If ever, in the future, I feel the need to conjure up the embodiment of grief, I’ll have only to think of my sister-in-law’s beautiful face eviscerated by it.
My brother was a saint. We all knew it as did the five hundred or so people who attended his funeral, many from the international law firm where he worked for close to forty years and served as General Counsel before his retirement a year ago. A lawyer beloved? By other lawyers? Unheard of.
My brother, the saint, left a motley assortment of sinners and merely mortal fools ill equipped to navigate life without him. Although we promise to do better, to be more like him, we probably won’t. Nonetheless, his daughters have years ahead of them, a new job and a wedding in their near future. I have my home and my interests and my family. His wife, his cherished companion, will adjust and adapt to a very different life on her own.
One morning, while I was in Bethesda for the funeral, I took a long walk in the midst of some gorgeous Maryland countryside. At one point, I came upon a small herd of deer. I stopped; they stopped. I looked at them and they looked at me. It occurred to me that we were fellow dwellers in a world my brother no longer inhabits.
A tear caressed my cheek and the deer moved on.