Bryan Christopher Frydenberg Bower

Bryan Christopher Frydenberg Bower

June 28, 1982 - May 02, 2011
Lake Forest CA

Bryan Christopher Frydenberg Bower

June 28, 1982 - May 02, 2011
Lake Forest CA


Bryan Christopher Frydenberg Bower
June 28, 1982 – May 2, 2011

Bryan was born in Oslo, Norway, on a half moon night to the delight of his parents, Jerry and Jia. At a mere 4 weeks of age he took his first bath in the ocean surrounding our summer house in southern Norway, safe in dad’s arms.

Bryan grew up with his family in Irvine, California, with frequent trips to see his dad’s family and friends in Michigan. He excelled in school and was on the Woodbridge High School wrestling team. However, when he met rock climbers at the Master’s College in Santa Clarita, he found his true passion. He could both lead and follow multiple-pitch climbs, always safe and never reckless, patient and encouraging to new climbers. Bryan could be trusted 100% and trained to scale the 3, 000 foot vertical face of El Capitan in Yosemite, a place he loved. His friends miss him enormously.

At some point, probably on his beloved island in Norway, Bryan was bitten by an infected tick and contracted Lyme disease. It was not diagnosed until several years later, by which time the illness had become chronic. The devastating disease invaded his nervous system and kept him in debilitating pain. But he wouldn’t give up: he agreed to one invasive treatment after another, but the pain only grew. Bryan, whose name means warrior, fought like the lion he was. His last years confined him to his bed nearly all the time, in agony.

Bryan was an artist, a philosopher, and a poet. For love of his parents and all he knew he could give the world, he did battle against the overwhelming enemy for years after an ordinary man would have given up.

There is now a Bryan-shaped hole in the universe, that not even time can fill. We, the survivors, comfort each other by the knowledge that for the first time in nearly a decade, Bryan is not in pain. He is strong and whole and his spirit will live on in us, forever.

Interment of his ashes will take place under the oaks at the El Toro Memorial Park, 25751 Trabuco Road, Lake Forest, CA 92630, Thursday, May 26, at 11am.

Jia Frydenberg
Rolf Frydenberg
Grete Frydenberg
Reidar Frydenberg
Jerry Bower
Laurie Powell
Carol Bower
Harry Bower

deep purple souls

the light flickers and the heart beats
man suffers and fights
and god watches ambivalently

white nights in the sands of summer
cold storms on my bricks
call me by my true name in eden
call me lover

i have seen the face of wonder
felt all the glory and despair
taken it in, breathed deep
fallen on my sword and prayed
to an empty sky

to a sky unknown, to a god unknown
all the glory surrounds me
the love and beauty, and also the torturous pain
if i am for wonder in the desert
than so will i be in the valley
or my mountains
broken, wet, and hallowed

Bryan Bower
January 2010


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79 responses to Bryan Christopher Frydenberg Bower

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  1. Jerry Bower says:

    Bryan’s epic poem “rain of terror” – it captures the pain of Lyme disease like nothing I have ever read, but it also captures the wonder of living and breathing, of freedom. “for wonder” was Bryan’s saying.

    rain of terror

    a little rainfall tonight grabbed me out of my opiate-delusion and i wrote this. folks, times are hard
    it’s raining
    god is giving us little kisses
    angry little hate filled drops of eternal death

    they drop like swords
    like hail of marbles, filled with delicious floods,
    storms, hurricanes, tsunami, more floods, mud slides, did i say death? yes, well, more

    the rain is more beautiful than anything
    like sunsets with a purpose
    if only that purpose was benign
    if only god did not give us hate with love
    if only he actually existed, and if he did, deadly rain would not, could not.

    i smell the rain
    it smells like green fields in heaven
    it can see the ticks lapping it up
    it nourishing them, and the deadly bacteria that swims inside them

    i see the rain running down a girl’s head as she cold sweats every night and day for her
    life, and people accuse, but do not ask, do not care, do not help
    i see the rain running down her cheek as tears are never absent

    i used to think: god gives us blessings. it is never cold and wet; if it is cold, it snows; if it
    is warm, it rains. i used to think he left these little blessing all over the place, little
    reminders of his love; but the other way is also true, pain with love, hate with beauty;
    almost like nature

    suburban religion
    down comforter religion
    fireplace and hot cocoa religion
    or starvation in Africa religion, while those who represent god feed you and tell you to
    believe; that heaven is not a place on earth, god is not you, you must take time out from
    being murdered and starving in order to put your head to the dirt and thank a fellow that
    was murdered two thousand years ago for no good reason

    but ice floats
    the seas do not boil
    sunrise and sunset are red
    we have snow and rain, clouds and ozone
    we have wonder in abundance beyond reckoning
    we do not need god

    the only thing more natural than hating god, is loving tits

    the rain is not benevolent, nor mal
    god is non
    nor is he here
    nor is he he
    nor is

    here are we
    we are
    we have our lives and abilities, our loves
    we are god and the rain touches us with wetness, and that is all

    but in it we see the crops
    we feel the cool wind
    we breathe the damp air
    we love it
    our bodies love it as the earth loves it, and we are the earth, we are, and that is no shame

    our world was never eden, but it could be
    we are able, we have come so far, only our religion restrains us, only our fear contains us

    in windy circles the rain falls
    plays with the dirt and falls again
    we ask questions of it
    but we get only more
    and we do not see the beauty in our rain-filled eyes

    Bryan Bower
    Friday, January 23, 2009 3:31 AM

  2. Your son’s poem, rain of terror, inspired me to write this poem in response to his. I have been suffering lately with Lyme & writing poetry helps me as well. I’m a 44 yo married mom of 3. ?

