Clare Braithwaite

Well I’ve been struggling for weeks now to think of the words to talk about Chris. Where do you start? I’ve been so moved to see how widely loved he is across the globe with some fabulous stories here and at the funeral. But if I don’t do it now I never will so here goes!
I first met Chris in my 2nd year at uni. He was part of a big group of friends who came back for their final year after placement. Rach, Annabelle and I soon became great friends with them all and there were many ridiculously funny nights at The Guild or at our house. Chris was always at the heart of all the fun but always there to look after us too! So many stories that like everyone else I can’t possibly share here!!!
After uni everyone went their separate ways but there were lots of parties and weddings which brought everyone together with lots more fun to be had.
Then as the years passed living “up north” means I’ve had less contact with the group as a whole but Chris always kept in touch. Rach and I had a fabulous few days in San Francisco with Chris, Simone and Jude and it was great to see such a happy family. Even then there was a story as Chris managed to get stopped by the Highway Patrol as he took Rach and I on a tour of the vineyards in the Napa Valley!
Chris was a fabulous friend to so many people including me as all these stories show. He always had time for everyone. Chris and I have adjacent birthdays of the 26th and 27th September so we would always email every year and catch up. My one regret is that I didn’t take his invite up to get a visit in the diary as I had so much going on!
Going to Chris’ funeral was such a mix of emotions. Devastatingly sad to say goodbye but so lovely to have a mini Aston reunion! It was great to catch up so many people who haven’t changed at all (well not much!) in the 15 years or more since I’ve last seen them. The Aston crowd should be proud of themselves that they still are such good friends after all this time and keep in such regular contact. They all did their beloved friend proud on the day and am sure will continue to keep his memory alive.
I hope that the promises made that day to get a date this year for the wider group to get together do happen. It would be so good to have a happier occasion in which to raise a glass to our friend Chris.
I still can’t believe you are gone but will forever remember the love and hugs and friendship xxx

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