My aunt, Elizabeth Walsh, died on Tuesday, March 6, 2018, leaving behind a large grieving family headed by her daughter, Cindy, and husband Roger Scott. Our family will not be the same without her.
Here is the eulogy I presented at her celebration of life service:
My aunt was one of those people with a rare gift - she could walk into any room and turn it into an instant party just by her presence. Her personality was as big as her smile and bright as her hair and it makes us feel her loss that much more keenly.
After my sister and I moved to Toronto, my aunt became a second mother to us. The best time was our birthday weekend, as our birthdays are less than a week apart. Aunt Liz treated us to lunch, and the restaurants got increasingly fancier as we got older. For my 18th birthday, she took me to the old Silver Rail on Yonge Street for my first grown-up drink.
Having worked as a cocktail waitress for years, she was unfailingly polite and kind to servers and taught us to be the same way. To this day, Melanie and I can go out and have wait staff tell us how we made their day by being their best customers.
Many years later, I was able to repay the favour; I somehow got tickets to see Swan Lake by the National Ballet on Aunt Liz's birthday and there was no question I would be taking her. We went out for Mexican and margaritas and then across the street to see the timeless story of the swan queen. We both loved it! Several years later, she was my date to a Placido Domingo concert - and we both adored that!
It's a rare and precious thing to have a second chance at love - but Aunt Liz and Uncle Roger are proof of the saying that love is lovelier the second time around. Their devotion to each other was tested in recent years due to illness, but it held fast. Uncle Roger, I said this to you on the weekend, but I'll repeat it now with a room full of witnesses - you're stuck with us.
My Wild Irish Clan has lost the brightest star in the constellation, but she will always be a part of us.
I then read the poem "Song of the Star" by the American writer Suzy Kassem: