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Mary Katharine Ham, widow of White House aide killed on bike ride, mourns loss

"His life was his testimony, and it was powerful and tender and fierce," Mary Katharine Ham wrote of her late husband, Jake Brewer.
/ Source: TODAY

In the hours after the tragic bicycling death of White House aide Jake Brewer, his widow, political analyst Mary Katharine Ham, honored her "personal superhero" through inspiring words and touching family photos on Instagram.

Ham, who is pregnant with her second child, spent part of her weekend posting photos and reflecting on her life with Brewer and their 2-year-old daughter, Georgia. The first photo she posted on Instagram after his death included a eulogy that mourned her loss and clung to the prospect of optimism.

"We lost our Jake [on Friday], and I lost part of my heart and the father of my sweet babies," reads part of the caption of an Instagram photo of Brewer, Ham and their young daughter, Georgia. "I don't have to tell most of you how wonderful he was. It was self-evident. His life was his testimony, and it was powerful and tender and fierce, with an ever-present twinkle in the eye. I will miss him forever, even more than I can know right now."

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This weekend, Georgia was "surrounded by her favorite people and all the hugs she could imagine," Ham added. "This will change us, but with prayer and love and the strength that is their companion, we can hope our heartache is not in vain — that it will change us and the world in beautiful ways, just as he did. If that sounds too optimistic at this time, it's because it is. But there was no thought too optimistic for Jake, so take it and run with it."

President Barack Obama also praised Brewer, who died after he lost control of his bicycle and collided with a vehicle while participating in a charity bike ride near Washington, D.C.

"I am heartbroken at the tragic loss of one of my advisors, Jake Brewer," Obama said in a statement Saturday. "Simply put, Jake was one of the best. Armed with a brilliant mind, a big heart, and an insatiable desire to give back, Jake devoted his life to empowering people and making government work better for them. … Michelle and I are praying for all of Jake's family and his many friends, most of all his wife, Mary Katharine Ham, their daughter, Georgia, and their growing family. They'll always have a family here at the White House."

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Throughout the weekend, Ham continued to post Instagram photos that ranged from funny (sporting comic-book costumes, prompting Ham to hail Brewer as her family's "own personal superhero") and sweet (celebrating their wedding day) to impressive (standing atop Mount Kilimanjaro). Expressions of sympathy filled the comments section of each Instagram photo.

But the caption for the first photo Ham posted after Brewer's death provided the most insight into her perspective, especially because all "four members of our little, growing family are in it."

Added Ham, "I can never be without him because these babies are half him. They are made of some of the strongest, kindest stuff God had to offer this world. Please pray that he can see us and we'll all make him proud. God, I love him."

That photo caption concludes by citing two Bible verses: Psalm 34:18 ("The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.") and Philippians 1:3 ("I thank my God in all my remembrance of you.").

Follow writer Chris Serico on Twitter.