Barbara Rieger's Comments

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At 2:03pm on February 12, 2018, Tracie Williams said…


I am truly sorry to hear of your losses.  I was unable to reply Friday.  I am glad you have been on this site and are comfortable with it.  I will be sporadic on when I log on here. I am at work/lunch now and have a few minutes just now.  I really appreciate your reaching out to me.  You must be a very strong woman; I know you must grieve everyday yet must find a way to continue life.  Warm regards back to you and hopefully I will be able to get into a habit of visiting this site for strength and support.

At 1:33am on November 4, 2017, Ken Smalwood said…

Thanks Barbara, yes I am still on the PC myself.. you would think I had enough after this week, lol. 

The opiate overdose epidemic is completely out of control and so sad:( David had several physical ailments as well. COPD, Diabetes and Cardio Vascular disease. 

The week before he passed away, he was diagnosed with Diabetes. He was prescribed Suboxone just 3 days prior to his death for chronic back pain. This medication is an Opiate agonist that is prescribed to individuals that are withdrawing from Heroin but can also be prescribed for chronic pain as its not suppose to be addictive like other Opiates are. When I found him the first thing I had thought of was a possible accidental overdose, however, the medical examiner claims it was natural causes, even after we requested a toxicology be performed. I just wanted some sort of closure and understanding. I am fairly certain it was the COPD but if the medication assisted in anyway, I guess I will never know. 

I believe I had read that you had lost your son? I cannot even imagine how devastating that would be and I am so sorry for your loss!  One of my biggest supporters through all of this lost her son 2 years ago on Oct 23rd. He was 24.

Since moving back home in 2010, its been rough to say the least. I lost my mom in 2011, A great friend since the early 90's in 2013, his partner in 2015 and now mine. 

Here is hoping that 2018 will be much better for all of us:) 

Again, I am very sorry for your loss and would love to hear about him:)

You have a good weekend as well!


At 11:47pm on November 3, 2017, Ken Smalwood said…


It's somewhat ironic because we moved in together over Labor Day weekend in 2011. 

I have been working remotely from home now for almost 4 years and because I am a very social person, the isolation has been rough but bearable while David was here. Now.. I am not sure how long I will be able to stay with this job without going back to an office. I actually look forward to the many conference calls I have just to be able to talk to someone:)

I have several friends that want for me to consider moving back to KC for a fresh start. We will see, I know that right now, I am not ready to make any major changes but who knows what the future will bring for me. 

Well, hopefully I have not been too long winded:) It was great hearing from you again and hope that all is well with you. Hope to chat again soon.



At 11:30pm on November 3, 2017, Ken Smalwood said…

Hi Barbara, 

Sorry to take so long replying to your last comment. I work from home for an IT company and have been extremely busy on multiple projects that I am mentally drained most evenings during the week. It sounds like you have been keeping busy with your advisory committee involvement as well. I think that it is great! I wish I had more free time from work to be able to become more involved with outside activities myself. I have always wanted to do some volunteer work at an animal shelter. I am an animal lover and know that it would be a perfect means to fulfill this void now in my life. I am hoping that someday work will slow down to where I can do this. 

Even though work is keeping me very busy, this week has been difficult on my emotions. I think because of Halloween.

My story is somewhat complex but here it goes:)

My partner's name was David and we first met in 1993 through a mutual acquaintance. I didn't realize this at the time but I had met my soul mate. Back then we would see each other out on the weekends and always speak but we had a separate circle of friends so we had never connected. In 1995 I met someone else who was in town for business and we began dating. The following year I had moved away to Kansas City to start a relationship that lasted 14 years. Towards the last several years of that relationship, my partner and I had grown apart and were having difficulties in our relationship. In 2007 during a visit to my family in St. Louis, I had met some friends out one evening and as I was socializing I felt someone looking at me from behind so I looked back and it was David. I could hardly believe it as it had been over 10 years since I had seen him last. We hung out together that night and had a great time socializing with friends. The next morning I left to head home to KC and didn't talk to him again until I moved back to STL in 2010. Again, I happened to run into him one eveing and that was the start of our relationship. My current relationship had ended and even though I still love my former partner and we are very close, I had never felt the same type of love or connection that I did with David. 

Halloween that year in 2010, I had thrown a party and it was really the first event that David and I attended together and from that point on we were together. It was such a great night which is why this Halloween had very good  but painful memories for me.

In 2011 I had lost my mother while David and I were on a trip to Alabama. I was very close with my mom and have always felt sorry that I was not here when she passed. David was here for me then and helped me through that difficult time. 

He was also very close to his mom who passed in 2008. I wish I could have been here for him the way that he was for me at that time as I may have been able to help prevent what followed. David suffered from Bi Polar disorder as well as Major Depression. The death of his mother was the catalyst which started an addiction to alchohol and prescription meds. Because of David's battle with mental health and some traumatic events that happened to him as a child, he tried to cover up these painful emotions he felt after his mother's death with alcohol and medications.  I knew at the time we started dating that he had addictions he was battling. He was very up front with me about his problems. The thing is, when you love someone, your there for them no matter what and I knew a long time prior that I loved him and always had. 

Despite the mental illness, addictions and physical ailments, I would not give anything for the time that we had spent together. We had some rough patches but the good completely out weighed the bad.

