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. 


- - - 



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. 


- - -



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. 



Related Posts

Sign in or sign up to comment.

207 comments

  1. Abbie Watts says…
    05/20/2014

    Jacqui and Dan, I am sending my love all the way from Australia.Hearing about what happened to Ryan shocked and saddened me so much. I don't know you or your husband personally but from what I've read about you/read in your blogs you both were the most devoted and loving parents to Ryan.Ryan will never be gone, he will live forever in both yours and Dans' heart - and noone can ever take him from there.Abbie XXX

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. maria hasbarger says…
    05/20/2014

    Thanks to this great man of spirit called Dr Samura which I don't know how to thank him for the good work he has Don for me and family which I want to share my testimony with to you all so I was married to Hassan Moel and my name is Julie deshields for six years now he left me with two kids with know reason which I don't know what to do so one day i was in my friends place when I exposed my pain to her about my depression which I have be looking for who to help me out of it then my friend called me closer to her self telling me on how she got this great man of spirit who helped her found her way to get her husband back then I ask of his contact she quickly go and get her computer and gave me his Email ID and his number so,that is how I contacted him for a help. And now am so happy with my family and with a happy home if you are in such pain kindly Via Email [email protected] or call +2348103508204 have faith in him and he will help youVia web site {http://samuratellerspell.webs.com/}Julie Deshields.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Country Maison (Eva Martin) says…
    05/20/2014

    You were chosen by Ryan to be his parents for a reason. . . when I got pregnant I heard one cannot really chose to get pregnant until a baby chooses you as his/her parents. And so you were the CHOSEN by Ryan and that is so special. You are the parents to such a special child. . .grab on to that. The memories and the chance to have him in your life for 3.5 years, the joy with which he filled your life is a gift and nobody can ever take that away from you. I have a 3 yr old too. He was born on January, 2nd 2011, and a 6 year old girl. Your story, your pictures have impacted my life to an extend you cannot imagine. I have cried with you, I have prayed for you and I would like to know that one day you feel better... Thousands of children around the world are being hugged and loved thinking of Ryan around the world, so a little bit of Ryan love has been spread all over the world now. . . Thank you for sharing your story. xxxEva from Madrid (Spain)

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Esidore Way says…
    05/20/2014

    he is such an amazing kid. i can't stop thinking about him. "live loud, live wild" - i live my life according to these words, everyday. kisses from poland. stay strong!

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Patty says…
    05/20/2014

    Thinking of your family from Kansas City, Missouri. I cannot imagine.

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. -T says…
    05/20/2014

    Everyday I think of you and Dan and Ryan. Everyday I remind my husband how precious this time is and how little we have of it. Everyday, I wonder how is it possible that two people can be so strong and so brave. Everyday, I tell myself to slow down and remember to live. xo

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Ashley Gillespie says…
    05/20/2014

    Lifting you up in prayer and thinking of you and your adorable son daily. Sending love from Georgia!

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Tara Doll says…
    05/20/2014

    I have had you and your family in my thoughts and all of my prayers since I heard of this unspeakable tragedy. Being a mother of two young boys I cant even imagine what you must be going through. Just know that all of us that have been touched by your story will be praying for you. That we all stand behind you and will be more than willing to give you any support you may need in this hard time. My heart is broken for you and your husband. You both are forever in our hearts. Sending you all of the love in the world!

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Sirena says…
    05/20/2014

    I am so sorry about this horrible thing that has happened to you guys. I will pray for you and hope that someday your pain is bearable and that God gives you somehow the strength to make it through until that time. Your little boy was truly so beautiful and I think it was wonderful of you to share your beautiful eulogy with people, some of whom might be going through losses of their own, others who join you in celebrating the blessing that was, and is, your little boy. Good luck to you guys.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. The Every Day Extraordinary says…
    05/20/2014

    He is one cool kid who is inspiring so many to live loud and live wild. Lifting you guys up...and praying you through the pain.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. bp says…
    05/20/2014

    What a lovely boy, what a strong family... I admire you so much. Sending you love from Milan, Italy.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Amber Hoban says…
    05/20/2014

    This is beautiful. Thank you for sharing. You, Dan and Ryan have been on my mind and heart for days. I am continuing to pray for peace and strength for you and your family. Ryan was so incredibly beautiful and so are you. God bless your heart.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Lori Lynn Hirsch Stokoe says…
    05/20/2014

    Thinking of you and your precious family, adding love and prayers to this virtual mountain of support from San Pedro, CA.LL

