Eulogy By a Young Person

My sixteen-year-old niece blew me away this weekend.

She had worked very hard to prepare some words for her mother’s memorial service but decided at the last minute to ditch her written speech.

Visibly moved by all the stories people shared about her mother, she realized what she had written would hardly do justice to what she was truly thinking and feeling.

My niece took the microphone from her father (my brother) and spoke from the heart.

Immediately, the energy of the room shifted as people absorbed everything about her: the sound of her voice, her demeanor, and her candor. What transpired in the next few minutes was a moving account of what her mother meant to her.

She sounded like a polished speaker, as though speaking to one hundred people was something she did every day.  Her words are all a blur to me—I was utterly struck by how poised and eloquent she was, given the crisis she had just endured.

She was grieving deeply, and yet, her words conveyed a deep tenacity, a resiliency she had never before revealed.

Maybe this is what happens to some of us who experience a traumatic life event. Somehow we call forth the strengths we didn’t know we had.

I looked into my niece’s clear, bright blue eyes and was inspired.

She’s going to be ok.

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3 Responses to Eulogy By a Young Person

  1. bgd says:

    How inspiring! What a gift for her mother!

  2. JB Poersch says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Jennifer says:

    Oh, Elizabeth, I’m so sorry for your family’s loss! Your niece obviously impacted you greatly. Sending you warm hugs.

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