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In Spanish, the word “duelo” refers to one’s pain or grief, but it also means the act of bereavement or mourning for a person who has passed.

This week our family lost one of its patriarchs, Adrian Garcia. As I sat through his “duelo” I thought about the power of that word and how its meanings were perfectly aligned. We felt pain for our loss, and we mourned his passing.

Adrian was the stern to my husband’s ship, steady and strong. His moral compass, his sense of right and wrong, never faltered. Things were either good or they were bad, there was never anything in between. Blas set his sails to his father’s direction, and it served him well. He was an unwavering guide in B’s life, during the tempests of rebellious youth and during the quieter times, when our marriage was new and the responsibilities of parenthood weighed heavily.

Adrian lived an abundant “interior life.” His wealth — measured in joy and peaceful satisfaction for a job well done as a father and husband — was limitless. He asked very little of those around him, yet was profoundly generous and forgiving of those who trespassed against him. His passing was quiet and dignified, further reflective of the life he led. He went gently into that good night, and he didn’t rage against the dying of the light.

With heavy hearts we mourn his sudden passing. Though he prepared us well in life, we are bereft without him.

At the end of one’s life what greater tribute can be said other than the truth? Adrian Garcia was a good man, a good husband, a good father, and a good grandfather.

Duelo.

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