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Christian Reynoso

How to explain what it’s like to watch the father of your child die?

Two-year-olds aren’t allowed in the ICU. She didn’t get to say goodbye. Perhaps it wouldn’t have mattered? Perhaps she still would have rushed to the phone, every time it rang, for the year following his death, with an expectant, “Daddy!!?”

Growing up, our daughter mourned her father’s loss, over and over. At each new milestone, she moved through a new cycle of grief and understanding. And so did I.

First day of school, first tooth lost, first softball game … My daughter and I did these—and all the others—without him.

2020 marked the year that Chris has been dead as long as he was alive. Our daughter is now 23.

Christian Reynoso was only 21 years old when he died of a gunshot wound. His friend Jose Chicas, a 19-year-old Marine, was shot too. He died in the street. They had just been leaving a birthday party.

Every new shooting illuminates how far away we are from being a society that truly cares about its people. I wish Chris didn’t have to die to make me pay attention.

Reacting shows support for gun violence survivors.