Christopher William Atwood
  • 21 years old
  • Date of birth: Jul 3, 1991
  • Place of birth:
    Reston, Virginia, United States
  • Date of passing: Feb 23, 2013
  • Place of passing:
    Reston, Virginia, United States
I cannot wait until that time when I see you again and you can introduce me to Jesus. Probably with a fist bump.

To keep Chris' legacy of helping others alive, we ask that you consider making a donation to The Chris Atwood Foundation at or P.O. Box 9282, Reston, Virginia 20195. 

TheCAF is a registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit dedicating to educating the public about addiciton, supporting famillies with an addicted family member, and battling the stigma that prevents so many people from reaching out for help.

This memorial site is a place to celebrate the incredible and unforgetable life of Chris Atwood.  Words alone cannot do his dynamic personality justice so please add photos, videos, verses, poems, and literally anything that you think he would like. 

Above all, let the light that he gave to this world live on by remembering him often.  Through both his triumphs and his struggles, he left all of us with something to hold on to, something to make us better people, to make us laugh, cry, and most importantly - spread a little bit more love to the people of this world.

Thank you!

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 15th August 2017

"Hey Boo, I wish you were here to see your buddy Spencer finish hiking the entire Appalachian Trail in memory of you and so many others who have lost their battle with a substance use disorder.  Sadly, the opioid epidemic grows virtually unabated.  Wish you were here with your intense compassion toward others to help your sister make a difference in this hurting world.  Love Always, Mama"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 16th February 2017

"My dear Christopher, I think you have come back here as a squirrel, at least for now.  We both saved baby squirrels, cj (aka Chris Junior or cracker jack) and my Baby Blue (you were so pleased with my recovery efforts even on a dismal golf course).  How fitting that when I had to call in a "wildlife biologist" at my new home in Herndon, Patrick managed to free the squirrels from my cramped attic to the wilds of Runnymede Park with not so much as a scratch to their exquisite bodies.  My favorite squirrel managed to set off all of the traps and run free, just like you are now my precious and priceless son.  Free."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 3rd July 2016

"Happy heavenly 25th birthday Boo.  Give Shingo a fist bump for me. I love you both.  This holiday has forever become a memorial for you and now Shingo.  Your suffering is gone but you both are missed terribly.  Our beautiful, caring, soulful young men. Love always, Mom/Auntie Anne"

This tribute was added by Auntie Beth on 23rd February 2016

"Christopher, it sometimes seems only a short time that you have been away; then other times, it seems an eternity. It is somehow fitting that my chosen goal for Lent is to recapture the joy in doing all of my mundane chores---you were a Master of Joy!! You still bring it today in all of our precious memories. Here at home in Clements, Maryland, one of my best memories is of you playing with my sheltie Moses. You must have been about 11 or 12. Moses decided he wanted to lick you on your face and ears, and he was usually rebuffed by his victims, but you just laid down on the floor and giggled. Pretty soon we were all laughing hysterically at the ridiculous scene. Love you so much, dear nephew! I live in hope that we will all be together, laughing again, one day soon."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 23rd February 2016

"You are ALWAYS in my heart, a Mama's boy for over half of your short life.  I'll always remember your beautiful golden, curly hair and your deep tenderness for all things, no matter how small.  Three tortuous years have gone by and this life sentence still defines me.  But as they say, "Life goes on."  And so it does.  I love one of your favorite poets, Langston Hughes, "Well, son, I'll tell you:  Life for me ain't been no crystal stair."  Love you forever."

This tribute was added by Cassie Miller on 4th October 2015

"I still have trouble believing that you're gone. You are so missed. I can see it lighting up your face. The fact that so many people are being helped by your friends and family. I know we weren't  very close the last couple years and that's a shame. I'm sorry and I love you. Save us all a great seat up there for whatever shinanigans you're up to."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 9th September 2015

"Missing you more than ever.  BEST man EVER!"

This tribute was added by Carl Thoburn on 20th April 2015

The Rosebud tree I had planted in my front yard reminds me each day of your love for Nana and me.  We love you and miss you but know your are in a wonderful place.  The tree is so beautiful at this time of the year. It also reminds me of Jesus love for us and what he did on Calvary that made it possible  to live with him throughout eternity. Heaven is more real to me today than it has ever been.  Will seen you soon.  Love Pappy."

This tribute was added by Ashley Taylor on 12th February 2015

""When you have swam in the sea, a lake will no longer do; everyone else was always a pond but the ocean was always you.""

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 17th January 2015

"hey man its almost been 2 years now since you've passed i just wanted to say that i miss you man! i just lost another friend 2 days ago and its crazy because everyone keeps dying man everyone i grew up with it makes me wonder when its my turn... but i try to keep a positive attitude everyday man. im glad you and i talked after we had that one problem im sorry i was a shitty friend at that point in my life. but dude you were my first friend when i came to reston my best friend actually we used to hang out every day man and we got into a lot of trouble haha but you were always there for me man youre my brother and i hope youre still looking after me wherever you are. i love you man rest easy  -- Ryan 1/8/15"

This tribute was added by Anthony Srebnick on 10th January 2015



Miss u man ......

