
    05/19/2014

    Thank you so much for sharing this. Beautiful. You guys have not left my thoughts for the past two weeks. Ryan has touched so many. Although, I never met him- I surely will never forget his precious face and perfect red curls. Sending you lots of love.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. stacey says…
    05/19/2014

    love from orange. your beautiful son lives on and you are absolutely a family of three. we have two children here on earth with us and one in the next - we are a family of five in my mind and i keep our angel daughter alive by remembering her out loud and finding her in the beauty around us. ryan cruz, you made an impact and you are loved. wishing you comfort in your amazing memories and in each other. love + peace, ryan's momma and daddy.

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