Dear Christopher

Dear Christopher,

The last time I talked to you, we hugged and said goodbye to Jr. and Sr. High school spent in each other’s orbits – blessing one another on our journeys as we reconciled differences and put egos aside for a time of reminiscence and farewell.

This week, that memory has become most important to me as I have joined with classmates and fellow NACC youth groupers in navigating a loss of a brilliant mind, an artistic soul, a passionate advocate trying to right the injustices of the world.

You were always advocating for the underdog. Even though it was hard for me to be around you, because your brilliance intimidated me to no end, your compassion was always surprisingly present, in the subtlest ways.

Once, in Coach Fite’s Physical Science class, he kept calling on me and I didn’t know any of what we were talking about. You were sitting next to me, and about the third round of all-too-familiar-to-me humiliation at the hands of a teacher, you respectfully but firmly said “leave her alone. Ask someone whose hand is actually raised.”

Obviously your heart for justice was bigger than your outlandish crazy smarts- which made you a deep and intricate person.

Sometimes deep and intricate people have the hardest time.

I wish I had reconnected with you- but your loathing of social media made that quite difficult.

I wish I had been as confident in myself then as I am now. We might have had happier GACS chapters of life together.

But, for all the youth retreats where we were able to share faith and friendship, for the times I’d ask you questions about life and high school drama times and you were nothing but honest with me, for standing up for me in science class I thank you.

For your life, your activism, your heart for justice that was spoken of so beautifully over and over at your memorial service, for the honesty of your struggle and the beauty that will spring forth out of this brokenness I give thanks to God.

You will be missed.

Until that day when we meet again, when we will hug hello instead of goodbye, may the peace of Christ guard and protect you as you rest near the heart of God.

– Sara –

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