It has been over two weeks since Chris has gone into heaven...the longest I have been away from him in 12 years. As you can imagine I am dealing with extreme grief and doing my best just to get through the day and allow myself to feel the depth of the man that I lost. There is so much I could say about Chris, and those that know me, know how deeply we loved one another. At the risk of being too personal and sharing too many details, I had it on my heart to share the letter I wrote from the bulletin for Chris' memorial. I know some of you couldn't be there, and I myself have been rereading what was written as a reminder. I wrote it as if it was from Chris and I because I know he would have echoed the same thoughts. So, here goes...
The Gospel is the greatest love story that has ever been and will continue to be. The Gospel is a story of creation, inspiration, agony and the pursuit of romance. In God's own Son is the display of his out of proportion love for us. His suffering is our healing. His death is our death. His life is our life. Everything He has done for us was for Love. Chris' life, and death revealed the gospel to me deeper than the lowest valley and higher than the tallest mountain. Chris mirrored to me the lengths that a lover will go to for his bride. He served me in every way I could have ever wanted. He revealed his heart of love for me and His children on a daily basis. In his suffering he continued to love, even deeper still. His thoughts were always towards me and our children. Chris fought and lived with bravery, endurance, patience and strength. He surrendered his life to God and to others wholeheartedly, unselfishly, without an expected return. His life was the most beautiful thing to witness. He was and will always be a masterpiece.
Chris has given me the greatest gift I could ever ask for. He showed me the love of God in such a tangible way that will mark me and countless others for the rest of eternity. The same can be said of Chris as a father. A father will do anything for his children, and I too saw this in his life. Chris had a father's heart the size of an ocean...you couldn't measure the love.
I do not pretend to understand everything that has happened to us. Romance is not a neatly wrapped package. Love cannot always be explained. It is felt, received, and displayed. All I know is, through the pain, there is one amazing love story that will live forever in our hearts.
That is the story I know with all of my heart Chris would want us all to be left with. Let us not in our pain, misinterpret what has happened to this wonderful man, Christopher Neal Underwood. This mystery, however perplexing it may be, is a treasure to be guarded, unwrapped and discovered throughout eternity.