Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Memorial service update

This is subject to change, but as it is now, we are planning to have Chris' Memorial service on the morning of August 19th in Fresno, at the Peach and Nees building. We are waiting to get him back from Thailand. We are hoping Aug 19th is a far enough date out for this to happen.

I would like to share part of an email from one of Chris' very close friends, Berrett Rice. He wrote this 2 days after we learned of Chris' death.

"........ We camped together in Colorado for a month straight, and we had nothing to do while we were there except fish, hike, cook, and take care of camp. During that time, I was never bored for a single second, and I laughed insanely every single day of the trip. His sense of humor was so unique, and personal. There's absolutely no one like him in this respect, and I will miss this more than anything. The good news is that so much of our communication over the last 15 years has been electronic, so I still have a lot of great comedy that I can revisit whenever I want.

His next greatest quality is his ability to converse in an interesting, engaging, challenging, and sometimes infuriating way. Partly because he had no respect for the normal rules of conversational etiquette, Chris was able to challenge my thoughts as well as anyone. But he wasn't just challenging, he was also just fun to talk to. We used to drive from Provo to Fresno together two or three times a year, and I often remember commenting how strange it was that we would talk 100% of the trip! I don't think I can do that even with my own wife! But with Chris the conversation never stopped. He could talk about music, movies, politics, science, books, arm-chair philosophy, popular culture, and many obscure topics too. He was so insightful, intelligent, and "fresh". I could talk to Chris forever.

Another great quality, at least in the happier years when we were in college, was that he was always up for an adventure. Always. I could say, "Let's go play some tennis" and he would stand up and grab his racquet. Equally, someone could say, "Let's go camping in southern Utah for a few days" and he would jump right on it. No excuses and very little hesitation. The only exception to this rule is that sometimes his insomnia or back pain would get in the way. But generally speaking he was up for fun at any moment.....

.....I loved the way he was, even with his occasional surliness. I could handle that part of him in exchange for all of the wonderful experiences and the unparalleled laughter. The truth is, even with the surliness, I got along better and more easily with Chris than with all but a few people I've ever known. I suppose we were a good match because I wasn't offended by him, and he may have been mildly civilized by me. I don't know if that's true. I just know that I loved him and all the way up to an hour before he killed himself, he was a huge part of my life.

Tina made an interesting observation yesterday: She was remembering when Chris, she, and I were headed to the dollar movies to see a movie one night (I think Paul may have been there too). We pulled up to an intersection and stopped at the red light. Without warning Chris said something like, "I don't really want to see this movie". He opened the door to the car, said "See you guys", and walked away. It was shockingly quick! We didn't even have a chance to respond before he was gone. He used to do this in our apartment in Salt Lake too. It would be 2 AM and we would be in the middle of a sentence when he would announce, "I'm tired, I've got to get out of here", then he would disappear out the door before we could even process the sentence. I've thought this was a particularly hilarious and lovable quality of his.

Well, Tina's observation is that this is exactly what happened again two days ago. A quick email, and he's gone. We had no opportunity to even respond.

I'm so incredibly sorry that he's gone. I will miss him dearly. I already do. This is the first time in memory for me that he hasn't been "out there" in my life. I don't particularly like it this way.

That's about it. Rest in peace, my brother. I sincerely hope things are better for you now and that both the physical and emotional pain are gone for you. I also hope we'll see each other again in a context that will allow us to almost throw up from laughing so hard about some stupid joke or some old memory...."

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