Grief & Loss, Healing, Quotes & Excerpts, Reminiscing, Thea's Thoughts

Halloween 2012

Happy Halloween
Happy Halloween

Holidays are difficult without Steve. It’s a reminder that we’re celebrating these important days without him. Last year, we spend Halloween at the East Coast. It’s one of our favorite holidays, especially for my brother in law. It also gives us an excuse to be silly & wear costumes. Steve is not a costume-y kind of guy. The most costume that he would wear would be a devil’s horn that I bought for him years ago for the West Hollywood Halloween Parade but he loved bringing along the little munchkin for trick or treating. This time I decorated a little bit outside our home. I think I was  making a concerted effort to compensate for Steve’s absence.

Happy Halloween
Happy Halloween
Halloween 2011
Halloween 2011

This year, we had full day celebrating Halloween. The nursery had a little Halloween party with the kiddos  wearing costume during the day.  I left early from work so  I can bring the little one trick or treating at the mall since they stop giving treats at 7pm. Then I brought him to the Los Angeles Live Steamers to ride the Halloween Train. Before the night ends, we drove all the way to a family friend’s Halloween Party to meet up with my cousins and celebrate the rest of the Halloween night there. The little munchkin was wearing his dinosaur costume, playing around with my cousins roaring and eating los of candies and chocolates. He definitely had a sugar overload that day.

Halloween 2011
Halloween 2011
Halloween 2011
Halloween 2011

The next day when he woke up, instead of asking eggs for breakfast, he was asking for a lollipop. That made me smile.

Halloween 2011
Halloween 2011
Halloween 2011
Halloween 2011
Grief & Loss, Healing, Quotes & Excerpts, The Aftermath, Thea's Thoughts

Are you a Grief Victim or a Grief Survivor?

Being a victim is a state of mind dictated by others.

A survivor dictates his or her own state of mind.


A victim fears the moments of grief.

A survivor welcomes those moments!


A victim knows about feeling down and tries to stay up.

A survivor knows feeling down is okay.


Steve's pumpkin tree
Steve’s pumpkin tree


A victim tries hard to hide the tears.

A survivor never leaves home without kleenex.


A victim struggles to maintain a state of normalcy.

A survivor knows normal no longer exists.


A victim gets caught in isolation.

A survivor reaches out when they need to.


A victim is afraid they in time will forget.

A survivor knows they never will!


A victim sometimes feels guilty laughing.

A survivor laughs through their tears.


A victim tries at times to block out the memories.

A survivor embraces memories of all kinds.


A victim wants someone to cure his or her grief.

A survivor just wants someone to share his or her journey.


A victim struggles to get over their grief.

A survivor fights to get through it.


A victim tries to get on with their life.

A survivor lives their life knowing nothing will ever be the same.


A victim says, “Oh I’m okay”…then secretly cries.

A survivor openly cries… and says, “I’m okay.”


~Author Unknown


I came across this piece from the support group that I attend to whenever I can. I hope that somehow this will help someone who is also suffering from a loss.

Forensics, Grief & Loss, Healing, Recovery, The Aftermath, Thea's Thoughts

Dr. Neal Haskell, Forensic Entomologist

It took me a while to find Dr. Neal Haskell.  During my research if there’s a science that exist to determine the decedent’s time of death during an advanced stage of decomposition, I stumbled on the Caylee Anthony’s story.   He was one of the Forensic Entomologists who had determined Caylee Anthony’s approximate time of death. If you watch Investigation Discovery, you’ll learn that Forensic entomology is an application and study of insect and other arthropod biology to criminal matters.

Dr. Neal Haskell
Dr. Neal Haskell

The LA County Department of Coroner hired a Forensic Anthropologist to help with Steve’s manner of death but she told me that after two days, it’ll be hard to determine the decedent’s time of death. The reason why I sought out Dr. Neal Haskell was because I believe Continue reading “Dr. Neal Haskell, Forensic Entomologist”

Thea's Thoughts

78 Days

Kelly Snyder, Claudia Shmitz, Sharon Reinhardt, Dan Baldwin, Claudia Shmitz, Sharon Reinhardt, Dan Baldwin, Rick and Gloria Snider, Bob and Terri Davies were part of the Find Me and the Arizona Search Track and Rescue (AZ-STAR) group that volunteered from Arizona.

