Tribute to My Brother by Jim Campbell

Tribute from JimI have struggled with how to remember my brother.

I have searched for a keystone upon which to build perspective about his death.

With a friend, it is shared experience, with a parent, shared heritage, with a mate, shared love. But with a brother, it is all of these, and more.

I can choose to remember him as a young sibling, when petty territories and jealousies would assume monumental proportions.

I can choose to remember him as an adult, when we struggled to reconcile our common relationship in the face of diverging aspirations and goals.

I can choose to remember him as a peaceful man, in love with the world and all its creatures, when I envied him his unswerving devotion to peace, and justice, and humanity.

I choose to remember him most of all as a mountaineer, for our relationship was never clearer than when we were connected by a rope, climbing to a common, unwavering goal.

I choose to remember crystal cold dawns, when we would approach rocky peaks edged with the sharp pink of morning.

I choose to remember clear skies and sunny days, when the joy of moving together and climbing together transcended all else.

I choose to remember storm and ice, crisis times high on a peak, when our doubts and insecurities would threaten, and we would draw strength from our shared brotherhood and experience.

AshesI choose to remember the triumph of summits, when the world would lie at our feet, and it seemed that the moment, and the feeling, and the view could never be any better.

I choose to remember the afterglow of success, when the effort and the pain of muscle and soul, would fade into soft memory, to be cherished in stories and photos.

And I choose to remember, that in this longest climb of all, this climb to find meaning, and forgiveness, and peace with his death, that he is once more connected to me by an immortal line, and once again we face a common goal.