I picked up an 18 month chip tonight in front of like 200 people

Shit was rockin

Who woulda thought.....

All the drugs we used to do...haaaaa...

But man it's really good here it's like heaven on earth

Yo Chris will you say hi to my brother for me? Alex Dean Srebnick.

Sigh I don't know how long I have on this earth, Christopher. But let me tell you this man. I vow to live everyday in rememberence of fallen addicts and their families everywhere. To recovery as BEST I can and to help others in their own walks.

The better I get the more I am able to enter others lives. I know if you were here and sober you'd be doing big I'm doin em for you man

I love you bro.


Can't wait to see you man :)

Really looking forward to that introduction to the flesh....with a fuckin fist bump hell yeah

Later gator"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 22nd November 2014

"So Boo, I spend a lot of days now sharing with your community -- those trying to stay clean and reclaim their lives -- extraordinarily beautiful people.  A precious young friend of mine, 23 days clean, asked me if I think of you every day still.  I said "constantly".  You are with me forever and always.  Love, Mom"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 11th September 2014

"On the night before the spectacular Ragnar Relay,, all your Mama can think of is your cousin's tribute to you the weekend you died.  Nathaniel Thoburn Fitch simply wrote, "Come back."  Enough said."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 29th August 2014

"A candle is burning next to your ashes today in memory of Carolyn, my friend's niece in Cleveland, who at 22 just lost this horrific battle.  September is Recovery month and my schedule is full.  The only thing missing is you by my side.  Christopher, you would have been an incredible leader in this fight against the stigma.  You are the anti-stigma!  Every second in my heart, love you.  Mama"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 25th June 2014

"Going to BK tomorrow with your big sissy, 'inny'.  We're gonna get the junior whopper.  If you were with us, we'd get you a quadruple stacker custom made, just like the good old days.  Love you Boo, Mama"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 6th June 2014

"Another desperate workout to your iPod Boo.  Thank you for your awesome music.  Mama loves you. "Chop Suey!" by System of a Down."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 20th April 2014

"FB post from Evan Davis on 3/25/14:

Chris, it's weird that now when I post this there won't be an awesomely quirky response from you. I didn't even know you had passed until today and I've been living in D.C. for over two years now. It's been an age since I last saw you in the desert of Utah, but I recall all we struggled and triumphed through. I remember your smile and laugh that brightened many people's day. I wish I could hang out with you again. I'm gonna miss you buddy. There's a deep rift in the world where you once were. Love you brother."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 5th April 2014

"10,000 VISITS to this site (half of them by your mama), a tribute to my son who was so-o-o very deeply loved and cherished.  Boo, you are everywhere I go, meandering through the trails of Reston, working out to your music cranked up at full volume and aiding your Pappy and gauging his health by how ornery he is.  LUVBOO.  Mom xoxo"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 23rd March 2014

"Rest in peace Chris~~~I am so thankful that you came into our lives and for being there for Luke while you both went through the personal growth and education at DRA [St. George, UT]. The stories and the laughter will forever be etched in our memories.
We will never forget you.
God bless you, your family and my Luke.
We loved you Sugar Boy.    Julie Ford 2/24/13"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 22nd March 2014

"Hey Boo,  I get through my endless days by working out to your iPod music.  Your music moves me, motivates me and makes me incredibly angry/sad all at the same time.  Listening to your N Sync's 'I Want You Back'.  "I know I'm crazy without you."  I'm so sorry you had so much pain, I get it, I really do. Love from the very deepest part of what is left of this mama's heart."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 2nd March 2014

"A heart wrenching tribute to you, my precious son, from your Auntie Beth on Facebook: "They stopped whatever they had planned for that bitterly cold Saturday, and they came to mourn and to celebrate a young life that had profoundly changed theirs."  See full tribute from my sister Beth under the Stories tab. xoxo"

This tribute was added by yvette abdulkadir on 24th February 2014

"A life so young released to heaven, left on Earth we wonder why but some are sent among us briefly 'Some have Spirits meant to fly.'
Chris, I'm thinking of you today with a smile and a prayer."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 23rd February 2014

"Always with me, in my heart, love you forever my precious son Christopher.  I spent an hour yesterday evening with your fellow addicts, feeling your pain and theirs, seeing the tremendously difficult work that you and they have to do moment by moment, day by day.  As a mother all I can say is - Please forgive yourselves and let go of the past.  You are here in the present and that is a GIFT to the world.  Love, Mama A"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 16th February 2014

"From Lauren C.: "I met Chris in AA. It was always an interesting time when we hung out…he was always so perceptive. He really cared about each and every person and he was taken from us way too soon.  I know he struggled, just as many of us do - with depression, addiction, and so on - but now he doesn't have to anymore. I will always treasure my time spent with Chris, and I know it's the same for anyone who's ever gotten to know him.  He will be missed.""

