Today at 1:00pm was the funeral of my dear kindred spirit. Her family asked me to speak at the funeral about her. I was so honored they asked, and although it was really hard, I did it. But this is what I said (it’s slightly edited for a little more clarity). I’m sharing it with you because she was a person who greatly impacted people (and because I know people read this blog who knew her). The circumstances were tragic, but her life was worthy of celebration. This is my moment of thanksgiving in this hard time.
A Memorial To My Dear Kindred Spirit
Rebecca* was—and still is—scintillating.
(A large word, a word only for her, since she enjoyed the English language so much.)
She radiated the fullness of life and love.
Her ocean blue eyes shone with wit and intelligence.
She communicated with concise beauty
(oh, to be half the writer she was someday)!
We became kindred spirits slowly, as kindred spirits often do. Shyly, we figured out we had a lot in common. I really got to know her at her house, when all of us friends who were the same age came over for homeschool chemistry classes.
I thought she was amazing.
(We all thought she was amazing.)
She was older than us. A senior.
(In high school, older people don’t associate
with younger people.
It’s not cool.)
Rebecca didn’t care about being cool.
She just cared.
She loved all us younger girls.
She challenged us to think and be true to ourselves and to love God with imagination and intelligence.
With Rebecca, we had pillow fights. Yes, dignified Rebecca could throw a pillow! She was a fierce warrior, her eyes alight with battle as she giggled like a small child.
We stayed up all night for the first time in our lives. We were so proud of ourselves, and yet so delirious. Rebecca got to the point where she was having black-and-white visions of being in a classroom with a teacher.
We enjoyed the numerous campouts our homeschool group went on. Strolling along wooded paths, laughing in our cabins or around campfires.
We also laughed over young love. Can everyone remember the countless hours she patiently listened to the various lovebirds pouring their hearts out to her about their loved ones?
We talked about theology and philosophy and life. I still remember sitting and talking for hours! Hours about deep things, things that sharpened my faith and my perception of the world.
Rebecca also had an imagination. She loved Lord of the Rings, fairy tales, good stories, and nature. She had a bit of the mystic in her—something which drove her to travel to Scotland and roam the moors like a sprite.
She and I even danced in a fairy ring once. Joined hands and spun around in a ring of mushrooms under the moonlight.
She was made of different stuff than many. A unique and lovely creature. She was true to herself and to God. And it shone in everything she did. There were times I walked into her home and was blown away with the light of her countenance. It was that inner beauty. It reminds me of Psalm 34:5: “They looked to Him and were radiant, and they will never be ashamed.” She was the first person who showed me that verse. It became one of the theme verses for my life. And it so aptly describes her.
I never thought I had to pretend around her (or that group),
as I felt I had to most of the time with others.
I could be my wild, winsome self,
and she didn’t care.
I could be my thoughtful, strange self
and she didn’t judge.
Rebecca accepted me,
and in that acceptance,
she showed me God’s love.
It changed my life.
It helped me begin to heal.
It gave me hope.
That was Rebecca. Someone who loved. Someone who healed through love.
Becca saw people and loved them through things. Let us remember who she was, despite the times that came after.
Rebecca reflected God’s eyes of love.
God sees us and loves us. All He wants is for us to embrace that love, to not walk in hiddenness and shame. Although Rebecca lost herself in the last years, the essence of who she was could never be lost in the eyes of God. God loved her and called to her through everything. She was surrounded by Love. We are surrounded by a Love that will never let us go, even in death.
Rebecca is gone, but she is held. Rebecca is gone, but not separated from that Love.
We miss you so much, Rebecca. But we rejoice now that you are in the Love that you so beautifully demonstrated to us in your life.
*Names changed for privacy. The picture is a birch because that was her favorite tree.
Photo from Adobe Photostock/Photohank