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. 


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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. TaliaBecca Soriano says…
    05/24/2014

    I have never met you or your family but my heart aches every day since finding out about your son's passing. I pray for you and your husband every day. <3

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. Mahsa says…
    05/25/2014

    What a beautiful little boy and what great parents. I don't know you but I've been thinking of you often and hope that over time you will heal from this as much as you can. I'm sure that beautiful Ryan will always watch over his mommy and daddy. Lots of love.

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Career Girl says…
    05/26/2014

    this is beautiful. I never met any of you, but I now think of you every day and I pray for your son and your family. I too have a wild 3 year old boy full of life. The first time I saw a picture of your son - before realizing what had happened - i thought that my son would be so happy to get a chance to play with your Ryan. In every picture I see of him, I see love, happiness, and pure joy. It breaks my heart that you won't get to know the joys of raising him into adulthood, but it is clear to anyone who takes the time to read your blog or look through your photos that you gave Ryan a wonderful life. I am a perfect stranger from Canada, but your story has had a profound impact on me. I will remember your son forever.

    Reply 0 Replies
  4. Nancy Wyatt says…
    05/27/2014

    Sending my love and prayers. I know that one day you will all be together again. Hugs from Conroe, Texas

    Reply 0 Replies
  5. Maria Otero says…
    05/27/2014

    Your pictures are beautiful and Ryan was very much loved. I cried reading this blog as I myself have a 4 year old boy.. sending lots of love and prayers for you and your family... Bug hugs -Maria ...Miami, FL

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Caroline says…
    05/28/2014

    Thanks for sharing. My nephew passed a month before Ryan - he was 2.5 and although it was a different circumstance (brain cancer - 15 day battle) it doesn't take away the pain. You are right, we will never no why - why won't bring Ryan or Kai back, but we can continue to reflect on these wonderful memories we have and put our hope in Jesus - He is grieving with us, but because of Him, He will turn our mourning into joy. www.in-due-time.com

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. K Jo says…
    05/28/2014

    We think it's beautiful the way you two are moving ahead with your lives. But, what we don't see on here is anyone actually, literally thinking of Ryan's side of what was an avoidable tragedy. I know, having raised children of my own, horrific accidents can befall any of us. I have discussed this with so many of my friend's who have small children and they all agree - this did not have to happen.It still baffles us all that any adult would ever think of playing with a mere three-year-old in an 'unfenced front yard', 'very close to a street'. Their little legs are so lightening fast and those of us who have raised children know that even 'we' cannot be fast enough to catch them when they decide to move so quickly.We don't know who decided that this beautiful baby boy would be able to rationalize a situation where a toy flew into the street and whether or not to run after it; they were not using their adult mind in allowing him to play and run so close to a street.Those adults need to take some of the accountability. This was not 'God's Will'.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. TheKnest says…
    05/30/2014

    That's an awful thing to post here.I will never forget Ryan Cruz, the adorable red-head 3 1/2 year old boy. May God Bless your family as you continue to Live Loud and Live Wild for your son.

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Kristi DeHaan says…
    06/02/2014

    I hate to say it, but there have been times my husband and I have asked the same question. Why was he so close to the street? Why were they playing in an unfenced front yard? We all make mistakes and misjudge, and it is so unfortunate that this had to happen in a moment of clouded decisions. On the other hand, what parent is perfect? What parents thinks "oh my child can't play with their cousin because something bad might happen." We don't. I've spent every day since I've come across this story praying and every time I read a blog post by this amazing mama, I break down in to streams of tears at the thoughts of "that's exactly how I would feel. That's exactly what I would think." Although my husband and I have had the same thoughts, that doesn't take away from the pain and sorrow we feel for this family. We are allowed our thoughts.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. Lizzy says…
    06/05/2014

    Is it really necessary for you to say this? Do you think these parents have not asked themselves that already?

    Reply 0 Replies
  11. Anastasia says…
    06/14/2014

    Im so sorry for your loss...

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Love and Blessings says…
    06/17/2014

    My sincere prayers and condolences for the loss of your son. It seems as if I can see his light and soul shining through from your pictures. I can't imagine the pain you must feel. I pray for you and your family's continued strenght. I pray that the lord raps you up in his comfort, love, and grace. I don't understand why such terrible things happen in this world, but I do beleive that God brings the survivers through all tragedies. I pray that you are able to continue to live your life with your husband and have as many happy moments as possible while continuing to greive and remeber your son. Amen.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Morgan S. says…
    06/21/2014

    This absolutely breaks my heart...my son (middle child) is turning 4 in August...so he and Ryan were the same age. The way you describe your son's personality and actions reminds me so much of my own son...and I don't know what I would do if ever faced with a tragedy like this. My heart breaks for you and your family...but it is amazing how strong you are being and that you continue to put your faith in God and His plan. We never understand it...and it often can hurt us...but the faith that it is for some greater good that none of us can begin to fathom is what gets us through things like this. God bless you and I pray for your strength, comfort and healing.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Pauline Flaux says…
    06/23/2014

    You are so brave ... my son is born 5th september 2012 .... on his next birthday we will put something red here in france in memory of your really handsome wee man....

