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. Priceless Memories by Maisa says…
    05/21/2014

    AMAZING! ♥ XOXO RYAN CRUZ!

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Cathi says…
    05/21/2014

    What a beautiful tribute to your son - you are an amazing family. Sending my love to you both! xxoo

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Lisa says…
    05/21/2014

    <3

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Jenn Lara says…
    05/21/2014

    That was beautiful. You and your husband are absolutely amazing. I think we are all forever touched by your beautiful family. This little 3 year old has taught us all so much and we will forever cherish him.

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. hannah singer says…
    05/21/2014

    beautiful, jacqui. XO

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. michelle magdaleno says…
    05/22/2014

    god has a beautiful red hair angel in paradise!! he will always be in my mind!! hope one day i can meet him in paradise!! but now he is our little wild angel!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Vanessa Recalde says…
    05/22/2014

    I wish I could give you a hug and tell you how amazing you and your husband are. I would follow with a high five, smile and be able to walk away knowing that I was able to meet such an inspirational family. You ARE an inspiration and your little rock star will forever be in my heart. I will always check in and see how you're doing and continuously pray for your healing. Though hundreds and hundreds of miles away, I feel you in my heart. I am a mom and I have a son. I will love him stronger, laugh a little longer and live each moment more consciously because of your inspiration and strength. Your images capture so much love. You should be very proud. Your beautiful son and your story have touched so many. Your story has touched me in such a way words can't describe. Thank you for sharing your moments and I truly hope the little we say or do can give you and your husband strength and faith in all you do moving forward. May God always be with you along side your big boy. Love always! #teammom

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Nathalie H says…
    05/22/2014
    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Welcome To My Crazy Little World says…
    05/22/2014

    <3

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Molly says…
    05/22/2014

    I am thinking about you & praying for you and your family. I am also telling all I know about Ryan Cruz. What a sweet face & what an angel. You're remarkable.

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Sarah says…
    05/22/2014

    What amazing words for an amazing little boy. May he live on and every time I see a red balloon I will think of your son and how much he was loved, was crazy and wild and how much he loved his family.

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. KC says…
    05/22/2014

    Dear Dan and Jacqui, I am holding you in my heart and prayers. I will remember your beautiful boy always. It is abundantly clear how much Ryan was loved. He knew that you loved him!

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Pieces of Us says…
    05/22/2014

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxo

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Meg Clifford says…
    05/22/2014

    I am weeping for you. And so proud that you were able to read this at his service. I couldn't get through it and I'm not his amazing mama. You are one strong woman. And as awful as this will be for your family probably forever, you are already so inspiring to so many people. I have a son so much like yours. He's wild and crazy and fun. Every day since I learned of you I have tried to be a better mom and to hold on tight. My heart absolutely aches thinking about what you must be going through. Sweet Ryan will be with you always. And you are incredible.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. shopgirlfive says…
    05/22/2014

    I am also weeping and weeping as i read this your story has touched my heart. You will always be in my prayers. May God give you the strength to keep going with a huge smile Love you

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Brooke Stegenga says…
    05/22/2014

    My birthday is September 5th- sweet Ryan will be on my mind each birthday - he will not be forgotten- prayers for your family

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. ayden rivera says…
    05/22/2014

    Jacqui this is beautiful and I thank you a bunch for sharing it with us, you will forever be in my prayers, Ryan had the best mother ever and he knew it. You will forever be a family of 3 your gorgeous red headed son will forever be with you. My heart aches for you Dan, your family and of course for Ryan.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. Jennifer Liffmann says…
    05/22/2014

    My baby girl was born on September 1, 2013. You can bet we will be celebrating Ryan also- September is a beautiful month. Beautiful words from you to your son. I know he is with you. Take time with your grief. Visit those places eventually, and you will realize that he is never far from you. Much love.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. Julia Vanegas says…
    05/22/2014

    My Dear Friend Jacqui, Thank You for what you have written to share with us today is beyond beautiful. Although I don't know you and Dan personally I consider you a friend...My heart aches with pain ever since I found out what happen to Little Ryan, tears are streaming down my face as I write this to you. I can't even begin to imagine what you and Dan must be feeling, I am so sorry for your loss.... I have gone through all your pictures on this website,on your Instagram and Dan's Instagram, I have seen every little video that you posted of Little Ryan on YouTube and all I can say is that he was loved by everyone, he truly was a Wonderful little ginger, Full of Life living an amazing adventure. For some reason I find myself going back to those pictures and I can't help but begin crying and my heart aching all over again. I am a mother of two wonderful little girls as well and I feel your pain! You truly are an amazing wonderful human being, a wonderful mother who was devoted to her little boy, You will forever and always be a Family of three, You and your family will forever be in prayers....May God give you and Dan the strength to carry on. Little Ry will never be forgotten he will be in our hearts forever. Those we have held in our arms for a little while, we hold in our hearts forever! "Red Balloons for Ryan Forever"

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Maria Murua says…
    05/23/2014

    Wow. This is so beautiful. God bless you and your hubby. My twins birthday is the same as your baby boys. September 5. I will always remember Ryan.?

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. Izzy79 says…
    05/23/2014

    What a beautiful eulogy. You are such a brave woman. And you will always be a mother. A mother to a sweet, lovely boy.

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Alejandra Santiago says…
    05/23/2014

    Wow what a beautiful eulogy. I have a 3 year old daughter and reading this brought tears to my eyes. Your a very strong person and may God continue to bless you and your family of 3. I will always remember Ryan even if I didn't know him he had a big impact in my life!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Tania Stow says…
    05/23/2014

    Such a beautiful eulogy,God bless you and your husband!We will never forget you're son for he is a very special boy!You are remarkable people!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  24. CarolineE! says…
    05/23/2014

    You are an amazing mom Jacqui. I can only wish to be as great a mom as you. I have a three and half year old son too and looking at all of your memories you've posted makes me strive to be better. More creative and fun like you. You are truly an inspiration. Please know that you are in my prayers always.

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Chiquititagr says…
    05/24/2014

    I came across this post and blog by luck but I felt your pain like it was mine and cried like you were the closest friends! You give a nice lesson to everyone, if Ryan taught you how to live every moment, we can learn from yours and Ryan's spirit how to live better and happier! My prayers and thoughts are with you.

    Reply 0 Replies

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