04 December 2012

Goodbye Monterey's Rose

In 1997, I remember getting the news that Diana, Princess of Wales had been in a car crash and had passed away. The news stunned more than just England, it stunned the entire world. "Princess Di" was an extraordinary person with a reputation for having a passion for helping people. It seemed to me, as a teenager, that the entire world mourned her loss.

Last week, a friend of mine passed away. Lisa's passing was a shock to our entire community. Everyone said what a wonderful person she was and how much she would be missed. I was one of those and still am. Her funeral was today and I had planned to go but the girls were in complete meltdown mode and Aaron seemed like he wasn't feeling well and was spitting up more than normal so I decided it would be better to stay home. Words can't express how sad I was to have to miss her service, so I thought I'd write a little bit as my own way to deal with her loss.

You may be reading this and going "What does any of this have to do with Princess Diana?". Well, Lisa reminded me a lot of the good qualities that were so well publicized about the Princess of Wales. In fact, when I was looking for a song to listen to while writing this, something that summed up my feelings about Lisa, I found Elton John's "Candle In The Wind" (his rewrite in 1997 for Diana's funeral) and if you change "England" to "Monterey", I think it fits Lisa perfectly.

And it seems to me that you lived your life
Like a candle in the wind.
Never fading with the sunset when the rain set in
And our footsteps will always fall here 
Along Monterey's greenest hills
Your candle's burned out long before
Your legend ever will.

She was one of the most helpful people here in Monterey. She was the epitome of what a military spouse should be. She never hesitated to jump in and help other people or find the information someone needed. She was both gentle and strong, fire-y and kind. I always enjoyed talking to her. She had a fantastic sense of humor and could make people go from crying to laughing with just a few well-chosen words. She could sweet-talk anybody into doing anything, even if they started out digging their heels in more stubbornly than a mule who doesn't want to be led.

It still seems unreal to me that she's gone. It seems so wrong. She wasn't someone who should have passed away now, she should have lived on forever. She was one of those people who seemed immortal. I still find myself wanting to send her a pm or tag her in a picture or status. I keep thinking reality has set in and then I change my mind. There's such a sense of wrong-ness about her passing (and please don't comment with "It's all part of God's plan, that doesn't ever help me feel better about losing someone I love) that it makes it harder to accept. But then, I've never been very good at accepting loss, denial has usually been my preferred method of "coping"...

Goodbye, Lisa. You will always be remembered by the many people you helped and inspired. Even those of us who only knew you from the local military spouse groups will never forget you. You made more of a difference than you probably ever knew, more of a difference than any words I could ever write or say would be capable of expressing. You were beautiful inside and out and your loss leaves a void in our community. We'll miss you. I'll miss you. Thank you for being you. You will always be in our hearts and our memories.


  1. I'm so sorry for this loss. Thank you for posting a beautiful eulogy for her.

  2. That's a beautiful memorial to Lisa. Hugs, dear daughter. Hugs, hugs, hugs.