Family of Salem High student who died reflects on his struggles, compassion

The family of 17-year-old Christopher Lim tells their story to 10 On Your Side. Christopher is the Salem High School student who took his life last Thursday in a school bathroom.

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The family of 17-year-old Christopher Lim tells their story to 10 On Your Side. Christopher is the Salem High School student who took his life last Thursday in a school bathroom.

Christopher was named after Jesus Christ says his mother Racquel Racette, who knows her son is in heaven. She knows he is no longer suffering, and she spoke about how her son would sit alone in the Salem High School cafeteria at lunch time. “He didn’t have many friends, but he was a friend to many,” she told us.

Racette also spoke of his depression, his struggles, his ADHD, and spoke about that day last Thursday when Christopher’s father called to say that he was dead.

“He started to cry,” she then bowed her head into her hands crying, and said, “I’m sorry.” After a brief pause she continued: “You hardly ever see men cry. Women always cry. It was so devastating because he was such a good father,” she says referring to Christopher’s father Roy Lim, Sr.

We met Racette in her living room with her two daughters, and in front of a shrine of pictures of Christopher through the years.

“I was told early on if you commit suicide it’s a sin and you go to hell,” she told us. “I see other people cry, but I cry because I didn’t know how much he suffered. I don’t cry because he is not here anymore because I know he is in heaven, and that gives me a lot of comfort,” Racette added.

We are told Christopher did not like school, struggled for years, had run away, and kept a lot to himself.

“There was a lot of people who reached out, and poured out to him after his death, after his passing, but when he was alive no one, and that’s what is heartbreaking,” said his mother with tears rolling down her cheeks. You can tell it hurts her to talk about it.

It would be a school custodian who befriended Christopher, and who told Racette this story at Christopher’s Thursday service: “He asked her ‘can I call you Grandma?’ He did that because he doesn’t have any grandparents. Christopher started going in and cleaning the bathrooms before she got there. He would pick up the trash and the paper and fix the paper towels, and toilet paper before she went in there.”

It was in a bathroom where Christopher took his own life with a gun on parents day at the school. We asked Racette is there any explanation on why he did what he did in the bathroom? She responded, “No. I do not have an explanation.”

We asked do you know where he got the gun? After a pause she said: “I cannot speak on that. Honestly, I can’t talk about that.” He did not leave a note, and Racette is not troubled by that, “I’m not frustrated, no absolutely not because I know where he is. I know he suffered, and I know where he is.”

Racette did say Satan was at work when Lim took his life: “Satan like I say came to seek, steal, and destroy. He knew Christopher was going to do great things, and we know that was God’s plan for him, and we don’t know why babies die, and we don’t know why children have cancer…. We know this is not what God wants, but that is Satan at work, and even though he took Christopher’s body, he did not take his spirit. Because of what happened to Christopher a lot of people will rethink their faith and where they are going. Christopher knew God loved him. It wasn’t Jesus that caused him to do that.”

Racette says Christopher did not tell his parents about the parents day at the school. “He never complained. That’s what makes it so difficult to see your child suffer. To be such a giver, and yet to be alone. He didn’t have many friends.”

Last Wednesday Christopher started walking from Salem High School in Virginia Beach to CrossWalk Church in Williamsburg. He was walking, and police stopped him on I-264, “He was up on 264 because Christopher thought he could survive anything. He thought I can go into the wilderness and I don’t need anything.”

On Thursday he didn’t want to go to school, but his parents insisted, and then the call came in from Christopher’s father.

Racette prefers to think about Christopher’s ministry. He would buy food for the homeless who were at the McDonalds on Northampton Blvd. In another show of compassion his sister Chyna Lim says, “you would see Christopher lay his hands on the back of someone, and bow his head, and pray for them. I thought that was amazing.”

Sister Victoria says Christopher had a sense of humor when he was joked about his belly, “He would say, ‘don’t say that, the belly monster is going to come and get you,” all three reacted with laughter.

Through his many years of struggles, the family takes solace young Christopher is at peace, “I know where he is, and I know he is watching over us,” Chyna says. Racette says, “It’s OK, Mom. He always said that. He would always say it’s OK mom.”

This was a Mark Twain quote from Christopher’s Instagram, “Kindness is the language that the deaf can hear, and the blind can see.”