Adam Barber, who was sister to Meri Brown and ex-husband to her sister wife Janelle Brown, has passed away from cancer. Meri announced his death in a moving Instagram post.
“About 5 weeks ago I got a text from my brother saying he had made the decision to not continue his chemo treatment, due to the rapid progression of his cancer & deterioration of his body,” Meri shared. “Yesterday, Oct 5, 2023, just 2 months short of his 55th birthday, we lost him.”
“I have so many good memories with him over the years, because, siblings,” Meri continued. “I also have some not so good memories with him through the years, because, siblings. 😆”
After Adam’s passing, Meri is the only of her original four siblings that her parents had before converting to polygamy. She lost her sister Teresa, who was a year younger than her, to cancer in 2006, and the oldest brother Marc to heart problems in 2015. She said after she learned of Adam’s terminal diagnosis a few weeks ago, the knowledge that she was the only one of the remaining for hit her “like a ton of bricks.”
“Now, I understand that it’s not just me. I still have 3 younger sisters with us, the 7 of us just mom’s kids. Plus many other siblings from our large family structure,” Meri continued.
I don’t yet understand why his passing, and leaving me as the one remaining of the original four, is impacting me like it is.
The only 4 that were born in CA and have memories of our young childhood there?
The only 4 that were in existence before we moved to Utah where mom & dad began their lives as a plural family?
Maybe because we were born in closer succession, with only 1-1/2 to 2 years between us all? Even still, Elaine, child number 5, was only 3 years later.
I don’t know what it is, but there’s always been something about the original 4. Not better, just different. Not closer, just different.
Maybe I’ll figure it out someday, maybe I won’t. Only time will tell.
Regardless, (and you have no idea how bad I want to type in ‘irregardless’ there, in honor of him & our many arguments about whether that is even a word) I will move forward living, loving, forgiving, remembering.
The relationship I had with him taught me many things, and I have no doubt will continue to teach me things. I remain open to those lessons & look forward to them with anticipation.
For now, I remember him with honor, kindness, & love.
PS Adam, I have the last word. And that is REGARDLESS 💙
In 1988, Meri’s further sister wife Janelle married Adam in the LDS Salt Lake City, UT temple. They divorced just two years later.
Janelle has never spoken much about why her marriage to Adam ended. In the Browns’ 2012 book Becoming Sister Wives Jenelle did call the divorce “horrible.” After the divorce, Janelle said that Adam lost touch with both her and his family.
Three years after that, Janelle married Kody Brown, who was already married to her ex-sister-in-law Meri.
Adam was shown in Sister Wives at least once, most notably in Season 13, Episode 2 when Meri’s family gathers around to celebrate her purchase of the house in Parowan, UT.
In the episode, Adam broke down in emotion while telling Meri that her purchase of the home meant more to him than he could ever tell her.
The home Meri purchased was built in 1870, and was a family home for Meri’s ascendants for four generations before it was sold outside the family in the 1980s.
In 2017 Meri opened the home as bed & breakfast Lizzie’s Heritage Inn.
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