New York Times Portraits of Grief

Carol Demitz

When Carol Demitz got home from Fiduciary Trust, where she was the chief corporate lawyer, she did not reach for a martini. She went directly to play with Annie, her 4-year-old. "I could tell what room the girls were in by the squealing and laughter," said Fred Brewer, her husband. "Carol would be playing hide-and-seek. Carol was thin and could squeeze herself into the most amazing little cubbyholes. You could hear Annie squealing when she found her."

Ms. Demitz, 49, was thrilled with motherhood. She pored over catalogs of children's clothes and bought a dollhouse with a fireplace that crackled and birds that chirped from the windows. "She was so enamored of that doll house," Mr. Brewer said, referring to his wife, not his daughter. She had long loved vacationing in Switzerland among the green valleys and vast peaks of Mount Eiger. Last summer, her pleasure there was heightened by Annie, who was old enough to do a bit of mountain hiking. She felt the same way about the weathered house on a stretch of beachfront on Long Island's North Fork that they bought last spring. "She loved taking Annie there," Mr. Brewer said. "It gave her life balance."