Brian Sweetland's five siblings thank the Journal and Laura Yanne for the poignant piece "Remembering Brian Sweetland." Words have failed all of us since Brian's death and speaking or writing of him in the past tense has been all but impossible.
Brian was a man of letters, music and art but most of all, genuine humility.
He abhorred cruelty in any form whether it be manifested in wars, benign neglect or abject intentional harm visited upon human and nonhuman animals alike. He shuddered at humankind's infliction of suffering upon its own species; he lamented the daily grind endured by dairy cows forced to spend their lives indoors and those whose tails are cut off for the sake of convenience to the farmer and he mourned the loss of his companion animals keenly like we mourn him now.
A tattered, yellowed page torn from a book found pinned to his bulletin board contained a simple Camus quote: "I shall tell you a great secret, my friend. Do not wait for the last judgment. It takes place every day." Brian - imperfect as are we all - did his utmost to practice kindness on a daily basis. One of the overarching reactions to his death has been resolve on the part of many who knew him to be kinder to others. Along with the beauty he captured so exquisitely on canvas, this is surely a legacy to be envied.
Mary Beth Sweetland