Richard

Richard Mudd. His death on May 28, 2009 inspired this site.

by Joe Mudd on June 10, 2009

Here’s a quick tip for you.

If you miss a call on your phone, and don’t recognize the number, and when you call back they answer, “Fayette County Coroner” – your day is about to go in the toilet.

Mine did.

It got worse.

After apologizing for breaking the news to me over the phone, the coroner lady told me they had the sheriff stopping by our house to inform us of are sons death, but no one was home. My wife Debbie was at a class in Louisville that night. I didn’t want her coming home to have a deputy sheriff waiting for her in the driveway. I knew I had to be the one to tell her that her baby was dead. So I called her.

No wonder I hate phones.

Our son Richard was 22 years old, would have been 23 at the end of August had he lived.

Three years before his death, Richard got sick. The whole story is long, but the short version is he had a sinuous infection that broke through his skull in the area over his eyes. It then abscessed into his brain.

This required two brain surgeries to remove successfully. His doctors decided to not return the part of his skull that formed his forehead because of possible infection. He had to have another operation after all the infection was cleared to replace this bone with a plastic replacement plate.

The operations left him with scare tissue in his brain, just as a cut leaves scar tissue on the skin.

This scar tissue was a place that could trigger seizures.

He had seizures on two occasions. The first time he wasn’t on medication. It’s believed he was being lax taking the medication on the second time.

Both seizures were massive. They caused his entire body to convulse. They came nonstop. They were medical emergencies and he ended up staying in the hospital for several days after each.  A couple of days in intensive care after the second seizure.

But he was taking medication – Kepra – and things were going well. He had been more than a year and a half seizure free.

Richard was a full time student. He had a part-time job. He lived in an apartment by himself. This of course made us pretty nervous. We knew that if he had a seizure in his apartment alone, the outcome would be disaster.

Richard was very close to his cousin Hannah. They grew up together and went through all of our family big events together. Hannah was graduating from college. Richard should have been too, but he lost a couple of years school work during all his medical adventures. He told Hannah he had brain surgery so she could have a graduation party all to herself.  We were having a family gathering to celebrate her accomplishment on a Saturday afternoon. My wife Debbie talked to Richard on Friday night and he said he couldn’t make it to the party because he had to work. But he might come home on Sunday.

I sent him a text message on Saturday night to see if he was coming home. He didn’t answer. That wasn’t too unusual – I didn’t know what hours he was working. He didn’t make it home that weekend. I sent him a message early in the week to see how he was. I got no answer. That made me anxious. But there had been another time he didn’t respond to calls or text messages. I got concerned then. It turned out his phone had quit. He was using cheap Walmart phones and they didn’t last. So I tried to stay calm.

On Thursday evening I sent him another text message from work to see how he was. No answer. More nerves. Then about 10pm I got a call over my radio at work to come to a phone. I looked at my cell phone and saw I’d missed a call. I didn’t recognize the number. But it was from Lexington where Richard lived. I thought maybe his phone was dead again and he was calling from work or a friends place to touch base. I called the number.

And the nightmare that never ends began.

{ 34 comments… read them below or add one }

Claudia August 2, 2013 at 11:57 pm

Hi Dave,
I am sorry for your loss, know that you are not alone in this journey,most of us lost our children and it is the hardest thing that a parent has to endure.I cry everyday and I am trying my best to cope. I am so grateful that I found this site, where you can pour your heart out and vent.We as parents grieve because it is not the order of things, we should be the one to go first and not our kids.I hope someday we all can find peace and comfort knowing that we will all be reunited with our loved ones.
Stay strong,
Claudia

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Claudia August 3, 2013 at 12:18 am

Hi Habib and Lisa,
Thank you for your concern, as I said I am no longer afraid of dying but knowing my daughter , she would like me to live my life to the fullest like she did.You are right Habib, there are still people who are counting on me and it would be selfish of me if I don’t take care of myself.I still cry every night and I am now on medication, which is only a temporary relief to help me sleep and not freak out. May God bless us all.
Warm regards,
Claudia

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Lisa September 16, 2013 at 5:23 pm

hi guys
its been a long time since I have been on the site, but right now I’m too broken hearted, some how as it is approaching my daughters first anniversary, it is as if I’m reliving it all over again. But some how this time I’m angry, yes angry at myself- why couldn’t I have done more. Right now I’m suspended in time, because I can’t come to terms that she is really gone. I’m confused and very unhappy right now. It seem as when I take one step forward, I then go a couple of steps backward. Right now I’m exhausted.

