Mom’s Eulogy 

I wrote and read the below eulogy through many tears at Mom’s Requiem mass. The liturgy was sung in Plainchant Latin, and I felt like I was standing at the gates of heaven listening to angels sing. Mom would have been 75 years old today. Happy Birthday, Mom. You are always in my heart. I love you!

Mom’s Eulogy

How can I do justice to 74 years of a life lived with what amounts to just a few paragraphs. When I think of Dianne, I think foremost of things she has said and done over the years that have stayed with me, words and actions that reflect her essence. Dianne was larger than life for me. She saw me take my first breath. I have known her all of my life because she was my mother. And she told me I would always be her little girl no matter how old I was. Some of my earliest memories are of our girl time together – painting our nails and curling our hair. Mom did all the things for me that a mother does: feeding us, making clothes for us, caring for us when we were sick, but she also taught my brothers and I to be honest, have a work ethic, and be persons of integrity. She made sure we thought about and questioned things. She took us to art galleries, museums, and theaters in Washington D.C., and instilled a love for the arts in us. Most importantly to me, she taught me to say my prayers and imparted her faith to me, enabling me to develop a deep love for God while I was still a young child.

Mom’s nurturing spirit shone best through her gardening. She turned her entire back yard into a peaceful sanctuary with many different seasonal flowers, bushes, and trees: using every space, carefully planning where each plant would thrive, and adding new creations every year. Her essence is still there in her gardens, where a timeless rose bush graces the porch roof with sprays of pink spilling over the sides, where birds bathe and hollies offer their food. One can feel her presence there. I think of the quote by James Russell Lowe which she often repeated, “Not what we give, but what we share, for the gift without the giver is bare.”

Mom also had a strong will, and she never backed down from a challenge. She went back to school in her thirties, while raising three children. She acquired a bachelor’s degree in sociology and then went to Georgetown University on scholarship. There, she earned a master’s degree in demography and subsequently worked for the House of Representatives, Bell Atlantic, and the Census Bureau as a demographer. She was a published author in her field, and she was named in Who’s Who in American Women in 1984. After her retirement, she returned to school and earned a master’s degree in history at the age of 70. She did not see impediments along her path in life. She saw opportunities, and she achieved what she believed she could do, and she never gave up.

Dianne was a daughter, sister, mother, friend, neighbor, coworker, grandmother, great-grandmother, and a wife. Her best friend and the love of her life was her husband, David. They shared 35 years together enjoying their dogs and birds, their gardens, and their many discussions about politics, history, ancestry research, and the latest good movie. They enjoyed learning, and loving life and each other.

If I look closely at those things I loved about my mother, I find that they are right here within my own heart and soul. I cherish what I have gained from knowing her, from having loved her, and from having the privilege of calling her Mom. This quote from Edmund Spenser’s, The Fairie Queene, recently reverberated in my head until I gave it my full attention and wrote it down:

“For whatsoever from one place does fall,Is with the tide unto another brought:For there is nothing lost, that may be found, if sought.”

I leave you with this quote by Saint Teresa of Avila, which I found recently in Mom’s devotional, and surprisingly, it is one I also know by heart:

“Let Nothing Disturb You,

Let Nothing Frighten You,

All Things are Passing Away,

God never changes.

Patience obtains all things.

Whoever has God lacks nothing.

Alone God Suffices.”

30 thoughts on “Mom’s Eulogy 

  1. Bella Rose, I am the 2nd-oldest of the cousins in the “Hage” family, and your Mom and I were quite close when we were teens. Wrote a few hundred letters back and forth (email of the day?). We last communicated 4 years ago…She was a fine person, and loved by most, including me…I am now eldest cousin as i turned 74 January 1st.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Dear Bella Rose,
    Your Mother’s passing has been a big shock, she was active and working hard to keep and eye on her health. She wrote beautifully and clearly was an amazing person.

    You may take heart that up until the last moment she was physically and mentally busy with things she truly loved doing, surrounded by family who knew they were unconditionally loved, loving her deeply in return.

    One day we will all have to take that quiet step into the next life, I can only wish that when it is my turn to do so, that I too will be in a physical an mental state of mind knowing that I am as loved and that I love as deeply as she did. If you have to go, it’s certainly an OK place to go from.

    Celebrate her life rather than mourn it… she is with you still: her character molded you and her memories will always be with you.

    In The Netherlands, when someone passes away we wish their family and friends “Sterkte” (Strength)…. so I wish you “Sterkte” and hope that as time passes your days will become less heavy, that many beautiful memories will stay of your wonderful Mother.

    …regards… Kiwidutch.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing this with us Bella Rose. I know your mom is very happy that you’ve taken over the work she was doing with family geneology. I know that work meant a great deal to her and it is something all of your family will appreciate (eventually if not right away!).

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my gosh! This is so beautiful. I can almost see your mom giving you a hug. We are all still missing her in the blogsphere. I really counted on her knowledge and guidance in understanding the country and the world. She was truly an extraordinary woman. Thank you very much for sharing this.

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  5. You did a beautiful job eulogizing your mother. I know she is smiling from heaven, and saying to those gathered around, “that’s my girl.” You will miss her something fierce, yet she will always be within you. You are fortunate to have had such a terrific mom. We are fortunate to have such a terrific friend.

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  6. Pingback: Dearest Dianne | Sarsm's Blog

  7. Bella Rose this is a truly beautiful and fitting eulogy to your mom. It was so kind of you to share it with us. I will really miss your mom. I looked forward to every comment she wrote on my blog, she was wise and witty, but she also ‘got it’. Clearly, she was a very special mother! She was extremely proud of you, too.
    I guess today will be an especially emotional day for you. Sending you much love and many happy memories. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

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