In his eulogy, my Father-in-law's best friend informed us that, in his opinion, loss does not diminish with time. He said he missed his own father more now than when he first died many years ago.
In our own peer group, the number of Brothers is still relatively small. But can I tell you, they've rallied around amazingly. That's because they've been there, they've lived it, they still live it - probably every day.
There's one Brother who lost his father about 13 years ago. At the time he reacted so strongly to the event that his relationship with Robert (among other friends) was, sadly, damaged so badly it never fully recovered. But when he heard our news, he sent a bunch of flowers. Amazing.
And then there's the Brother who, ever since my Father-in-Law was first diagnosed with Parkinsons a number of years ago, has been hovering around (in the most loving way possible) always ready to offer Brotherly support - usually in the form of beer and late-night conversation. In spite of some fairly heavy stuff going on in his own family, he has unfailingly been there. Amazing.
Lastly I want to mention the Brother who I'm not entirely sure shouldn't be writing fabulously successful novels instead of software . . . but that's not for me to decide. He sent a CD full of what he describes as the "saddest, most beautiful songs," promising, "it will make you cry". I, for one, am not ready to listen to that CD just yet. Here's just a part of what he wrote:
"I hope you can find your feet in the new weird world. where everything kind of looks the same but every time you move you discover that there are big holes in the earth and gravity is not where it used to be". Amazing.
I thank God that Robert has these Brothers in his life. Not because they'll make it better - they can't. But they can walk beside him in a way that I just can't in this "new weird world".