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. Peggy Herman says…
    12/17/2014

    I saw you on The Ellen Show today……your blog is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your heart with the world. Sending love from Ohio.

    Reply 0 Replies
  2. jennywearsglasses says…
    12/17/2014

    I also found your blog by watching the Ellen show today. You're thoughts and blog are so beautiful. Without even ever speaking to you, I love your view on life. Sending you and your family lots of love from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. xoxo

    Reply 0 Replies
  3. Sensual Sierra says…
    12/17/2014

    Sending peace and love to you and your family. From Vancouver, BC Canada

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

    Wow why even post such a question? As a parent who has lost a child I know even though it is god's plan you still ask yourself "what could I have done"? And the answer is beyond our understanding as gods timing is perfect, smh

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

    Shame on you!

    Reply 0 Replies
  6. Chelsea says…
    12/17/2014

    I saw you on Ellen. I am so sorry for your loss and I am sending love your way. Thank you for your bravery of sharing your story. Chelsea in Dana Point, CA

    Reply 0 Replies
  7. Fiona says…
    12/17/2014

    I know it wasn't a coincidence that I saw you on Ellen today. Today would've been my brother's 48th birthday. He died when he was 2 1/2 years old. My Dad had been watching him jump on the trampoline in the backyard and then he had to leave for work. My brother was never able to get off the trampoline by himself, so my Dad assumed he was still back there. Unfortunately, somehow he had gotten off the trampoline and was playing on his trike in the driveway and my Dad backed over him. I am always amazed that my parents marriage survived, but my Mom simply says, "It was an accident. How could I be mad at your Dad?" I wasn't born at the time, but I was always shown pictures and told about my brother. One day not too long ago on my brother's birthday, I asked my Mom if my Dad wanted to drink himself silly on this day every year. My Mom looked at me like I was crazy and said, "Why? We celebrate Donnie's life!" Yes, there are definitely ways that this tragic event has affected our family, but my brother is still remembered fondly and with lots of love ... 45 years later. Even I, who never met him, still love looking at pictures of him and look forward to meeting him someday in Heaven. He's my brother even though I never met him. As I mentioned, today is his birthday and I don't believe in coincidences, so thank you to Ellen for having you on the show and for bringing me to your blog ... and for you and your amazing spirit. Your adorable little guy will never be forgotten and his life will be celebrated always.

    Reply 0 Replies
  8. Carrie Parrett says…
    12/17/2014

    Saw you on Ellen today - I'm so sorry for your pain, I wish I could take some of it away. Ryan is one cool kid - he will never be forgotten. You may never know why this happened but know that God has a plan and that your sweet boy is with him. Love and prayers from Cincinnati

    Reply 0 Replies
  9. Mallory Broach says…
    12/17/2014

    Sending you love, prayers, and even more positive vibes from Virginia. God bless you and your adorable family of three.

    Reply 0 Replies
  10. RP says…
    12/17/2014

    I would be really surprised if you read all of these comments, like tomorrow, next week, next month....8 months........ I didn't catch the whole interview on Ellen, just saw a clip on FB. I had/have a blog also, tho I haven't updated it and shut it down to public comments awhile ago. You are brave to keep an open forum. I won't say I'm sorry, because after the loss of my son I couldn't stand peeps saying that. xoxo to you and your husband and extended family. Just know that you and your husband will not grieve in the same way or at the same times/intervals. It's all good. Be kind and gentle to yourself. Know that you will have outbursts, crazy ass shit flying out of your mouth at times. Again remember to be kind and gentle with yourself, and "remember" your hubby is going thru the same grief cycle. Peeps will expect you to get over "this" sooner rather than later. There is NO getting over a loss of your child, there just isn't. Tho, you can get beyond the loss. Beyond is time.....time, whether months, yrs, so forth. Last, DO NOT BLAME yourselves!! I don't know the entire story, it doesn't matter. Shit happens as it seems. There are so many "ifs" that we as parents can flagellate ourselves for.....DON'T, because there is no end. End all be all, know that you have support. Know that you are not alone. Love your son and keep loving him. Celebrate him, every day and more so on the Holidays.

