|Photo courtesy of jgolby, shutterstock.com|
I never really knew Emily Mara. In fact, when I saw her photo in the paper after she died, I almost didn’t recognize her at all. Back when we were in law school, she had dirty blonde hair and wore a nose ring, wanted to go into environmental law. In the newspaper photo, she was a PI lawyer wearing a sleek brunette ponytail and a strand of pearls. A lawyer who – shortly before she flung herself from the Skyway Bridge into the freezing Calumet River – worked for Smith and Associates LLP, a firm that specialized in processing asbestos claims until the market dried up. The partners decided to cut their losses and close up shop. That’s when they let Emily go. That’s when she killed herself.
She and I were in the same study group for our trusts and estates class. Our professor had a
favorite Ambrose Bierce quote tacked up on the blackboard: Death is not the end. There remains the litigation over the estate. I thought of that when I read the blurb in the Chicago Tribune about Emily’s suicide. How ironic it was that she and I spent fourteen weeks during our 2L year learning the ins and outs of estate planning. In the end, Emily had no estate. Nothing left behind for anyone to fight about. A few personal items, her dog – and a massive student loan balance.
|Photo courtesy of Matthew Henry, unsplash.com|
I never really knew Emily Mara. I suppose there was no reason to considering we only briefly crossed paths during one semester seven years ago. But after everything that happened, I wonder now…
Do I really know anyone?