Monday, February 8, 2016

In Memory of Owen Kipp Sevre

I lost my big brother, Owen Kipp Sevre, to suicide on November 1st 2015.  I could talk about suicide, and how he died, but right now I would prefer to spend my time thinking and talking about his life and how his memory lives on.

For my brother's funeral I wrote a memorial to my brother.  I'm not a religious person, and I want to share my secular perspective on loss.  I hope my thoughts will be meaningful to others suffering from similar loss and tragedy.

In Memory of Owen Kipp Sevre
by Erik Sevre

Owen Kipp Sevre was my brother. Is my brother. In my studies of physics, I learned how atoms are forged in supernovae, with temperatures exceeding 100 billion Kelvin. That reminds me of being a child. Growing up with Kipp, we were brothers, we teased each other, we would fight, and we would explode at each other with temperatures not quite exceeding 100 billion Kelvin.

Every atom that was a part of Owen was forged in a supernova by fusing together atoms. My relationship with my brother was very similar. Early in life, we were not very close, but through our repeated supernova incidents, we eventually found a way to fuse, become close, become friends.

The atoms forged in a supernova have been around for billions of years; they have not gone anywhere. Every time I take a breath, I am breathing molecules of air that I shared with Kipp. As I move on, and continue forward, my brother continues to live. The particles that we shared continue to be a part of my life. I know that not only is Owen Kipp Sevre in my memories, but part of him is literally with me in every breath I take.

For everybody who was touched by the energy of my brother, I want to remind you of the first law of thermodynamics, which states that energy is not created, but also states that energy is not destroyed. My brother was full of energy. And all of that energy, every unit of heat, every vibration he created, every photon that touched his face still exists, and will exist forever. This makes sense to me, since my brother, like my father and myself, is stubborn, and I couldn't imagine his energy fading from the universe without a fight.

My brother has had a great influence on my life. A lot of who I am today comes from trying to copy my big brother. As children, my brother and I saved our pennies to buy our first Nintendo Entertainment System; today, I am still saving pennies to buy a new Nintendo. Kipp could juggle, so when I received my Klutz Book of Juggling, I couldn't give up until I could juggle, like my brother. Owen could work miracles with computers, and showed me how to program when he was fifteen. I didn't get it then, but I continued programming to this day, ultimately making a career of it in an attempt to unravel the mysteries he had unlocked in high school.

I am who I am today because of my brother. He protected me when I needed protection. He influenced me more than he could ever know, and helped to forge the man I am today. As I continue to move forward with my life, I will continue to bring my brother with me, in everything I do.

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