It is an untraditional choice for an author to introduce a character at the end of the story, but I made an exception for Chris.
Christopher Asahanta Woolf — was my son. At twenty-four, my beautiful, athletic, entertaining, and playful boy chose to take his own life. He died on July 11, 2020, just days before his twenty-fifth birthday. I wanted him to be in my story, especially as part of the heaven narrative. It comforts me to read him as whole and blissful in heaven, waiting for us.
Steve and I adopted Chris on November 20, 2010. He was fifteen, and he quickly became the grinning and charming center of the house. Chris was an engaging and social young man. He loved asking questions, making people laugh, and championing any cause that landed at his feet. He was spontaneous and brave, kind and empathetic.
As a young man with passion and an unfair amount of traumatic experiences, Chris was vulnerable to addiction, which he battled for several years.
As a family, we too often consider all the should-haves and what-ifs; a natural mind trap for those left behind. But as believers, we are given hope and assurance that Chris is better than okay and more than healed where he is.
So, thank you for indulging me while I break literary rules and introduce you to Chris at the end of Mount Hope. He would get a kick out of the attention, and I can think of no better salve for our broken hearts than for him to live forever in a story about hope.
If you’re thinking about suicide, are worried about a friend or loved one, or need emotional support 24/7, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.