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  11. Maggie M says…
    12/17/2014

    Your son's pictures make more than just your family smile. Thank you for sharing your story. The love you have for your beautiful boy shines brightly from my computer screen. He will always be with you. (((hugs)))

    Reply 0 Replies
  12. Bella Luna says…
    12/17/2014

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Reply 0 Replies
  13. Bella Luna says…
    12/17/2014

    Seeing your sweet Ryan's pictures made me smile too. Sending love and light your way. Wishing peace and comfort in the new year. Big hug from San Diego, CA.

    Reply 0 Replies
  14. Vivian says…
    12/17/2014

    You and your family are being bathed in such love and light right now, thanks to Ellen's generous spirit. This, in itself, is a blessing since now Ryan knows you are being taken care of in his absence. And as a grandmother, I hope some of this love goes to your mom, too, as I can only imagine her grief losing a grandchild. From seeing you and your family on the show, I can feel you are taking care of one another. Hope you keep writing in your blog as it can be a wonderful tool to help you through this emotionally raw time. You are truly blessed even in your grief. I am in awe of your strength.

    Reply 0 Replies
  15. Darren Smyth says…
    12/18/2014

    Just watched Ellen all the way from the land down under, Australia. Jacquie Saldana....what an inspiration you are! Sending you and your lovely husband massive hugs and love across the oceans.

    Reply 0 Replies
  16. Megan Marino says…
    12/18/2014

    I just saw you on Ellen and had to reach out. You are truly such an inspiration. The amount of positivity you carry is amazing. You and your family seem to be handling this situation in the best way possible. Although I didn't know him personally, Ryan's presence will live on in my life. I'm sending all of you much much love. Stay strong.

    Reply 0 Replies
  17. Brittani LeBlanc says…
    12/18/2014

    I lost my grandmother a year ago today. I miss her terribly and know it can't compare to the loss of your beautiful three year-old. Stay strong. God will take care of you and your husband. Love from Shreveport, LA

    Reply 0 Replies
  18. That Desi Girl says…
    12/19/2014

    This comment has been removed by the author.

    Reply 0 Replies
  19. That Desi Girl says…
    12/19/2014

    I'm so sorry for your loss. I personally don't have any children, but I do have little nieces. It makes my heart sink to even think what you and your family are going through. I saw you on Ellen and its amazing how you're so grateful and positive. Sending you and your family lots of love. xx

    Reply 0 Replies
  20. Elizabeth M says…
    12/19/2014

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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  21. Elizabeth M says…
    12/19/2014

    You, Dan and Ryan are the best family that every will be. Ryan is still there, very close to your hearts <3 -- I would write 'stay strong' but boy are you all so strong!

    Reply 0 Replies
  22. Donna Lisa Licaros says…
    12/20/2014

    Ryan is adorable, no, he is beautiful!!! Both you and Dan are amazing! I just saw you at the Ellen show and felt so much for you. From the Philippines, I send you all my love and the light of Ryan!!!!

    Reply 0 Replies
  23. Clarise Pitzer Putter says…
    12/24/2014

    I just saw you on the ELLEN show too ... Watching you and listening to you made me really feel inspired and grateful for having amazing people in my life too. May this coming year bless you with magical love and warmth I can see you deserve. I can only hope to be a great parent (mom) to my kid one day like you two ARE. Warm Love Clarise - not the only South African I see ...

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  24. Gerardo Bernés Domínguez says…
    12/28/2014

    This comment has been removed by the author.

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  25. Gerardo Bernés Domínguez says…
    12/28/2014

    Im from Campeche, Mėxico, i saw you on Ellen Show on Youtube, i promise you that your son is now on my prayers and i truly belive that he is in a better place. When i lost my mother, i was 25 years (now im 33) and since that day im not afraid of dead because i now that when that happends im going to see my mother again. My heart is sending you all the love to you, your husband and your family.

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