What else is there to say. I am a wound now, little else. I know given time I will heal into something that vaguely resembles what I was before, but not the same. That knowledge doesn't help.
I can't imagine a world without him. I can't imagine a life without him. (I know, it will come, but that knowledge doesn't help). I can't imagine not touching him again, not feeling his hand on my cheek, not talking with him and watching the world together.
I try to comfort myself with all the usual platitudes (good life... time together better than none... etc...) and they don't help. I either feel empty or I'm sobbing. I've smiled and laughed some (I am surrounded by people taking good care of me) but every breath feels like a lie.
A friend who was widowed a few years ago said this to me: Losing a parent is awful, but you don't get to choose them. You choose your spouse so losing them is even worse. Having not yet lost a parent I can't speak to this, but I do know that I honestly can't imagine a worse pain.
I know, it's breath by breath. Each breath is one I wish I could give him.
(c)2014 Laura S. Packer
p.s. Here is the obit I wrote for him. It's inadequate. Nothing can capture him.
Kevin Michael Brooks, 55, Kansas City, Missouri, moved onto his next adventure on March 28, 2014 surrounded by his family and friends. While pancreatic cancer may have removed his body from the earth, those who love him are sure he is still laughing, loving and learning somewhere else.
Kevin’s life is not defined by his illness. He was a man who adored his children, Stephan, Cara, Kristoff and Vered Brooks. He was a dedicated partner, problem-solver, lover and supporter to his wife, Laura Packer. He was a son who made his mother, Carolyn Brooks, proud every day. He was a brother, a cousin, an uncle and a nephew who inspired his entire family. He remained a helper to his first wife and the mother of his children, Marian King. His smile made everyone who met him know they were loved, whether they were old friends or new acquaintances. And his storytelling performances made his audiences laugh, cry and rejoice in the world.
Kevin was a graduate of Drexel, Stanford and MIT universities. He worked for Apple Computers, Motorola and Hallmark Cards as a designer, finding new ways to help people connect through technology. His innovative thinking and drive for connection led his Apple, Motorola and Hallmark colleagues to think in ways they had never imagined. His passion for education, innovation and creativity were exceeded only by his generosity with his fellow students and co-workers.
Kevin was born in Philadelphia, PA and made home wherever he lived including the Bay Area in California, Boston and Kansas City.
A terrific example of Kevin’s spirit can be found in his annual Christmas celebration. Every year he and his family would bake bread together, so it could be given as gifts and shared. They called it “diversity challah” and it represented all of the different facets of his life. Whole wheat and white challah doughs were braided together, baked and shared on Christmas, encompassing different races, religions and forms of celebration. On Christmas day Kevin and Laura would open their home and invite everyone they knew to come and celebrate, regardless of religion. Bread would be broken, food would be shared, stories would be told. Old friends and strangers would mingle and find joy together. Throughout it all, Kevin would smile, hug, laugh and welcome. His spirit was limitless.
His spirit remains limitless. While cancer may have ended his life here, he remains in our hearts. Every time those who know and love him bake bread, ride a bike, tell a story, invent something new, collaborate on a project, notice technical details of a film, drink a Long Island iced tea, laugh until they cry, juggle, swim, ride a roller coaster, eat barbecue, dance or embrace each other, he is there. We will love and remember him always.
In lieu of flowers donations can be made to his youcaring.com site, where the funds will assist in medical bills and other expenses; his family will also make donations in his name to appropriate charities. Memorial services will be held in Kansas City and Boston at a later date. Details will be posted on his caringbridge.org page.
We are grateful for the gift of his life.