Felicia Brewer–wife, mother, lawyer, raconteuse and kindhearted woman–died yesterday of a sudden illness at age 38, leaving her husband, John, and their two young daughters. They are in my prayers and also very much in my thoughts.
After great pain, a formal feeling comes —
The Nerves sit ceremonious, like Tombs —
The stiff Heart questions was it He, that bore,
And Yesterday, or Centuries before?
The Feet, mechanical, go round —
Of Ground, or Air, or Ought —
A Wooden way
A Quartz contentment, like a stone —
This is the Hour of Lead —
Remembered, if outlived,
As Freezing persons, recollect the Snow —
First — Chill — then Stupor — then the letting go —
I am a law school friend of Felicia’s. I was just told of her death, and looked to the internet to see if I could learn any more. Your web page popped up. Felicia was a force of nature, and a good friend at a time I desperately needed one. We have not talked directly in years, and yet this news staggers me. Thanks for the Dickinson poem, as it captures me right now as well.
The whole town of Pelham is in shock and mourning.
I only met her a few months ago and I am in an absolute state of shock. She was so vibrant, so full of life and laughter. I only hope her memory can be kept alive for her husband and two precious girls. I feel blessed to have known her.
I did not know Felicia personally but I see the pain and sadness etched on the faces of her many close friends here in Pelham. She will be honored and remembered. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends as they deal with this unspeakable grief.
She was one of my very best friends. I loved her deeply and will miss her humor, joy and kindness tremendously. This is such a shock and it defies sense. How could a healthy 38 yr old woman die of strep throat? I can’t wrap my brain around it. She was a wonderful mother, a loyal friend and a smart and joyous person to be around. My dear Felicia – we are watching over your babies. We love you and miss you terribly!
I am a friend of Felicia’s from law school. Felicia was an astounding person, filled with a powerful life force. The idea of her being gone is difficult to grasp. She will be profoundly missed.
Felice was dear friend and a truly rare person. I can’t imagine the world without her in it– her incredible sense of humor, her wit and razor sharp intelligence, her love of life and the love she felt for her family, her husband and their two little girls. My heart is broken for the years she has lost to be with them, to be with us. And you were right Felice, I never did find your replacement.
There simply aren’t words. I miss her so much already.
I am so touched to see the comments you have left. This blog has had over 500 hits from people searching Felicia’s name.
I left a comment on Heather Gold’s post on her blog, but I think her spam filter caught it, so I’ll reproduce the thought here. John is an old friend of mine and my husband’s. Not long after we married (’91? ’92?), Felicia turned up at our door in Los Angeles. She was on break from law school and John had asked her to bring us a bottle of wine as a wedding present. They weren’t even dating yet, I think, because I remember her asking me what was the deal with this guy (he is and was in his own way an entirely unique personality too!). She arrived at the door an unannounced stranger, but twenty minutes later she felt like an old friend. I see she had that effect on a lot of people. As one of their faraway friends, I am consoled by such comments as yours, Kerri.
If you go to Heather’s post there is a link to a Facebook group. (I can’t look at it from work.) There is funeral information there as well.
Warm thoughts to you all.
It’s ironic that her life and mine had just begun to cross paths. I had met her many times in the Junior League at various functions but recently more so.At the start of the new year I joined a fitness class she had been attending for some time. I was always so envious of the fact that she seemed to enjoy whatever she was doing.(even that darn class!) Her optimism was admirable…and I recently thought to myself “I’d like to get to know her better”. Hearing all these wonderful things assures me I missed out.
Felicia was a very close friend of mine. We shared our thoughts and feelings about all things great and small, many times a day. I cannot count the amount of times in the past few days that I have wanted to call her and discuss what is going on regarding her own death. I see her children and I just want to hug them and tell them how great their mom was. I want to tell them how much she loved them, but I am sure they know that, after all Felicia was their mom. Her death is shocking and senseless. The loss is intense and palpable, I miss her immensely.
