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In Loving Memory of Our Ryan

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« URGENT PRAYERS | Main | Triumph of the Cross »

August 26, 2009


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Paula in MN

Oh Mary Ellen, you are all in my daily thoughts and prayers. This is a beautiful, sweet and loving tribute to a wonderful young man.


Beautiful. We miss Ryan so very much.

Jennifer Mackintosh

Thinking of you and your family, Mary Ellen...and praying!


Beautiful, Mary Ellen. Thank you for sharing your precious Ryan with us.


Beautfiful, Mary Ellen. You gave that boy a very happy, a very blessed childhood. Such a joyful life full of wonderful memories.

Continuing to keep you and your family in our prayers.

Cheryl M.

Beautiful child! Mary Ellen, you and your family are in my daily prayers - Hugs for you :)

Suzanne Temple

This is so beautiful, Mary Ellen. We're praying here for your broken heart and the for the whole family.


Thank you for sharing this with us. It was beautiful. We continue to pray for you and your family. Much love,


Beautiful, truly beautiful! Thank you for sharing this with us. Your family is in our daily prayers.

Susanna Boland

Thank you Mary Ellen for sharing Ryan with us. Your neice did a fabulous job with the video and I cried through the whole thing. I had no idea I could ever feel so much sorrow from the loss of someone I never even met, but for reasons that make this feel so close to home, I've thought about you and your family often since I first heard the news.
Your articles on special needs and your experiences have been such an encouragement to me in my homeschooling journey with my son, Peter,...I simply could not ever thank you enough for all you've shared.
We'll be praying and thinking about you and Ryan for a long time to come.


This is such a blessing that you are sharing your Ryan with us.
You remain in my constant thoughts and prayers.


Dear Mary Ellen,
Praying and thinking of you.
I still cry when I think about your loss. So I can't even imagine your own pain and loss still.
God Bless


simply beautiful...
thank you for sharing your son with all of us. Our Lady has Ryan in her loving arms until you embrace again.
God bless you!


Mary Ellen, this was incredibly moving and beautiful. Thank you. You and your family have been constantly in our thoughts and are ever in our prayers.



We are so very sorry for the loss of your adorable son. We will pray for your family.
God Bless,

Kristen Laurence

So, so beautiful, Mary Ellen. Thank you for taking the time to share this. I ache for your tremendous loss. You are all in our daily prayers.

Jennifer Brewer

What a beautiful tribute!! I am so sorry for your loss, Mary Ellen. You and yours are in my thoughts at this difficult time.


What a lovely tribute to Ryan . . . a glimmer into Ryan's brief but blessed life. Thank you for sharing . . . your whole family remains in our prayers. God Bless you all . . .

Natalie Parker

I am so so sorry for your family's loss of such a beautiful child. Ryan's life was so obviously filled with great joy, love and happiness. I am new to the blogging world and homeschooling, and realize that I've never truly met you, but I cannot express the sadness and heartbreak I feel for your loss. I will keep you and yours in my thoughts and prayers constantly, and pray that God will bring you peace.

Lisa Mladinich

This is beautiful, Mary Ellen. It is apparent that Ryan had a rich and joyful life, wrapped in the love of his family. Thank you for sharing this. We're praying for you all.

Tammy Pieri

This is so beautiful. What a wonderful life he had. I am crying as I write this.
You will be in my prayers.


Please know that you and your family are in our thoughts and prayers. Ryan is safely in God's home watching over all of us - what a comfort that is to me.


We are praying for your family every day Mary Ellen! May God bless you and comfort you always.


It is so apparent that he was given a wonderful childhood and that not only was he a gift to his family, but his family was a gift to him. You are all in my prayers.


Sending love and prayers your way!!!

Love2learn Mom

Wow, that is beautiful! Thank you so much for sharing it with us! Ongoing prayers for all of you!


Thank you for sharing this peek into Ryan's life. Beautiful!


Mary Ellen,

I have never met you, I have read your site various times and I have been following you on Faith and Family as a mom fan... but I am so touched by your son's video. I know your beautiful son is watching over you at this very moment. Guiding you, and always loving you.

You will be in my prayers for guidance and great comfort from God. I pray that the Our Beloved Blessed Mother guides you in your pain and suffering. What a beautiful life your son.

May Peace be with you always. God bless! Jackie

Pam AuClair

I am so sorry for you loss and you and your family are in my prayers. This was just beautiful, thank you for sharing it.

Stephanie Principe

I am crying again as I watch these beautiful photos of your wonderful Ryan. My only daughter, Christina, is special needs and I can relate to so many things in your posts about Ryan.
Christina remembers him although I believe she only met him once at Alice's home during the "As you Like It" preformance. She remembers him as "Playing the guitar very good! I wish I could play like him!" Ryan and all your family are in our prayers.
Stephanie Principe

Mary Cespedes

Thank you MaryEllen for sharing this video. I actually keep a picture of Ryan in our Homeschooling Room. I am sure he is interceding for all of us. He is so beautiful.
Mary Cespedes


I cannot begin to fathom this kind of loss. I have been crying and praying for you ever since I heard about the loss of your son. May God somehow... somehow... give you the grace and strength you need, and may He flood you with comfort. I will pray for you daily.


