I’ve kept the memory of my brother Chris’ essence alive in my mind for 19 years. For many years the awareness of who he was was too painful to acknowledge, and I was very angry that he left me alone on this earth. He was my comrade. My teacher. My first and only true friend. He is the reason why I love writing and have an amazing, sophisticated taste in music 😉

He understood from an early age how to be vibrant and alive, in ways that I needed to see while leaving my teenage years. He could have inspired so many more people, but he will always inspire me.

When I was about sixteen, Chris gave me this intro to philosophy textbook and said “I’ll only let you keep this if you will read it”. He was deeply passionate, wrote poetry, was confident in how he thought. But my favorite thing about him was how he was curious about people and genuinely cared about them in a way that is rare for anyone, including me. I will never understand why his life had to be cut short, and will always feel the devastating loss of his potential, even though I also feel immense joy from his memory.

Chris took me to see Jurassic Park in the theatre, yes the first one. I wasn’t stoked to see the violence so he told me when to close my eyes when the T-rex eats the lawyer. I’ll always remember that feeling. This was the same brother who convinced me to go on Collossus at Magic Mountain even though I was begging to change my mind at the last minute. He said “Once you are locked in you have to ride, it’s the rules” and when it was over and I had an awesome time, he was so excited saying “Aren’t you glad you went? I was just kidding, you could have gotten off the ride! But see you had fun!” Oh my brother, he was always brave and wanted me to be brave as well.

I could write so many more stories about him, and I will, but if you were fortunate to know him, then you know.

I think of my brother Chris today, I’ll think of him tomorrow and I will always wish he was here. To say the least, I will tell Juniper about her awesome uncle and I will show her his writings one day. When I watch her devouring all kinds of food I feel joy and gratitude thinking of how she’s just like her uncle was at that age, (not her picky mom).

There is that Beatles lyric that says “She’s not a girl who misses much”…well, I am not that girl. I MISS MY BROTHER CHRIS AND I ALWAYS WILL. I will always long for his hilarious, poetic, soulful, generous spirit. Chris’ personality was incomparable, and it’s hard to explain this to people who have never met him. I’ve often felt a deep loneliness without my big brother here. Yet, as long as I am alive, the memory and beauty of who he was lives on through me in whatever way I can manage it. He will forever be the inspiration behind why I put my art out into the world, because when he was here I was too shy to even show it to him.

I won’t always post things publicly on this date, but this year I felt compelled to share some thoughts. It’s taken me this many years to even come close to the internal peace it requires to write something like this let alone share.

I miss you Chris, and I wish you were here.

I also want to say thank you to my Mom for bringing him into the world. You have showed strength without measure, and despite your sadness and grief you still show up with generosity, kindness and love. I appreciate you always.