On the third anniversary of Harrison Brown’s death, friends and family reflect on his life and his absence as graduation draws near.
“It’s tough to know that we experienced four years of the most incredible adventures, the funniest stories and the greatest moments among us, but Harrison wasn’t physically there,” said Sean Dolan, a radio-television-film senior. “I often think about how much funnier they would have been or how much more memorable they would have been if Harrison was still in the mix.”
Harrison was fatally stabbed on campus on May 1, 2017. He would have been a senior this year.
“Harrison’s friends have reached out to me to let me know they’re graduating college,” said Lori Brown, Harrison’s mother. “Some of them already have jobs set up. Some of them are going on to grad school.”
Lori said she’s happy his friends and their families can celebrate their accomplishments.
“On the other side of the coin, we never were able to get there,” Lori said. “We will never experience those accomplishments with Harrison, and it breaks my heart.”
Lori said she and her eldest son's family will gather together Friday to quietly reflect on the good things of Harrison’s life. She said her eldest son, John Brown, named his second son after Harrison to honor him.
“At our family gatherings and get-togethers, there’s always that feeling that something’s missing,” Lori said. “Harrison isn’t there. I’ll never forget my wonderful son Harrison, and I don’t want anybody else to forget him either. That’s probably one of the hardest things because the world goes on, life goes on, and it goes on for me and my family without Harrison. It doesn’t feel like life. It feels like a nightmare.”
Dolan, a close friend of Harrison, said he plans to listen to old music that reminds him of Harrison, such as songs by John Mayer.
“For me, it serves as a reminder of just that time, and he lives on through that music for us,” Dolan said.
Kate Salkowitz, a radio-television-film senior, said Harrison’s close friends gather every May 1.
“Our whole friend group was predicated on this inside joke about a big fraternity,” Salkowitz said. “We would have friends sign a bid to our fake fraternity, and we still have Harrison’s bid signed with his name on it.”
Salkowitz said she hopes Harrison would be happy if he saw where all his old friends were now.
“I think Harrison would be really happy to know that the huge group of friends that he signed the stupid fake fraternity bid to were all still friends, and we all still see each other, and we all still talk about him,” Salkowitz said.