This page is my little memorial to my late brother, Kyle Berry, who is pictured above. He died in a motorcycle accident on the 4th of August, 1996, while out riding with some friends. This happened in Connecticut. I was in Nova Scotia, Canada at the time.
If you knew Kyle, you might know that he had few, if any, regrets about the life that he had. He was an amazing person. He said at one point that he had done everything he wanted to do.
Kyle and I were planning to go see Star Wars together when it was re-released. We were going to see all of them because we both love the movies, and he loves the books, which he said I should read, so I guess now I ought to.
We were alike in ways that I knew no one else understood. Different, too, which made the similarities that much more amusing to both of us... But it was kind of spooky - not to be raised together and then to realize how much we still had in common. Habits, hand gestures, moods, etc..
Kyle left a large family and a huge contingent of friends who all miss him still. He had the parents he was raised by, and then he had the parents that he came from, who he met just a few years before he died. He had siblings on two sides, about a billion cousins, plus aunts, uncles, grandparents he knew and those he didn't, and he managed to make room in his life for everyone. Family is a really strange thing sometimes. My brother was not related to my sister, and I was not related to my brother's brother. I myself have four parents (though only one in common with Kyle) and a varying (but always large) number of siblings, depending on how you're counting.
Kyle once told me he expected to have a cartoon-like death, something like a piano falling out of a twelve story building and landing on him. He never seemed to be afraid of dying. He was full of reckless energy but he was also really sweet. He had a hard edge and a great sense of humour.
Sometimes I feel really calm about this. Man is born, man dies. It's natural and necessary. Everyone dies. I have to admit that most of the time I am more numb than calm. I would really rather avoid the subject. I can talk about it seemingly candidly, but I'm not over it and it's an uncomfortable thing. I do feel better prepared for dealing with the deaths of people close to me, but it's not that I think I'll be able to cope with it more smoothly, it's just that now I am actually aware of the immediate possibility of seeing treasured lives end.
It's really kind of scary, this whole "we're all going to die" thing. It's weird that it's scary. Shouldn't it seem logical? But the reason it's scary is that we don't talk about it and we don't prepare for it and fundamentally, even on a societal level, we don't give enough attention to death and dying. I think this is a problem.
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