Good Grieving

Forever Bonded: The Tale of Rick & Ronnie

Being a Funeral Celebrant is an incredible honour and privilege.  It has granted me the opportunity to walk alongside families during their most difficult days, offering support and compassion as they say goodbye to their loved ones.  Through this profession, I have encountered numerous remarkable individuals and families who have taught me profound lessons.   For this reason, I would like to share the story of two cousins who shared a unique and inspiring friendship, reminding us of the beauty and depth of human connections.

In life, some connections transcend the boundaries of mere blood relations, leaving an indelible mark on our hearts.  Such was the extraordinary bond between two cousins, Rick and Ronnie, whose lives were intertwined in a profound and mysterious way.  This blog tells the poignant story of their unbreakable friendship, their shared daily ritual, and the remarkable circumstances that brought them together, even in death.

Born in different countries, Rick in Edmonton, AB, in the year 1951 and Ronnie in Chicago, Illinois in 1948, their paths were destined to cross.  As cousins, they shared a deep familial connection, but their bond went beyond blood.  Their souls recognized each other, forging a friendship akin to that of brothers, despite the geographical distance that initially separated them.

In 1980, Ronnie made a life-altering decision to move to Edmonton, AB.  Motivated by a desire to be closer to his extended family, he left behind his American roots and embraced a new chapter in Canada.  This relocation would prove to be pivotal, as it not only solidified his connection with his Canadian family, but Rick in particular which allowed their bond to flourish.

Rick and Ronnie found solace in their daily phone calls, a sacred time they set aside between 6:00-6:30 pm everyday and everyone knew not to call during that time – it was their sacred time.   During these cherished moments, they shared their joys, their sorrows, and everything in between.  Their conversations served as a lifeline, weaving an unbreakable thread of love and understanding that transcended time and space.

On March 28th, 2023, Rick passed away from a myriad of ailments.  The loss of his closest confidant and brother-like companion was an immense blow, leaving a void in Ronnie that could never be filled.

In the wake of Rick’s passing, Ronnie found himself trying to fill that void of the 6:00 pm daily phone call as it abruptly ceased, leaving him to solve the world’s problems on his own.  Yet, even in his grief, Ronnie drew strength from the memories they had shared, finding solace in the knowledge that their bond would endure.

Forty days after Rick’s passing, Ronnie was found unresponsive. On June 6th, 2023, Ronnie too, crossed the veil and joined his beloved cousin in the realm beyond.  Their families were left reeling from the overwhelming grief of losing both cousins within such a short span of time.  However, there was solace in knowing that Rick and Ronnie’s spirits would forever remain united.

In death, as in life, Rick and Ronnie’s connection persisted.  They were buried side by side with their mothers, in a poignant tribute to their unbreakable bond. The plots, arranged in harmony, symbolized the eternal togetherness of these kindred souls. The physical separation they had experienced in life was finally bridged in death.

As the family navigated the process of bidding farewell to Rick and Ronnie, in jest, they contemplated a unique and heartfelt idea to honour the cousins’ unbreakable bond.  In their quest to preserve the connection that had defined Rick and Ronnie’s lives, the family considered placing a phone line between their grave markers.  Myself, I thought was a brilliant idea.  The notion of a phone line connecting the cousins in eternity carried profound symbolism.  It represented the unending conversation between their spirits, ensuring that their bond would endure beyond the veil.  It was a testament to the love, trust, and unwavering support they had shared throughout their lives.

The story of Rick and Ronnie is evidence to the profound power of friendship and family ties.  Their daily phone calls, their shared experiences, and the inexplicable connection they shared transcended borders and brought them closer together.  Though their time together on Earth was cut short, Rick and Ronnie will forever remain intertwined, their spirits united, a poignant reminder that love knows no boundaries, not even those of life and death.

To be continued . . .

Love and Light,