Saturday, January 07, 2006

A Good Man

Today was Chris' funeral. He was only 22 years old but had a great impact on a great many people. The chapel was filled to overflowing with friends and family who came to hear the message of the young man's life.

A theme throughout the service was how generous and sweet this shy hulky man was. His smile and big bear hugs were famous, as was the 32 ounce cup of the soda of the day. This is a man who walked away from gossip, clung to truth and learning; and had a habit of finding ways to give away money, rides, service and even his clothes when needed. If a stranger needed something, he found a way to give it. He was a defender of young women and pretty much anyone or anything weaker than himself. He had a reputation of seeing good in everyone and his Patriarchal Blessing was quoted, stating his "divine gift for loving the unloveable."

Folks who knew him well wondered what he would think of all the fuss and all the crying at his funeral. Then almost as if he answered each of us, we understood, that Chris would have looked at us with that shy smile and said, "hey, whatever you guys need to get through this is o.k. by me. Just don't get too ridiculous." Whatever it took to make others more comfortable than himself.

He served an honourable but shortened mission. One to always be physically active, he was on a service project when he injured his back. He was sent home in hopes of a short recovery and then back to serving more. After two surgeries he was in so much pain and difficulty, permanently disable to the point of not being able to sit, stand or sleep for more than three hour increments. His life had gone from one of extreme physicality to one of constant monitoring, therapy and pain. Through it all he persevered and tried to see what positives he could in life.

Chris passed away on New Year's Day from an enlarged heart, caused by meds and other complications. In a way we all knew his heart was larger than most. It seemed a conclusion this was Heavenly Father's way of letting us all know it was o.k. and it was his time. He always was searching for more truth and deep understanding of the Gospel. He wanted to know the answers to the hard questions and more than anything he wanted to return to his mission. Heavenly Father allowed Chris the opportunity to relieve his body of pain, find out the answers to his questions from those who have gone on before, and to serve on a new mission where enlightened Gospel truths now are more fully understood.

Chris was laid to rest under an olive tree and near the boulders he loved to climb. The sun was bright and the sky was clear. It was appropriate for this young man who was so dear to us all.

add to sk*rt


Grettir said...

Beautiful, s'mee...absolutely beautiful.

Susan M said...

Yes, that was lovely. Sounds like a wonderful young man.

I'm off to a baptism this evening.

chronicler said...

What a great tribute to a great man. Give a hug to #4 again for me.

s'mee said...

Thank you to everyone, I must be honest, this one is hard.

Normally I am pretty good with death and funerals, but Chris was like one of the kids, and it's hard.

Please, in your good intentions and prayers keep his sweet heart in mind. Chris was about two weeks from asking a young woman to marry him. She felt it, his folks knew, and #4 also knew, but there was no ring yet.

As I watched Sam yesterday she was completely without joy, without hope, empty. Sam also has had it pretty tough, and Chris was literally her one bright light. The one who would take her to the temple and make her life positive someday. She feels as though nothing is left without him and that her life really will be void and without hope. She feels that with Chris have gone all her chances for any happiness or success in this life.

Sam really needs assurance and support. She is realtively new in the Gospel and is still Spiritually fragile.

Thanks again for your sincere prayers. Thank you, dear friends in the Gospel.

s'mee said...

On another note, Chris's dad told us before they closed the casket they placed inside his 32 oz cup, his skater shoes, and two of his favorite Chinese swords..."just in case he meets with trouble! (with a wink and a tear)"

chronicler said...

Sam's got my prayers. Thre nothing worse than a broken heart so young.

Lisa M. said...

God Speed, Chris.

Prayers for Sam.

and a few for your family, too. S'mee.

David B. said...

Thanks for sharing this beautiful post.

Yesterday, they had the funeral for the LDS missionary who was killed (Elder Morgan W. Young) in Virginia. President Hinckley and Elder Ballard spoke, along with Elder Young's companion and his younger brother.

I don't know him personally, but it sounds like it was a really sweet funeral, from all accounts. I don't know if you had access to much of the news reports, but I thought I'd give you a couple of links, if you are interested.

Here is the Deseret News account.

And here is the Salt Lake Tribune account.

s'mee said...

Thank you Lisa, you are always so dear to s'mee.
David, I actually saw those reports and it breaks my heart. Almost too much for me to read last week. Thanks for the links and the insight. It must be grand to live where you have access to hear the prophet speak! I can not imagine.

meggiecat said...

Oh, s'mee, I am so sorry you've lost a part of yourself. Your loving words honor him and moved me to tears.

s'mee said...

Thanks Meggie!