As I was driving home from work yesterday, I got a call from my middle sister. As you know (because I blather on about it constantly), she is getting married in two weeks. She is currently in Puerto Rico on a short vacation with her best friend. I could tell right away that something was wrong. She'd gotten up in the middle of the night to catch a freakishly early flight, so I also knew that she was probably wrecked from a long day of travel. But I also knew from her voice that it was more than that.
A bit earlier, she had initiated a FaceTime chat with her fiance, who was back home taking care of the kids. She could see something in his face but wasn't sure what. Maybe he was just irritated with her for some reason. She asked him what was going on. He didn't want to tell her the news he'd just heard, didn't want to ruin her trip. She pushed until he finally, reluctantly, agreed to unburden himself: his brother Brian was dead. He'd been found by his young daughter yesterday afternoon. Brian would have been 42 today. The cause is unknown (as far as I'm aware). It sounds like the best guess, at this point, is a heart attack.
Brian would have been the best man in the wedding. He would have given the toast at the reception. I'm sure that he and his wife and their children were looking forward to flying up from Florida (to Virginia) for the festivities. I think I had met Brian just once, briefly, when we were both at my sister's house at the same time. He was a nice guy, a good egg. If it was a heart attack, it's just hard to get one's mind around it. He was fit, athletic, and not overweight. It is just so hard to comprehend this sort of tragedy, to make any sense of it at all. I'm sticking with my theory that sometimes really bad things happen for no reason at all. To hell with all of this "everything happens for a reason" garbage.
Today I am just sick at heart for my sister and her family and for Brian's family as well. I feel just awful for my brother-in-law, as he was very close to his brother. The wedding will go on, of course. I didn't really know Brian, but I have to think he would want it to. That empty chair is going to be tough for everyone, though.
I've been working on a photo montage for the wedding for the past couple of months. It contains several photos of Brian and his family. My thoughts are with all who have heavy hearts today.