My dear Chris,
You had said I'd regret your having entered my life but you know what I regret? Your having left it.
Thinking of you often, missing you so much, still, two years on, two years since the last time I heard your voice on the phone.
I stumbled upon Blog of Innocence whilst sitting in bed as the breeze blew through the open French doors and the tree festooned with yellow flowers danced along. your beautiful poems hummed in my brain. Thank you
Happy Birthday wherever you are Chris, wherever you've escaped to!
I stumbled onto the Blog Of Innocence by accident, and always looked forward to your posts there. We had a couple of short exchanges on Twitter, which I appreciated - I wish there had been more.
I was always struck by the depth of thought and feeling you put into your posts, and I am saddened to hear that you're no longer with us in this realm. I'm certain, however, the quest your soul was on when you were with us has just moved into a different space and I like to think of there observing, thinking, feeling, and, above all, appreciating beauty in all its forms just as you did when you were here.
Godspeed, Chris. And I wish love, light, and comfort to your family and friends.
Today I remember you with a smile.
Son,it has been six months since you "escaped". Yet, You are with me every remaining day of my life as I read your journals and reflect on past memories. We all miss you, family and friends.
I am comforted and uplifted by all the entries in this guest book from people all over the world. Your Legacy shall continue in Escapeintolife.
Stay in Peace until we meet again.
I miss you and hope you have peace now.
So sorry to learn this sad news. What a talented writer and genuine person.
Oh my gosh. I am so sorry, Lethe. I am so sorry for us, for you have left us to contemplate life without your inspiring words. I only knew you as Lethe, only through Twitter, but you have inspired me to be more brave, more careful, more carefree in all that I do. I wish I told you. I wish I knew, before I left Twitter for three months, that I would never tweet at you again. Rest in eternal peace.
I only knew Chris briefly, from his first contacting me as Lethe through to the interview I received from him several months ago. I am so very sorry to hear of his passing. He was lovely; so creative, and he never had anything but kindness in his way. He is sorely missed. I am happy to see his legacy carried forward and, though I wish he were here to see it in person, I know that he will be orchestrating the creatives in God's house. Thank you Chris for all your kind words and for your vision. Condolences to all those who loved him, he lingers still.
I only knew Chris through his blog which I found by accident, looking for inspiration, I found it on his blog. The artwork that he selected to display, and just the spirit of the person behind his prose. I was inspired in many ways by his blog and his compelling stories that made me question my own feelings about things in this world. My heart goes out to the family and friends of Chris, I wish I had been able to meet him in person. His writing was so personal, it made you feel close to him in some way. I hadn't received any updated blogs and just looked it up to see that he has passed and so young. He will be greatly missed, thank you for having such a wonderful son who shared himself with the world.
I am deeply saddened to hear of Chris's passing-such an incredible young, hard working, visionary and talented man. He was a vehicle for creating such goodness on so many levels by observing, publishing and encouraging others to contribute. I had written him a thank you note for featuring my art at the end of June and he wrote me back. I remember thinking how few people actually are able to achieve what he has by encouraging people to think, engage and interact with art on a daily basis. I imagined how many lonely and long hours it took to create such things as this blog-one could see this because it was so well done. Thanks for keeping his site alive dear family and friends. My deepest sympathies to you-your son, your brother, your nephew, your dear friend. We will miss this modern day shaman of art and brotherhood and thanks for keeping his spirit alive in this forum.
I feel heartbroken by this sad news but lifted by all he accomplished in his short life by touching so many others lives.
Christopher was brilliant, and reading his writing and the arts and writings of those he published in his on-line journal was always inspiring, a treat, but it was his honesty about his life, his feelings, even in the seemingly unimportant everyday, that touched my heart. I never met Christopher, and yet I feel stricken by his loss. He was a guiding light and a person who was not afraid of vulnerability. I grieve his passing. Deepest condolences to his family.
I'm terribly sorry. I haven't been on twitter much of late, but I will miss his tweets greatly; they were very inspirational and I consider this to be a great loss from the online family whom I've never met in person.
Chris is an awesome soul and I'm honored to have been his friend.
Blessings and love to all of Chris Al-Aswad's family.
Thanks to Chris for all the support and the respect given toward the thoughts and ideas of others. You leave the legacy of a truly genuine person, whether it was on twitter or over the telephone. I am sorry you could not stay longer to share more of yourself. I am humbled by our lose of you, and chastened by your model of consistency, hard focused-work and genuine kindness toward others.
Thinking about how much Chris touched people after reading all the comments here posted, and noticing how many of those where people he met online, leaves me thinking about a good many things with respect to the way we live and share our lives. (Wondering about my decision to spend much less time online.) At the end of the day, the death of a cherished person never quenches love.