David passed away in his sleep on Sept 04 at 46 years old. His body was tired. He passed 10 days before his 47th birthday. We would have been together 7 years on the 1st of October. He passed over Labor Day

At 3:09am on October 28, 2017, Ken Smalwood said…

Thank you Barbara.. I appreciate the kind words and I hope I am replying correctly. I am trying to get use to this site. My sincere condolences to your lost loved ones also:( . I am the clean shaven one in the picture. My story is a long and complicated one that I will hopefully someday be ready to talk about. The grief I have had the last several weeks has been unreal. I am still trying to come to terms with everything. The funeral home just called today that I can come in and pick up the death certificates. Just when I think I am starting to get a little better, something like that happens and brings me right back to where I started:(. I am hoping that I will be able to move forward eventually. I have a good support group of friends and family. I think joining one of the support groups that you mentioned will be good for me also. I appreciate it! Thank you:)

At 11:30am on September 20, 2017, cathy winslow said…

Hi Barbara,Thank You for your words,I really appreciate hearing from you.My Wolf is part shepard,akita,chow...90 pounds.The insurance man just left awhile ago,I think I'll make out OK.I remember we lost our Son's in a similar way,the result of ....evil people!I swear I could hear Danny saying...what were you going to do with all my old clothes & shoes?Throw that shit away......I still kept his last pair,I had put them up.So thats it for now.HUGS,Cathy

At 10:26pm on April 6, 2017, Daphne vaughn (Anthony's Mom ) said…
Barbara thinking of you and your son Joe sending lots of hugs your post such meaningful thingsIenjoy your posts just wanted you to know that you are in my thoughts and prayers this week!!!
At 2:31pm on April 4, 2017, cathy winslow said…

Hi Barbara,Thank you.My name,Catherine....they used to call me royalty at work...ha ha.I love to read everything,secretly,I've always thought about writing a book.I wrote a lot of poetry in my 20's,Danny found them years ago & was impressed.Maybe that is my purpose?I am glad you are an upbeat voice,I need that.Lets keep keeping on.Hugs,Cathy.

At 3:15pm on November 25, 2016, Kathleen Lee said…
Barbara, I changed the picture for the holidays. This was Nick's third Christmas.
He took the selfie on June 2 2015 at 5:19 pm
He passed on June 3 2015 sometime during the night.
He was 35.
At 9:18pm on November 8, 2016, elyse said…
Barbara,Sorry not to get back to you sooner,I wanted to confirm something.If you go onto internet (Google),type in memory of son,highlight images for in memory of son,scroll through pictures.The picture I sent you is on page 2.Click on picture you like and copy to phone.You can type in anything and see images of pictures.
At 2:51pm on October 24, 2016, Sharon Rossy said…
Hi Barbara,
Yes probably too much thinking. Also too much other family stuff that can stress one out, as you know. Sometimes our energy just hits the wall. But I had a group today and although it ended up being a small group - only four came - a lot of personal issues were discussed. I think it proved to be beneficial!
Thank you for caring so much! It is obvious how much you care for others.
At 1:44am on September 28, 2016, Jennifer Grossma said…
Hi Barbara. Thank you for reaching out to me after the loss of my mom and for your reassurance that I did the right thing by my mom to protect my dad's feelings. He seems to be getting more fragile each day. I think knowing my moms family went ahead with "their" service this past weekend without our approval hit him hard. It has made our sometimes combative relationship much stronger. We talk every day now (just like I used to with my mom). He commented today on how nice it's been! I'm not quite sure how this site works yet, but it's nice to have an outlet and to know that others are or have been where I am and they do care. Thank you and God bless!
At 8:16am on September 22, 2016, elyse said…
Hello Barbara,I guess I'm not familiar with how this site works,being that I was never in an online group.If a new member wants to share why they've joined this group (not individual groups),where would they post it?TY
At 12:00am on September 22, 2016, elyse said…
Hello Barbara,Just a quick question,when a new member writes in,do they go into their own profile ( my blog) or main wall (latest conversations)?TY
At 10:58pm on August 21, 2016, elyse said…
Barbara,I just saw your post wondering how to get a copy of picture I posted,if you go onto internet and type in,Today is your birthday from heaven above,you will see images of pictures and scroll through them,that picture is there.Then take a screenshot.That is how I get the pictures I send here.
At 1:22pm on August 19, 2016, elyse said…
Barbara,Thinking of you and sent you a picture on main wall in remembrance of your son's birthday.The memories you have will live on in your heart forever.elyse
At 11:24am on August 19, 2016, Daphne vaughn (Anthony's Mom ) said…
Barbara,just wanted to say happy birthday to your son Joe.and to let you know your in my thoughts and wish is that your able to celebrate your wonderful son Joe on his special day at a time my friend.sending my love and big hugs your friend Daphne..
At 10:04am on June 28, 2016, Shirley Long said…

Thank you, Barbara, and God bless.  Our daughter is Kayla Marie.  She is the center of my heart.  She is sweet, compassionate, fun,, beautiful smile.  It hurts.  I know she is in Heaven and today is her birthday.  Happy Birthday, Sweetie.

At 10:13pm on June 6, 2016, elyse said…
Barbara,I guess the word would be answer.I'm searching for an answer to my questions.For the 2 years now my brother has been gone,this has weighed heavily on my mind.
At 12:24pm on June 6, 2016, elyse said…
Thank you Barbara,I liked the poem.How've you been? Haven't found a Medium yet,but searching the website.Hoping that it will give me some closure as what occurred.

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