This tribute was added by Ashley Taylor on 26th December 2013

"I saw this quote and it made me think of you.

“That's how you know you love someone, I guess, when you can't experience anything without wishing the other person were there to see it, too.”"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 16th December 2013

"From Heidi at AA:  Chris, I'm almost positive there was never time spent with you that didn't result in you making an extremely inappropriate comment or joke.  I would gasp and say "You're so horrible," invariably followed by mutual laughter.  You have a beautiful soul, and you're leaving behind a beautiful memory.  You will be missed.  You've inspired me to try and touch the people in this world with kindness and compassion the same way you did.  Love, Heidi"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 2nd December 2013

"I went to the local artists' showcase at Jammin' Java to feel closer to you and as one of the artists in recovery said, "The evening was magical."  I complemented a rapper and received several hugs from him -- he thinks I'm a music exec or something! I admired another's paintings and she cried when she realized that I was the mother of her friend, Chris.  More hugs, tears, love, acceptance...your magic lives."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 27th October 2013

"Boo, you would have loved the craziness of today's Marine Corps Marathon.  I saw and felt you everywhere, from the homeless man playing his saxophone at the Rosslyn Metro to the indomitable spirit of the runners!  Team Chris combined ran over 100 miles for you today!  We love you forever and ever.  Mama A"

This tribute was added by Ashley Taylor on 20th October 2013

"T-minus 1 week until Team Chris runs the marathon in your honor, I can imagine your face now as you think "4 girls ran 26.2 miles for me, I must be pretty damn sexy."  I am so unbelievably amazed by how much your family and friends have done to make sure no one ever has to lose a "Chris" again.  I love you oh so very much and miss you terribly, can you hurry up and haunt me already?"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 27th September 2013

"Boo, just wanted to let you know that your phenomenal first girlfriend, Ashley Taylor, has joined Team Chris to support through the Marine Corps Marathon 2013.  I, too, lost my first boyfriend (loved him since I was 4), Grant Haddix, when we were 30 yrs old.  Ashley, your support speaks volumes to how much Christopher will ALWAYS be loved!  See Ashley's story."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 22nd September 2013

"I loved you so much back at Langston Hughes, ...

Kevin Matthew
2/24 Facebook post
(see STORIES for Kevin's full tribute)"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 5th September 2013

"Because of you, my beloved son, THIS girl's on fire.  On my mind 24/7."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 12th August 2013

"My dear Boo, I wish you could see how hard your family and friends are working to make this world a better place for those struggling with addiction.  You are our inspiration and you are here with us in spirit.  Your sister and her friends are incredible:"

This tribute was added by Taylor Marcus on 6th August 2013

"I'm so sorry I didn't hear about this earlier, and I leave my love with the Atwood family."

This tribute was added by Taylor Marcus on 6th August 2013

"My first memory of Chris was when we met at glory days grill. We were all eating our wings. He had sauce all over his hand, and used my hair as a "towellete" as he said. I didn't even care about my saucy hair, it was so funny as the time! He brightened my mood any day, and took me on my very first date, which he had me laughing the whole time. What a funny, kind, sassy, goofy spirit"

This tribute was added by Allison Byers on 31st July 2013

"Chris, I am sitting here trying to make my fundraising page for CAF and MCM, and of course I end up just crying and coming to this page to visit you. I end up crying and laughing and crying and laughing because I'm so sad but you left so much light for us to enjoy. Losing you was such an incredible loss. But knowing you was such an incredible blessing."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 27th July 2013

"From Reza Hashemi, shared the week after Christopher's death:  

"Chris, You were ...the guy who saved my life."

See Reza's full tribute under the Stories tab."

This tribute was added by Maggie Lever on 20th July 2013

"I remember after preschool you would come to my house and we would watch Disney movies. You recently told me that Pocahontas was your favorite to watch with me. I know we weren't super close as we got older, but we grew up together in God's faith, and I know that I will see you again. I hope you are having a great time up there.."

This tribute was added by Ashley Taylor on 19th July 2013

"I miss you a lot and will always wish things could be different and that you would be here."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 16th July 2013

"Leon, Thank you for sharing.  It is indeed a tribute to my son that he was so memorable, and always trying to live life to the fullest, whether making his own unique recipe in the kitchen, rescuing a baby squirrel or spreading love and laughter wherever he went."

This tribute was added by Leon Kolankiewicz on 15th July 2013

"Man, odd that I found myself here surfing the web. Can't say we were close during the last few years or even during high school, but I remember the times in elementary school. I can't say that most people are that memorable. I remember playing king of the hill in the snow with you, Adrian, and my brother. I wish you and your family peace."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 8th July 2013

"From Amanda Thoburn (cousin):  "Christopher, Boo - I know you are up there looking down on us having a party in heaven. Being the youngest in my family I feel like I adopted you as my younger brother. Maybe I did that so I could boss you around but mostly it was because I loved you. You will forever live on in all of our hearts. You will greatly be missed.""