Thanks for sharing Chris.
Rest in peace; my hope is that you now walk in light.
You were too young to disappear into the void.
I only found Chris's blog a week ago, I didn't have much time to read it so I went back to it today. It touched me immensely and I was really inspired and excited at the prospect of reading future entries - and only after visiting Escape into Life did I realise that Chris had passed away. I did not know him or of him during his lifetime but I hope that what he has shared so generously of himself will continute to touch and inspire.
I have so many great memories of growing up with Chris. He was a big part of my childhood. We lost touch as our lives went in different directions but he could never be forgotten.
Love and prayers to his family and friends.
I was traveling and didn't know that Chris had passed...I was in the middle of an article and it wasn't like him not to respond. He was always so encouraging and responsive. He got me to write art criticism again after many years. What a huge loss to the writing community and I can't image how his family must feel. Chris was well loved out here in the art ether and will be sorely missed by those of us who wrote for him. Allison A. Davis, San Francisco
Chris, you were a wonderful human being. Although, I did not get the chance to meet you in person (I planned to). I enjoyed being one of your Twitter PeePs. I love you bro'!!! I just found out 3 days ago. I was wondering where you were. I thought maybe you had powered down from Tweeting! Then, I received the message from Teia (via @blogofinnocence) that you had passed away. I want to say thank you Chris for inspiring me to write, and I will continue to do so. I know you are still alive and well and some other dimension because life is a continuum. Yet, it still hurts. I miss seeing you in the Twitter stream saying goodnight while everyone else was saying good morning. We had been friends for a year, but I felt like I had known you for years. I just understood you. You were so talented. I have to read all of your essays. Thanks for creating a masterpiece for us to revisit over and over. ~~~Vaya con Dios!!!
I just heard of Chris' passing, and am deeply saddened. Condolences to his family and friends for having lost him. He was a lovely human being, and extremely kind, positive, talented, intelligent and passionate...and a wonderful writer and artist. He will definitely be missed.
Ouch. That's so young to die. I only barely knew Al-Aswad on a Twitter basis. With so many artists to follow, I hadn't seriously looked into what he was doing, but when I saw someone tweet a dedication of remembrance to his life it startled me. I got to looking into what he was doing, and it was very impressive. So sad to see the life of an ambitious, brilliant entrepreneur snuffed out.
I feel so very sad and sorry to read about Chris' passing – almost missing words…
I only "knew" him online on StumbleUpon, Twitter and Facebook. Interchaning some mails concerning an interview I published on EIL.
EIL was not just an amazing art-magazine online but his life. He put everything into it. If this sentence 'it will never be the same as it was before' matches the truth it does with Chris' project, EIL.
A great has person has gone. We will miss him.
I've only just found out - I thought he'd just gone quiet again as he said he was putting everything into EIL.
I never actually met Chris but he found me on Twitter and at the time I had just stuffed up my second attempt at science career. He enthused me back to my art and writing.
I feel I owe him a hug thanks but now can never tell him that. Plus who am I going to chat with during my insomnia nights?
Condolances to the family and friends :(
I had just know Chris for a short while. Chris was a kind man who loved his family, work and friends. Chris was a man who would do anything just to put a smile on you face. I send my condolences to his family, friends and funs all over the world. We have truly lost an angel amongst us. Chris you will be truly missed. ( Christine Peoria IL).
I am shocked to hear of Chris' passing. We had been connecting via "direct messaging" for about a year, now. I was hoping to introduce him to my son who is a writer, but now that will be impossible. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
Firstly my sincere condolences to the Al-Aswad family and friends for this sad loss. I only knew Chris through the virtual world - but I can tell you - even in this medium he conveyed his kindness and his love of people. I was deeply shocked to hear of his passing, but I am sure that he would want his journal and blog to continue. He was the son, brother and friend to be proud of, a young man whose very real talent is evident in everything he wrote. I was amazed by the sheer breadth of his interest in art and poetry. He got people writing (like me) and he got people to produce art. An incredible man and I shall miss his presence.
Thanks for all of your good work Chris.
Peace to your family.
Chris inspired me, he reawakened the writer in me, he encouraged me. He asked, several times, if I would submit something, but I was too introverted. Chris, I promise that I will not hold back any longer. I've been invited to read some of my poems at an event in September and I will do it in your memory. Here is one of them, just published.
ACCIDENT CLAIMS DREAM AT DEADLY CROSSING
There was a nasty accident yesterday
at the intersection of "My Aspirations"
and "This Is How It’s Going To Be."
“He never saw it coming,” witnesses proclaimed.
“Totally blindsided,” said one.
“You should have seen the look on his face,” said another.
