The Void Left by Chris

I’ve been putting off writing this post because I know it’s going to drum up heart ache. But I can’t bring myself to write about anything else until I do this.

New Year’s holiday posts (and anything since) never even landed in my “Drafts”. As I mentioned in my last post (apparently 20 days ago … has it been that long?), there’d been a death. My friend and co-worker, Chris Burditt, passed away on New Year’s Eve. And I’ve been in slo-mo ever since.

The news came as a punch to the gut. A shocking and completely unexpected black cloud on New Year’s Day. Chris was only 40 years old. 40-year olds aren’t supposed to have heart attacks.

Shock turned into sobs. Sobs turned into head aches and led to more uncontrollable tears. Disbelief. Anger. Lack of understanding. Lack of focus. Work came to a stand-still and yet the show still had to go on. Life slowed to a crawl and yet the world around me was spinning at the usual pace.

I analyzed my own health as I’d already begun my journey to lose weight and once again lead a healthy lifestyle.

I analyzed my relationship with the Lord. We have had many long talks since.

There’s an ever-present urgency to make sure I don’t go to bed angry. To make sure the people I love know it on a daily basis. The last time I’d seen Chris – the day before New Year’s Eve, I was about to go in for a hug as we left the office for the extended weekend. I hesitated and quickly thought, “Eh – I’ll see him Monday”.  Sure wish I would have hugged his neck one last time.

And now, a month and a half later … the shock has worn off but it still doesn’t seem real. It’s as if he’s on vacation and just hasn’t returned yet. The sobbing has stopped for the most part – just the occasional tearing up. It’s easy to bury the emotions and just busy yourself to not have to think about it. I feel guilty about that sometimes.

Our little office family just isn’t the same. Won’t ever be. Maybe it won’t always be sad but it will always be different.

So if I may, I’d like to dedicate this post to my friend Chris. The guy who was a friend to everyone, who would help anyone, and jammed so much life into his short 40 years. I miss you dearly, my friend. You’ve left a void that no one else can fill.

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at my mini-birthday celebration 2 years ago … no one wanted to go out to the dance floor and shake a tail feather. So Chris volunteered to go out there with me.

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Chris’ girlfriend, my boyfriend and I went on a hike the weekend following his passing. We decided to go in honor of him. None of us really felt like doing anything but it was our way to spend time together, remember him together and a way of sort of moving on past the pain – together. If that makes sense.

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“We shall remember you always.”

 

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