Yestereve, I attended the wake of one I'd known briefly, but I thought, moderately well, for all of that. A mage of great skill, a Drow of honor that the Winter Court esteemed highly. One to whom I turned, in time of distress, for the healing and affectation of a warrior woman who had, alas, grown gravid with child.
Mine, for all that she was female, and I was. Being a shapeshifter of such diverse skill is not, always, the greatest comfort.
She had grown hysterical with the need not to bear what I had, all unknowing, placed within. Amongst her people, such children were abominations, and she would not see past but that I was evil, and she would be, would she allow this babe birth.
I had left the matter in her hands, to decide. I have a woman's heart, and in most respects, always a woman's form, and I could not take the choice of her own heart from her hands. And she chose to end the life within.
Though this grieved me dire, I let her words stand, and sought one who could help with such a thing. And found the mage, the Drow, who was stern, as he should have been, but ultimately, understanding. And in a rite of no small terror and great confusion, he took the babe from her in a burning orb of green balefire while she screamed that she was dying, and I was killing her.
I bowed my head and let it happen. She had asked for this. I had allowed it. My child--my neverborn girl child--never drew air in this realm and perished.
Weeks later, when the woman finally fled Lumindor, and my touch, never to be found again, she left the husk of the babe at the base of my tree, and I dug the bones deep and enspelled myself to forget where they rested.
Lo, these many weeks, months, years later--longer by my memory, of course, than by the world's--I heard of his passing. But not as Drow.
It seems his secret life was led amongst more mortal lives, and he was a guardian of Caledon's skies. Something untoward had felled him; the wreckage of his flying craft was found beneath the waves; I never ascertained precisely what, and truly, it is not my place to know.
It was my place to travel to the site where his widow grieved his loss, and pay the respects of the Unseelie, both the Winter Court's and my own.
I do not know how all attendants viewed my presence; I do know many had never seen me invested in Unseelie flesh, they had never seen my tricolor eyes, my Sidhe scarlet hair; I make no bones about being shapeshifter, being occasionally fae, but in Caledon, at least, I am not generally seen as such.
But it was worth such revelation; it was a necessary thing, for me, to wish the passing of this one be held with honor, and wish all life's blessings to come on his widow.
The Wheel spins, and life goes on; we call and count our honored dead. Let this memory lessen grieving; and fell light shine again when it may.