A Celebration of Life - Bruce Ritberger
Anyone who knew Bruce and I knew we shared something truly special. He was my wingman and greatest supporter. We were best friends, passionate co-creators, business partners, soul mates, and husband and wife. We were as he would say, "The whole ball of wax." We played together, worked together, lived 24 hours a day with each other for over 36 years, and we laughed and cried together. We were quite a pair.
We shared a mission together and that mission wasn't to change the world. It was to create the sacred space for people to discover who they truly are, and to remember they are more than the limitations of their humanness. Our mission was to help people learn how to connect with their soul, and to support them in their journey of doing so. That mission will continue even though he is in light.
Bruce was an incredible human being. He was kind, loving, and deeply caring. He was always there to listen. He was dedicated to family, friends, and to the people he loved. His consideration and respect for others was always evident. Bruce was known for his hugs, and whenever we had classes rather than people lining up to talk to me they would line up to get their Bruce hug. That always made us laugh when we would do our review of the day and how we felt the class went. I remember one of our students saying, "When Bruce hugs you it's as if an angel is wrapping their wings around you and all you feel is unconditional love."
Bruce had a phenomenal talent at being able to use words to tell a story through his gift of writing poetry. And, his yearly Christmas letters were enough to cause your belly to hurt from laughing so hard at how he would use his wit to turn what could have been an "Oh no, not another Christmas letter" into an "I can't wait to get the Ritberger's Christmas letter." He loved to write and he loved to see the world, nature, and people through the lens of a camera.
I remember at one of our Evening of Readings events, which went over an hour and a half because of the line of people waiting to ask me a question someone asked Bruce what he did for a living. His reply was he was a Waiter. The person looked perplexed, so he went on to say, "I'm always waiting for Carol." It made everyone in line laugh. On the way home that night he said, "I love to make people laugh. It brightens how they feel about themselves." That was Bruce. He was a great joke teller, and loved finding ways to make people laugh.
Another gem of wisdom he would share when he got the chance was to tell people to remember that relationships are the most important gifts in life. He would say, "A good relationship heals, and even a bad relationship teaches you what you need to change in order to heal."
He was a man of few words because he believed that actions spoke louder than words. He lived that philosophy in all of his interactions. When he spent time with someone he would make them feel like they were the most important person in the room. He would listen with a compassionate heart, and would offer tidbits of wisdom drawing from his own experiences. He was always aware he certainly didn't have all of the answers, but what he did know was that what he shared might help someone see things differently. And, you know what? It did.
I miss him dearly and those who knew him miss him too, but our lives are richer because we got to spend time with him. Our lives are brighter because we got to experience the loving light of his heart. His life touched a lot of people. I'm blessed to have been one of them.