Authorities summoned to the scene
wrote down the usual description – white male, 58, balding –
but so many details escaped them.
Their report captured nothing of the man,
the anticipation of better things …
the hopes dashed…
the plans undone…
the passion to go on, nonetheless.
It was all just grisly details to these hardened observers.
“Should’ve been paying closer attention.”
“I’ve seen it a hundred times.”
But their being right doesn’t make it right.
We tally the losses but do not weigh the consequences
of the dying dreams, the good things left unfinished.
We mumble something about fate
and turn the page to look for better news.
“Move along, folks. There’s nothing to see here.”
My deepest sympathies to your family. Chris was an inspiration.
With deepest sympathy to the Al-Aswad family. You will continue in our thoughts and prayers. Chris was a truly amazing individual whose life touched so many people and continues to with a beautiful ripple. He packed more life into his all too short 31 years than most people do in a much longer lifetime. He is sorely missed.
Thank you Chris for all the wonderful things that you showed us. Your great passion for art and beauty i will miss terribly.
My condolences to Chris' family. Though words seldom lift grieving hearts I am grateful for the all-to-short legacy of Chris' words and work for the art of creative expression in its various forms.
Chris was a very special person. He has left a legacy of beautiful words and broken hearts. We will miss him dearly.
was shocked and saddened to hear about Chris, my love and condolences to the family , he will be remembered , his intelligence , his passion in all the words hes left behind for us. Kavita
I will miss knowing you are somewhere out there Chris.
You knew what truly touched people and you reached us all through art.
Beyond paintings, photographs, poems you passionately made us discover, your gentleness, generosity and intelligence will be remembered.
Thank you for everything Chris.
My deepest condolences to you
so sorry....a blessing that will be missed......
I am so sorry for your loss. Chris shone a beautiful light on art. His eye for great work was unfailing and his generosity, so gracious.
Such terrible news. Chris did a great deal to spread inspiration & influence to the creative community. We'll miss your insight Chris. Peace be with you x
In the last few months Chris and I were e-mailing a lot. I was writing for him and helping his with Escape.
I was so impressed with Chris is every way.
My hear is broken today.
This is the saddest news.
Chris blazed a trail across all the arts in an open and embracing way that merely asked for engagement, dialogue and serious mindedness about our own creative processes back. I want to thank him especially for that, for dragging a disparate group of creative minds scattered around the globe and forging us into a community where we could better talk to one another and swap ideas. On a one to one basis, Chris wrote fantastically stimulating essays on his Blog Of Innocence which is where I first encountered him and he honed my mind in sharp, intelligent debate about our creative processes.
The world and the arts world is a distinctly poorer place for his passing.
Rest easy Chris
I have been following "@Escapintolife" on Twitter for a time. The quality and quantity of art shared there has enriched my life. Thank you Chris.
To Chris's family and close friends, with this candle comes tender wishes, to you, for peace. Always and forever.
Chris's tweets via "Escape Into Life" have been a consistent highlight in my daily online life. I am inspired as much by his passion and tireless love of art as I am the artists he featured. The brief messages we exchanged left me hopeful and excited for the future of "Escape Into Life" and the growth of our online art community. He will be dearly missed but never forgotten.
I am very sorry for your loss. I loved Chris' site "Escape into Life" and the beautiful art that brought joy to me on the other side of the world.
The only thing that maybe surpassed Chris' passion for the arts was his capacity for kindness. I count myself blessed to have been on the receiving end so many times. I miss him more than I can say. My heart goes out to the Al-Aswad family and to all of his friends.
My conversations with Chris and the opportunity to read some of his ongoing writing projects was always, always, inspiring. Everytime we "talked" via dm he made me think of things in a new way, often made me laugh. The opportunities and comments he offered me are treasured.
Most of all, however, the giant gift to my everyday life and education of the website "Escape into Life" and the connections with the contributors and the artists he included made many many days brighter. For me knowledge about the art I saw meant as much as the opportunity to see new work. Chris always had a knack for knowing what would be fascinating. I miss him today, and in the small ways that our lives touched I will always miss him.
So sorry for your loss. Chris' extraordinary love for the arts will continue to inspire countless people, including me. He will not be forgotten.
Chris's tireless devotion to the exploration of the arts has been a joy and inspiration. My sympathy to his friends and family.
Since learning of Chris' death, my thoughts have consistently returned to the pleasant surprise of our first contact. With his consciousness of human nature, he brightened my days. I send my condolences to his family, loved ones and all else who were uplifted by his presence; and wish for you Peace and continuous Happy Memories of your time with him. I will miss his presence, yet rejoice in his influence in my life.