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Kirenia Pollina says…
    06/30/2014

    Yours is the only blog I read. I'm a mom to one little boy, and I can certainly empathize, to an extent, of course. I want to thank you for being so encouraging, even in the darkest of days. I love the way God is working in you, and the way you continue to sift through the pain and pour love into so many lives. Thank you for shining a light in this world. I continue to pray for your family daily. Sending many warm hugs your way.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. lena says…
    07/06/2014

    Jacqui, you are a wonderful mama to a beautiful and precious boy! You are an inspiration to me to love my littles to the fullest, actually to love everyone around to the fullest. I hope you geta a chance to love and be a mama to many more... Be strong!

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. quixotic says…
    07/11/2014

    Dear Jacqui,May God bless you and keep you, May His face always shines upon you.Your family will be in my prayers. I am so sorry for your lost.I am also inspired and strengthen by your faith in God. And your love for your son and husband.

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. What now!! says…
    07/24/2014

    Went across your blog and let me tell you:You and your husband teach life. In order to have happiness during devastation is incredible.Ryan touched our lives all the way here in Cairo Egypt. You taught me to be grateful for my life so I want to thank you and we will keep Ryan in our prayers forever and always.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. jasmine nile says…
    08/13/2014

    thanksشركة عزل أسطح برأس تنورة- شركة تنظيف فلل بالجبيل شركة تنظيف برأس تنورة شركة تنظيف بيارات بالقطيف شركة تنظيف بالهفوف شركة نقل أثاث برأس تنورة شركة تسليك مجاري بالخبرشركة مكافحة حشرات ورش مبيدات بسيهات رش مبيدات المدينةشركة تنظيف فلل بالمدينة المنورةشركة عزل اسطح بالظهران شركة رش مبيدات بالدمامشركة تنظيف منازل بالدمامشركات نقل الاثاث بالدمامHereشركة تنظيف بيارات برأس التنورة نقل أثاث الدمام

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. jasmine nile says…
    08/13/2014

    رش مبيدات المدينةشركة تنظيف فلل بالمدينة المنورةشركة عزل اسطح بالظهران شركة رش مبيدات بالدمامشركة تنظيف منازل بالدمامشركات نقل الاثاث بالدمامHereشركة تنظيف بيارات برأس التنورة نقل أثاث الدمامشركات نقل الاثاث بالدماممكافحة حشرات الدمامHereHereHere

    Reply 0 Replies
  21. jasmine nile says…
    08/13/2014

    شركة تنظيف خزانات بالدمام شركة تنظيف بيارات بالدمامHereرش مبيدات المدينةشركة تنظيف فلل بالمدينة المنورةنقل عفش بالمدينة المنورةشركة تنظيف خزانات بالمدينة المنورةشركة كشف تسربات المياهمكافحة حشرات بالمدينة المنورةشركة نقل اثاث بالمدينة المنورةشركات تنظيف بالمدينة المنورةشركة رش مبيدات بالمدينة المنورة

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  22. jasmine nile says…
    08/13/2014

    شركة نقل اثاث بالدمامشركة عزل اسطح بالدمامشركة تنظيف شقق بالدمامشركة تنظيف منازل بالدمامHereHereHereشركة تسليك مجاري بالدمامشركة تنظيف بالدمامشركة مكافحة حشرات بالدمامشركة كشف تسربات المياه بالدمامشركة تنظيف خزانات بالدمام شركة تنظيف بيارات بالدمام

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  23. Mandy says…
    08/25/2014

    You're little sweet pea is still leaving hints and signs through everyday things and occurrences. While reading your blog just now my mom turned on a previously aired (but new to me) episode of So You Think You Can Dance, which I was listening to in the background while reading. Right as I started to read the beautiful eulogy you wrote/spoke at Ryan's service the dance started to the song "99 Red Balloons." Then right as I was finishing the eulogy I looked up at the TV to see a pile of red balloons falling from above and down onto the stage. I felt a little gasp then thought...even to a complete stranger Ryan is still making sure his presence is known. ???

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  24. Edward OZ says…
    12/17/2014

    Just saw your story on Ellen. I wish you nothing but love and peace in the new year. You have a friend in me! Follow me on Twitter @edwardoz

    Reply 0 Replies
  25. Michelle Richardson says…
    12/17/2014

    I do not know you , I have only just seen you on Ellen , but my heart hurts for you , I know your pain as I also have lost my beautiful son , you are an inspiration, and I hope you have a blessed Chrtistmas, and keep the faith that is all that gets me through at times .

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