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In memory of Ryan Rudolph

Created by Family Of Ryan Rudolph

Ryan Rudolph

How can a parent describe how it feels to lose a child?

The best description I've heard is:"Losing a child is like losing a leg-a piece of you is gone forever. You learn to move on and try to find a place for the loss…but no matter where you are or what you're doing, you are always aware of your loss. The emptiness never goes away."

I lost my son, Ryan, to a heroin overdose on October 20, 2007, 25 days short of his 19th birthday. He didn't choose to be an addict, nobody does, but it happens every day.

How can I tell you what it's like to watch someone you love with your whole heart and soul self-destruct; helplessly watch them morph into another person, slip further and further away, and know that a tragic end is a real possibility? From the son with whom I shared a secret handshake, to one who spent the last 68 days of his life in jail?

Incredibly, over a year has passed and all I can think of is how much I miss and love him. Emotional triggers come from out of the blue -- a red Grand Am, a song, a familiar place, and I ask myself, "Why?" I fall asleep thinking that another day has passed and just like yesterday and tomorrow, I won't see him or talk to him, but must continue trying to find a place in my life and heart to make peace with his death.

At Ryan's funeral, I decided that Ryan would not be just another kid who died of a drug overdose; that to deal with his death, I would try to help one person make better choices or help one family deal with the insanity of drug addiction. As a result of that promise I've created a website,

I love and miss him more every day.

Love ya, Bud - Dad

Partners for Hope raise critical funds on behalf Partnership to End Addiction – the nation’s leading organization dedicated to addiction prevention, treatment and recovery. Every dollar raised on behalf of the Partnership* will help ensure free, personalized family support resources, including our national helpline, peer-to-peer parent coaching, customized online tools and community education programs, can reach those who need them most. Please consider donating to this fundraiser and sharing this page.

*Donations made to Partnership to End Addiction are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. All contributions are fully tax-deductible, as no goods or services are provided in consideration in whole, or in part, of any contribution to this nonprofit organization.  EIN: 52-1736502

Guest Book


1. Aliyya
I am so sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing your story and memories of your son with us.
2. Julie
Thank you for sharing your memorial story with us. I'm so sorry for you loss.
3. Howard Burket
I believe in pain but to lose a child is a pain I feel is unexplainable. I know what your saying and feeling, I know only because I also live it everyday. My son Thomas took his own life because he could not stand what he had become. I just wish he would have tried rehab at least once. I wish you peace. Howard Burket (Thomas Burket's Dad)
4. John Kelly Sean's Dad
Your story is one that is told and felt by many of us who have lost someone to this terrible disease. My wife and I lost our Sean to heroin, 3 weeks after your Ryan. He was 18 and been battling this disease, but addiction is a rotten demon that won't let go. My prayers are with you and Ryan. Please feel free to contact me anytime. Peace and God bless.
5. Sadie O Reilly
There are no words. My son Tony died from a heroin overdose 9 years ago at age 22. His life was only beginning, I started a support group for parents and young people suffering from drug and alcohol abuse. I miss Tony every minute of every day. Life is so empty with out him, I pray every day for all the young people that are fighting the battle of addiction.
6. Sharon Ryan
I am more than sorry for your loss. My own son (26) has been suffering from extreme alcoholism since 19. Jail, ambulances, sleeping in allies. Befor that he was a beatiful boy in college with a bright future. MY only child. On more than one occasion a hospital has called me and said "he's unresponsive". I didn't even know what that meant. It meant he' very likely to die. He is out there somewhere now and I can't help him. Everytime I laugh ,I stop because I feel guitly being hap