As someone new to Twitter, I only became aware of Chris and his amazing work in Escape into Life through his final escape. I have become aware of how much I have missed and how much we have all lost. My heart goes out to his family and his friends. I feel sure that his legacy will live on.
My deepest condolences to Chris's family, friends and all the people who's lives he touched. He touched my life, introduced me to amazing art and people and always brightened my day when I encountered him on twitter. I will miss Chris, and I hope that his work in Escape into Life will continue his legacy of sharing.
Truly some people have a strength and radiance that inspires others to shine..Chris clearly touched the hearts and souls of so many friends, encouraging beauty in this world of ours...he will never be forgotten in our hearts-what a bright star he will always be. Love, Lindy
You showed me something new and beautiful everyday. I will miss you terribly. And I know many, many people will.
Chris and his loved ones are in my thoughts. His contributions to the art world, and my daily life, are tremendous.
Twitter will never be the same.
I knew of Chris through Escape into Life and though I did not know him personally I loved his work. He will be deeply missed and my deepest condolences to his family.
Thank you Chris for your tremendous care and outpouring for artists and the art they create. I miss seeing your daily interactions with people from all over the world. You've made a great impression on me.
The light you gave,
you give still.
Thank you Christopher
My condolences to the Al-Aswad family. I am so sorry for your loss. Chris and all of you are in my thoughts and prayers.
I first encountered one Lethe Bashar in May 2009, soon after I joined Twitter. I don't remember who followed whom, but I suspect I followed him as a contact in the art world. We spoke on stream and in DMs of many things, including giving up smoking, and he, almost shyly, pointed me at Escape Into Life. Earlier this year, I noticed I hadn't heard from him in a while, but the EIL account was still running. Then this new fellow, Chris Al-Aswad popped up in my stream, pointing at may of the same things Lethe had, and EIL. I didn't make the connection, unfortunately, and now I won't be able to welcome him out of the shadows. We never met, we never spoke aloud, and yet we were friends. Goodbye, Chris. Escape into a new life.
Chris era una persona excepcional, no tenia preferencia encuanto al Arte y siempre trataba con respeto a todos, de la misma manera era su informacion imparcial y constantemente informativa, Lo voy a extranar mucho, a la familia mis oraciones estan con ustedes en este momento de gran perdida.
Chris was very impartial when it came to Art and Escape into Life has always being since the beginning, a great resource, always very respectful and great full in hes dealing with others.
I'm really going to miss him, To the Family my sincere Empathy, my prayers and Heart, goes with you in this moment of great loss.
You will always be a source of inspiration, Chris. I admire the passion and dedication with which you mastered the art of promoting art in all its forms, and your writings. Your personality will stay alive through your exemplary work, and I am deeply grateful for your encouragement and support.
We have to let you go now. Chris you are deeply missed in Twitterland. Thank you for your vision...
My thoughts are with Chris's family and his close friends
His untiring promotion of the arts online remain as an encouragement and inspiration to all artists.
Thank you Chris.
Chris was loved by many not only for his remarkable knowledge in the arts, but also for his outgoing and expressive personality. He will be missed deeply.
I want to thank Chris for his contribution to the art world. The art community will never be the same w/out him. My condolences to his family. May his work live on.
His untiring promotion of the arts online, remains an encouragement and an inspiration for all artists.
Thank you Chris.
maryyoko ..with inspiration from Chris and loving memory
It is always hardest for family and loved ones left behind. Our deepest sympathies...
So sorry and touched to hear about Chris, his words, work and the way people feel about him are a great legacy.
I knew Chris from Twitter, where he spread his love for art and promoted artists. He was a kind man who will be sorely missed. My sincere condolances to his family and friends (all over the world).
The words of writers never die, their lines take to finer forms which physical eyes can no longer read. Blessed Be Christopher
Although I never met him face to face, Chris had a huge impact on me in the short time I had the privilege of knowing him. He never failed to pass along inspiration. He is sorely missed.
Chris brought beauty to many people, sharing his appreciation of art with so many of us. He will be missed by thousands and thousands of strangers- so I can only imagine how your hearts are breaking. Know that he will not be forgotten and his work will be a forever monument to the countless lives he touched.
That so many who never met Chris were so affected by his generous spirit and his deep commitment to art is a testament and legacy. I hope his family will find some consolation in this truth.
Chris, you opened our eyes for the beauty of art in all it's forms. You teached and inspired us every day. Always a sincere, brilliant, hard-working and very kind person. Glad you brightened my stream and surprised me everytime with your brilliant tweets. I'm honored to have connected with such a gifted person. You will be missed by so many, but you always will be close to us in our hearts and through Escape Into Life. My deepest sympathies to the family and friends.
