Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Today would have been our much loved son Chris' birthday. It's been two and a half years since his sudden death off the coast of South Africa, but I continue to miss him so much every day. Since he died, I haven't been able to write about him like this, but after a lot of tears shed since last night, I decided it was time to stop crying and celebrate his life!

He accomplished so much over his all too brief time on this earth, and I'm always astonished when every day at least one or two people Google his name. Over two and a half years, that's a lot of people! And every day dozens of readers watch the brief photo slide show that appears on the bottom of each of my website pages: www.shirleytallman.com. A few of the pictures are serious, most of them fun, and some just downright silly. I love them all!

Chris was an adventurer, an avid sports enthusiast, a loving son, brother and husband. He climbed mountains, was an expert snow skier, went on adventure vacations, and lived life to the fullest. He would have made a fantastic father! I was already planning a scrapbook to fill with pictures of he and Sarah's children. He and his lovely Sarah were married only a tragically short five months when he left us. And she's gone through hell since then, believe me! But she's done it bravely and with unfaltering love and devotion to the handsome young man she married! I'm constantly amazed by how hard she's worked to keep Chris, his memory, and his music alive.

Chris was an extremely talented musician. Months before his death he signed a contract with MTV, and thanks to his wife Sarah's tireless efforts, his music has aired on CNN and many other outlets. His music has won posthumous awards and has reached the finals of even more. (My favorite of his songs, "BELIEVE", plays on the photo side show that appears on my website.)

Time and again since that terrible day in April of 2008, people young and old have approached me to tell me some wonderful story about how Chris touched their lives. More than a few young men have actually cried while telling me how Chris was always there for them, or how he could always be counted on -- day or night -- to help them out of a tough spot. He was always tops in my book, but I never truly realized how important he was to others.

Chris touched my life, his father's life, and the lives of his six brothers and sisters, too, in very profound ways. In many ways he was the glue that held us all together. He was the surprise baby we didn't expect, he provided the ongoing nature lessons for his older siblings throughout my nine month pregnancy, and he was the cute little guy everyone wanted to hold, feed and yes, even change! Amazing!

I know he's in a happy place now; of that I have absolutely no doubt!! Probably looking down on all of us (as our granddaughter Danielle said today) with love in his eyes. She remembers him as the happy young uncle who always had a smile on his face, who never failed to hug her, and always said how adorable she was. That's the kind of guy he was.

Gradually, time is helping his family and his beautiful widow to heal, but the emptiness he left in all our hearts will likely never be filled. How can it be? Our son, brother, husband Chris was truly one of a kind!

This evening, instead of crying, I want to celebrate the life of my son, Chris Tallman. Thank you God for bringing that beautiful little boy into our lives. Thank you, Chris, for teaching us how to love unconditionally, to look out for our friends and neighbors (and even a few strangers along the way), for showing us how to have fun and laugh at life's ups and downs, for filling our hearts with music, and most of all for just being you!

We love you forever and with all our hearts. We will always believe!!!


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