It was gently raining on a soft summer night in East Berlin. Maybe 10 or 11 pm and the streetlights glowed in the cool, humid summer air. You wanted to walk down to the street – little did either one of us know that it would be your last time out.
You had your shorts on, I remember you were worried that someone you knew might see you with your “baggage.” I carried your oxygen tank while you had the umbrella in one hand and in the other the shopping bag we put your bile drainage device in.
I remember thinking “well this might have been a mistake” when you had trouble getting down the stairs. But I sensed this was important, so I acted like all of it was the most normal thing in the world. I loved you so much – I just wanted to be with you in these last moments we had together.
We sat on a stoop in the rain, talking like we always had, sometimes just sitting in silence, with the sounds of the city and life flowing by us like a river. We knew each other deeply and our flaws only drew us closer. We were alike in so many ways – forever escaping a past that would never let us be. We shared a childhood experiencing things no child should have to go through. It forged in us an extreme toughness and resiliency but without making us hard, and ultimately it bound us together.
When you died I wept, and I don’t cry easily. Life is cruel, but it was a little easier just knowing that somewhere, if I ever needed you, you were there. I’ll always miss you and carry you in my heart until the day I die. You’re gone but never forgotten my gifted, handsome, and hilarious brother. This shit show of a world can be brutal, but it dealt me a good hand when I met you.
Rest In Peace.