Hugs dear Chris, i will miss you
I love the Escape into LIfe site and I do love the Chris mind. He was very clever and sensible to find always new things to inspire us. I hope his work never dies.
Avevo conosciuto Chris da poco, ma mi manca molto. Una grande perdita per il mondo dell'arte.
My condolences to Chris' families.
Chris, Your art lives in us.
I know Chris because of Twitter and his web site. He shared so many beautiful things. Sending my sincere sympathy to family members and friends for your loss.
Chris was a tireless inspiration to so many. A wonderful mind and a wonderful man.
Hi to Chris' family! You are in my thoughts and prayers. Here's my tribute to the best mentor in the world: http://lauralawson.blogspot.com/2010/07/boy-meets-girl.html
When I chanced upon Chris through Twitter, I found his passion and love for the arts breathtaking. He expressed his deep love and appreciation for the creative spirit in so many ways and forums. I was astonished at how prolific his output was...poetry....essays....gathering together unknown artists and sharing their wonderful work with an art starved public.
I believe his work is monumental and I dearly hope that a credible art publication can somehow honor the quality of his contribution and carry it further...the world needs to share and experience his love for art; for our common humanity understands that he has done a great service to bring to light the wonders of art to all of us.
Even more, was his large heart and compassion for all struggling creative people....he was a true artist himself. I never met him, but he touched me deeply through his words. My condolances to his loved ones and blessings to you Chris in your eternal beautiful journey, I miss your daily tweets sorely.
Chris was an extremely special person, all who had contact with him felt this. He tried especially to connect and lift artists with his tireless commitment to creating connections and knowledge. He is greatly missed.
life, love, art ... a full life
To the Al-Aswad Family, words cannot explain the feelings one has at this time. My sorrow and symphathy go out to you, just remember he is in the hands of God and will always be in our hearts.
My condolences to Chris' families and friends. I was fortunate to have crossed path with him a year ago on the online community. He was complimentary of my poetry, something we both enjoyed doing. But he was a kind of perfectionist possessing an intellect that I could never be! He inspired me with his passion and the way in which he carried out his visions, with high standard, generosity, honesty, integrity and a thoughtful and personal spirit. Thus, he has inspired me to work hard at connecting with ourselves and with each other on that deeper level in every moment of our lives. I thank you Chris, our lives are better because of you, and I will miss you.
Hard to believe that kid from kindergarten is gone. He always had a smile on his face and a good attitude. The Al-Aswad family will be in my thoughts and prayers.
Christopher, we will never forget you and the warmly smiles you gave us every time we would have a family get together, and how you would always seem to make us as a family feel better even when things were looking bleak. Thank you so much for all you have done, you have enriched so many hearts in this world. That is why god takes the good young, you were too pure for all of us. You were a gift sent to us. There are not many of you left in this world and it also makes us appreciate life more now. Rather than reminisce over your death we will all celebrate your life and how you would put everyone else before your own self. We will always love you in this world and the next. Good bye Christopher, hopefully we will see you again.
Love, Kamal, Leith, Rami, Saad, and Maha Namou <3
Dear Al-Aswad Family,
I am terribly sorry to hear of Chris' passing. Chris was one of the most intruiging and unforgettable conversationalists I have ever met; he demanded one's full attention, intellect and wit - only because he supplied the same.
I am thinking of you and wishing you comfort at this very difficult time.
Offering my deepest condolences during this time of sorrow.
Fernanda Carvalho (Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Christopher, a true art enthusiast, one who will be missed and mourned by many. May you find peace wherever you are.
"Life and death are balanced on the edge of a razor" - Homer
I am not short of words, I have too many words to describe Chris: inspirational, kind, generous, nurturing, supportive, brilliant, accessible, humble, fun, hard-working, profound, complex, knowledgeable, vibrant, unpredictable, intellectual, charismatic, rare.....
You packed more into your short life than many do in three times as many years. Such a pity I only shared a brief if intense moment of it with you, as your friend and Escape into Life "partner", as you insisted I had become of late.
Ciao Chris, ti abbraccio forte forte!
My deepest and sincerely heartfelt sympathy for Chris's family, I have left a poem for you all on Amanda's Facebook page.
One day Chris Al-Aswad came into my life and changed it forever. - I am in tears, grief and despair over his untimely decease. As a gifted and productive writer, artist and editor, as a man of emotional intelligence and intellectual brilliance, he mattered something in the world of arts and literature. He supported, inspired and connected so many of us across all borders and all genres. And he still does.
I should like to offer my deepest and sincere condolences to his Family and Friends! My family and I are with you in these dark hours.
We were so sorry to hear of your loss. The thoughts of many are with you at this time of sorrow.
Chris, you were such a great talent & you will be very missed. See you in heavan friend.