Hoping Claudia, Habib especially are doing better than I am. God bless you all.

warm regards
Lisa

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Joy September 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm

Lisa, I’m right there with you. The 13th was 1 year since my son died. At 10 months I really fell apart and now again at this 1 year mark. I also feel like I take 1 step forward but about 10 steps back.

I’ve come to think grief is like suffering from temporary insanity. I do feel insane a lot of the time. I know the reason why so I’m hoping, I guess, that it will turn out to be a temporary situation. Time will tell.

I’m so sorry for your loss and pain Lisa. Just know that you’re not alone. I will be praying for comfort for you.

Love,
Joy

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Claudia September 17, 2013 at 1:38 am

Hi Lisa,
I feel your pain and anger . It’s going to be 6 months and the police have not found who killed our Alexis. I am afraid that it will just one of those cold case file and we are never going to find justice for her.I am trying to do the best I can . I still cry most night and in the morning too. It’ feels like you are in a roller coaster ,one minute you’re up , next thing you’re down and you can’t even get off.I am emotionally drained and I feel that I am on auto pilot to do things and be with my family.There are no words I can say to ease your pain , but know that you are not alone.
Hugs and God Bless
Claudia

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Lisa September 17, 2013 at 1:15 pm

Thanks very much. It is good to know that at least I can bare my soul to you and not be judged.
luv you all.

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lola September 27, 2013 at 3:14 am

Omg im so sorry. You son look like a cutie. We found my sister Alice like that. She had died from carbon dioxide leak in the house. Cats dead. Dog dead. Fish dead. She died while bathing…..life

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Lisa September 30, 2013 at 4:39 pm

Hi all
You know I’m just understanding why i pine after my daughter soo much; the other children I have now and can see, touch and speak to, but Tash, I will never be able to do these things with anymore and it really hurts. Sometimes I do not know what to do with myself. It is as if my world is falling apart and I can’t stop it; things I used to enjoy doing I do them no more; places I used to go I go there no more either. Tash my daughter is never far from my thoughts.
As I sit here thinking about my daughter and all the other parents too who have lost their children; I just want to leave these few words with you and hope that they will bring a little smile, even if its a ghost of a smile to your faces.
Our children that we love remain with us, for love itself lives on. Cherished memories never fade because our child/children is gone. Our children that we love is never more than a thought away. For as long as there is memory, they will live in our hearts.
God bless you all.

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Sherry October 13, 2013 at 8:35 pm

Lisa,

I lost my son Richard (ironically the same name), just 15 days ago on Sep 28, 2013. He was 18 years old, enrolled in a Community College Scholar Program, working two jobs. He was a kind, compassionate young man, many teachers said he was “gifted” as he absorbed information at lightning speed. He had plenty of friends, and, up until the weeks leading to his death, seemed very sself-adjusted. I found out later that Richard had been dabbling in some drugs, namely Xanax and had started using cocaine recently. Of course, I didn’t know any of this prior to his death. I knew he smoked pot at times and we fought many years over that, but it seemed as if he simmered down and I no longer found it hidden in his room. I noticed he started hanging out more and more with some friends that I wasn’t very keen on, but he was 18, and who was I to tell him at this point who his friends could be? I was suspicious, but I looked at the fact that he was responsible and seemed to be a thriving young man. Sat., Sep 28, that all changed. I woke that morning, knowing that Richard had come home very late, not until 4 am. I know this because I was up several times texting him as to when he was coming home. Our last conversation was at 10:30 Fri. night, when he assured me he would be home no later than 1, as he was going to hang out with some friends that were home from college for the weekend. I texted him at 2:30, and he promptly responded with a “I’ll be home in 15-20 minutes” At 3:30, he was not home, so I texted again. He promptly responded ” I am leaving now”. When I looked in the driveway at 4 am, his car was there, so I had no reason to worry. I got up that morning around 7:30, and noticed he was snoring heavily. I thought this was odd, as he wasn’t one to snore, but he had allergies and, having come home so late, I thought he was in a deep sleep with a stuffy nose. I wish to God I would have gone and tried to wake him then, but I did not. Right before I left that morning to go grocery shopping, areound 8:45, I hesitated about waking him for work. I knew he got up around 8:50 for his lawncare job, but I knew in the past he didn’t like me waking him as he always said he was old enough to get himself up. I decided to just go to the store. When I returned at 10 am, I saw his car still in the driveway and immediately knew something terrible was wrong. Richard never missed work. I raced to his room, tried to wake him, but it was too late. I woke his older brother who was sleeping in the neighboring bedroom and said we have to call 911. I immediately began CPR, and continued to do so until the medics arrived. They worked on my baby for about 20 minutes, keeping my other son and me downstairs. Finally, they said they were taking Richard to the hospital and for me to follow. I was there a short time when they took me to a “private” room. The Dr. came in, and all I asked is whether Richard was still with us. He looked at me and said no. I collapsed, and the rest of that day is like a foggy, horrible dream. The calls that had to be made, the tears, family driving in from everywhere to have some last moments with Richard before they whisked him to the morgue. My beautiful, smiling baby was gone. It has been a heart-wrenching journey and truly a feat to make it through each day. I once heard someone say that, when you lose a child, there isn’t enough liquor in the world that can fill the hole. Although I am not much of a drinker, I agree with the analogy. I am still a new grieving mother, but hope that, through time, life gets easier and there is a semblence of normalcy somewhere. I am grateful to my warm, loving family, my son Phillip, all my friends, and just strangers that care. I know the autopsy report will follow in a few weeks, as well as the results of the legal investigation. Part of me will be glad to know when this is all done, but part of me is afraid to know the truth.

