Monday, April 6, 2015

Families Can Be Together, Forever by Monique Bucheger

A month ago I shared with you the loss of my son, David Alexander Bucheger--our infant son who was stillborn 22 years ago. Today, I share with you the passing of my twenty-year-old son-- Ryan Michael Bucheger. Ryan was in a car accident on the afternoon of March 22, 2015.

He died a few hours later in the presence of myself, seven of his siblings, four of his grandparents, and several of his friends--including two of his "other mothers"-- wonderful women who loved him nearly as much as I did and who are heart broke at his passing. 

My husband flew in the next afternoon. The rest of our children drove through the night to arrive early Monday morning. They didn't make it in time be with Ryan before he passed. However, I did think to put my cell phone next to Ryan's ear so they could talk with him one last time.

Although unconscious, I know Ryan heard. His heartbeat strengthened and sustained him for a few more hours--a lot longer than his doctors told me would be possible. They expected him to pass shortly after I arrived at the Emergency room.

This was to be the first of many tender mercies our family would experience over the next few days.

I have thought often about the atonement of Jesus Christ over the last few months--and its two-fold purpose: 1) to help people repent and be forgiven of their sins so they can return to their father in heaven and 2) more importantly for our family at this moment--the atonement of Jesus Christ brings comfort and peace during difficult times. 

Times when there isn't necessarily fault, but there is much pain and sorrow.  

When we lost David, I gained a strong testimony of the Plan of Salvation as well as the Atonement.

During the last couple of weeks, I have revisited that testimony many times and have come to the same conclusion now that I did 22 years ago: Heavenly Father knows and loves each of His children and wants to ease our burdens and heal our sorrow. I also know He hears and answers prayers.

So many of our friends, strangers, and extended family have offered prayers of comfort and peace in our family's behalf. My husband, children, other family members, and good friends who have felt Ryan's loss deeply have felt much peace and comfort while we come to terms with the loss of our son, brother, grandson, friend, uncle and cousin. 

Without the atonement--I know this experience would be far more excruciating. 

I'm writing this post on Easter Sunday--after spending a wonderful day listening to uplifting messages from our church leaders, gathering as a family to celebrate the resurrection of our Savior, and enjoying the company of friends and family. I miss Ryan and felt the loss of his presence today. I also know--without a doubt--that his loss is a temporary situation. Our family will be together again.

It's that knowledge that brings me peace and gives me strength to do what I need to do daily.

Ryan was a good and faithful son, an amazing friend, a great missionary, and positively influenced the lives of many. For this I am very grateful.

On the Sunday morning that he died, Ryan met me in the hallway at church. He had come to an earlier service to be with a friend. The last thing he said to me after giving me a hug goodbye was: "I love you, Mom. See you later."

I returned the hug and the greeting (and added a "behave yourself" for good measure. :))
Because I know the separation is temporary, I feel good about saying, "See ya later, Ryan," rather than "Good-bye." 

I hope it is many years before I see him again, but I know that when I do see him again, it will be a wonderful reunion and he will be waiting for me with his brothers and sister who passed before him. "See ya, later," may take a while to come to pass, but it will come. Of this, I have no doubt.


  1. Monique, what a beautiful tribute to the truth of eternal families. I hope you and your family continues to heal well.

    1. Thank you, Cheri. I can't imagine how people who believe this life is all there is cope. That would be very sad and hopeless.

  2. Thank you for sharing that, Monique! Our family has been praying diligently for you all, because I gained a testimony in the power of concentrated prayers for comfort when I lost my brother and his wife to a car accident five years ago. The atonement is so amazing, and the healing it brings a miracle. It gladdens my heart to know you have that comfort at this time. :)

    1. Thank you, Suzanne. We really do feel the power of everyone's prayers. I also compartmentalize very well--I am happy for Ryan, even while sad for us. As a mom--I can't imagine a better place for him to be--even though I'd rather he be here with us. :)

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  4. Deeply sorry for your loss. Impressed with the beautiful way you've expressed your testimony.

    1. Thank you , Lisa. I hope it helps others who may be in a similar situation.