Wednesday, April 11, 2018

I Love You-My Mother's Eulogy

I had long wondered if I would be able to get up and speak at my Mom's funeral. I think the fact that her death was so well prepared for (physically not mentally) and that I had been grieving for so long both allowed me to not break down in Church. Todd and I had a sign and I would give a thumbs up if I was able and a thumbs down if I couldn't do it. 

I wrote this in my head multiple times and it could definitely be improved upon, but I typed it, sent it to a few close confidants to proof and went with it. I think with writing if you wait and tinker too long it will never get published.

"I Love You"

We say it at the end of phone conversations, we say it before kissing our kids and putting them in bed. We
sometimes even whisper it to our favorite Cracker Barrel Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese or our bottle of Wacammaw Cab.

I Love you.

BB Loved all of you. She loved everyone.

The disease that stole her from us took everything. But it couldn’t take her ability to love. In her final days it
was the only phrase she could say. It had lost its emphatic tone, and some of its syllables. But she said it. Upon seeing my face or my father’s or brother’s. She would muster up the ability from the depths of her heart and tell you….. I love you.

Her love knew no boundaries. She loved with her WHOLE heart. You knew this when she looked you straight in the eyes and told you. It was the type of love a daughter could keep in her pocket and use to shield her from so many awful events that mark the horrid years of middle school and sorority rush. I was invincible with that shield. That mother’s love.

She just didn’t love her family. She loved her friends with a ferocity that enveloped them like family. I
remember as a child my parents always had friends over. She loved their presence and loved having them in her home.

She also loved strangers. Waiters, Bellhops, Gas Station attendants, most recently her CNA’s and helpers at
Aston. If you made eye contact with her she told you. And she meant it. Her massuse, person doing her
pedicure, Starbucks Barista, she loved you. In her words, "love you mean it". 

Her Animals were some of the most loved. First Momus and Roux and then Dewars and Gumbo. Mom and
Roux were the best of friends. On her last road trip, a trip to the Keys, manatees and pelicans were loved by BB too. Almost so much so that a pelican was almost the new recipient of her gold bead necklace.

I went to one of her last Jazzercise classes with her and afterwards tried to thank them all profusely for what
they had done for our family. For befriending our BB in the state she was in. They had confused looks on their faces and one of them approached me and said I don’t think you understand. BB was sent to us. She was our Angel. She told each and every one of us we were beautiful. We were loved. That we were awesome. And sometimes after a long day when you hadn’t heard those words in a while, seeing BB at Jazzercise with her bright eyes and huge smile was exactly what we all needed. She didn’t need us, we needed her.

In this world, especially now in 2018, we need more hearts and souls like BB’s. She loved. Her love touched us all. She made you feel happy, secure, warm and welcome. I hope to love the way BB loved. To my family, to my friends, and to anyone that needs to feel that love.

I Love You.


  1. What a lovely tribute to your dear mom. Kudos to you for being able to get up and deliver it. I couldn't do it at either of my parents' memorials. Keep remembering that love--there is no better inheritance.

  2. Perfect, Katharine. She was love personified. And I love you.

  3. It was perfect, the words and your strength and your love as you stood up there in front of all of us...exactly what it needed to be.

  4. I don't know how you were able to give the "thumbs up" and give such a wonderful tribute to your mother, but you did. It was amazing and a real picture of who Barbara was and will always be in our hearts. Love you all!

  5. Perfect. I printed out and posted at Aston Park.

  6. Being a certified church nerd (I am an Episcopal deacon) I found your mom's funeral homily and your remembrance on the All Souls website and listened to them. Your remembrance, lovely in print, is even more lovely and loving hearing your voice. The Dean's homily dovetailed perfectly with your remembrance of your mom's love for all she encountered. I don't have to tell you how blessed you are to have him as your priest or to tell you to follow his advice to keep telling the stories. You are doing an amazing job both remembering your mom and fighting the disease that took her from you.