Saturday, December 11, 2021

The Service and Eulogy.


I think the service went well.  Cara, Donna, Peggy and Dana did wonderfully in their reflections of Susan.  They made it clear how much they loved her and how much she was loved by everyone. I made it through the eulogy somehow. We live streamed the service on Facebook. You can see it here:

On Sunday I took her ashes to the cemetary on Sunday and buried her by myself.  I felt it was the last thing I could do to care for her.

I miss her so much I can't stand it.  I've been trying to keep busy to keep my mind occupied.  Most times it helps, but only for a short time. I don't really know what else to say about it right now.


(Take a deep breath)

I never in a million years thought I’d find myself doing a eulogy at my sister’s funeral but here we are and here we go. 

First of all, Susan would be so happy to see so many loved ones in one place.  She loved being around friends and family more than anything so thank you all for coming out to celebrate her life.  The number of you that took time out of your holiday weekend to be here is a true testament to the beautiful person that Susan was.

I have started this eulogy over no less than 43 times in the last three weeks.  I spent hours on Google researching how to write a eulogy. And no matter what I read, and regardless of the copious notes I made it didn’t make this any easier.  I felt like everything I wrote was “not good enough” for my baby sister.  How do I summarize such a brilliant lifeforce into just 10 or 15 minutes?

She was born July 15, 1975.  I remember as a kid I used to think I owned her since in some way which I cannot recall how now, I selected her middle name.  This is a claim that I would assert over her for the rest of her life, and she would laugh every time I said it. I was 4.5 years old when Susan was born so I don’t really recall life without her.  I have yet to figure out how I will continue my life without her now.

Susan was a happy little kid.  She was always very easy going and friendly to everyone.  When we were young, we used to gather up all our baby dolls and sit at the top of the steps and pretend we were taking a car ride.   I don’t recall where we thought we were going, and it didn’t matter. We just had fun playing together whether it was paper dolls, Barbies, roller skating in the basement or making up dance routines.  We were each other’s first best friend. Susan also loved to share whatever she had. As a matter of fact I recall once when my mom made a lemon meringue pie.  Susan didn’t want hers, so she gave it to me.  After I ate it, she said “I only licked the top part”.  Nice Susan.  Always so thoughtful.

Susan was involved in dancing as a young child and then in high school was very active in the choral music program.  She graduated from Boardman High School in 1993.  She spent several years working in childcare before taking a job working for Boardman Township.  In 1998 Susan met Derek.  From the time they met, they were pretty much inseparable.  They married in Boardman in 2000 and that summer moved to Columbus where she lived the rest of her life.  While in Columbus Susan worked for a few companies but the bulk of her time was spent working for Chase Bank where she made so many friends.  At her service in Columbus a few weeks ago there were many people there that she had worked with, and they all said basically the same things about her.  She was so much fun, and always had such a positive attitude.  Many of them talked about how she liked to call the whole month of July her birthday month and how she got away with silly nicknames for them that they would not let anyone else call them, because she was so sweet it was easy to let her have her way.  She was truly a self-proclaimed princess but in the most precious Disney type way.  She never thought she was better than anyone else, nor did she ever feel like she deserved more than anyone else.

While working at Chase she met a couple friends and together they started the IHADRO dog rescue.  The 8+ years she spent in the organization were the crown jewels in her life’s achievements.  She threw everything she had into the rescue and not much meant more to her than the work she did for the dogs of IHADRO.  Over the years she wore just about every hat imaginable in the rescue and at the time we lost her she was the only original member left, she was a board member and the acting president. There were very few people who knew as much as she did about that rescue.  Over the years Susan and Derek would foster and adopt many dogs and cats.  She leaves behind her bougie dog Toby and sweet Lucy.

