The Eulogist

This originally appeared in Modern Loss. Republished here with permission.

I gave my inaugural eulogy at fourteen. When my best friend Liz passed away from osteosarcoma after one year of unsuccessful treatment, her mother asked if I would share something at the service. I seized the opportunity, as it seemed like a potential antidote to the grief roiling inside me.

For days, I immersed myself in boxes of photographs and stacks of letters that told the story of our friendship. I spent hours feverishly recording my memories, depicting her mischievous smile, glittering eyes, and elegant voice. On the morning of her service, I rose to the pulpit with quivering hands but a strong heart, and delivered a eulogy that was humorous, commemorative, and authentic.

Little did I know at the time what an extraordinary journey this act had launched—into myself, into writing, and into healing.

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