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natasha parmar October 14, 2013 at 11:47 am

Hi Sherry,

I am so terribly sad for your loss. It is devastating that your son, so young and so full of potential, made a choice that had such a horrific result. I know, unfortunately, because my 16 year old son died the same way 8 months ago.
We found Jaymon in his bed after returning home from a friend’s house on a Saturday night. The toxicology report showed that he had unintentionally ingested a lethal dose of methadone. I had no idea that he would have done something so stupid and it makes me sick to my stomach to think that he never got a second chance. It’s not right.
I hope you find the strength to allow yourself some minutes of freedom from the pain of losing your son.
Natasha

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Sherry October 14, 2013 at 12:12 pm

Natasha,

I am so terribly sad and sorry for your loss. I can somewhat feel your sorrow, as I am sure you can feel mine. I am still struggling with how this all unfolded and how Richard, so young and full of potential, could have ended up in this situation. It sickens me, as I am sure it does you. I have to ask you, do you feel any better at all now that it is 8 months? Can you rest any easier or do you still keep questioning why this happened to Jaymon? I feel I will never be happy again, that I can’t forgive myself for what happened to Richard. All the logic in the world doesn’t explain to me how I could have prevented this and should have. Thank you so much for caring….

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mandy November 14, 2016 at 10:03 pm

Sherry,
I am so sorry for your loss. My story is very similar to yours. Our son died Nov 5th, the worst day of our lives. We still do not have to final autopsy back yet. I am angry, sad and overwhelmed. Ryan, our son who passed, was our life. Our other two sons, are pretty independent. Ryan, was recently diagnosed with epilepsy,so everyday was more Ryan. He was our life, full of life, our house is so empty. I dont want life to go on, but I have 2 others sons, and it has to. My life is ruined, always having a hole in my heart. Did your son every come to you? How did you make it? I no longer believe in GOD or no what I believe

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natasha October 14, 2013 at 1:03 pm

Sherry,
I constantly think about what would have happened if we never went out that night. If we were home would we have checked on Jaymon and noticed something was wrong and had a chance to save him? The truth is that we too would have probably thought that he was sleeping and left him alone. We would have never thought that this would happen. Not to us. It must be terribly difficult for you but you need to free your mind from the guilt..you couldn’t have known.
Time does not make things easier…just a little less cloudy. I too feel that I will never know happiness again and I have an overwhelming envy for those who can live their lives without the burden that weighs on me everyday. The grayness that covers your world fades the colors of everything else. Losing your child is as life altering as having a child.
All that I can say to you is that in this early time don’t feel the need to be strong. Let those around you give you the strength that it will take to get through this. Later, when everyone goes back to their normal lives, is when you will need it. I wish I could help you somehow as I feel connected through these tragedies. Take care of yourself.