Thank you for all your support over the short period we knew each other. You have left an irreplaceable void, but we will try to keep on with your work. Deep condolences to your family, who can be assured that your life was one well lived.
You will be missed.
I was deeply saddened to hear about Chris's passing. I was fortunate enough to have grown up with Chris as my friend throughout grade school. He was a great and loyal friend to me and I will forever carry with me the many happy memories we made growing up together.
As we slowly grasp the harsh reality of Chris unfortunate passing, it is heartbreaking to know what an amazing person we all have lost. Within all of our family visits over the years, Chris was always such a kindhearted soul and always a pleasure to be around. He will be deeply missed in the hearts of ours and all who were lucky enough to know Christopher. We lost an angel, an angel with a big heart that no one can replace. Our prayers go out to the family.
from god we have come and to him we we do return.
my deep condolences to the family and friends of Chris.
i was lucky to know Chris at Hamilton but lost touch for years.
may his soul rest in peace.
Chris, you were a bright, bright light. I loved your passions for art, for the written word. I loved how your friendship enriched the lives of my sister, Gretta, brother-in-law Mike and niece Michelle. Go with God dear Chris.
Maureen (Mo) Conlan
I'm still in shock at the passing of my good friend, Chris. But I've been so touched to see what an impact he has made on people all around the world. Chris and I met soon after we had both moved to Normal, in the fall of 2004. I was at a place called Fat Jacks with a group of graduate students, going on about some Dostoevsky novel. Chris, who must have been listening in from an adjoining table, jumped in abruptly, and proceeded to give me a brilliant and energetic excursus on the relationship between French Realism and Russian Existentialism. And that was my introduction to Chris. That was Chris from start to finish for me--brilliant, energetic, and inspiring. Above all, he was the most generous person I have ever known. Whenever I come back to Normal, I'll spend some time at the Ames Library. I'm pretty sure I'll find him there.
Chris, thank you for you're support and encouragement while sharing your love of art and creativity. My thoughts are with your friends and family at this time. With love, Corinna (UK)
Chris It was good knowing you at Hamilton College. You have always been a great person and very brilliant. Your voice carries on.
My heart goes out to you all. I will keep you in my prayers
I lived with Chris at Hamilton and recently got back in touch online. He was such a talented, vibrant, thoughtful and kind person, I will miss him. My deepest condolences.
In loving memory of a wonderful person, a true friend that thaught me so much about life and myself. I'll miss him so much but find comfort in the idea that he'll be with us in our hearts. My deepest sympathies to the family.
~A candle that shares its light, can never be extinguished~
A million tears could not express my sadness and devastation. My thoughts and prayers are with the family.
You touched so many lives and you will never be forgotten, Chris. I will always remember you as the kind, charismatic, loving and happy person that you were. I am very blessed that you were a part of my life and you will always hold a special place in my heart. You will be deeply missed.
I was honored to know Chris, and to be touched by his undisguised passion, his intensity, and his zest for life. He brought his friends laughter and kindness. He was unique. I will be thinking and reflecting on you today, Chris. Bless you.
Rest in Peace dear friend Chris, you always managed a way for me to Escape into Life. My prayers go out to his family and friends worldwide. You've touched many!
skylar (skyM) Indiana
Chris still resonates. Merci for your wonderful voice. You are missed.
My heart goes out to you at this time and in the days ahead.
Chris and I were close friends at Hamilton, and we'd just reconnected. He was such a bright and charming guy, I'm very saddened to learn of his passing. My deepest condolences to his family.
I will never forget our times growing up together. Thank you for always being such a great friend. You will be missed dearly. All of my love to you and your family.
On my birthday, Chris brought me flowers. He also bought me special books he knew I would like. He mentored me to write & publish a first novel. He took me to Chicago to attend the Shakespeare play we were reading aloud together. Most of all he brought great joy to Mike's and my life, and made us laugh to tears. Chris was at his best when he was laughing at himself; he was a humble guy. Smart and talented beyond belief; a joy to sit and talk with over a cup of coffee at our favorite Coffee House. He and I stared the "slug" club together when he and I would sit on our deck and read the New York Times on Sundays, sometimes for hours. Chris was a son to us, and a brother to our daughter, Michelle. The light has gone out in our world, never to be as bright again as the day that Chris walked into our lives. We will love you always, Chris.
From Chris' older sister-- Thanks to all of you for sharing such beautiful words and heartfelt feelings for my brother. I have always known what a special person my brother was, but to see and hear how much he touched so many all over the world was truly overwhelming. I was brought to tears by all of your beautiful sentiments.
