My friend Lin died today. Five words I hoped I’d never have to contemplate, nevermind type. Lin Brehmer, a musical icon in Chicago where he was the morning drive host on WXRT radio for nearly 30 years, the first voice I heard in the morning from my junior year of college until we moved to California in 2009, one of the most truly wonderful human beings I’ve ever had the pleasure of knowing (and being known by) professionally and personally, left us just before the sun rose over Lake Michigan this morning. The two greatest loves of his life — his spouse (and sweetheart since their college days at Colgate) Sara and son Wilson — were at his side.
Such a wonderful story, and I share your grief. I hope to write my story of Lin’s completely over the top kindness to me someday, though right now it’s a bit too hard, and I need to make sure the story is clearly about Lin and not about me. Cathleen, when I think about Lin I wonder about the concepts of phileo and agape love and how he applied them. I am just a layperson at best, but it seems like Lin found something to love about most everyone and effortlessly made connections with so many people, self included. And quite a few stories suggested that he was the one hugging and caring for folks that others were just downright nervous about or openly angry at (mostly drunk people). He could skip the agape “love thy neighbor” stuff and go right to phileo “best friend in the whole world.” I had lunch with Lin just once, but could tell him anything. I didn’t tell him *everything* but the anything’s we discussed and his sage advice and caring made a huge difference to me. And he ordered my food at Heaven on Seven quite perfectly. There’s a hole in my heart but not one that compares to the void that Lin’s family (regular and XRT) is coping with. Hopefully we can all lift each other up together in these days because the big man who did that for all of us is gone.
Cathleen, when I read the “soundtrack of my life” I experienced a rush of emotion because I had just finished a conversation with my husband about Lin and WXRT using the same phrase. And though we only met him once and a fundraiser concert, it was memorable. How wonderful that you had such a close friendship with Lin and he with you. Thank you for sharing these memories with us.
What a gorgeous tribute to your friend. Thank you for introducing us to him. I listened to a few of his Lin Bins, each of them funny and wise. I'm going to try and be a little more like Lin.
What an exquisite, exceptional tribute, Cathleen - I’m so sorry for your your loss. Especially in light of all you clearly gained from each other. May Lin’s memory be a blessing.
Thank you. Beautiful words and music.
UGH, apologies for the typo and for misstating the kind of cancer Lin battled. It was prostate, not colon. Typing through tears and without an editor is my excuse.
Beautiful tribute Cath. Sending you all the love. ❤️ so glad Lin was such a presence in your life and that I had the chance to meet him and watch you two together.