This tribute was added by Laura Albert on 3rd July 2013

"HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRIS!!! We all miss you so much, it seems odd not to be out celebrating. But I bet you're livin' it up in ways we can't possibly fathom-- love youuuu (and don't forget it)."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 3rd July 2013

"Today is your 22nd Birthday, Baby Boo!  You are everywhere and in my heart forever...Turned on the radio this morning and heard the same song back to back.  "Like A Drum, My heart never stops beating for you...I'll love you long after you are gone." I still love your virtual bear hugs. xoxo Mama"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 30th June 2013

"3 days shy of your 22nd birthday, July 3rd, and your life flashes before me constantly.  I will forever carry you in my heart and memory.  You are with me in spirit in all I do for the addiction and recovery community.  You are my always, Mom"

This tribute was added by Marcus Williams on 18th June 2013

"It may seem as if you were a short time visitor to my world, but you will always have an everlasting place in my mind. Your present brought joy and laughter to all it touched. To watch you catch your first fish on an lone pond in the foot hills of the Shenndoahs, to roasting marshmellows at warm fire side. Peace be with your spirit and love will stay in mine."

This tribute was added by Heather Hagaman on 16th June 2013

"Facebook chat:  Last week I taught yoga to teachers and students at South Lakes and I also taught to 100 Thomas Jefferson students too -HP works in mysterious ways!  hugs!.May 7, 2012 10:51 pm
Chris: hah nice i would like to do something like that helping out students at south lakes would be rewarding!
I miss you and I think about you Chris with a big smile!"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 15th June 2013

"I'm off to the Rappahannock to do my first solo camping trip in tribute to you my dear Buddy Boo.  I will think of the time you spent doing your solo in Utah and all of the many weeks you spent in the wilderness program working hard and being healthy.  You are with me in spirit. Love, Mama"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 26th May 2013

"From Ashley Taylor: "...I am so thankful that I had the chance to know such a great person for the past eight years.  No one could make me laugh the way Chris did.  He was the most hilarious, crazy, adorable, loving guy I have ever met..." (see full Tribute in "Stories")"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 23rd May 2013

"Sputnik - There are lots of ways you can get involved.  First of all, keep taking care of yourself!  We need you in this movement that has already begun and will only grow further due to Christopher's death.  If you haven't friended me on FB, please do.  My FB (I'm in Reston, VA) is dedicated to information and research to help in your sobriety. :) Hugs."

This tribute was added by Anonymous Anonymous on 22nd May 2013

"I have a new sponsor that I'm excited to work with as he has a background in psychology. I also have a therapist who has been turning over the stones in my life. I thought I'd message here because it seems that our Chris' passing has stirred a movement and I hear a lot of good stuff, and I'm wondering how I can get involved."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 22nd May 2013

"Dear Sputnik, my son felt exactly the same way. Even though I lost Chris to addiction, I feel totally unqualified to answer your questions.  I hope you have someone in your recovery who you can truly trust to help you stay clean & a physician who leaves no stone unturned.  All I can do here is to say don't give up the fight & feel free to email me:"

This tribute was added by Anonymous Anonymous on 22nd May 2013

"Hi I'm a recovering addict, my name is Sputnik and I'm really struggling with a feeling of hopelessness and what seems like a totally unmanageable life. Help?"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 19th May 2013

"In tribute to you, my son, I spent the day researching events and contacting people that can change the world we live in for future children who suffer from addiction and often mental illness.  What I have discovered takes my breath away, as does your death.  I wish you were here to help me -"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 18th May 2013

"Boo, in your short life you did all of these to varying degrees (a popular greeting card):  live with intention. walk to the edge. listen hard. practice wellness. play with abandon. laugh. choose with no regret. continue to learn. appreciate your friends. do what you love. live as if this is all there is. - mary anne radmacher   p.s. I think "walk to the edge" was your favorite. xoxo Mama"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 11th May 2013

"Hey Boo, Another typical weekend without you.  I set up a bank acct for your Fdt with Omid from Afghanistan, very fitting, and he cared about your story.  We "Blues" have to make a connection, no?  Went to Whole Foods after training your friend LC today.  The clerks were talking about Mother F Day, I shared your story.  One of the guys said, "Chris?!"  Of course, he knew you from LH..."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 4th May 2013

"By Deborah Stull (from AA meetings):  "Last thing I talked to him [Chris] about was a parody video on YouTube of a guy dancing to Shakira's "She Wolf".  The video is titled "He Wolf" by Andrew Foster.  I thought the guy looked similar and had the same lovable humor."  Thanks Deborah for the laugh, add about 30#'s of muscle to Andrew and it could be Chris.  - Anne"