Our thoughts are with you. We are warm memories of you, Basel and Chris at Ramzi and Sasha's wedding
I was saddened to hear of Chris' passing. I knew him in college--we were in the same fraternity--and his smile, energy, intelligence, and vibrance stand out in my memory. While I have not seen Chris in years, I ran across his arts journal late last year, and I felt a sort of reconnection with him. I send my deepest condolences to your family.
Chris, it was an honor to be your friend. I am thankful that we were able to reconnect before your passing. You will be missed.
From Chris's Dad and Sister - Thank you very much for your warm thoughts and condolences. We are overwhelmed by your kind words. It is amazing to see how many friends Chris had all across the world. We are in awe of how many people he touched and inspired. Thank you for all being a part of his life and now ours.
My deepest sympathies to Basel, Mandy and all of Chris' extended family. It is a trying time and Chris will be dearly missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and with Chris, who is surely at peace.
My deepest condolences to the entire Al-Aswad family. I have such fond memories with Chris, growing up in the Mid West Club, going to school together, and well into adulthood. He's such a special guy and will be missed by all of us.
I was absolutely shocked and terribly saddened to read of Chris's passing. All of us who grew up with him in Oak Brook will remember his exhuberant personality, wonderful sense of humor, and love for all things creative. My heartfelt condolences to his family and loved ones.
Hello, I am so so very sorry. I've known Chris for 5 years and this is hitting us hard..We will miss him dearly, he was a great neighbor and friend..We are here for you if you need anything. Barb
You shared so much and touched so many
Thank you Chris for all your support and encouragement. You positively affected many peoples lives and will be missed.
I was honored to be your friend. I will always carry you with me Chris.
Dr. Al-Aswad, I am very saddened by this terrible news. Mike and I will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers. Denise Stillman
We followed your intelligence , your talent , your harmony , your great heart , your love for art , your poetry , your words and comments ,your creativity , your energy and passion, your presentations and so much more ...
We followed you because we loved your qualities.
You are with us and you will always be with us .
Rest in Peace Dear Friend
To the Al-Aswad Family and Chris's Friends :
On behalf of the Brothers of the Alpha Delta Phi of Hamilton College I would like to express our condolences for your loss and Chris's passing.
Chris was a reamarkable writer, talented artist, and gregarious spirit. He touched the lives of his many classmates at Hamilton, and we will miss him as a friend and brother. Please let us know how we can help honour his memory and continue his legacy with a scholarship, as he represented the very best of our literary traditions.
Hamilton Alpha Delta Phi Alumni Board Member
Thank you for the amazing generosity Chris, I am privileged to have know you and my life was made better by your creativity and tireless support for the arts. It is something that encouraged me every day. #TYCHRIS
I had the opportunity to meet Chris only in the virtual world. But what a world that was of extraordinary art and poetry and passion for the creative life. I marveled at the energy he brought daily to Escape Into Life, the dedication to finding the very best to feature, the affirmation he gave to so many. He was a great encourager. He leaves behind a world made lonelier with his passing. His loss at so young an age is profound, and the tears we all offer today are in thanksgiving for his presence.
May you carry our blessings with you, Chris.
I never had the fortune to meet Chris, but from all I've heard he was a lovely man who will be sorely missed. He asked me to write for Escape Into Life for no good reason and was just happy to help anyone who wanted to express themselves in art, poetry, criticism or anything else. A clearly compassionate and generous soul, the internet arts community will never be the same, and many people will never forget him.
The measure of a life, after all, is not it's duration, but it's donation - C.S.Lewis
I knew Chris in high school. A great guy, tons of energy, a memorable smile...we shared some great times playing 4 years of soccer together. Like a lot of people I followed some of his writings online and Escape Into Life was really incredible. Wish I had a chance to tell him that. Chris, you will be missed.
My deepest sympathies to the Al-Aswad family.
Thanks for being such a great friend, and for creating such a wonderful collection of thoughts and art. I will seriously miss you. Let's escape into life!
I knew Chris through his incredible art blog and online writings which touched the lives of many artists. I have the deepest respect for him. My condolences to his friends and loved ones at the loss of this talented and wonderful young man.
He had a great soul, passion for art & knowledge. I´ve learned so much from the things he shares with us. I admire him, not many people have the talent to see things as him.
My condolences to all of Chris's family and friends – both immediate and his extended family around the world. Chris touched the lives of so many in his short time in this world, including mine. You will be missed Chris.
I first found Chris -- or should say, he found me
On Twitter, of course. That is where great minds
Who think alike unite, these days. Valery,
That symbolist and poet -- such rare finds
Are people who know of him or will ask
When reference is made -- and so began
A strange collaboration. Each new task
We gave each other showed more of the man
Behind the pseudonym. Feverish, bright
And willing the world to be a bit more
Like that he found in books and paintings. Slight
Here is my praise; the shock's too new. If you're
Of any mind to see what he could do
Check out his novel. Chris, I shall miss you.
