I never got to meet her.
We had known each other for years.
I know those two sentences seem at odds, but in this time of technology and internet, it's not hard to have friends you've never had the privilege to meet.
We were part of the same tight-knit group, interacting on a private forum board for years. She was one of the strongest voices, full of character, sharp humor, stinging sarcasm and keen intelligence. Her wise counsel was invaluable to many, and especially so to me.
She lived one hell of a life, and she didn't live it long enough.
She moved a few hours away from me a few years back and I'd always planned to make the drive and actually meet her someday. I thought we had a lot more somedays.
She was bigger than life in so many ways, such an indomitable force - it's still hard to wrap my mind around a world without her there to comment on it.
I never met her, and now I never will, but I feel her loss keenly. My heart bleeds for the children she loved with every breath in her body, the beloved husband she leaves behind who doesn't have her to chide him to take care of himself anymore.
She was a quality human being, and those are so very, very rare. We need more on this earth. Not less. Not even one less.
I will end this eulogy, as I've ended too many, and know I mean it with every fiber of my being and every ounce of feeling in my heart: