|Eulogy to my Beloved Mother
September 13, 1966 – May 22, 2010
From her first little girl ~ Irene Rifkind
Thank you everyone for coming today. You have all shown extraordinary kindness in these
My mother went through many struggles in her life. Her to do list was indescribably
lengthy. And so with her short lived life she accomplished more in her 43 years than most
will ever in four lifetimes. She was a great and giving person who loved and cared deeply
about everyone around her, even complete strangers. Sometimes, she cared more about
others than she did even for herself.
She had many passions in life…travelling, community service, late night cookouts,
especially singing and performing with her beloved friends, yet first and foremost came
her daughters… Anna and Julia… take pride in that we are just extension of her.
I remember growing up my mom bathing us, singing to us, sharing with all three of her
daughters the importance and the meaning of what true love is. She steered us through
battles and guided us through darkened times. These are lessons that I hope to pass on to
my sisters the best I can. I know it won’t be quite the same.
Anna and Julia… this I am writing mostly for you. Mom would have it no other way. She
lived and breathed for us. She is the strongest woman. This rock that even with all the
currents of life that beat ceaselessly against it never let life keep her down.
Mom, would always say, “Life is fragile, be gentle to each other, be kind.” Anna, I
remember when you were born, so beautiful with these big blue eyes. Mom always said that
you had something in you so special. Of all the children, she knew how much of a fighter
you are, that no matter what you would make it in this life. Through everything you have
been through you have the amazing power and wisdom of knowing how to let go, just let it
be, and to spread happiness to those around you with that sense of humor that always made
mom laugh so much. You are the ying to my yang as mom would always say. And of course
there is Julia, how mom did not want another stubborn child like me, and yet that is exactly
what she got with Julia, stubborn, but beautiful, artistic, loving, keen, there is an old soul in
My mother, elegant, eccentric, passionate... how beautiful my mother’s laugh was, how
when she threw back that red hair of hers and laughed, her laughter filled the entire room.
It was so contagious that no matter who you were or where you were in your life, that laugh
could help bring laughter to you as well.
And so I ask you, from the bottom of my heart, please do not remember my mom with tears
or with regrets. Remember her with laughter, with peace, and with love, for that is what she
would have wanted most. My family and I truly appreciate all of you for sharing this day
with us very much and I know my mother will be with us today as we lay her to rest.
A light from our family is gone
A voice we love is stilled
A place is vacant in the home
Which never can be filled
We have to mourn the loss of one
We would’ve love to keep
But God who surely loved her best
Has finally made her sleep
After a lifetime of her love and joy
And music to fill our ears
God leaves these wondrous memories
To help us through our tears...