This tribute was added by Ashley Taylor on 2nd May 2013

"I want you to know everyday somebody thinks of you and misses you, you were truly an incredible person unlike anyone else I have ever or will ever meet.  I wish you were still on this earth but I know you are making people happy elsewhere, and you are truly happy too.  I always think of what elise's dad said, "Here today, gone to-maui""

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 21st April 2013

"Hey Boo . . . I think most of us are doing this these days: "Everytime i scroll through my contacts and pass your name i wish there was something i could have done" - anonymous message left on your cellphone today.  (Remember the 3C's:  I didn't cause it, I can't control it, I can't cure it.)"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 11th April 2013

"Dear John (a.k.a. Pappy's mailman), I am truly touched by your tribute - a testament to my Dad, Carl Thoburn, and my son, Christopher -- two very good people who reached out to others every chance they could, two guys who loved to laugh, play pranks and go for the drama.  My son was lucky to have a grandfather he adored.  I gain strength through your words.  Bless you, Anne"

This tribute was added by John Lee on 10th April 2013

"Ann-   I am your Dads Mailman-  and while I didnt know Chris,  I know how much he is loved and missed.  I lost my Dad at 18, and thought "what could I have done" a million times.  I dont have any answers, but I know that your Dad is a true Christian, and a true Person.  I dont know why bad things happen to good people, but I believe one day, we will get the answers. Stay strong for him."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 6th April 2013

"Boo - I was alone at the hospital with you on Friday, 2/22.  My dear "brothers", Russ and Stan, had made it to your bedside before I had returned from a brief break.  It was almost midnight and I was in a fog.  Russ handed me a blank journal and pen.  Two days later, Spencer Brothers, your dear "brother", wrote in this journal. (See Stories)"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 5th April 2013

"Tribute from your cousin Eowyn: "Some of my favorite memories of Boo are of him and me spinning Anika and Ema as fast as we could through the air.  This would happen at any given family gathering.  We would hold them tight and scream and shout and laugh while the girls shrieked in delight. xoxo Eowyn""

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 3rd April 2013

"From Timothy Gear (a friend from way back), March 2, 2013:
"I love and miss you my brother.  The world is a lonelier place without you.  I will never forget your smile, rest in peace."

(Timothy made the first contribution to CAF)"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 1st April 2013

"From Rachel Albright in the guestbook 3/2/13:  "I met Chris two summers ago in the back of Spencer's SUV and we hit it off right away...I never spent a moment with Chris where I didn't think he was one of the greatest people I had ever met.  You raised an INCREDIBLE, smart, funny, poignant young man."  (full tribute from Rachel in Stories)"

This tribute was added by Ashley Taylor on 31st March 2013

"Thinking of you a lot today, I miss that toothy grin of yours. Wish you could be here to say cheer up, throw me over your shoulder, and laugh ridiculously. Love you christopher."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 31st March 2013

"I danced on a Friday when the sky turned black.  It's hard to dance with the devil on your back.  They buried my body & they thought I'd gone, but I am the Dance & I still go on!  Dance then, wherever you may be.  I am the Lord of the Dance, said He!  And I'll lead you all, wherever you may be... (The Lord of the Dance by Sydney Carter)"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 29th March 2013

"From Colleen Dyer (guestbook 3/1&2):  "Within seconds of meeting THE Chris Atwood, I knew I would never forget him.  Pure energy was bursting out of his veins...I love Chris more than words can express...He puts skin on Christ for me, and I love him."  (I've posted Colleen's full tribute in the story section. Thanks "Colloween"! - AA)"

This tribute was added by Ashley Taylor on 22nd March 2013

"I keep thinking about all the times we would drive around, and you would sit in the passenger seat as I played that song "Ashley" by the Dodos and you would sing along mockingly in the creepiest yet sweetest voice "ashhhhhhleeeeeyyyy."  You always knew how to make me smile, I miss you terribly, you silly chris."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 20th March 2013

"One of your very first boy-band favs was Newsboys.  Youtube's "Newsboys-Shine" doesn't do the song justice -- but you would.  "Shine, make 'em wonder what you've got, make them wish that they were not on the outside looking bored.  Shine, let it shine before all men.  Let them see good works and then let 'em glorify the Lord.""

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 17th March 2013

"Boo's favorite poem in Jr. High at Langston Hughes (by LH himself):
Hold fast to dreams, For if dreams die, Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.  Hold fast to dreams, For when dreams go, Life is a barren field, Frozen with snow."

