March 8, 1987 - July 1, 2020
Christopher was brilliant. He had a huge, loving heart. He never beat around the bush though … you never had to guess what was on his mind.
He had insights into people that were beyond comprehension. He noticed everything. Facial expressions, word inflections, what fingers a person wore their rings on, and what kind of clothes you wore – and how you wore them. Not in a critical sense, but in a way that meant he SAW the person on the inside, just by how that person handled their outside. He noticed patterns of thought and various behaviors that people displayed depending on various situations… and don’t get me started on his sense of humor. We’d talk for hours and hours about our love for people and human behaviors. Oh, how we’d laugh!
These conversations were not only enlightening to me personally, they made my heart soar as Chris shared a common desire to help people become a better version of themselves. We talked often about the importance of a strong and loving Father figure and what a difference is made when one is present, and what heartache is involved when one was absent, emotionally, or physically.
- Three months later we received the autopsy report stating that Chris had died of sepsis due to severe pneumonia in his left lung. (He didn’t want to bother anyone) … Dear reader, please take care of yourself. You matter.
Sticking Your Hand Into Dark Holes
After Chris left this world, I discovered this photo of him in a “Spiderman” pose after victoriously climbing through a crevice near the Flatirons rock formation in Colorado.
This trip with his friends was one of his favorite memories. After posting this photo, someone posted a comment stating that this looked scary.
I was deeply moved by how well his comment mirrored and described a metaphor of what it is like to navigate life in general. No matter the outcome, when we are making our way in unknown territory, we rarely realize the cost until we have thoroughly committed ourselves to that path.
No matter which path we choose, our efforts are greatly increased towards a successful outcome when mentors are present. Connecting with people who have been there – done that – and have learned lessons and methods that lead to victory is invaluable.
Chris and I spoke often about the importance of mentorship and strong support systems. His favorite memories, such as this moment, meant a great deal to him and his desire was to see and participate in more family gatherings and a healthy community.
Out of the Mouth of Babes ...
“Is it Snowing in Your House?” – Ariana, age 4
When I first got the call that Chris had passed away, shock and dismay bolted through my body. I was at my daughter’s house, babysitting my two granddaughters, ages 4 and 2. Seeing my sudden change in behavior and emotions, Ariana, the oldest, asked me what was wrong.
I told her that Uncle Chris had died. As little children do, she reminded me that I still had my daughter, (her Mother).
Then she asked me a really strange question. She asked me, “Is it snowing in your house?”
Three times she reminded me that I had my daughter and three times she asked me if it was snowing in my house. The third time she asked, I said, “Yes Honey – it’s snowing in my house.”
Children are beautiful conduits of love and spiritual understanding that usually fade away as we get older. I believe that often God speaks through the mouths of children to bring attention to something we need to know. That’s why its important to pay attention when a child speaks or says something that on the surface, makes no sense.
When I told my daughter about what Ariana had asked me, she was reminded of this song and shared it with me. Later, I looked up the dream symbols that have to do with a house and snow.
SNOW FALLING indicates a new beginning, transitions, spiritual peace, and tranquility.
HOUSE indicates my soul, my life, and being.
MY TAKE on this question is that God was making me aware that my life, my whole being, all that I am, was in a major transition and He is promising that I will experience peace and tranquility – and my life will never be the same.
As I am writing this, one month later, I can testify that indeed, I have experienced a peace that passes all understanding, and clarity of mind as my whole life is transitioning in this unexpected and horrific upheaval in the loss of my son.
Mother, Author, Founder of Living Stones and Circle Groups
Grieving our loss ...
Certain songs stand out for different people that express their grief in a special way. This song spoke to Chris’s brother Joe.
[Raw video] On July 11, 2020, we held a small memorial at a park that Chris and his friends use to play at when they were kids. Some of his high school friends and family from Pai Lum attended and shared their thoughts and memories.
Family and a few close friends went to the mountains to release Chris’s ashes. It was a beautiful, healing time for us. Our love for Chris will forever be present in this place.
A Playlist to encourage you, and much thanks regarding your loving support for us ...
(The remaining funds and any additional funds to the GoFundMe page are going towards additional groups online and locally which focus on mentoring and building strong support systems for those who are “sticking their hand in dark holes so they don’t fall.”)
Share with Us ...
Please share a memory, story, or thought that you have shared with Chris. Help us keep his memory and love alive. Thank you