Kirsten’s Eulogy for Casey

Consider her. Dear, kind Casey. Picture her. Remember the last conversation you had with her.

Turn everything that you recall on its head. Now you have a true picture. My mother. Casey.

She was connected to the yearnings of everyone else—yet she blocked her own longings. Until, yes, until I came along.

I wonder if any of us can know how she loved.

Eulogies, as I understand them, are not necessarily revelations, but that was my mom, a constant revelation. She was a teacher beyond any measure. And I wish I’d paid attention to her wisdom more often. 

She was remarkable both in ordinary and extraordinary ways. I think she lived her life in a series of short stories—some of them mysteries.

I look around here today and I see faces I only know from pictures that sat on the mantel piece, but pictures that my mother took down every so often and sat with. She’d smile as she looked at these pictures, and when I asked her why she smiled, she’d only say, “Because each of these pictures are and were part of my story.”

She was a mystery, my mother, yet she was one of the most forthright women I knew if pushed beyond what she considered to be true. Her granddaughters have inherited that quality.

My father and my mother never married. Mom in her single-minded manner turned him down each time he asked. I met him when I was ten years old.

We remained a strange family, the three of us—he coming in and out of our lives, she finding her joy and contentment in her students. Many of you are here today.

Did you know her? Did she let you know her? I am her daughter and I knew her heart, broken as it was at times. In return she knew mine. For that bond I will be ever grateful. In her way she taught me about love, and now in turn I teach my children: Brennan, Casey, Alice, and Galean. 

The strength of her spirit is within all of us.