This tribute was added by Carl Thoburn on 16th March 2013

"Christopher it has been three weeks since you said goodbye to us. I know you are safe in the arms of Jesus, your savior.If you had known Christopher you would have liked him for his wonderful smile & friendship. Christopher I wish you were here  to give me more bear hugs, but I know you wouldn't want to leave where you are now. Every time I sit in my chair i am reminded of your hugs. Pappy"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 16th March 2013

"Hey Boo, I just watched a replay of your memorial service while 4 dogs romped around me :)~.  I sat mesmerized at the tributes left to you by Spencer Brothers, Bill Ketchum, your dad, your sister, Allison Byers, Ty Lovitt and Manly.  I watched as so many filled the church and lingered to say goodbye to you.  I have never met someone so loved as you, my son.  You were larger than life."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 13th March 2013

"Don't listen to Elton John's CD Love Songs when you are grieving the loss of your son to depression/addiction. :)  Hey Boo, I want my Elton John Live in Australia CD back!"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 12th March 2013


- E.T."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 10th March 2013

"...and the majestic trees that grace south Reston where you spent much of your time growing up.  I just saw the first bat of the coming spring season darting through the sky over the 2nd tee of Reston National.  Thanks for reminding me that you are still here.  Love you, Mama"

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 10th March 2013

"Hey Boo, I’ve got your favorite shrimp & steaks.  Wish you could join me.  I’ve taken lots of walks with our dogs, retracing your steps.   I do see and feel you in everything, especially nature – the dancing flurries swirling in the air the day of your service, the breathtaking sunrises & sunsets just outside my door on the golf course ..."

This tribute was added by Ashley Taylor on 7th March 2013

"Chris, I visit this site everyday and when I am not on this site I am on your facebook, you would laugh at me and call me a stalker  I know.  It's hard to say or even comprehend how much I miss you and how much I think of you.  I hope where ever you are, that you are happy.  And that one day I will see your smiling face again:) I love you very much."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 6th March 2013

"... and even with the "H" missing from your school sign and police contacting me for petty stuff that in your Pappy's time he got away with, I still saw how magnificent you were.  You were so vibrant, loving, nurturing, sensitive...ah, my Boo.  But I was also growing very tired.  In my helplessness, I started relying on others for support.  But I soon found we were all in the same boat..."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 6th March 2013

"...ah, and then came middle school at Langston Hughes (your favorite poet at the time & mine too).  I remember my years as well, a push pull from parents, peers, emotions & hormones.  You were no longer willing to submit to your mother's plans for you - sports, healthy activities, family.  Fair enough because you were growing into your own person..."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 6th March 2013

"...and you continued to grow and flourish in Reston along with the Ivy Bush gang (a bunch of young boys, not the drug gangs that passed through and had the police constantly patroling).  You thrived at Terraset Elementary in Reston in 5th & 6th grade, winning the 6th grade graduation dance by your enthusiasm & energy alone (I've got it forever on film)..."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 6th March 2013

" I left you in the hands of Mrs. Smith, Annie Cooper and your beloved 1st grade teacher, your Nana, and you thrived.  You also met Nick at the same private school shortly thereafter.  You both saw the absurdity of life around you and the b.s. that so many tried to send your way.  The two of you would have none of that ..."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 6th March 2013

" I enlisted the help of my church.  Thank God for Mrs. Cross & Mrs. Patch.  You felt life so deeply even as a toddler!  But you were strong.  You taught me that life doesn't always give you what you want but it sure as heck gives you what you need.  And so we struggled together.  You were my soul mate even then.  School was a bit overwhelming even as a 5 year old..."

This tribute was added by Anne Atwood on 6th March 2013

"My Boo, I conceived of you even before you were conceived.  I carried you in my body for 9 months (minus one week, bless you child as 1991 was brutally hot even in May).  You were everything I hoped for, dreamed of and wanted ... and then some.  I never wanted to leave your side but you were so intense that I knew I needed help..."

This tribute was added by Charles Hunnicutt on 6th March 2013

"My thoughts and prayers are with you."

This tribute was added by Lisa Bryda on 3rd March 2013

"You have such an amazing family, Chris. It is rare to see such strength at a time like this, but I know where it comes from. I am certain that it was a blessing to many to hear the tributes that your mom, dad, sister and friend paid to you at your memorial service. You are truly an amazing person and brought so much laughter and love into this world. May you be at peace."

This tribute was added by Daniel Garay on 2nd March 2013

"One time walking home from school we cut through the golf course like usual it was snowing and we walked by one of those "golf holes" I think it's called it he yells out I need to take a shit! this looks like a good spot so pulls down his pants and tries to take a dump in the hole he ends up missing it and poops next to it he pulls up his pants and yells it looks like a candy cane!"

This tribute was added by Rob Farrell on 2nd March 2013

"one time at ihop chris and two other people decided it would be a good idea to take a shot of syrup, very hot syrup i might add, and he was the only one to finish it out of the three"

This tribute was added by Brian Wong on 2nd March 2013

"I offer my condolences."

This tribute was added by mavila abviles on 28th February 2013

"Dear Chris,
You have showed me a lot of respect, appreciation, and kindness.  I will always remember your beautiful smile.  Thanks for all your help and your great sence of humor. My staff and I will miss you tremendously.
May God bless you and your family and give them the strengh during difficult time. Rest in Peace. Mavila Aviles"

This tribute was added by Tim Gear on 28th February 2013

"Chris, the memories I have of you will be fixed in my mind forever.  I will never forget the weekend nights in middle-school running around town center wreaking havoc and laughing hysterically.  Life seemed so simple back then... and yet it feels like it was only yesterday.  You will be forever missed by those who knew you.  May your soul rest-easy, until we meet again in paradise."