I was Felicia’s oldest daughter, Rachel’s, asst teacher in pre-school. I am still in shock by this news…Having just seen her last week she was full of life and cracking jokes as usual. It is so comforting to know that Pelham Manor is such a tight knit community, and the girls and their father have an abundance of people to comfort and console them. This is a terrible loss and she will br greatly missed. May she rest in peace…
Felicia was an important member of the Huguenot Nursery School community as well as an important member of the Pelham community. All of us who knew her will miss her warmth, compassion and energy. I know that all of us at the nursery school will hold the family close and do all we can to offer comfort and love to John and the girls. I am a better person for having know her and I will miss her and remember her for ever.
I was a friend and relative of Felicia’s. We met at ECDC (a parenting group in NYC). When we first met we thought that we would never get along and that our ideas were just too different. Maybe we were a little hormonal (we both had 3 month old babies). It turned out that we were much more similar than either one of us ever expected. Felicia taught me the great lesson that you can’t always trust a first impression. She was a wonderful loyal friend who no matter how much time had passed between dinners when we finally reconnected it seemed like it was just yesterday that we were together. She was so exuberant and reminds me of a glass bubbling over with champagne. I will miss her so. I send my love and comfort to all those who mourn her loss.
I’m another Pelham friend. I writing to get the word out that I’m collecting memories of Felicia for the girls – many Pelhamites know this already but I want to get the word out to others too. We’ll put together albums for each girl, for John, and for her parents. Specific remembrances (favorite foods, clothes, remembered conversations, shared experiences) will be especially meaningful. I can be reached at email@example.com. The days are still long and sad without her.
I posted a photo of Felicia and John on Facebook, but I know some people haven’t joined, so I just wanted to reproduce what I wrote here. Here’s the caption:
Felicia and John at an event here in Pelham last month. Okay, I’ll fess up. It was a Jr. League Gala, but that was the beauty of Felicia. She embraced whatever she was doing completely, made it her own and by doing so, made it special. She was such a cherished friend; an anchor of spirit and reason and comfort whose loss in this community is felt so intensely. Everyone here is tripping over themselves to help her family; seeking solace in gestures of all sizes, trying to make something so senseless tolerable. Of course our suffering pales in comparison to her family’s, especially John and Rachael and Lily. She had such a clear vision about how to raise her daughters into powerful and compassionate women. She wanted everything for them, but really nothing more than that they be happy with who they are and ultimately become. I just can’t imagine life here without her. How can it be so? You listened while I talked myself into quitting my job. You told me life as a full time mom would be okay. You said, “Join me! We’ll tawk!” Then you left. Oh, bother. I miss you. Love, Tracey
Every time I would see Felicia I would head straight for her. I knew she would crack me up. She was always witty, sarcastic and had a great solution to any problem I shared with her. In exercise class, she was the counter, the comedian, the strong one. At the NYAC she was my cool, laid back companion. She always would say to me “We have to go out for drinks. We have so much to talk about!” I never went because I rarely go out. Boy do I regret it more than words can say. I loved hearing her voice on the phone machine telling me it was my stalker calling. My heart goes out to John, Lily and Rachel. I mourn the loss of a wonderful, true friend. She will never be far from my thoughts.
Re post #9. It was not a bottle of wine. It was a bottle of Black Bush Irish whiskey. It lasted us several years and moved with us at least twice. Thanks, John.
Oh my dear friend….I still miss you so. Do you think I will ever be able to think of you without sobbing. It has been almost 5 months since your death and life had not returned to normal. How could it? But, you know, there is some good in all of this. I treasure every little moment I have with my family and friends….at least I try to. I think about death entirely too much but your passing has changed me for the better. I want you to know that.
Above all, I just wish I could talk to you one last time. There’s a part of me that thinks you’re still here. Like right now, as I type away in the middle of the night….are you sitting on the sofa with me? I know, I know. It’s just my imagination. But, if you are out there in the universe, or in the stars, or snuggled up with your children or at a shoe shop in Paris, I just want to tell you that you are still with me. I will never forget you.