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Lisa October 23, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Hi Sherry and Natasha
I am truly sorry for your losses. As I was explaining to my cousin, I feel locked at some stages of my grieving process. It seems as if I can’t go on. Life sucks and I am NOT looking forward to the Christmas Holidays. I too question myself how could I have not seen it coming. Why me, but then I wouldn’t want any parent(s) to go through this pain. I hope that one day we will all feel a little better and can really look back on our children and smile, not weep. God bless you all.

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Malou November 1, 2013 at 7:47 pm

Hello to all of u, my son Timmy was shot July 27,2013 he was 19 yrs old n has a 2yr old son, my co worker just gave me this website “grieving parent” we all will never be the same, i miss him so much!!! He was on the wrong path before, but since his son was born, he was trying to turn his life around but then! Im trying to be strong for my 18 yr old daughter, its hard at times, im a single mother, so i have to show up for work even though i feel so tired, i feel so drained most of the time, im just glad that im not alone in this. The thing that gives me the comfort is that i know my Timmy is at peace now, n my faith in God is stronger than ever! God bless u guys…

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Sherry November 1, 2013 at 10:06 pm

Malou,

I am so sorry to hear about your son, Timmy. How very sad to lose a son so young and one with a child also. It is very hard to be strong, but you have to take care of yourself and just take each day hour by hour. I don’t ever tell people I had a good day or an okay day, I say, “well, the morning was okay, but the afternoon was very hard for me and I spent most of it crying, then by evening I felt better.” It’s just too much to try to look at getting through an entire day. I am a single mother too and have another son who is 21, so I realize how difficult that is. Their dad has been in their lives (we divorced 17 years ago), and is grieving too, but it’s still not the same as having someone in the same house, seeing your pain day to day. It does give you a small source of comfort knowing you are not alone with this immense pain. There are many of us out here, so yes, it’s good you found this website. It has helped me, as has the support group “Compassionate Friends>” You should look into a chapter near you. In the meantime, God Bless and know that many, many of us share your pain. You are not alone.

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Malou November 2, 2013 at 3:47 pm

OMG i cant believe somebody answered me, wow!! Thank u Sherry, n im so sorry for losing ur son Richard, its very hard at times, but im so glad to found this website, i wish my daughter will have somebody to talk also, ill check the compassionate friends too, n thanks again, n Gods blessing to u n ur other son…

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Lisa November 2, 2013 at 6:54 pm

hi Malou
yes this site is the best, whenever im feeling in the dumps like now I log on and bare my soul to other parents who will not chastise me for my feelings. It will be one year in December that I lost my daughter, and yes everyday seems like just yesterday, umph. like Sherry said you never have a perfect day, one minutes everything seems ok and then your world just crumble. You know it is so strange there are parents who are killing their children and then there are us who would give anything to have our children with us. It seems so unfair. As I am writing this I am crying. Does any of you get very protective with our other child/children. life seems soooo unfair. This site has helped me so greatly and thanks to all the parents on this site, we are each others keepers I guess. luv to all

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Sherry November 30, 2013 at 10:44 am

I was just wondering how other parents held up during the Thanksgiving Holiday. I was okay that day, but the day after hit me very hard. It was my first without Richard, and I really felt it yesterday. I miss him so very much, I feel as if my heart will just burst from the pain. Anyway, just wondered how everyone is doing…

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Maarten November 30, 2013 at 3:45 pm

I was kind of ok until they started taking pictures with my mil. She is not doing very good and they wanted family pictures. I lost it when all her grandkids had to sit with her for pics, which should have included both our sons, not just one. Missing him very much! Specially this time of year as he loved Christmas time. This was the second Thanksgiving and will be the second Christmas without him.

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Donna Westog November 30, 2013 at 4:07 pm

This was my 4th Thanksgiving without my son, and I still hate the holidays. We have no family nearby, and though we are invited to friends’ homes, it is very difficult as I hate seeing happy families when I am missing my son so badly. So, for Thanksgiving my husband and I went to Detroit to watch the Packer/Lion game. I’m dreading Christmas for the same reasons, it is heartbreaking to be around so many happy people when I know how much Jake loved holidays and the get togethers, like Maarten said, both sons should be included, not just one.

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Roger Reynolds December 1, 2013 at 4:15 pm

Among other things, I write for therapy. I had a few rough days this week. This was the result:

https://www.facebook.com/notes/roger-reynolds/therapeutic-post-read-at-your-own-peril/10152127850788313

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Lisa December 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

Hi everyone
I too like most of the other parents dread the holidays. I thought I was being weird when I do not want to be around happy families, when I was missing my daughter soo much. December 4, will make it one sad and very lonely year. And yes, I’m still not dealing with it any better than when it just happened.