This tribute was added by Jake Overslaugh on 28th February 2013

"I came across your notice in today's paper, we have never met but shared much......, I just wanted to share this thought......many of us  share the same affliction.. remember it is not a character flaw...... safe travels and be well......"

This tribute was added by Adam Atkinson on 28th February 2013

"The impact you made in such a short amount of time simply cannot be put into words.  Your sense of humor and ability to summon joy when there was none will be deeply missed.  In the past few days I've reflected on the times we've spent together and how much fun we had.   Im very lucky to have spent those times with you, and look forward to the day that we'll meet again.  Rest in peace man"

This tribute was added by Barbara Stahl on 28th February 2013

"Chris, Unfortunately we were not lucky enough to really know you very well; however we often thought of you and your wonderful family. In years past, we celebrated some wild and crazy New Years with your Mom, Aunt Beth, Nanny and Bud Dad.  I can't imagine the joy you brought to all who loved you.  From reading some of the other tributes, you were definitely a shining light."

This tribute was added by Pam Love on 28th February 2013

""No matter what, God Loves you, And I love you." Thank you for those words Chris, i'm happy to have (unfortunately) missed your call that time, therefore those words will forever remain in my voicemail. Your care and love for others will never be forgotten."

This tribute was added by Pam Love on 28th February 2013

"Chris, I will never forget all of the times you've made my family and I laugh, all the times we've spent together, and all of the ridiculous things you've done to me. You are truly one of a kind, without a doubt irreplaceable. You were (and are) loved more than you will ever know. You've impacted many, and your soul lives on. Rest peacefully, and happily. I love you."

This tribute was added by Linda Cranmer on 28th February 2013

"Tom and I remember well our dinners with Anne and Chris.  How many teenage boys would allow their mothers to take them to dinner with two people old enough to be their grandparents?  Chris invariably livened up the evening with his wry sense of humor and clever comments! Chris was dear to us and we will miss him.  May he rest in peace."

This tribute was added by Jenny Sexton on 28th February 2013

"The deep pain that is felt at the death of every friendly soul arises from the feeling that there is in every individual something which is inexpressible, peculiar to him alone, and is, therefore, absolutely and irretrievably lost.  
- Arthur Schopenhauer
May you rest in peace, free from pain."

This tribute was added by hannah zagurski on 28th February 2013

"It saddens me deeply to know that you have left us, Chris. But you lived enough for 1,000 men while you were on this earth those short 21 years. You were such an amazing, hilarious, caring, and wild guy and I am so sorry you are no longer with us. Reston will never be the same without you. I will never forget you. Love you, Chris."

This tribute was added by Grant Bell on 27th February 2013

"As a Pender kid I've been lucky enough to grow up around some pretty amazing people. Chris was without a doubt one of them. Every time I saw him he was making someone laugh or helping to brighten a day. From being chased around the sunday school room by Mark to letting the girls at Philippi play with his hair for hours, Chris will be deeply missed, but the amazing memories will live on."

This tribute was added by Rebekah Fitch on 27th February 2013

"My dearest cousin Christopher, I cannot express how much I miss you.  Everything I read is about what a light you are, a strong spirit, the joy and happiness you brought to so many, and how you've helped others, it's all so true.  In all this sadness Im happy that you touched so many hearts, lives and spirits in the world.  You will never be forgotten, we will all honor and treasure you!"

This tribute was added by Sharon Jones on 27th February 2013

"Chris, I just want to thank you for being there for Kelly during his sometime difficult adjustment.  He told us how funny you were and how much you helped him.  In your short time together, you were a light in Kelly's life, and he felt a bond with you. He is devastated by your death and vows to honor your memory by living a healthy life.  May God wrap your family in his loving embrace."

This tribute was added by yvette abdulkadir on 27th February 2013

"I'm sure you will make the angels smile... :-)"

This tribute was added by Katie Ernst on 27th February 2013

"Only a little brother as clever and humorous as Christopher would be part of some ridiculous (odd and disgusting too!) prank and eagerly provide his poop in a ziploc bag for his older sister and her two best friends. <3"

This tribute was added by Steve Thoburn on 27th February 2013

"One of the wonderful thing about nephews is that they remind you how exciting and fun life was when you were their age.  You are so missed.

--Uncle Steve"

This tribute was added by Elizabeth Loftin on 27th February 2013

"the world feels so much smaller without you here. i'm sorry you went down that road feeling alone, but you were never ever unloved. You knew how to pull out the deepest, most genuine emotions in me and never judged me for them. You and I together created some of my happiest and most nostalgic memories, which I will cherish forever. Thank you for being in my life. I love and miss you always"

This tribute was added by Laura Albert on 27th February 2013

"Chris was always unapologetically true to himself. That was something I always admired, and wished I could emulate. He showed people that they shouldn't be afraid or ashamed of who they are, just as he never failed to be himself around everyone he met."

