Thursday, July 16, 2015

RIP Adam Robert Towler

I wrote my younger brothers obituary. No body should have to do that for a brother who was barely out of his teens when he passed away. No mother or father should ever have to bury their son. No family should have to listen to police officers tell of the atrocities of how their loved one was stabbed to death by a psychopath.
When July rolls around every year. I secretly relive the events of the past as memories come flooding back from the day when I learned my brother had died, then later how he had died. Grief is different for everyone: for me it feels like a disorganized concoction of sadness, anger, pity, emptiness, loneliness and sometimes hatred. I used to let the anger dominate these feelings. I was particularly bothered by the common condolence "I am sorry for your loss." He wasn't lost! He was taken!

I felt intense anger toward Justin Geiger and the family that would raise such a monster.  I didn't view him as a human being. I believe he was evil incarnate. I used to think that if he was still alive I would have wanted to see him receive the death penalty. I know this may seem harsh, if not vengeful but I don't see it as such. I believe it is the job of the righteous to help fight evil in this world. It is one of the reasons I chose to join the military. I believe those who were blessed with strength should use it to protect those who are weaker. I am thankful the evil that took my brother no longer walks this Earth.

However, anger and hatred are not easy emotions to hold on to. They can destroy a person, thus over time I have learned to simply observe those feelings then let them go. They are not part of me. My brother's killer never gave me the chance to forgive him because he took his own life, but if he were here today, after years of wrestling with this notion; I would have looked him in the eyes and forgiven him. I now understand that power.

I try to balance the flood of negative memories with an intentional practice of reinvigorating the good ones. Adam was amazing guy. He was articulate, intelligent, deeply spiritual and funny. Gosh that guy was funny. I remember one time we went to an Atlanta Braves game and as we were leaving the game I asked him if he knew any good jokes, he started telling me jokes. He had an arsenal of jokes. He probably went on for 20 minutes as I drove him back to his dorm. He had an extraordinary memory which explains the reason he knew so many jokes.
He gave a toast at my sister's wedding in which he chided the bride and groom to the point where he had the entire room laughing so hard they could barely hold up their glasses. He of course toasted their everlasting love leaving us with a speech to remember.

He loved his Irish and Australian heritage even though he was just a baby when he lived in Australia and only briefly visited Ireland when he was in elementary school. He used to wear an woollen flat cap like the old men wear, all the time. It was his prized possession. Because I left home when he was 13, I remember him as the little boy who wore his cowboy boots, vest and superman cape everywhere he went. Although, some of my favorite moments with him were when he was on the precipice of manhood after he had finished up his first year of college. He talked of girls, and school and friendships he had made. He was excited to have a future at Georgetown University, the school he had been hoping to go to since he was in grade school.

Adam had high moral character. He was committed to the principles of his faith and practiced them everyday. He was pure, innocent and altruistic. After years of trying to make sense of it all, I have decided his death cannot be understood except through the acknowledgement of evil, and an abiding faith in God. I no longer feel sorry for myself or for my family. Our pain is there and it never going away, it is up to us how we allow it to manifest.  I do, however, feel sorry for the world. Adam was taken too soon. He had big plans for this world and would have done big things. RIP Adam Robert Towler.