Mary Ellen,

Even though I am just now getting to know you and your family, I just can't stop thinking about your post from a while back when you write about Ryan loving to play "Priest" and carry out Mass. I feel this is probably because he was and still is such an instrument of God. This was just another way that Ryan let God be shown through his life.

My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family for the peace and comfort that goes beyond understanding.


Denise P.

I cried during the whole video, even though I only know Ryan through your articles and blogs. God bless you all. I am so, so sorry for your loss of this gorgeous boy with the glorious smile. He's sure to be lighting up the choirs in heaven.

May our blessed Mother be with you in consolation, and our Lord grant you His peace. We will be praying for all of you.

Mary Pat

Mary Ellen, Dave and the Barrett family:

I, too have only "met" your family through your columns in TLIC. When I read in Newsday about Ryan's passing, I could not even begin to imagine how much pain and sorrow that you are experiencing. But I know that because of your very strong faith and belief in Jesus, there is some measure of comfort, and the knowledge that you will be reunited with Ryan someday.

When I think about your dear Ryan, I think of the 2 young autistic men in my life. My nephew Matthew just turned 21 this year. His mother, my sister in law Regina, passed away 11 years ago. The other autistic young man in my life is Tim, a 20 year old, who lost his mom Cecilia to a brain tumor 3 years ago. Tim, much like your beloved Ryan, is very much 'into' music. He sings in our choir, and plays several instruments, including the guitar.

I have asked Regina and Cecilia in my prayers, to look after Ryan as they did their own sons.

The Barrett family will be in my prayers constantly..Your niece's tribute was truly beautiful (as an aside, I loved his 1st communion picture with Father Ed Seagriff. Father Ed was one of my favorite priests when he was at St. Brigid's, as was his successor at OLPH, Fr. Jim Stachz)

In Jesus' love

Mary Pat

Feisty Irish Wench

Continued prayers for peace to return to your lives going up for your family and friends. We'll be here awaiting your writing when you're ready to resume it.

Margaret in Minnesota

Oh Mary Ellen, the tears were streaming down my face as I watched this with all of my children gathered around me. They didn't know Ryan but they do now, and their hearts are filled with wonder and sadness that he should have gone ahead of your family so early.

I'm struggling with the right words...as always...so forgive me if I don't choose them. He is a beautiful boy and my heart aches for you and David. Throughout this video, my kids kept saying how much Ryan resembles *my* oldest son, John Michael. In some of those photos, he really does. This made me think about how hard this past week has been for me, with my son going off to school for the first time and being gone from 8:00 to 5:30 every day. (He has cross country after school.)

All that to say, I understand in a very, VERY small way the ache of missing one's son. Each day, each moment, is all the more precious because we know that this isn't it for us. Eternity is.

Love to you & yours, my friend. May Ryan intercede for us today & always.


I started crying before I hit 'play'.

I had to stop watching 4 minutes in. It was just too unbearably, poignantly beautiful. I'll come back again later and see the rest of it.
He truly is a beautiful child, made for heaven.

So many people have cried with you and for you.
If only our tears could make it better.

These past couple of weeks my heart has been mournful and you have all been constantly in my thoughts and prayers.
This verse from Ecclesiastes keeps returning to my mind:

" A good name is better than fine perfume,
and the day of death better than the day of birth.

It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of every man;
the living should take this to heart.

Sorrow is better than laughter,
because a sad face is good for the heart.

The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning,
but the heart of fools is in the house of pleasure."

May God be very, very close to you all as you learn to live with this unfathomable loss.

Hallie Lord

Thank you so much for sharing this. It touched my heart.

You are in my thoughts and prayers. I am so, so sorry for your loss.


Dearest Mary Ellen,
Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family at this very difficult time. Thank you for sharing the video of Ryan. He is so precious. He truly lived life to the fullest, surrounded by the love of family and friends. Your friends at SpecialKidsMoms are thinking of you and hoping you will be back with us soon. Life has no sorrow that heaven cannot heal. May Our Lady of Sorrows be with you.


Thank you for sharing something so personal and beautiful with us all. May God bless you and uphold you. You have been and will continue to be in our prayers.


To Ryan's Beautiful Family~

Yes, surely, this was "a life well lived". These pictures are a great testimony of the tremendous love Ryan had in his life. We are sharing in your heartbreak and in your rejoicing that Ryan is safe in the arms of his Creator. Though you go on in heartbreak, take comfort in knowing that Ryan is in pure happiness and Perpetual Light. God Bless his precious soul, and God bless your family. You are in our prayers.

The Sikora Family
White Oak, PA


Mary Ellen, My heart and prayers go out to you and your family. I am a mother of a 19yr old son who has special needs. I can't begin to imagine....
~Marie Wynn


"I could sing of Your love forever" -- exactly what he is doing in heaven right now!

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