I mourn Helen's loss. Her loss of the joy of seeing her children grow up. Her loss of the leisure she had earned through her years of work as a doctor and a mother. Her loss of the future we had planned together.
I celebrate Helen's life. She once told me "we have only one life", and that is how she lived, setting herself every day to do everything she could, as well as she could. Helen's life was an achievement which you would think impossible until you've seen it done, and even then you still can't quite believe it. And she did all she did not by fighting the world but while making friends, many of them here today, of all the people she worked and played with.
I thank you Helen for everything you gave me, and especially for your children: J, R, and M, the fine young men who carried you in here, and our wonderful children together, I and S. I am learning from them every day that it's possible to love you and miss you, but still enjoy the many good things in life.
I'm going to read a short poem by e.e.cummings, who died a few weeks after Helen was born.
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate (for you are my fate,my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant,
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart(i carry it in my heart)