First posted back in the Spring. I’ve updated it some on the anniversary of Richard’s death.
Richard Kent Williams was five years younger than me. He was my brother, and he’s been dead for over 25 years now–more than half my life. “Been dead” isn’t exactly right. He is dead. It took me a long time to say that. Passed, passed away, gone or lost were much gentler terms. Eventually, I could say that “he died.” Something about the past tense took the edge off it, as though one could die and that be the end of it. This ignores the obvious: those who die remain dead. They are dead. That’s the case with my brother. He would be middle-aged now, but he isn’t. He was 20 when he died, and 20 he remains.
Richard died in the early morning hours of September 26, 1987, but I’ve always thought of the 25th as the right date. That was his last day. He was a student at the…
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