credit: Wikimedia Commons

Well known to many people living outside in the Tenleytown area, Mr. Cristopher Gross died on March 22, 2016. Rest in peace Cristopher.


 

I was sleeping at Tenleytown Metro station on March 22 when my best friend died next to me. He was about to get an apartment — we’d both been put on hold for housing.

Rest in peace Cristopher Gross. I will miss you very much.

I was sleeping at our spot the other day and thinking about you there. Who’s going to be next when something bad happens?

I continue to sell my paper and Cris remains in my heart for life. We had just been talking about how to celebrate my birthday, and the next thing I knew, he was dead. Writing this letter, Just thinking about you, I shed a little tear. It hurts to see you gone. Love you, Crisie!

I want to thank everyone who showed up for the memorial service we held on Saturday, April 16. It was nice that everyone there had something nice to say about Cris.

I had met him in the street — we were both homeless. We became fast friends and had each other’s backs out there. I feel sad not to see Cris at our spot. It makes me wonder: are the people of Tenleytown going to forget about me when I’m gone?

I love the people in Tenleytown because they are nice and kind. Thank you for the clothes, Ms. Kathy! I have a lot of love for the people in my life that help. Thank you.

I want to leave something behind to show that Joe Jackson was here and that I helped the community in a positive way.

Cris died on the ground. People of Washington, D.C., please, don’t leave the homeless on the ground.

We are human, no different than you.

Try to remember you are one step away from being homeless yourself. If you see someone in need of help, don’t turn away.

Joe Jackson


 

When I saw Cris on March 22, he was very sick. He was passed out in front of the Tenleytown Metro elevator, so a friend I was with picked him up and took him to the other side of Wisconsin Avenue by Best Buy.

Cris woke suddenly while this happened and appeared more alert, for a little while. But things were still not looking good. Later that night we checked on Cris because he had passed out again. This time he fell right on his head. It was awful! So, before the five of us went to sleep outside the Metro station, I was still wondering if Cris was all right. About 3:30 a.m. I tapped him on the shoulder and he kind of moaned a lit tle. So I went back to sleep thinking he was okay.

But when we all got up at 5:30 he was in the same position, with saliva running from his nose and mouth. That’s when we called the ambulance. Unfortunately, we were too late. The EMTs told us he had passed away before we called. That REALLY freaked me out. My best friend had died right beside me! I didn’t cry, though. I just prayed the way my father taught me.

I am really going to miss you Cris, after growing up with him and being very close for 35 years. We lived on the streets half the time. I was also very close to his family, especially his mother. I know she misses him very much.

But I also know it is time for me to move on with my life, because I know my best friend would love for me to do that. Cris, I know you are with the good Lord now, and I pray and hope your journey to heaven is successful. We all miss you and love you very much, particularly the five of us in the Tenleytown crew. May the power and the Kingdom of God be with you, Cris. God bless, and rest in peace. Amen.

Charles Davis