Eulogy by Brenda Whittaker

“Clarke has asked us to speak today about what our friendship with Lisa was like, what it meant to us. I am honored to be here, but am not sure that I can do her justice.

Lisa and I first bonded over cancer. We met ten years ago, when my son Luke was in treatment, and her mum had just finished hers. We talked a lot then, and more later after she herself was diagnosed, about how cancer was shaping our lives. But while cancer sparked our friendship, it did not define our friendship.

Lisa was a part of my daily life. We met regularly, mostly at Starbucks (she was invariably the best dressed person there). We would talk about books, and our kids, and her writing, and my job. We played Scrabble and backgammon. Together we were bestowed the honor of becoming consecutive Customers of the Month at Stew Leonards (I got November, she got December).

She became one of my closest friends. She always kept my secrets, a virtue I value tremendously, and I kept hers. She made me laugh like no one else could, with a perceptive and pointed wit. She cared deeply about her friends, and overwhelmingly about her family. She was so proud of her family.

For me, there are reminders of Lisa everywhere. I will never go into the Container Store, or wrap a present, without thinking of her. A Boden delivery bag will always bring her to mind. I will miss her laugh – open-mouthed, whole-hearted. I will miss her long, beautiful fingers, and her ascerbic wit. I will miss her utter sense of certainty: you were never left wondering what Lisa’s stance might be on an issue. (I myself am remiss on taking down my Christmas lights, and I know exactly what she would think about it.) I will miss her generosity. She gave the best presents, always perfectly and carefully chosen. And of course, I will miss her astute advice. especially in things medical.

Cancer has not defined our friendship; and nor has it ended it. Though Lisa is not with me any more, I will always think of her as a friend. And I will miss her terribly.”


Next in the program for Lisa’s Memorial ServicePaige Adams

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