Healing, The Aftermath, Thea's Thoughts

At Work

One of the things that has been helping me to live through “this” is my work. There are days that it’s a struggle to get up in the morning but because I’m working, I have something to look forward to. I have a reason to get myself together aside from my precious little one, regardless of my pain.

The little munchkin having fun at Disneyland.
The little munchkin having fun at Disneyland.

The unexpected kindness from my colleagues at work was overwhelming. They respected my privacy in spite of the very public way our family’s tragedy had been unfolding. And my bosses. I’ll never forget what one of my bosses said to me when I told him that I needed another week to be off to take care of the funeral arrangements:
“Just take care of what you needed to do for yourself and your family. You don’t have to worry about work. Whenever you’re ready, we’re here to welcome you with open arms.” I bawled after that.

It is important to me because my work allows me to contribute however small that is to something beautiful, something that makes people happy. And that’s one the things that gives meaning to my life right now.

Thank you.

The Aftermath, Thea's Thoughts


Last Saturday, the little munchkin & I visited Steve’s grave. It always has been an emotional experience for me going there. Why should he be six feet under when he should be here with us? So many questions running through my head in anguish but I have no answers or rather no one has any answers for me.

Steve & Thea
Steve & Thea

The little one said a little prayer for Steve: “God bless Daddy. Amen.” He is my sunshine in this darkness.

It’s been two months since Steve was found and a month and a half since we had the funeral service. And here I am still, in disbelief. I’m in an emotional rollercoaster of pain, numbness, anger, and emotional rejection of the fact that Steve had passed away. It’s even hard for me to say THAT word. Suicide.

A lot of people don’t know what to say to me. I don’t even know what to say, either. But sometimes silence is fine and a friend who can just be there and really listen helps. You don’t have to say anything because I don’t need to hear about moving on, closure or getting over with. I don’t need a prescription of what I have to be and what I have to do unless you’re a licensed therapist specializing in bereavement. You can share your experiences with me but understand that our experiences are different and we grieve differently. But you can hold my hand and that’s enough for me.

Death. There’s such a finality in this word. As if suddenly, everything stopped. The end. And yet for me, my husband’s death is only the beginning.

Reminiscing, Thea's Thoughts

Our 8th Wedding Anniversary

Steve and I were supposed to celebrate our 8th Wedding Anniversary today. I think I’m beginning to sound like a broken record by saying that I miss him so much. I never knew that the night we were reminiscing about how we first met together, it’ll be the last time that I’ve seen him.

Mt. Charleston Wedding
Mt. Charleston Wedding

He told me how happy he was when we had our civil wedding in Mt. Charleston, Nevada. We also had a church wedding after a year. He swore that he loved both weddings but I knew he preferred this one. I didn’t mind since I knew that he favored intimate gatherings.

I wish I could still see him. I wish I could still touch him, kiss him and hug him. I miss holding hands with him. I miss his gentle smile and laugh. I’d always given him a hard time when he teased me and I missed that so much, that playful side that only few people know. I’d been longing to hear his voice again. I miss seeing him playing with our little munchkin. I miss our talks before going to bed. Or me talking while I catch him almost dozing off and asking him, “are you still awake?”

I miss you so much, baby. Happy Anniversary, my sweet.

Steve and Thea
Steve and Thea
Recovery, Thea's Thoughts

5th Day of Recovery

We had started working on the preparations for the funeral service the day before just in case it was him. I was numb with pain but I have to do the 1001 task that needs to be done.

A Sunflower To You

The FBI SACs met with me at home regarding the updates on benefits which was one of their Continue reading “5th Day of Recovery”

Recovery, Thea's Thoughts

4th Day of Recovery


You know how some families, they just accumulate stuff when they cope with trauma and loss? Our family is different, we purge –  throw things and clean. My house was getting back in order again just like before the depression hits our family.


It was Steve. It is Steve. And yet another roadblock. Date of Death: July 30, 2012. WTF?

Photo by Polina Zimmerman on Pexels.com


Recovery, Thea's Thoughts

3rd Day of Recovery

CLOSURE – A feeling of finality or resolution, especially after a traumatic experience.

and Steve was found
and Steve was found

It is still a foreign word to me. They say this is closure. He has been found. What more do I want? But I have to be honest. I know I’d said I wanted to know and find him in whatever state he was in but in any recovery of the missing, we always want the missing person to be alive. That’s the ultimate truth.

There’s no word yet from the Coroner Detective. After he’s been missing for 80 days, I wanted to see if it was him.

Recovery, Thea's Thoughts

2nd Day of Recovery

My heart was shattered into pieces. My whole being was screaming “NO! It’s not Steve!”

It was the new norm for me: getting ready for work, bringing the little munchkin to Nursery, attending the morning mass at St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church then on my way to work. I received a call from the FBI that there has been a body found and because it was in Burbank, it could be Steve’s. I tried to ignore this and focused on going to work and I was thinking, it could be anybody.

I started to get worried because they picked me up from work to bring me home but they said there Continue reading “2nd Day of Recovery”

Recovery, Thea's Thoughts

1st Day of Recovery

I sent an email to Detective Gordon requesting a police report because I’d been planning to reach out to C.U.E.(Community United Effort) Center for Missing Person in assisting me in my search to find Steve.

Here’s their website: http://www.ncmissingpersons.org/

I was also following up Kelly Snyder’s detailed report regarding their search thinking that there is a possibility for the BPD to follow up on anything Find Me and AZ-STAR reported to BPD.

Stephen Ryan Ivens, A loving husband & father. He'll be back to us safely soon.
Stephen Ryan Ivens, A loving husband & father. He’ll be back to us safely soon.

Steve Possibly Found:

I wasn’t informed on the first day but according to the reports, a body was found that could possibly indicate that it was Steve. What they told me later on was that it was too dark to investigate the body.

Thea's Thoughts

80 Days

Steve is a New England sports fan – Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins. Our home is here in LA but he’s a Bostonian through and through. He would also check out local news in Boston online whenever he gets the chance.

Daddy and Me
Daddy and Me

We used to go and visit his family twice a year and when the little munchkin was born, it went down to once a year because it’s so hard to travel with an infant. So, my mother-in-law would visit us even Continue reading “80 Days”