Today I Witnessed Grace

Today's post is very somber. You've been warned upfront. However it holds an important message.

This morning I attended a funeral for a very special young man. Chris Friesen was the son of my good friend Randy Friesen, Marketing Director of BCIT. I didn't know Chris, but I feel I do now and I really believe the world is worse off without him.

Chris was 17 years old; an amazingly dedicated, hardworking, disciplined student and athlete. He was the captain of his lacrosse team, leader, friend, brother and son. He had a tremendous amount of passion and was working towards a very clear goal of embracing the college life. He had the most beautiful contagious smile and a good heart. There were over 1500 people in attendance this morning to pay tribute, celebrate his life, and grieve together.

His dad Randy, mom Ingrid and brother Max showed amazing grace throughout the service. There were video montages and his Aunt Cathy (Randy's sister) played beautiful music in tribute. When Randy spoke with Max and Ingrid at his side, he offered their gratitude for the support and love they have experienced this week. Their entire focus has been on celebrating all the good memories and cherishing the time they had with Chris.  It was incredibly moving, emotional and inspirational.

The Friesen family offered this:

"Chris’ amazing energy and passion were combined with his desire to be perfect and when he could not achieve perfection, he would be mad at himself.  The good thing about that is it drove him to always be better.  On March 25th, Chris was not planning to leave us, but rather was mad at himself about a minor incident with the family car.  We don’t know all his thoughts at that moment, but he made a decision he could not reverse.  He was cared for in the loving arms of his Mother and Father followed by the tremendous efforts of the rescue personnel and hospital staff for which we will be eternally thankful.
Chris, we will use your passion to fuel us. 
Chris, we will use your pursuit of perfection to feed us.
Chris, we will never forget you.  Never.
The family urges everyone, but young people especially, to understand that all problems have solutions.  There is never a problem too big.  If you can’t talk to your parents, please talk to your friends, teachers, relatives and God is also there 24-7!  Simply take a moment before any action.  You are all loved.  Chris loved all of you."

No person should ever feel that any problem is too big. Reach out. There is ALWAYS someone to talk to and nobody is perfect. We all make mistakes. Please talk to your kids and share this message.

You can hear and view the full story at christianfriesen.com

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(This post is a week old because I wanted to give the family an opportunity to read it before I posted it.  The service was last Thursday, April 1, 2010)


  1. Anonymous7.4.10

    Great blog honey! I guess the message for me is always communicate with your kids and let them know that "screwing up" happens, admit to it, learn from it and move on. Still very sad. My best to Randy and his family!

  2. Terrible - no parent should outlive their child. It simply should not be allowed. My condolences to the family, and thanks Teri for the post.

  3. Appreciate the comments....its a very sad story with a powerful message. Please share it.