Funeral, Thea's Thoughts

Vigil Night

It was a full day and as usual, I had about 101 things to do. There was a little bit of confusion at the Mortuary because I thought anyone from the family could get in but they needed me to be there and I was running late. It was stressful and I haven’t even finished the Eulogy for Steve until I get to the Mortuary.

My Steve, Football Hunk
My Steve, Football Hunk

I didn’t realize that there’s a difference in funeral etiquette between the East Coast & the West Coast. I really had no clue. Here on the West Coast, we greet the guest after the vigil while on East Coast, the family members stand beside the casket to receive guests during the viewing. My aunt told me that here in the West Coast, we usually serve food and apparently in the East Coast, they don’t. My aunt Naomi who is a bereavement minister and her friends from St. Lorenzo Ruiz Parish Church helped me a lot during the service.

There were still a lot of people, family, friends, Steve’s colleagues and my peeps from work. It was really comforting to see that people cared.

I finally finished my Eulogy for Steve:

“If I tell you the most memorable times of my life with Steve, we’ll probably do a 10 year vigil but I only have five minutes. Instead, I would love to tell you what kind of a husband & father he was. My husband was generous, humble, gracious, honest & kind.

Our marriage, like any kind of marriage had some bumpy roads. We had our petty fights, difference in temperaments, difference in preference for movies & even political disagreements. No matter how hard our day was, we always talk before we go to bed. If we had any disagreements, we always kiss and make up.

Steve & I celebrate a monthsery. I insisted on it & he went along with it- gleefully, I think. I always show my love and affection verbally & by giving little gifts. But you know, Steve – he showed it by his actions. He did the dishes, he made our tea, he threw the thrash bags, and he gave me pedicures. I’ll truly miss those idyllic moments.

He embraced fatherhood with such enthusiasm. We were partners in raising Kyle, his little buddy. They had their own rituals. After work, Steve usually brought Kyle at the park while I prepared dinner. Every time at 6pm, once Kyle heard the keys jiggling by the doorway, he’ll be running off greeting him, “Daddy, Daddy!” Kyle never did that for me & sometimes, I envied it. Now, I would have given anything to have those moments back but I can’t.

I have to reflect on what to say to our little boy whenever he asks for his Dad. Honestly, I’m still working on it. There is only a small part of me that had been appeased because we have him back home. In spite of the loss and sorrow that I feel, I’m truly grateful to God for the ten years of knowing him, living with him and loving him.

For better or for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health; to love and to cherish. Until we meet again, my love.”

Funeral, Thea's Thoughts

Rosary Night

It wasn’t a good day. I had an emotional breakdown. With all the list of things to do, I just felt that I wanted to get away from all this “madness.” I felt like a bride who just wanted to elope with her groom. My mom held me for a long time and calmed me down. In all my years growing up, it was the sweetest thing that my mom had ever done for me.

Photo by Vanderlei Longo on Pexels.com
Steve on his Wedding Day
Steve on his Wedding Day

The later part of the day was better. A lot of the people that mattered to me and Steve were there. It’s a great comfort to me that a lot of people had prayed to bring Steve home safely. It wasn’t the answer that we all wanted but some part of me had been appeased. But in spite of the turbulence of emotions that I’m still feeling right now, I’m grateful.

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

Purging.

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.

Confirmation.

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”

Thea's Thoughts

79 Days

Family Time.

I’d never thought there’ll come a time that we’ll be having family dinner get- togethers  without Steve. He has always been there. These days, whenever we have get togethers, we talk about how Steve would have this and that, how Steve would have reacted, what Steve would say. He hasn’t been there physically, but it’s as if he’d never disappeared. He has been present in my family’s  hearts and minds.

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Whenever my family and extended family are around, I feel that I’m in a cocoon, a safe Continue reading “79 Days”