my beautiful brother Chris died on February 21, 2012.
i blog here to stay sane. i howl to thee, internets.
This is an edited version of the tribute that I read at Chris’ funeral/celebration of life on February 29, 2012.
I loved my brother even before he came to be gestated in our mother’s womb. I was five years old when she got pregnant. I was so excited about it, and I was beside myself with joy when my father told me that I had a little brother, that he’d been born at 6:02 p.m., and that his name was Christopher.
At the beginning he was my baby, whom I held and cuddled and cared for, then he became my little pal, the three year old who was star and co-star in all my plays, the consummate professional who never forgot his lines. When he got a bit older still, more than my brother, he was my friend, my buddy, my confidante. We took turns playing straight man and funny man. I know that since our childhood he’d gone out into the world and touched an amazing number of people, and though I was happy to share him, I always thought of him as mine first.
I’ve spent some of the past few days going through our emails, instant messages and texts, most of which are really hilarious but unfortunately entirely inappropriate to share in this setting. If you know my brother you can imagine the content. You’ve probably had similar exchanges with him.
I will tell you about our sign-offs, which included such monikers as champ, pal, sister/brother, and reimer/baby reimer. There was also:
Our relationship was collaborative, creative, emotional, intellectual and intertextual. We always riffed off each other really well. I always thought we’d collaborate on a big project, some day, and I’m saddened that we never had that chance.