This tribute was added by Steven Meyers on 27th February 2013

"I didn't have many friends in middle school but you reached out and changed my view on life.  Thanks for that.  Adventure crown."

This tribute was added by Sara Hoyos on 27th February 2013

"Chris you could always turn any moment from gray and dull to bright and cheerful. You always had good intentions and made everyone happy. If by any chance you made someone angry, you always knew just how to make it up, like that time you brought laura a plate of melted cheese and a soda to say you're sorry, you knew our family best <3 i miss you and love you big brother"

This tribute was added by Reverand B on 27th February 2013

"Chris, I don't know if I would be the person that I am today had I not met you all those years ago. I'll miss you forever homie. You and Kyle hold it down up there till it's my time.
Sleep tight, I'm not afraid. The ones that we love are here with me. Lay away a place for me. And as soon as I'm done I'll be on my way. To live eternally. RIP CA."

This tribute was added by Laura Hoyos on 27th February 2013

"Chris, you had the biggest heart out of everyone I know. You could make anyone smile no matter the situation. You made me see a fun a easy way of life, where humor and friendship could heal all. Thank you for all the support and love you shared with me. You are one of a kind. A true angel of God. If you didn’t know that before, I really hope you know that now. I love you."

This tribute was added by Shawn Rana on 27th February 2013

"Miss you man, everyone up here in Reston loves you and misses you. Rest in Paradise buddy"

This tribute was added by Carolyn Yamamoto on 27th February 2013

"Dear sweet Chris, or Boo, as we all called you until you got too old...You have been such an important part of my life. You have been an important part of my girl's lives, especially Anika's. We miss your life, your light that brightened any room you walked into. We will miss you at Anika's Birthday parties, you were the life of the party. You enveloped us in your warmth with every hug."

This tribute was added by Auntie Beth on 27th February 2013

"Christopher, I have a feeling I will need a bunch of comment spaces to adequately cover all the precious and hilarious times that I was privileged to spend with you. I was worried about trying to be a good "Auntie", but you made it easy. I wanted so much for you to win your fight, but I know that nothing separates us from the love of God in Christ, and in that sense, you are victorious."

This tribute was added by Linds Zimnoch on 27th February 2013

"I met you when you were 5 years old. You were the funniest guy I ever knew. I'll always remember playing with the same lego kit and you making fun of me and Erika for collecting crappy bears from the art store. You were my brother's BEST friend in the world, since day one. You have been a part of our family and I will always remember you as the sweet, kind, hilarious kid I knew. With love."

This tribute was added by Alex Heilner on 27th February 2013

"I'll never forget the morning I unrolled the copy of the Reston Times from the driveway and saw this (photo courtesy of Chris's myspace):"

This tribute was added by keyanna meehan on 26th February 2013

""He is just away.." In the shining dawn of eternal morning he journeys on; So with steadfast hope May you face each new day In the comforting thought " He is just away." <3"

This tribute was added by Ashley Taylor on 26th February 2013

"Oh Christopher, I have such trouble writing these things, how am I suppose to sum up how wonderful you are and how much I miss you in 330 characters?  You were the craziest, most hilarious, and sweetest person I have ever met.  Everything reminds me of you.  I love you and miss how easy you would be able to make me smile."

This tribute was added by keyanna meehan on 26th February 2013

"I guess it's true when people say that the good die young, but it's just not fair. You are so loved and your such a beautiful person Chris. You always could make me laugh when I was crying. Bear hug me when I was angry. Make up the most random stories just to make me happy. I miss you. But I know your in the most wonderful place in the world. Chris you will always be loved <3 keyanna"

This tribute was added by Karen Fettig on 26th February 2013

"Ginny - your strength amazes me.  I used to think I was the strong one.  

Chris - what can I say.  Your incredible, beautiful, amazing, dynamic, one of a kind soul is one of the most beautiful I've ever met.  You will always be right here beside me, on the right - with my other boy on the left."

This tribute was added by Ginny Atwood on 26th February 2013

"Chri-er-er, to say you will be missed is an understatement. I feel like gravity just stopped working. I'm floating, confused and scared, and a little bit nauseous.  But your love, as it always has, will once again find a way to anchor me.  It will just be in a different way than before.  With the strength of your spirit to guide me, I am going to live my life to the fullest in your honor."

This tribute was added by Allison Byers on 25th February 2013

"Atwood Family Farms is so lonely without you, Chris. I keep expecting to see you come around the corner. It doesn't seem real. You have left such an incredible hole. I wish you could have found peace and joy in this world even close to that which you brought to others, but I know that now you are up there feeling free from pain and finally basking in the light that you brought to all of us"

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Ginny Atwood


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