a tribute to Susan Allen
A Eulogy for My Sister
You were there from my beginning – I have always known you. And yet, I have never really known you. Perhaps that is the dichotomy of being siblings. We share many experiences, many emotions and many things, and yet we find at the end we are strangers. We each see the world as it unfolds through different eyes, and so take different meaning and different importance from those things we have shared. But still, it is those common experiences that bind us together.
When I remember the times we spent together, it is like wrapping myself in a warm blanket. It is my childhood, my upbringing, my past. We never thought of it then as anything but just life, but now it seems much more than that. All those experiences and memories are you in my heart, they are why you will never die for me, and no matter how differently we remembered them, they are a part of what makes me who I am, so in that sense we are inseparable.
Music defined your life. Lao Tzu once said, “Music in the soul can be heard by the universe.” Well, my dear sister, the universe is certainly the benefactor now of the music in your soul. A few days before you died, you said to me in a very weak, and questioning voice, ”No more music?”. At the time I was at a complete loss for words, but now I can say unequivocally, there will always be music for you. The music you created lives on in all the lives you’ve touched, in all the students you’ve taught, and in all concerts you performed. Your students will pass on what you have taught them, and their students will too, and so on, forever and ever. The performances live on in the people that heard them and the recordings that people will always be able to hear. And the lives you touched will always sing a little louder and little more sweetly. That is why there will always be music for you.
I miss you Susie. Your laugh, your smile, your being. I try not to mourn your death. We all die – it is inevitable. But still, I miss you, and will until I die. Perhaps there is another place, another way of being that we, on this side, don’t know about yet. If so, I hope we can see each other again, and just talk, with no limits on time or attention. If not, well, it was a wonderful ride, wasn’t it?