Chris, you will be missed. I adored your love of poetry, art and all things to escape into life. We met on Twitter, but you were my Tweep for life. Your positivity and creativity is just what all people need in them to thrive. #TYChris
While you are mourning the loss of your brother/son, someone else is rejoicing to meet him behind the veil.
Good journey Chris, we will miss you. Escape Into Life was a welcome addition to the way we should all be approaching creativity and artistic expression. You were always ready with a warm word of support and connected so many folks across the world.
We followed and loved your Intelligence, your beauty , your talent , your wonderful mind , your great heart , your sensibility , your love for Art ,your words and poems , your comments , your presentations ,.
We followed you because of your great qualities as a man.
You are with us and you will be always with us .
I am so shocked and deeply saddened to hear that Chris has passed away. Chris touched more people in his too-short lifetime than many ever do. I was one of them, and I will miss his unique writings and beautiful art journal More than anything, I will just miss talking to him on twitter and email. My condolences to his family and friends. He was a very special person. We will remember him.
I will miss Chris and his deep love of beauty and life. A man who followed his vision by weaving together multiple artistic & literary threads, creating one incredible tapestry of humanity. So saddened to hear of his untimely passing.
My thoughts are with you now and send you my deepest sympathy for the tragic great loss of Christopher. My heart aches for the loss of this beautiful soul who loved art with every enth of his being, and who was taken from the world much too soon. Chris brought so much to everyone that we would never have found without him. We his friends share in your grief, and send you our love at this most difficult time. The memory of Chris will always be in our hearts.
Chris changed my life in so many ways and I will never forget him.
Much love to his father, sister, the rest of his family, and all of his great friends.
A warm, thoughtful and creative soul who touched the lives of so many...in such a meaningful way. Chris leaves us a beautiful legacy in the form of an incredibly vibrant, living community. It's a fitting testament to his intelligence and compassion. I'll miss him very much.
My deepest condolences to Chris' friends and family.
We've been sharing plenty of art links forth and back the past couple of months, only a few days ago he had send me a link about Fernando Pessoa - a writer he knew I liked- and we exchanged a few thoughts on him. He actually was the first follower in my tumblr blog and promoted it even before I did myself. Although I never met him in person - only via facebook, twitter and tumblr, I am still very sad about this. When you share stuff, exchange thoughts and like the same things and support each other's projects, then that's friendship- regardless of the fact that the most interaction takes place in a virtual world. The person who does all that stuff for you is real. And Chris did a lot for people. A truely generous person and a great loss for the world.
I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the family of Chris Al-Aswad. Chris was a remarkable man, with a passion & devotion to the arts that was awe-inspiring. We will miss him terribly on Twitter.
Offering our deepest condolences during this difficult time.
I am quite devastated by the news of Chris's death. Although I live so far away I regarded Chris as dear friend and what he achieved with Escape into Life was truly significant and illuminating to all of us who read and contributed to it Chris was a such a good writer and an excellent editor. I live so far away but would like to extend my sympathies to all his friends and family. The passing of a true voice for freedom and for the arts of humanity. I work with artists with mental distress and Chris showed such support and compassion for my work. I shall miss his spirit of openness and love and know that the light he had within him will continue to shine as a beacon for us all
Chris always had a big smile when we cooked together. I will never forget his laugh and big smile. We tweeted each-other well into the night almost every night. Chris's love for art and writing will never be forgotten. His www.EscapeIntoLife family will never forget the love we all have for his great accomplishment of bringing artists and writers together from around the world. Chris was the most sensitive, giving man I will ever know. He will forever be in my heart. My condolences to all of his family.
From the very first post I read of Chris', I was moved and inspired. I didn't know him but, like many, I followed and greatly admired his website, Escape Into Life. His contribution to the art world has been significant. My deepest condolences to his family and friends.
Dear Chris, Can't you come back? We're all going to miss you so. How I wish 29th July was not #TYCHRIS day on Twitter.
My deepest condolences to you.
I will miss chatting with Chris on twitter so much! We kept the same erratic sleep pattern, so I could usually count on him sharing some interesting links and beautiful artwork.
Thank you, Chris, so much, for your creative spirit, your wonderful writing, your promotion of aspiring artists, and all of your contributions to the creative world.
He will be so missed.
We will miss you, Chris. You were - and are - one of the most special people. Your talent, your thoughtfulness, your vision - will not be forgotten.
This is surprising and terrible. Chris was well-known in the literary and artistic community, due to his magazine Escapeintolife. He was influential and became something of a mentor to many artists and writers. How tragic! He will be missed.