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Kaysha Comfort says…
    05/20/2014

    Your story first touched my heart when a friend of mine from Oregon posted the go fund me site for your family. She had said that your husband and her boyfriend were childhood friends. I felt an immediate tug on my heart to dig a little deeper. I felt bonded to you instantly and I still can't figure out why. I shared your go fund me site on my blog page and my facebook and it is one of the biggest responses I have ever gotten - people really want to help and support you and your beautiful family any way possible. I have faced my own tragedy a brother killed in Iraq at 20, my mom passes 3 years ago at 57 years old from breast cancer, and my 21 year old baby brother was killed in a fatal car accident just shy of a month after our mom. It hurts so much and never makes sense and no matter what anyone has gone through - they don't feel the pain like you do. I cannot imagine losing a child and I think about how my dad must feel all the time. Your family is beautiful and no doubt Ryan is shining down on you every single day. Your whole family is inspiring and touching people's lives...look at all the work your Ryan is still doing. Someone once told me it doesn't get better when you lose someone, but it gets different. It will get different for you, but never stop talking to Ryan, feeling him around you, and smiling at the memories you have. I love that you say you're still a family of three, because yes, indeed you are. Sending lots of love, good vibes, and healing energy to you and your loved ones! That Comfort Girl

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. SOORAYA PARIAG says…
    05/20/2014

    thank you so much for sharing this ...i will keep you and your family in my prayers ...Ryan looks a little like my 2 year old and ever since i read your story , i certainly have appreciated my time spent with my daughter more than ever. He was absolutely beautiful and will always be remembered. keep doing the things you love doing and keep his memory alive ...stay strong and remember you will see him again...Revelation 21:3,4 ..God promised of the resurrection hope where you will be reunited with your Ryan ...until then keep strong and remember we are all here for you

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Damaris @Kitchen Corners says…
    05/20/2014

    Such a beautiful eulogy to a beautiful son.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Selena Sweeney says…
    05/20/2014

    Like so many of us hear who have commented your family are continually in my thoughts and prayers. No one will ever forget your son or the lasting impact he has had. Your eulogy was beautiful! My family is also no stranger to loss, my Aunt lost 2 babies one at 6 months and 1 at 3 months, my cousin at 20 was stabbed in the chest on Mother's Day and I lost my brother when I was three. His birthday is May 8th and we always talk about him and remember his spirit on that day. Since we lost my cousin on Mother's Day the weekend before we get together and remember his spirit and celebrate his mother. I pray that your family finds a way to cope with this loss and that they get together every year to remember what a wonderful child Ryan is and that his spirit will always be remember with such joy and that his happiness through your blog and social media touch other people. My cousin who was a mother of 4 and who passed in December from Breast Cancer is watching over your son and my loved ones who passed. Just know you have people who support you and pray for you. My prayers are with you and your family. I am so sorry for your loss.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Lori Anderson says…
    05/20/2014

    thinking of all of you in Austin, Texas. thank you for sharing your beautiful words about your beautiful boy.

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

    Beautiful. Prayers and love to you and your husband.

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. For the Love of Makeup says…
    05/20/2014

    That was beautiful and strong. I will always keep you in my prayers, and remember your little boy who touched the world, that is pretty amazing. Thank you for sharing your story, your son was blessed to have you as parents and you two to have him as a son. May God Bless you in your future journey.

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Andrea K says…
    05/20/2014

    you are amazing and so brave. SO brave.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Molly C says…
    05/20/2014

    Your family is in everyone's thoughts & prayers. So happy to hear Ryan had such a beautiful memorial, I'm sure he loved it. Praying you'll have strength & growing courage during this time. Xxx

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Erikita F says…
    05/20/2014

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. Erikita F says…
    05/20/2014

    Jacqui and Dan thank you for sharing your beautiful son with us. A friend of mine in the San Fernando Valley shared what happened to Ryan and being a Godmother to two beautiful kids (they are also my niece and nephew) I was so heartbroken. Not a day has passed since I haven't thought of you guys and praying that God is comforting you two and your entire family. I will definitely Live Loud and Live Wild like your Ryan and encourage everyone I know to do so. Keeping you all in my heart and thoughts. Love from NYC, Erika

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Cynthia Toro says…
    05/20/2014

    Thank you so much for sharing with us. You guys have been on my mind since I found out about your sweet little angel. I have prayed countless time for you and Dan and will continue to do so - lots of love from NYC - Cyn.

    Reply 0 Replies

Sign in or sign up to comment.