Richard F. Giza, D.O.
Richard Francis Giza, son of Mary & Theodore J. Giza, born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA. Graduated Central Catholic High School 1969; graduated Marquette University 1973; graduated Palmer College of Chiropractic with a Doctor of Osteopathic medicine degree 1976.
Thus began Dr. Rich’s 40+ year career as a healer.
Dr. Rich traveled the world as a lover of people, their culture, their humanness. He particularly enjoyed Italy. He especially revered Michelangelo. Many a time he would just stand in front of Michelangelo’s David and bask in its beauty and meticulous detail. Dr. Rich said it nourished his heart and soul and made him a better doctor. Most everyone knows Michelangelo as a great Italian sculptor, painter and architect. Little known, Michelangelo is also regarded as a great poet.
Since mid-April 2021, Dr. Rich had been on the receiving end of medical care spending a great deal of his life in a hospital bed. With much time on his hand and in need of megadoses of hope for the future, Dr. Rich sought out stimulating books. The Complete Poems of Michelangelo by J. F. Nims took him by surprise since he had never read Michelangelo’s poetry. Dr. Rich wanted to share one of his favorite poems  with his friends:
If true (and it is) that with body’s final breath
the soul, cut loose from flesh (which it only bore
because heaven imposed that chore),
breaks free, it feels only then supreme delight,
becoming divine in death
as sure as we’re born, down here, with death in sight.
No sin in this; we’re right
to change funeral woe to mirth
when we stand about to mourn the newly dead,
for the soul, escaping earth
and the frail remains, then, there, on the deathbed,
finds perfect peace instead.
Such their true friends desire, in equal measure
As pleasure in God transcends all earthly pleasure.
Richard was so thankful and appreciative of the love and kindness shown to him during his health struggles. He knew if he pressed certain speed-dial numbers, that the selected confidant would come to his rescue in that moment and share positive, personal encouragement. Dr. Rich would always find the strength to give back the same during the conversation.
So many thank yous to Crista (speed dial #4) for her invites to share sumptuous breakfasts on her porch. Do you know how uplifting that conversation can be when you are sentenced to eating institutional food? Rich adored her.
And Rod (speed dial #7) for his many visits and rallying Central Catholic alumnae to send well wishes inside beautiful Christmas cards – Dr. Rich was left speechless by the affection. It literally took his breath away.
And Lamar (speed dial #5), his most favorite brother-in-law, for helping take care of Dr. Rich’s mobility needs by sending him the Up-Walker, the TV, the cell phone along with personal grooming products. Dr. Rich ALWAYS smiled when Lamar’s name was mentioned. They understood each other.
And then there’s Cora (speed dial #3), his CNA. Words can’t describe the love, care, and protection that Cora blanketed him with (literally & figuratively) during Dr. Rich’s last ten months on earth. She was so instrumental in helping him want to keep living. If there is an angel among us, her name is Cora. God bless you, Cora.
Dr. Rich died in his sleep, they say, Sunday evening January 9, 2022 at 6:30pm. He was 70 years young. He was not administered his Last Rites, yet every Sunday at 10am in his room, Dr. Rich would conduct a Catholic Mass and read the Bible for anyone that wanted to attend.
We only wish that Dr. Rich had escaped the callous medical system with his life. Unfortunately, he did not.
Michelangelo poems 194 & 196:
Too early fallen asleep here, I’m alive,
Though fate says dead. I’ve moved; my lodging’s new.
I’m living in your thoughts. You miss me too.
While love lives on in lovers, I survive.
O lucky me, to look upon me dead!
O generous heaven, not hoarding me for age!
What better gift than ordering me offstage,
To spare me the long catastrophe ahead?
Thank you, Dr. Rich, for all the thousands of people you helped during your time here with us. You will always be in our hearts and thoughts. Heaven, please protect and care for him.
You are encouraged to conduct your own personal memorial in honor of Dr. Rich.
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