Like Maarten and Donna my daughter should be in the family pictures.

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john March 13, 2014 at 3:31 pm
john March 13, 2014 at 3:33 pm
Lisa March 13, 2014 at 5:54 pm

Hi John
Its sad to know that any parent has to face this road, but it is good that you have found this site. There will be hard days ahead, sometimes you don’t want to go on. There will be many tears and heart break and soul searching. It is now one year since I lost my daughter and it still seems like just yesterday. I still fall to pieces and the whole works, but thanks to this site I can come and bare my grief without being judged. I will pray for you and your wife for the strength that you will need as I also seek strength to go from day to day. Hang in there.

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john March 14, 2014 at 1:44 am

Thank you Lisa. God bless.

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Arun veluri June 23, 2015 at 5:32 am

All,

I never expected this day with out my daughter as she is just 2 yrs old, And we are planning to celebrate her second birthday in mexico but unfortunate my daughter my soul left me and my happiest family on Dec 18th 2014. I was broken and everyday is very hard day for me and my wife . We are totally broken its very hard for us to even move forward with out my daughter.

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Dianna Anderson October 4, 2016 at 2:40 am

I lost my son August 6, 2016, not yet two months. I have so many questions and I’m so happy I found this site Thank you all for sharing. May God bless us all!

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john October 4, 2016 at 9:28 am

So sorry Dianna. Praying for you and your family.

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HABIB BAQIR October 9, 2016 at 3:45 am

Sorry Dianna for your loss, my experience since I lost my son four years ago on Dec 29 2012 I am still crying . Crying helps to relieve stress and anxiety but the grieving and pain never goes away. So grieve as much as you want. My advise ,also take care of yourself because you have loved ones to live for. I wish I can say more but we do not have any control and we unlucky have to go thru this process. The process of grieving as time passes comes and goes. Sometimes you are ok and sometimes the emotions gets so hard you can’t breath. No one will understand your grieving but those of us who have lost a child understand. Slowly try to accept what is on your hand and move on.
Regards
Having.

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Lisa October 4, 2016 at 12:19 pm

Hi Dianna
I know what you’re going through. It will be four years in December since I lost my daughter and it seem as if it was yesterday. Just hearing a song and something pops up and I fall to pieces. They say time will heal the pain, but I seem to be suspended in time, as if I can’t move on. Take it one day at a time . It may be a long journey and at times you will seem to be on a roller coaster ride. I will be praying for you. Sometimes I wonder why those of us who have lost our children were chosen to bear such unbearable pain. smh.

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Christy May 3, 2017 at 1:17 am

Hello, everyone…I really don’t know where to begin but with I am truly sorry for each and everyones loss, and here in my little world I have felt all alone and that no one truly understands all the feelings and emotions that I am having but now I know I’m not alone in my suffering and for that I am sorry…I will give you a brief glimpse into my story I had 2 beautiful children Emily was my eldest and her brother Daniel was 14 months younger..so they were very close in age but also was each others best friend. In 2009 Daniel was 18 and was suddenly took from me due to a blood clot in his lung or a PE as they call it..no warning no nothing…talking to me one minute gone the next. Fast forward to June 2016 Emily has been on Kidney dialysis for 8 months..I go into her bedroom @ 8:30 to remind her to take her last med of the night and she is gone peacefully in her sleep…which I’m thankful for because God let her have a peaceful passing but this hurt and void and total despair I have felt since 2009..I just go thru the motions of living..there is no enjoyment for me right now…I hope and pray for Gods love to help you thru you painful times

Christy

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Lisa May 3, 2017 at 9:36 am

Hi Christy
I know your pain. I am going through just motions. The 14, May will be my daughters birthday, and I dread the day. All I can think of and ask myself “is she really gone and why did she have to go”. I can’s even begin to think how you are managing with losing both your children. They say time heals all pain, yes it might dull it, but I don’t think as parents, especially mothers we will ever heal. I can tell you there will be days when you think you have everything under control and then “wham” you fall to pieces and you relive the moment.

We all pray for each other and reach out to each other it does help a little. I have found over the past that posting on this site help somewhat because here no one judges you. I will keep you in my prayer.

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