Christopher Ryan Smith.
How those three words grip me to my core; I love that young man! Christopher was my first nephew, a darling little toe-headed blond with a rich sparkle in his eyes. I remember chasing him around the yard, pushing him in a swing, singing songs with him, rubbing his back, swimming with him; doing all the things doting aunties do!
Christopher was creative and sensitive, his spirit was tender. He loved to talk with family members about his thoughts and ideas, he loved music, he surfed and engaged in most every water and snow sport. Christopher loved his parents, his brother Paul, and his cousins. He has a special place in his heart for his grandparents.
As a young man, full of creative plans of genius Christopher charted his own path. Off to CA to build his business and as true to his nature, he was brilliant when building ideas but over-trusting when it came to people. Along his path of learning he encountered people who would disappoint him, let him down, or use his talents and abilities for their own gain. Even in that, Christopher kept on trying to be successful with new ideas, innovative thinking, and vision.
It was incredibly endearing to watch Christopher as an uncle to his nieces. He loved those girls deeply and couldn’t help spoiling them with every toy and gadget possible. When he would show up the girls lit up like light-bulbs. Their love was richly reciprocal. My most recent memory was over a year ago he allowed those girls to dig a hole so deep in the sand that he was buried chest high!! It was fun to see him so playful with them. Another memory was around that same time in Disneyland where he went into the princess shop and decked them out in full blown princess attire; the thrill on his face was precious!
This week I learned that Christopher’s life had been taken by his business partner. The motive was money, the cover up was horribly extensive; stealing Christopher’s email and causing family members to believe he was on a business trip. In the wake of this information we are a family whose hearts have been shattered. When his life was taken we lost a son, grand-son, nephew, uncle, brother, brother-in-law, and friend. As we try to reconcile all that has taken place; we miss him more everyday.
As we turn to the Lord for grace and comfort, we accept the fact that I will never understand the “why”. I understand that we will miss him until we go home to be with Christ one day. I understand that no one will ever fill his shoes or the hole that has been left in our hearts. I understand that in order to move forward we will have to remember and value all the “good” and “amazing”, “thoughtful” and “kind” parts of Christopher without getting caught in only remembering the trauma that took him home. I also understand that we will experience the need to cry often and that’s ok too.
An untimely death, whether by disease, an accident, or trauma reminds us all, again and again, that we should never take for granted that our loved ones will always be here. Certainly, we cannot live in fear of loss, but we can make certain that our relationships are strong, that we have shared verbally how much we love and appreciate those in our lives, and we can make time for those we love. I find it challenging to find ANY good takeaway from losing our precious Christopher, but I sense God is alerting me to the simple fact that it is so important to invest in those we love intentionally.
Over a year ago on a trip I am incredibly thankful for today; I rode with Christopher in his car, we chatted and he had looked at me and said “it’s sure good to see you!” Those words are now written on my heart. Christopher Ryan Smith you made our lives richer and you will be missed every day until we see you again. Your life was ended much too soon.
19 thoughts on “Christopher, 2011 ~Update 2018”
So touching and deeply and beautifully expressed. I’m so sorry for the loss you and you’re family have suffered. May the God of all comfort give you His amazing peace that passes all understanding! Much love and prayers. Rhonda
Dianna, my heart breaks with yours and I pray the Lord infuses you with His strength, wisdom and peace! The message in your blog today–and Christopher’s life as you reflect it– has already impacted me, and it will bless many others too. Thank you for sharing your pain and your faith!
Thank you Rhonda, your thoughts and prayers truly matter.
Oh Dianna. I only just now heard so went to your FB page to confirm and found your blog – my heart is hurting at this news too. Beautiful Chris. Greg Fry was in (everyone else has gone for the day) and so we prayed for all of you. Love and prayers to all of you.
Thank you Gwen–our hearts are aching….Debi, Steve, Paul and Leah could really use your prayers the most. Thank you so much. Love to you.
We are so sorry to hear about Chris. It is unbelievable that this could happen to such a great young man! We too remember him as tow headed little guy that was full of life. Our prayers are going out for you and your family. Can’t imagine how Steve and Debbie can cope with this terrible situation. We are praying that God will give them the strength and peace that passes all understanding. Love Bob and Suzanne
Thank you for your thoughts, I love knowing that you knew him for who he was-a wonderful young man. Thank you!!
Although I did not know Christopher, I can see him through your eyes. What a painful loss for you and your family. But what a wonderful living memorial he is leaving for all who really knew him. I pray healing for your precious heart, comfort in our Father, and peace for your family. Your blog today has encouraged me and uplifted me. Even if we don’t have all the answers to why? We know He will never leave us or forsake us. Thank you for sharing your heart, my friend. Love you.
Rosa!! if this makes you more intentional –then that honors Chris so much. Thank you.
Love you my friend. Please know that Ric and I are praying for you and your family as you navigate through the homegoing for Chris and the life that lies ahead for his family here without him. Thank you so much for ahring like you did on your blog post, Ric and I are up here in Canada with our family spending precious time…..I believe I will treasure these moments even more now….Thank you and GOd BLess You!!
Cyndi and Ric,
I so feel your love. Family is our most valuable commodity..let’s continue to pour ourselves into their lives! Love you both–a lot.
Thank you for being extra brave. I am praying for you and all who love Christopher Ryan Smith.
Bonnie–Thank you for your thoughts–you would have loved Chris, a precious, creative, loving soul. 🙂
My sisters and I read your blog and it made all of us cry. We too are saddened by his loss but remember him for the intelligent and remarkably generous Chris he was. Thanks for being so brave to share this. We love you so much.
Lauren, Jamie, Anna and Marie Ruef
You are all precious girls–in Chris’s honor live your life to the fullest and be wise along the way. THAT would be such a precious win. You are all talented, blessed, and beautiful.
Thank you for your thoughts/
Dear friend, my heart is heavy for you and your family, but I am praying for God’s amazing peace and restoration to take root in your lives. We love you all dearly, Karina Bonn
Amazing words from my sister Dianna..it is so our heart.
As Chris’ mom I will always grieve my loss of an amazing son who so filled my heart, but I will also look forward to seeing him again..for in Jesus we live for ever..amazing miracle..nothing compares or gives me more strength and courage…it is a conviction strong to my core. As people celebrated Easter, for me it is life changing…everything changed at the death and resurrection of Jesus..he paid the price..conquered death..rose again with an amazing spiritual body..appeared to his friends and mom to comfort and encourage them that they too will have the same..his tomb is empty..my soul is full and Chris had a personal experience in 2006 that rocked his world..kept him heavenly focused..I will see him again…Eternity is beautiful and amazing.
debi~~ What powerful words- especially coming from you after the season you have and continue to walk through- You are brave and wise. Your unwavering faith is astounding…thank you for encouraging us all!
Love you sis.
I can’t believe what a painful process this is. Love, anger, uncertainty and in brief moments hatred…then the love in our hearts through our belief in God and the amazing gift of forgiveness we’ve been given. Though extremely difficult it is this love that will pull you out of the dark ess of grief and let you share stories like this. Stories of the special imprint on our hearts forever. Bless you for sharing.