I have written short memories about Chris and how much losing him affected me. I could go on to say that I am lost without my only child, who was everything to me! We had an incredibly special bond and in fact now that he is gone, I realize more and more that he was exactly like me. However, today I wanted to give the stage sort of speak to his friends. I asked a few of them to write what they remembered about Chris and below are quotes from them. If you would like to share something about Chris too please reach out! That is the best gift I can ask for!
Before I do that, I just wanted to mention that the last 3 months of Chris’s life in recovery were a blessing to both of us. He was so loving and caring and only now I realize how much he struggled. I wish I knew then what I know now! Chris worked full time trying to help out with the bills, before he went out he would come to me and ask: “Mom, is there anything you need me to help you with before I go?” He was tall (6’5”) dark and handsome so I got a lot of help from him changing light fixtures and projects that I could not physically do. He knew how tired I got from my illness so whenever I would drive into the garage, he would pock his head out and ask if I needed help with unloading the trunk. He cared so much and loved me so deeply! I loved him and still love him more than life in return. Chris talked about driving to California that summer to see his special friends. He dreamt of gong to school, owning a business and having family and kids someday. Chris did not drink or use any drugs except of opioids that he got addicted to. He told me that with his anxiety and depression they made him feel relaxed and comfortable. And now that we know of inevitable brain changes, he could not help himself and could not stop on his own. He was given deadly dose of Fentanyl and his life caught short at only 21! The drug dealer saw him die, robbed his car, and stole his phone instead of calling 911. This is very tragic! I do not want anyone to go through this and that is why the Chris Wivholm Foundation sponsors neuroscience research. We need to find ways to heal the brain and stop relapse. Substance Use Disorder is a disease like any other and should be treated as such. Let’s stop the stigma!
Below are memories that Chris’s friends shared with me. I omitted their names except for Amanda’s.
Chris’s fiancé Amanda wrote: “Chris was one to go out of his way to get a laugh out of people, make them smile. He was really good at that. Probably one of the funniest people I knew. He didn’t know it, but he had me at “hello”. I honestly felt like a little schoolgirl, with her little ‘crush’. He was really charming, kind, and thoughtful. He always had my best interest in mind. When I needed someone, he was always there. My shoulder to cry on. He made everything wrong in the world go away. He was my rock. We planned a future of having children. We were engaged. We wanted to build a life together. We even thought about going into real estate together. He had a way with words, so I know he would’ve been successful selling homes. We also did quite a bit of traveling together, by car ride, or by plane. We’d go on hikes and walking trails. Climb mountains. We were little adventurers.”
“He’s my family. He will always be a part of me and my build to who I am today. He put on a smile every day for me”
“I just remember Chris as a super upbeat and fun-loving guy. He loved spending time outside or making music with me and our friends. I never seemed to see Chris in a bad mood. He was always laughing and joking around, and he always made everyone else around him laugh. He had a great sense of humor and a very energetic spirit. I think the things I miss most about Chris were his ability to see the good in people and his ability to see the positive in situations.”
“I remember him always smiling, and how he seemed to be willing to do anything for the people he cared about. He made me feel intimidated at first, because he was so tall, but he had such a big heart, and didn’t judge you for anything besides the content of your character.”
“Chris was the type of friend to make you laugh when you had a bad day. He made all of us laugh and my whole family invited him in as one of our own. Hurts to see him not with us now but he’s in a better place.”
“The thing I remember about him most is his contagious laughter. Whenever you were with him, he would always try to make you laugh and he was very successful at it. The best laughs I have ever in my life were definitely with Chris “
“I remember meeting Chris at this party in Eden Prairie. He was so fun and I had just met him that night but still went to hang out with him and party hop we ended up becoming close and hanging out all the time with a few other mutual friends.”
“I remember that he always wanted to be everyone’s friend. He was never afraid to be himself around others... As far as our group of friends goes Chris would do anything for us, always had our backs no matter what and always knew how to make light of things. Don’t get me started about the love he had for cars; I could talk about that forever haha. Chris and I really bonded over cars, we would always run ideas over each other about what to save up for next, where should we drive, all that fun stuff.”
“His fun and friendly demeanor that made the work place a fun place! He was always smiling and engaging with other employees, someone that people wanted to be around ...”
“I had a gym class with Chris, and he was so funny!! My friend M., him, and I would always mess around and complain about lifting weights when we didn’t want to. It seems like forever ago since we were all in high school so I’m sad I forgot some specific things he used to say to us, but we were always all laughing together! I think I helped motivate him to work hard sometimes on some days he didn’t feel like it.”
At the time Chris passed away some friends wrote this:
“Heaven was blessed with this man. It went from playing football together, getting told to stop launching electric cars across the living room. To being in the same auto tech class, I’ve got lots of memories with you man and sure am gonna miss you ”
“Damn I can’t believe I’m saying goodbye to another friend so young. I’m so sorry I missed your funeral while in California. I’ll never forget how we always competed over whose car was fastest and nicer. Your spirit was unlike anyone else and amazing to have around. I hope your family finds peace and I know you’re resting easy my brother. RIP Chris Wivholm”
“Rest easy brother. You were such a funny and loving person. Forever missing you and all the memories ”
“I can’t process this. I want to believe this all a nightmare. You where an amazing friend. I miss getting yelled at in stats because me and you would talk all the time. I miss hanging out with you like every day after school. I miss your goofy ass; I miss watching you freestyle. I miss going on top of my roof with you. I love you man and will forever. Rest up homie!”
“I will remember you forever buddy. I'm glad I was fortunate enough to grow up with you. Some of my favorite memories are with you... You were my best friend. You left too soon . RIP friend.”
“You were a better friend than anyone else I know including me!! You'll forever be missed bro. RIP”
“I have no words. My heart breaks for you Elina! Our condolences go out to you on your profound loss. I remember Chris in California when you and I met, he had an infectious smile and such a kind sweet soul. Know you are loved from around the world, and our prayers are for your strength to seek comfort during this tragic time. XOXO”
“I'm so sorry for your loss. He was such a sweet and caring young man with a bright future. He never failed to make me smile in high school and was there for me constantly. Prayers are with your family during this hard time.”
“I’m heartbroken hearing this news. Chris Wivholm was an amazing person and helped me become a better man. My family is praying for you!”