We (my colleagues at our Barnes & Noble) lost a very special young man this week. 20 is too damned young to leave this world. Needless to say, today was a hard day for us all.
Christian was loved by us all. Today we saw a loving community and those of us from our store who was present to say their goodbyes. Our managers worked very hard making sure that all who wanted to go to his viewing be afforded that opportunity. I thank them kindly.
Easily, more than 200 people (I would say, maybe 300) from his life made their way to say farewell.
As we looked at the photos of his life that lined the funeral home, we could see a smile in almost every picture... and I think that is how all of us in our store will remember Christian.
He was always smiling, had a soft ready laugh. He was a talented, funny young man whose presence lit the room... and he seemed to be a man with a bright future ahead of him. I often spoke with him about school and his hopes to join the Peace Corps.
Christian, you will be missed... and on a personal note, one that each of us should carry with us at all times. We are a very special family and if any of you know of someone who is suffering from what his pastor called "inner demons," please make sure your friend, your loved one, your coworker, knows that they are loved and not alone.
If only Christian could have seen all of us who came today. I wonder if it would have been enough.
In loving memory
June 5, 1995 - March 26, 2106