Blue Heron Writes

Sharing to Inspire through Words and Pictures

The Most Difficult Writing – A Eulogy for My Friend

In my post, The Case for a Gravestone (March 1, 2012), I write about the upcoming interment of my close friend Joyce’s ashes. As part of the service, I planned to share some thoughts about Joyce, our relationship, who she was and the impact  she had on the world. Weeks ago, I started thinking about what I would say but the spark of inspiration I needed to compose simply eluded me.

The burial is Friday, April 13, so this past Tuesday, with the deadline fast approaching, I gathered together my scattered notes and applied my fingers to the keyboard determined to finish the eulogy. At 11:30 pm it was done. When I read it to my partner, I finally cried. Since the news of Joyce’s death in November, I had not dealt with my emotions. And the few tears I shed last night were probably just the start.

Not connecting with my emotions caused the writer’s block. Although I did find a way to break through the block, it would have been easier if I had been able to involve my emotions from the start. Whether I am writing or painting, I need to connect to the subject at a visceral level or the results will be dull and drab.  This emotional connection needs to be part of my Creative Ritual (the process I use to get in touch with my Muse).

My friend, Joyce, strongly supported my creative endeavours, believing my writing and artwork deserved a place in the world. In tribute to her, I would like to share a short excerpt from her eulogy.

The two of us at the Burlington Waterfront

Our relationship started over a cup of coffee at a Tim Horton’s shop in Mississauga, Ontario. We met as strangers who simply struck up a conversation and immediately found common ground – our spiritual values and life journeys.  I invited Joyce to attend a weekly healing group we held in our home; she came and thus began a deep and endearing friendship.

It seemed as if Joyce has always been in my life. We understood each other and accepted one another’s quirks and idiosyncrasies; we enjoyed a familiarity we wore like two pair of comfortable, old slippers.

The last several years Joyce spent cleaning homes and I’d like to think cleaning spirits. She became friends with many of her clients, some of whom considered her family. Joyce connected easily with people, accepting them as they were, without condition. She understood the power of prayer and her clients came to realize she had a healing gift.

Joyce possessed a kind of holiness. Her light shone forth in the world and she shared generously and unconditionally with no expectation of return. She was the embodiment of servanthood and a seeker. Her spiritual journey led her to both organized churches as well as other non-traditional groups. However, Joyce didn’t need a church or organization in which to express her love of God. She was equally at ease worshiping from the arms of a favourite tree. She connected to God; His Spirit flowed through her as she shared her faith and touched the spirit of all she met.

Joyce’s life ended too early at the age of 66 – a reminder to us all to live each day as if it were our last and to believe in and follow our dreams.

Good bye my friend. I love you and miss you.

‘Til we meet again!

© Wendie Donabie 2012



  1. Wow, I didn’t even know Joyce but I’m in tears.

  2. Im sure that Joyce feels very honoured to have had you in your short stay here
    your words honour her life …..Namaste

  3. Very Nice. So sorry to hear about her passing.

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