Rachel’s Memorial Service

Because Rachel literally had friends all over the globe, a live stream feed was set up so that those who could not be at her memorial service on Saturday, February 11, 2012, could watch it while it was happening. Enormous thanks go to Ronnie at Being Sarah for obtaining and posting these links for the recordings of that live feed, in case you didn’t get to watch it in real time. And I echo his thanks to Courtney G. Woodhouse, who set up the feed and provided these links so quickly.

Unfortunately, as Ronnie mentions, the links don’t include the first three speakers, who were Rachel’s sister-in-law Jessalynn, Rach’s mother-in-law (the incomparable MIL mentioned in several of her posts) and Rach’s dear, wonderful mom, who spoke for herself as well as for Rach’s brother, who could not be there. Sarah, of Being Sarah, recorded these three women on film herself and will be able to provide links to their contributions at a later date.
It was indescribable to be there. So, I will let these links, and those who are on them, speak for themselves.

The first comprises Rachel’s and Anthony’s family and local friends:

Rachel’s Memorial Service, Part 1

The second includes some of Rach’s sister bloggers, friends from Australia, her childhood, college and work. And, at the end, her beloved Anthony.

Rachel’s Memorial Service, Part 2
There will also be a Twitter chat at #bcsm tonight at 9:00 p.m. EST on helping us heal from our losses.
So, don’t mind if I fall apart,
There’s more room in a broken heart.

— from Coming Around Again, by Carly Simon

Text of my eulogy for Rachel.

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This entry was written by Kathi, posted on Monday, February 13, 2012 at 06:02 pm, filed under Life & Mortality, Making A Difference and tagged . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

17 Responses to “Rachel’s Memorial Service”

  1. Kathi, it was so wonderful to hear and see you speak at this special celebration of a life well lived. You spoke so eloquently, passionately and honestly. You are as lovely as I thought you would be.

    Here’s an apt poem from my friend Patricia Wellingham-Jones:

    This Little Life

    This little life
    doesn’t matter
    except to the spirit
    in the shell of smooth flesh
    watching starlings
    settle for the night
    an otter tumbling
    in spring freshet
    the scent of wisteria
    scrambling up a tree by the road.
    So much suffering,
    so much beauty,
    all the spirit can do
    is be present.

    From “End-Cycle”

  2. Dear Jan…thank you so much. And what a perfect, beautiful poem. I’ll tell you, I was in an altered state, I think. Don’t even know that I was entirely conscious of what I was saying. It was certainly coming from my heart and soul, and not my head. That was perhaps the most incredible thing about the memorial — it was an atmosphere of such safety, generosity and heartfelt honesty. Such a tremendous gift to us all.

    One of my favorite comments was posted on FB by Sarah’s Ronnie, after watching the livestream:

    “Thank you, Kathi. Lots of us were there with you on the live stream. And can I say, we thought you were magnificent in what you said and how you said it all, a true force of nature. I think if we all hold on to that passion, keep going and do what Anthony said, tell him and the money what to do, and keep writing, then we can change the world. It’s the least Rach would expect xx”

    Yes, indeed. I need some rest, some time to process, but I want to go to that place again and let it help me figure out what to do next.


  3. Unbelievable that you managed to hold out so well, with complete composure. I was so impressed. The atmosphere appeared from the video stream to be as you describe, an incredible gift to an incredible group of family and friends.

    Ronnie’s comment is perfect, so beautifully expressed.

    I hope you got your needed rest last night–and then some. I got ten hours of sleep, which I haven’t had in ages. I think watching the video put me at peace, a peace I haven’t felt in years. A comforting presence impossible to describe. Thank you so much for being who you are.


  4. Still working on it, Jan. I’m so heartbroken, underneath everything else I may do and feel. And until today, I hadn’t had a full day to rest in two weeks. Work has been very busy & trying as well, while all this was happening around us. When it rains, it pours…

    But I’m all right, managing, which means that my usual nemesis, fatigue, hasn’t utterly taken me over. Which means I’m making some progress! Which is good…a silver lining. xoxo

  5. Kathi,
    I’m so glad we were able to go. I think all of us have been caught off guard by Rachell’s and Susan’s deaths. Together with yet another fiasco from Komen, along with a new article about Nancy Brinker and her lifestyle spending via Komen, I feel deflated. We’re all paddling so hard to keep the boat afloat, and now we’re missing two of our best and brightest, plus once more, we’re doubtful as to whether the cure money’s being misspent.

    Recharge your emotional batteries, sweet lady. XOXOXO, Brenda

  6. Thank you for providing these links. I am planning to check them out. I have been so depressed since hearing of Rachel’s and Susan’s deaths. Trying to break out of the depression, but sometimes all one can do is go with the grief and cry.

  7. Thanks, Brenda. I’m sorry we didn’t see you there on Saturday. But glad there were four of us from Rachel’s blogosphere who could attend. Anthony was very appreciative of our presence.

    Oh, Beth, I have the task now of transcribing my own eulogy, and I’m not especially looking forward to reliving it by watching the video, to tell you the truth. But I hope to post it within a few days.

    Sometimes we do just have to cry and feel the heartbreak to get past it.

    Love to you all.

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