    Lyme Storm
    by, Deb Evers

    It’s raining now; it never ceases
    My furrowed brow
    Tears in eye creases
    I try to hold them back
    I can’t
    But it hurts to cry

    The thunder crashes
    My whole body jumps
    Electric lightning shocks my spine again
    And again
    And again

    I would do anything
    To make this stop

    Please stop lyme from hurting me
    I want to punch the lyme inside me
    But then I’d be punching myself
    I live in a cage of pain now
    The rain pours down

    It floods my soul
    But I’m still dehydrated
    I can’t get enough to drink
    Yet everything burns my tongue
    If life is a ladder; I’m on the last rung

    Is there no escape from this torture?
    Is life only pain now?
    And rain
    Only rain?
    I’ve always loved the rain

    A good thunderstorm fills my soul
    Especially now
    In the deep, dark night
    The daylight hurts my eyes
    I’m a vampire now

    I sleep in the day
    I’m up all night
    In pain
    Listening to the rain

    Inside my brain
    The anxiety is so intense

    Am I dying?
    Is this pain from the Lyme?
    Or something else?
    What’s happening to me?

    No one seems to understand
    Why I say the things I say
    Or do the things
    Or feel the things
    I don’t understand either

    Blinding migraines
    I’m walking in circles on the patio
    In the light of the full moon
    I want my mom
    My mom can’t help me now
    No one can

    I try not to feel sorry for myself
    Other people have it worse
    I have extreme empathy for other people
    And their struggles
    Whatever they may be

    I am always crying for them
    Because I know what pain is
    Physical and mental
    And to be without strength to go on
    And without hope

    I do love the rain though
    I wonder if it will ever stop.

    My deepest sympathies to your family for the loss of your precious son, Bryan. What a talented poet and inspiration to the Lyme community and to the world. A beautiful soul. I have had Lyme for 6 years. I was diagnosed 1 year ago. And the fight continues….. I wish peace, love and comfort to you all.


    1. Jerry Bower says:

      Thank you so much Deb, especially for your heartfelt poem here. Peace, love and best wishes to you. And I believe there is help out there, if only it’s enough. Email me if you like, and always keep fighting; make your own choices.
      Bryan had no children, I hope yours appreciate all you do and love you for it. Best, Jerry Bower (

  3. Robyn says:

    I know you are at peace now. I suffer from the same devilish pain and I know how you suffered. God Bless you my Lyme angel friend

  4. Dear Bryan’s Family,
    Please accept my deepest feelings for your intense sorrow at the loss of dear Bryan. The Lord is weeping too, just as he wept for Lazarus. The Scriptures say, “…time and unforseen circumstance befalls ALL of us…” Sometimes even The Lord. He did not forsee or plan for Bryan to suffer and die so terribly. He heard every one of Bryan and your prayers and it broke His heart to hold back His healing powers. The devil told God that no human could keep their faith in the face of extreme suffering, and this has always been the devil’s most effective weapon. This is NOT God’s will for innocent people like Bryan and yourselves to suffer like that. He has promised to soon get rid of the devil and reverse ALL of the suffering the devil has caused. I hope The Lord acts soon, for all of our sakes. Please don’t give up praying.
    Love and hugs to each one of you, David

  5. Jerry Bower says:

    It will be 10 years ago on May 2nd that you left us Bryan, as you said you would, and your mother and I told you we understood – we loved you so much, you see. And we had seen so much too, and felt so much – so much futility, so much hate and helplessness in the face of this terrible disease — yes indeed we had, a ‘so much’ that amounted to absolutely nothing compared to one day of what you went through, day after day after day after day for years and years…But you are free now aren’t you? You come back to us now and then – when the ceiling fans started spinning on their own in my house – I know it was you; the smoke alarms that even now I have to leave disconnected, with even the circuit breaker off. Because they will beep, and they won’t stop. And there is no smoke, nothing cooking on the stove, the oven is off. The grill is cold and covered outside… You are free now, and soaring aren’t you Bryan – soaring like those of us who have it easy here on the ground will never experience; we’ve never earned it. That’s how it should be.

    “Wonders are many, and none is more wonderful than man; the power that crosses the white sea, driven by the stormy south-wind, making a path under surges that threaten to engulf him; …And speech, and wind-swift thought, and all the moods that mould a state, hath he taught himself; and how to flee the arrows of the frost, when it is hard lodging under the clear sky, and the arrows of the rushing rain; yea, he hath resource for all; without resource he meets nothing that must come; only against Death shall he call for aid in vain…but [perhaps even] from [these] baffling maladies he hath devised escapes.” SOPHOCLES – Antigone, with a little help that only people who have suffered immensely for no reason have earned the right to offer, and to receive. And to feel. To soar.

    1. Jerry Bower says:

      Scroll down and you’ll see the candle entries with Bryan’s poems that I mentioned above…

      Bryan’s Dad,

      Jerry Bower

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