Katie's Eulogy for Emily:WE LOVE YOU TO THE MOON AND BACK, EM!
Hello, my name is Katie, for those of you that don’t know me. It’s wonderful to see so many people gathered today to celebrate Emily’s life, show her how much we love her and to support and hold up the Easter and Kirner families. I have to comment on this weather, 85 degrees and sunny! No one loved summer as much as Emily Easter. It’s very fitting to have it be a summerlike day. I think Emily delivered this to us.
I met Emily in the summer of 2000, we started our PR careers together sitting in cubicles next to each other. I actually sat behind her and could see her curly, brown hair in front of me. I always wanted curly hair I’d tell her, and she’d always tell me about who her hair was straight until high school when it turned curly. I think she was trying to give me hope that my hair too could turn curly one day. Well, I’m still waiting for my curly hair, Em.
We quickly became friends along with Louise who started at this job the same week I did. The three of us spent a lot of time together running around New York City as well as the Jersey Shore, Atlantic City and Las Vegas, laughing, dancing, going out for cocktails, going to concerts, dinners and more. We were each other’s sounding boards for all things related to work and the world of New York City PR. In a way we grew up together, going from early 20 somethings trying to figure out if we had made the right career choice, to becoming well established in our careers into our 30s. While our friendship began out of work and our hours and hours of endless conversation and laughter often focused on that, our relationship blossomed into so much more.
Emily was one of the first people I called to talk about this cute Australian boy I met at a bar. Soon after I met this boy, Em and I spent a summer beach weekend together on the North Fork. Unfortunately for Emily, it rained the whole time so she had no choice but to listen to me talk and obsess about this boy I met. But she did so with such enthusiasm and interest. Years later we’d joke about that weekend and I’d apologize for boring her but she always said she didn’t mind as that’s the kind of friend she was. Emily was one of the first people I called when I got engaged to that boy I obsessed about on our rainy weekend away together. She was one of the first people I told when I found out I was pregnant. She was one of the first people I’d call or meet up with when I had high’s or low’s relating to work and I just needed to talk. She was at most of my birthday gatherings, unless of course that was her vacation week at the Shore. Having a late July birthday, it often fell over her vacation week. She’d called me up to wish me a happy birthday and offer to come into the city for the night to go out but I wouldn’t let her. I never minded if she skipped my birthday for the Shore as it meant so much to her to be there with her family. She would have though had I said yes as that’s the kind of friend she was. She was at my bridal shower, led a conga line with Louise at my bachelorette party, was at my wedding, my baby shower. She came to see me at home in the final weeks of my pregnancy when I could barely move. She came to the hospital when my daughter, Fiona, was born. She was one of the first people to meet and lovingly hold her. She knit my daughter a hat when she was a baby and gave her the book, ‘Guess How Much I Love You’. She often came out to my house to see my daughter and play with her. Fiona can be shy and doesn’t often take to people she doesn’t see regularly but no matter how much time passed since she last saw Emily, she always warmed to her immediately. I told Emily, the last time she saw Fiona which was this summer when she came over, you’re the Fiona Whisperer.
In other words, Emily was one of the greatest cheerleaders of my life. Always there to support, encourage, smile and be happy for me. Even when much of these milestones I just touched on happened over the last 3 ½ years while she was battling the disease. She never wavered, she never faltered in her friendship. She never, ever let her situation stand in the way of being an incredible friend to me and to all of you here today. I know she was a great cheerleader to all of you here today.
As I know we all have, I've spent a lot of time in recent days and weeks thinking about Emily. When I think of her, the following words come to mind...happiness, giving, loving, gracious, gentle, the world's best laugh, sharp wit, heart of gold, great taste in music, wonderful writer, excellent proof reader, smart, the best sounding board on any topic, great listener, fun, and... hopeful, despite everything she faced these last few years, she was always full of hope. Two other words that come to mind are, great smile. Here is a quote from one of her favorite authors, F. Scott Fitzgerald, "It was only a sunny smile, and little it cost in the giving, but like morning light it scattered the night and made the day worth living." Em's smile was always sunny and made all our days worth living.
The most important trait though about Em, is that…she is the kindest person I know. You knew when you called Em or saw her, she’d be happy, cheery and kind – no matter how dark a day she may have been having. I have learned a lot from Emily in our nearly 15-year friendship and have learned a lot from her through the incredible way in which she handled her disease. But I think the thing I want to make sure I carry most as a learning experience and a way to honor Emily, is to always be kind, as she was to all of us. There’s the expression, be kinder than you feel. I have often thought of that expression…I don’t know why but it’s something that has stuck with me years. But I’m no longer going to think, be kinder than you feel. Rather, I’m going to think, be kind, like Emily. She gave me so many gifts in life and even though my heart will never fully be the same without her, I will take the lesson of, be kind, like Emily, as a learning and a gift from her.
So in closing, thank you, to everyone here for being here at this moment, thank you for loving Emily. Thank you to Mr. & Mrs. Easter for giving the world the gift of your incredible daughter. Let’s all remember the Easter and Kirner families as well as Emily’s extended family of aunts, uncles, cousins and her grandfather - in our thoughts and prayers for many, many years to come. We need to be there for them to not only lift them up but to also keep Emily’s memory, spirit and legacy alive.
And Emily, I say to you, we love you, we miss you, we are sad to not have you here with us but we all find peace in knowing you’re in a better place and with your grandparents. We will all see you again one day. Save me a beach chair and a cocktail please.
And to quote the final page of the book you gave my daughter, 'Guess How Much I Love You', "Then he lay down close by and whispered with a smile, 'I love you right up to the moon - and back'." We all love you to the moon and back, Em.