Laughing through tears

On the one-year anniversary of their deaths, Kerr, Van Lier live in fond memories

Updated: February 25, 2010, 8:00 PM ET
By Melissa Isaacson | ESPNChicago.com

Grief comes in waves, sometimes when you least expect it, sometimes how you least expect it.

Susan Van Lier says it was the start of October that really got to her.

"That was when I met him," she said quietly, "before a Bulls exhibition game in 1977. It was also just October, and the rhythm of over 30 NBA seasons. Knowing it was over."

Matt Kerr had just slipped a CD, that a friend of his father's had sent him, into his car stereo when he heard the tribute at the beginning.

"It ...

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