The only thing more important to her than her rescue work was her family. Her departure leaves a hole in all our hearts, not just mine. Derek, our mom, Rita and second Dad, Dale. Our sisters Trisha, and Dana and our brother Steven, her brother-in-law Mark, and her sisters in law Carla and Rachel.  She leaves behind her eight nephews, Tyler, Andrew, Adam, Griffin, Jack, Nick, Mike, and Luke as well as three beautiful nieces, Ashley, Sarah and Camilla.  I hope the kids always remember their Aunt Suzy Poozy (As Adam loved to call her) with a smile on her face and a heart full love for them because whenever she talked about any of them, she did so with love and pride.


Susan’s friends and family used many words to describe her.  Inspirational, Motivational, and positive are at the top of this list.  I have a few others I would like to add, don’t worry mom.  I’ll be nice.

Susan was strong, way stronger than she knew most of the time.  In June when she found out she would have her foot amputated she initially told me she was terrified.  And rightly so.  But once we talked about it and she got over the shock, she met each challenge head on and went full steam ahead with her recovery. Certainly, she had moments of doubt and frustration, but she was determined to stand and walk again, and she pushed hard to get there as fast as she could.  She never gave up trying.

Susan was also extraordinarily giving.  Every year she would adopt a senior citizen and their pet for the holidays.  It was never enough to get them one or two things off their wish list, she wanted to get them ALL the things on their list.  Over the years she sponsored families at Christmas time as well.  She was known for helping friends and family with anything she could offer be it financially or just a shoulder to cry on. 

I think mostly though about how loving she was. She gave of her heart as much as she possibly could.  When I posted on Facebook about her passing it took me by surprise, although it shouldn’t have, how many people commented that she was their best friend.   She was so nurturing and caring to everyone that she loved. There was never a time in my life that I can recall her not being there for me, supporting me and comforting me, cheering me on or just whatever I needed.  She truly was a better sister than I deserved.

The internet defines a soulmate as a person with whom one has a feeling of deep or natural affinity with the implication of a lifelong bond. Going by that definition my younger sister was most definitely my soulmate.  I never imagined I would have to live a life without her and I am just so unsure how to do it.  We spent so much time talking and video chatting that I often forgot that we were three hours away from one another.  When I was in the truck with Mark, I often turned my camera around so she could see the beautiful places we went to, but she was not every able to go. I even took her to Vegas with me once.  She thought that was pretty cool.  One place she had plans to go to next year when she was walking again was Disney.  She always wanted to go there.  I guess I will have to go for her now, although I am not sure they have enough rollercoasters there for me.  I wish she could have traveled; I wish she could have walked again, I wish so many things for her, but mostly I just wish she were still here.  There is an emptiness left by her that I will never be able to fill, and I will miss her everyday for the rest of my life.

Susan truly was a joy and she did radiate love and positivity. Even though she is gone from this world the legacy of her huge heart will live on in her family and friends.  She touched everyone she met.  May we never forget her smile or her infectious Betty Rubble giggle. 

Susan, you were the best friend a person could ask for, and far better to me than I deserved.  My life will never be the same without you and I pray that I see you again someday. I miss you more I can possibly put into words.  I’ll love you forever, Scoot.

I urge you all to go out and do something kind for someone as often as you can and do it in memory of Susan.  She would love that and there is no better way to honor her life.

One final thing, and it may be unorthodox to do this during Susan’s eulogy, but everyone told me I can say whatever I want so I am going to. I want to thank my brother-in-law, Derek.  The last 5 years or so were very difficult with Susan’s health, to say the least and Derek handled every change, surgery, doctor’s appointment, and medical procedure like a boss. He ever complained about being her caretaker and he did absolutely everything necessary for her. Derek’s love and devotion for Susan is 100% the perfect picture of what unconditional love looks like. When he said “for better or worse, in sickness and in health” to Susan on February 25,2000 he very clearly, honestly meant it. Derek thank you for taking the best care of my little sister.  I love you from the bottom of my heart.

Again, thank you all for coming to celebrate the life of my best friend and my baby sister.  She would be so full of love to see you all here together.

Thank you.