Find Me & AZ-STAR
Find Me & AZ-STAR

The AZ-STAR dogs that helped in our search for Steve or even clues were YuHu, a Siberian Husky; Stryker, a Belgian Tervuren; and Spenser , a Black Labrador. My little munchkin was able to meet them but he’s a little scared of big dogs. They’re lovely dogs, though.


I kept in touch with Kelly and he told me that they’re home safe but just finished doing a search for an Continue reading “78 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

72 Days

Find Me and Arizona Search Track and Rescue (AZ-STAR) arrived last Friday to help our family in our search for Steve earlier today. They had a briefing early morning between 5-6AM and head out to 9 search areas. I think the search lasted until 7PM.

Let's Search For Stephen Ryan Ivens
Let’s Search For Stephen Ryan Ivens

Even though I was the one who contacted Kelly Snyder (Find Me’s head) to seek assistance, they coordinate more with the Burbank Police Department, Continue reading “72 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

71 Days

Those Steve’s Missing Person flyers are working. When we had the Let’s Bring Steve Home Prayer Vigil last week, there was a sighting of Steve around Santa Monica. And this happened because the reporting party received Steve’s Missing Person flyer from my uncle Jim who did his own personal search around that city last month.


There’s a chance that this could really be Steve but there’s also a chance that it just looks like him. But this is Continue reading “71 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

70 Days

Mass Media.

Why am I still reaching out to the press?

I was talking to one of the sergeants at the Burbank Police Department a month ago about the leads that the Volunteers had gathered. He asked me, why is it that the person who might have seen Steve did not call the BPD or even the FBI. I simply told him, “He didn’t know that Steve is a Missing Person.”

There is no awareness.

Steve in Virgina
Steve in Virginia

A lot of people that I know who doesn’t even entertain conspiracy theories are wondering why is that there is no interest from the media at the Continue reading “70 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

69 Days

Find Me and AZ-STAR,  a unique team of search volunteers who are coming from Arizona,  almost couldn’t make it this weekend because the hotel they’re trying to arrange for accommodations changed  their rate. I’m really glad that Detective Gordon from the Burbank Police Department helped out these groups to negotiate a better rate in a different hotel which is the Holiday Inn.



I had an interesting discussion with a family friend last night. She told me that when she deals with her own problems, she prioritizes the things that she needs to do depending on the role which is the most important for her – as a wife, as a mother, as a daughter, as a sister, as an employee, etc. She advices me that I should Continue reading “69 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

62 Days

The Prayer Vigil.

There are things that we did during the prayer vigil to make it special for Steve: we had a prayer box where all the guest can write their own personal prayer for Steve; the lighting of a candle to guide his path going back home safely to us; we played the song, “Rose”; and a mass release of monarch butterflies which we also did during our wedding reception 8 years ago. These are 62 butterflies to mark each day that Steve has been missing. This means a promise of a new beginning  or a new chapter in our life together when he comes back home to me & our little munchkin.

I hope and pray that you'll come back home soon, babe.
Stephen Ryan Ivens, a loving husband & father. I declare that he’ll come back to us safely, soon.

Continue reading “62 Days”

Thea's Thoughts

60 Days

We believe in the power of prayers.

My family and friends are gathering together at McCambridge Park- green gazebo in front of the playground to hold a prayer vigil for the safe return of my husband, Steve who has been missing for almost 2 months . July 11 will be the 2nd month (62 days) mark of the time he’d been missing.

Flying Together
Flying Together
I’m inviting the Burbank community, parish communities, everyone of religion and denomination to join us. You’re welcome to invite your family and friends, too.

If you’re out of State or in another country, we’ll appreciate if you hold a prayer with a group or with your own family at 7PM, Pacific Standard Time with the intention of bringing back home Steve safely to our family and friends.Thank you.


There’s an 8AM mass at St. Francis Xavier Church with the special intention for the safe return of my husband, Steve. You’re welcome to join me and my family in that mass if you’re available.

St. Francis Xavier Church location:

3801 Scott Road Burbank, CA 91504