Hello. My name is Nora, and Beth is one of my closest friends.
I am currently overseas on holiday, and so I couldn’t make the memorial.
So I spoke with Matt, and he said I could record a video message to be played. [looks down, begins fiddling with necklace.]
Beth and I met about nine years ago on a message board we had joined to discuss baby names.
We quickly bonded over a love for baby names, over a love for grammar, even though my grammar in this absolutely sucks because she’s not here to correct it. We bonded over a love for the Beatles, and a capella music, and all things that were just fun and exciting like that. [opens hands, then clasps hands together]
We also bonded a lot over our health issues, both mental and physical, as that’s something we both struggle with.
Beth came to visit me last summer in Minnesota. We had a lot of fun, and that’s where some of my favorite memories of her come because, since we met online, it’s the first time we actually met in person. And so that was really nice that I have those memories and those pictures. [looks off to side]
Beth and I shared a love for the Muppets, so if I was excited about something [opens hands] that she didn’t even really give a crap about, I could be like, “Woo, Kermit flail!” [waves hands] And she would join with me in my Kermit flailing [waves hands] because that’s the kind of person she was. Even if she honestly didn’t care at all about what I was talking about [smiles], because she loved me and because she was my friend.
She was there for me. In late night pain flares, in late night hospital visits, late night so many things, Beth was always there for me. She was always the person I could text, or facebook, or combination thereof. One memorable month when I was in the hospital, we literally exchanged thousands of text messages.
Beth would often tell me that she didn’t think anyone would miss her if she died. That if she died, everyone’s lives would be easier. And I can tell you that that’s the furthest thing from the truth. I miss her a lot. She’s been constantly on my mind since she died, and she was constantly on my heart even before that. I can say that this world is a darker place without her light shining on it. I can say that this world is not anything like it was before.
Beth truly made my life better, and I am so blessed to have called her a part of my family of choice. Not many people are lucky enough to have someone like that, someone who they truly love, who they can confide in anything, and who they know they’ll literally take their secrets the grave—as Beth did for me, and I’ll return the favor for her.
Beth, I love you, and I miss you, and I really hope that in the afterlife you’re at, you’re finally pain-free, both physical and mental. I hope that you’re enjoying where you are and just know that, [lifts hand to shoulder] to quote a Mercy Me song, if home is where my heart is, then I am out of place, because I am just so lost without you. And I love you. And I miss you. [brings hand down to side]
Matt and Gabriel, know that Beth loves you a lot. Even when she fought with you, even when she was angry with you, her love for you two never changed. She loved you with all her heart and I know without a shadow of a doubt that she still does. I love you guys too, and you know that I’m here if you ever need anything. Thanks.
A very special thanks to Gabriel Arkles, who transcribed this for me so it could be accessible to everyone – those on screen readers, those with no sound on their laptops/tablets, or those with limited bandwidth for videos. THANK YOU SO MUCH.