Never has my blog’s domain name applied to my situation more than it does now; truly, this is a post about making sense of life.
A week ago today, I received a phone call from my friend & fraternity brother Matt to inform me that our dear friend & brother Chris had lost his battle with leukemia.
I was stunned; Chris’ initial diagnosis was surprising, because he was one of the fittest people I knew. He was an avid bicyclist, even after a ridiculous accident during the 2010 Little 5 race at DePauw where he suffered a concussion because of the recklessness of another participant. Over the last year and a half, Chris had battled against the odds, and he had kicked their ass.
Unfortunately, his body just couldn’t keep fighting a battle that he had been winning. Losing a friend who is your age is extremely difficult, no matter how old or young you are, because you knew them. You remember their quips and mannerisms, their likes and dislikes, their smile and demeanor.
I thought about in what way I could process this loss in this medium, when I found the most fitting tribute to Chris I could possibly share.
The age we live in is a very different one, especially because of technology. There was no Facebook in days of yore; when someone passed away, most of what was left was memories and letters. Today, there’s a digital imprint that lasts past your earthly existence; it’s an extremely surreal occurrence, as you look at pictures and posts that have been shared from this person that you no longer can share those moments with. It’s because of this occurrence, however, that I’m able to share this, to honor the memory of this wonderful friend.
On December 12, 2008, I shared a post about how a family friend, Sammie Williams, had passed away. A few days later, Chris posted this on my Facebook.
I came upon this as I was with friends reminiscing about Chris, and I realized it spoke to the core of the kind of person he was. Chris read that post and was considerate enough to write to me about it. He didn’t have to do that, but he did it because that’s who he was. Chris was caring and compassionate without fail; he was always quick with a joke or a quip to lighten the mood and brighten your spirit.
This was a difficult week for everyone whose life was touched by this vibrant soul. On Saturday, many people gathered at the funeral service to honor and pay tribute to Chris, and the Biblical passage from the worship aid still resonates with me.
“Learn to do good, search for justice, help the oppressed.” – Isaiah 1:17
We miss you tremendously, Chris, and I deeply believe that, if the everyone in the world was a bit more like Chris Alonzi, the world would be a much more pleasant and loving place.