To Be Remembered; A Girl's Eulogy

To Be Remembered; A Girl's Eulogy

This is inspired by my Neno. She was so great, I hope to be just that. If that is possible. Whatever Makalae tackled, she conquered!

This last Friday, on April 7th, I went with my mom up to North Carolina to place flowers on the graves of our passed loved ones in our private family cemetery. We did this especially for my Great Grandmother, Neno, who I write about a lot because she has been gone for two years now. I got to see family that I don't get to see often as well.

Our little family cemetery resides in the back of my Great Aunt's house, way up in the mountains of North Carolina where no cellphone service can reach. It is so quiet and peaceful that you just want to stand there to soak it all in before the craziness of life comes back. It has been where my family is buried since the year 1911. We even have a small little gravestone that says 'Little sister' with only the year 1911 on it. It is the oldest plot out there. I love that little stone. As a little girl, I would make sure to put flowers down for the little girl that is buried there. I still put flowers down on that grave even now.

As I laid flowers down and paid my respects to my passed loved ones, I couldn't help but think about that one day I will be buried there too. I hope that 60 years from now when I am grey haired and after watching my kids and their own kids grow up, that I may pass on in my sleep (I don't know how I will die, but I can hope peacefully). And shortly after, my body will be placed into that cold soil of that hill next to my Neno and my PopPop. I can't think of any other place that I would want to be when I'm gone from this broken world.

Thinking about death is depressing. Thinking about your own death some say that is crazy talk. Why should we think about this now? Or why do these thoughts come to mind? Death happens all around us. Two weeks ago, I wrote a letter in my article to my Neno and I explained that grief overwhelms us and the pain will lessen over time. It is like a broken bone. When it rains, the bone aches, reminding us of what we are missing.

This whole subject got me thinking about what I said the day that my Neno passed away. I wrote on my wall of Facebook, sharing my grief with all my family and friends. I didn't even know that they would later share it at her funeral. But they did, in her eulogy. It was such a beautiful service.

An eulogy is defined as a speech or a letter praising someone who just died. It is what people remember you for. What you did-who you were during the life you lived. And now that you're gone, those words on that paper that are being said bring comfort to your loved ones that are still living. It brings them a peace during the darkest times where you can't help them.

So with that and everything that I have said, I wanted to write my version of my OWN eulogy. What I would hope that would be said at my funeral. Of course, I can't control what they will say or how this will all go down. Because no one controls this. Death just happens.

"Makalae Stephens, a woman who was a mother, sister, daughter and friend, at which she tried to be perfect in all the roles God gave her. She lived her life putting others before herself. Whether she went without, she didn't care. Makalae wanted everyone else to be happy because she knew that they deserved it. She strived to put a smile one everyone's face. Makalae never knew how much she touched the people around her. She made true friends that stuck with her more than family sometimes. She brought out the good in people because she saw the good in them.

Makalae repeatedly said that she was nowhere perfect. Yet she continuously tried to prove herself. I don't know who she was trying to show up, but she worked her butt off to prove that she could do anything.

Makalae struggled more than anyone at the beginning. What she had to go through when she was growing up made her stronger and made her the woman we knew her to be even up to her last days. Whatever Makalae tackled in life, she conquered.

She hated asking for help. Makalae would suffer in silence while helping you with your problems. She would go behind closed doors to cry so no one would see her tears. The woman hated feeling weak. But Makalae wasn't even close to weak. She was raised by one of the strongest women and became just as strong as Neno.

Makalae traveled. She saw the world as it is: broken. And she tried to fix it with the little things she could do. She wanted to mend this world for her children and her children's children. The woman hoped to make her life better for her family and she did. Makalae hoped with all the oxygen in her lungs. Hope was all she had throughout her life. And she survived. Makalae Anne Stephens is a survivor, a conqueror, and she will forever be missed.

Dum Spiro Spero, While I breathe; I hope."

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it


Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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A Poem: My Mother

In honor of Mother's Day, that was on the 12th, here is a poem dedicated to my mother.


To the only person who can be my mentor, friend, and leader at the same time

To someone who would make me read my own books before bedtime

And puts everything down to make sure there is a smile on my face

To the person that I find impossible to ever replace.

Somehow you are always right even when it seems wrong

And when the worst does happen, how do you still manage to stay so strong?

I'm not only impressed but inspired by you

Knowing that somehow you'll always know me better than I do.

When I'm frustrated and annoy you, you simply try to understand me

Because you have always told me that even when you can't understand, plain acceptance is the key

You have listened to all my laughs, heard me cry, and felt my emotions like they were your own

You are the only reason I am joyous and the security I need to know that I am never alone.

To the only person who has truly taught me how to live

And watched me grow and make mistakes yet still knows how to forgive

Because that's who she is, certainly not like any other

There are many women but none like my own mother.

Happy Mother's Day!

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