I watched my 12-year-old nephew hold on to the handle on the left front side of the casket, and that’s when I couldn’t hold it any longer. The tears flowed hot and fast as I thought about how different the lives of he and my teen niece would be without their mother.

Today my former sister-in-law was buried, at age 35. Those words I just used to describe my relationship to her don’t tell the whole story–she was like a sister, and treated me and my family so well after the complicated and unpleasant divorce between her and my older brother.

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