we laid my brother curtis to rest on saturday at a small cemetery in northern idaho, right next to where my dad was buried when i was 13. we were invited to speak, but i had already said my final words to curtis in a los angeles hospital, where my sister and i slept in chairs at his bedside, held his hand, and played his favorite songs. i told curtis then how much i had always admired him, how i remembered all those ways he had protected and reached out to me. when susie and i cleaned out his apartment, we could not imagine anyone else using his things. i kept one momento,  from what i can only guess was a happier time. i like to picture him burning this candle, painted in bright happy colors.

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