On May 3rd, 2018 I learned that a close friend of mine passed away unexpectedly. I was asked by her twin brother if I would write and deliver her eulogy. As I thought about what she left me to work with, I couldn’t help but reflect on the synchronicity of events – I had just published a column about living life in sync with what we’d want said about us in passing. There was a huge gap of time between us, yet as I began to write I realized she walked her walk in life – and I was honored to share that and final words of testament of her.
Would your integrity stand the test of time?
Vivian Seaboyer’s Eulogy – the honor is mine
Why are we here?
Not so much in this church today celebrating the life of Vivian Seaboyer.
But here on earth.
What’s it all about?
Vivian and I met during what could be called our formative years. High school. And what a bond we formed. For years we were pretty inseparable and somehow solved all our teenage problems walking to and from Medford High.
Vivian loved music. Weekends were spent listening to Elton John albums, gathering with friends and wearing the grooves off of Vivian’s Motown record collection, and sneaking an occasional drink from the Wolcott Street bar, which we were sure Mr. Seaboyer knew nothing of.
Vivian had a reserved side. But when she opened her heart and home to you, you became family, which was quite an honor because Vivian cherished her family. All of them. She adored her parents, shared a special bond with her twin brother Vinny that only a twin can understand. And having a sister as close in age to her as Carolyn was, the two became soulmates and Carolyn became part of our pack. And I do not mean to exclude Vivian’s older siblings from the equation, it’s just that I didn’t know you as well. But Vivian adored her entire family.
One of my fondest memories was of a road trip Vivian, Carol and I made to the Biddeford house after Vivian and I graduated from high school. We packed Vivian’s Pinto with adult beverages, enough clothes for a week and an agenda consisting of nothing but having a good time. So when we discovered a carload of guys on the highway to Maine, we had no choice but to flag them down, pull off and party. Vivian’s reserved side had become loosely spontaneous.
To this day I have a yellow Old Orchard Beach, Maine sweatshirt that Vivian and I each purchased to commemorate our friendship and adventure. Like our lives, it’s a bit tattered and worn. But every time I see it, I go back in time to a person who brought so much joy to my life. Vivian.
Life intercepted and slowly sent Vivian and I in different directions. Vivian loved the ocean and Maine so I’m not surprised that’s where she settled down. But cellphones and social media were non existent and keeping in touch somehow created a 35 year gap between us. It seems almost contradictory to say Vivian was such a close friend and huge part of my life as I look out into faces I know nothing about.
My recent attempts at finding Vivian on social media brought me to her sister-in-law, Alison, who passed my message on to Vivian.
Vivian and I never did reconnect – on social media. But as I stand here today, I realize we never really disconnected.
So, what are we here for?
Hopefully, it’s to do what Vivian has done, touch others and create a bond so deep that neither time, space nor death can break. And hopefully, we’re as successful at it as Vivian was.