Lesley’s Eulogy for Tracy
The song you just heard was Pink Moon by Nick Drake. It was the song that Tracy’s friend Clare was playing in her room at Sunnybrook Hospital the moment she passed away.
Thank you all for coming today to celebrate Tracy’s life.
Her beautiful spirit is with us today and I can say without a doubt, that she is enjoying all of this attention. She loved the limelight.
I wanted to start by sharing some of the words that have been used to describe Tracy…
Courageous, Brave, Tenacious, passionate, determined, generous, vivacious, feisty, tough, funny, beautiful, energetic, outgoing, athletic, spirited,…..
But the word I think best sums up my sister is “sparkly” – just like the gem she so loved – a sparkly diamond. Precious and complex whose brilliance and brightness gleams in the light.
Growing up as the youngest of three girls Tracy, was a fierce competitor! In her childhood years she was a gymnast and a diver. As an adult it became skiing and cycling. She was always athletic and ultimately became a group fitness instructor. She pushed the boundaries of everything she did – Yoga not just in a classroom but on a paddle board floating in Georgian Bay.
She was passionate and had a will to not just to succeed but to win. This drive is what allowed her to survive her life changing accident in September 2011.
Tracy could make us all crazy at times, before and after the accident. We most certainly didn’t always agree, and Lynn and I would struggle with some of her decisions. It was her way or no way. She knew what she wanted. She needed to be in control and didn’t hold back. Fierce in her convictions, but she had a soft heart and would always know how important it was to reconnect and say sorry.
She loved her family deeply.
I’ve learned many lessons from my sister over the years and definitely much bigger ones these past two years. I am a changed person.
She loved fashion and nice things and always looked so good. She did not hold back on telling me how to dress, how to do my hair, what makeup to put on, and went so far on a several occasions as to buy clothes for me and show me how to put them together. She loved fine wine, beautiful vacation destinations, and good food, and introduced me to many of my now favourite chardonnays and restaurants. She had a terrific sense of humour and a contagious smile. She was “FUN”! … and would always laugh at my sarcastic wit. Right up to the end
Here’s a little story about Tracy’s sense of fun …
The day that the Head of Psychiatry at Sunnybrook Hospital came to tell us the outcome of his psych assessment which would declare her competent and allow her to reinstate her end of life decisions, …..as he was in the midst of this very serious discussion. She desperately wanted to say something and pressured me with her eyes to get the “alphabet” board so she could tell us something. Because at this point she still had a breathing tube in her mouth and was unable to speak.
I was waiting for something very profound, and as I started pointing to the letters I realized what she wanted to tell him! It was so Tracy-esque!! She said to him “Your wife is very lucky”!! Flirting right up to the end with the handsome doctor. We all laughed.
There are so many other similar stories to this one, reinforcing her charismatic personality despite her hardships.
We should all approach life with the forceful positive determination that Tracy had, and strive to be better people! We need to appreciate how lucky we are to be so blessed – walking, moving, talking, seeing, hearing to name a few. Share gratitude with those in our lives, telling them how much they mean to us.
Because at the end of our lives how do we want to be remembered?
I would like to conclude with a poem that was shared with me 17 years ago after the stillbirth of our first child Morgan, and I received it again from that same person this week.
Do not stand at my grave and weep,
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning’s hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circled flight
I am the soft star that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.