She was seen by many, but only understood by very few. Sometimes she stated the obvious, but sometimes it was news. She loved the scent of coming spring and also the death of fall. She found a way to make a little sense of all the nonsense around us, and she told us all about what she learned.
This is a tribute to the passed soul of a poet, a teller of both tall tales and the stark realities with which they contrasted. Some of her dreams were never realized, but through her memory hopefully some of them shall be. She wanted to be remembered most for the good things she left behind.
Her words sooth and calm us, as well as puzzle and befuddle us, through her countless works. The numerous verses, stories, and articles she wrote already seemed to have open endings. Perhaps, that was just the point. For she believed the Universe was far too infinite to define, as hard as she ironically tried to do just that. Eventually, she gave up on defining existence itself, as she nearly ignored defining her own.
She tasted bitter defeat in love far too many times; to give so much love unrequited stings far more than most contended souls can imagine. Eventually, her luck finally turned and she found happiness; at least, she learned to be content with what she got. She was never happy with the world in which she lived; perhaps she was childish in her view that things were so grossly unfair. As she said herself, though, she let everyone know that she never really wanted to grow up. In her mind, she was always in some ways still a child.
She had a strong passion for sports, and while she lacked the talent to play them well at any true level of competition, it didn’t stop her from writing prolifically about them. Sometimes it was for profit, but often more for pleasure. But for the most part, she was always in the backyard of her imagination playing out some outrageous adventure.
For the better part of her later life, she spent most of her time busy being a kid with her own kids. In fact, she considered her children as her whole life’s greatest accomplishments. Growing up for her was just an inconvenience. Anytime she got to be a kid again, she did. Her children were her greatest inspiration, and she once said she never felt good enough to absolutely blessed such as she was.
One of her greatest wishes was to die before her faculties were taken away from the ravages of advancing age that so often claim them. Sure enough, in all of her eighty-odd years, she never lost them. When she was discovered having passed overnight, by her bedside was yet another work, the epic poem about her life which she’d started several years before.
At first, it seemed that the poem was still unfinished. But, as we all know, sometimes having that definite ending takes away from the story. For, as she once wrote in a famous essay, “How many lives end before we can define a happy conclusion to them, and how do we know that the most important accomplishments are obvious to everyone?” So many of her were, indeed, but perhaps, she left more in her wake than we even realize.
As I read the final lines of her final poem, I realize that for all her struggles to write that perfect ending to life, she truly did. The final line of her journal reads so simply yet eloquently: “In the end how we have played the game of Life is far more important than the final score.”
“The Eulogy” was originally a creative piece written for a college Communications class assignment. It has since been revised significantly.