Chris Reimer was my only sibling. He was born January 19, 1986 and died suddenly February 21, 2012.
He was my best friend for 26 years. We shared a connection that I’ve come to understand is uncommon in families. What I mean to say is that I miss him horribly.
The night after he died I started a blog, Christopher John Joseph Reimer, where you can read an astonishing number of tributes to Chris from around the world. A week or several later, I started a “Through Grief” tumblr, where I’ve catalogued my pain as well as my healing. The title, “Drawing the Curtains and Going Back to Bed is Awesome,” comes from an email message from my dear friend A. We were discussing grief and its attendant fatigues. What I mean to say is that it’s ok not to be strong all of the time.
Chris was a musician who wrote ambient music, and also played and toured with several bands. You can read his bio and history on his site. We decided fairly early on as a family that we wanted to start a scholarship or bursary to carry his legacy of artistry and musicianship forward. That plan has evolved into the Chris Reimer Legacy Fund. The Fund Society will be spending the remainder of 2012 fundraising and building partnerships with local organizations so that we may give dance and music scholarships to children and youth.
Chris’ girlfriend Rena spearheaded the release of The Chad Tape, a collection of ambient music that Chris had been going to release with Chad van Gaalen. There will potentially be more music releases in the future.
I can’t say for certain that I know what happens after we die; it isn’t nothing. We don’t cease. I’ve received so many blessings and messages of the physical and spiritual kind over the past six and a half months that I can say with certainty that my brother is well. That love does not end. Here is a photo slideshow I compiled from pictures I had and pictures we’d scanned to use at the funeral. I think it shows his beautiful spirit.
I owe a huge debt to my many friends as well as to the larger music and writing communities. Countless people have loved, supported, and carried me through many dark days. I thank you and I love you all.
–Nikki Reimer, September 16, 2012
Here are some grief resources that have been helpful to me: