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.
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