It was many years ago that I first met Jacquie and Susan.
I was working late one evening in the salon when I glanced over my shoulder.
Standing there looking at me with such intensity and intention were Jacquie and Susan, you can all imagine, Susan with her Tico hat, her denim jacket and that horrible waist band, Jacquie as always, so beautiful, longer hair then and a giant choker of pearls.
I actually said to my client, "Don't look to your right, there are two very odd women staring at me and if we make eye contact they may try the door!"
We didn't make eye contact and they didn't try the door.
Approximately one month later I had a new client in my chair, a one Jacquie Kimberly.
She informed me, in that unmistakable voice of hers, that during our previous encounter, she and Susan had been walking to the theatre when they passed by my window.
She looked in and saw me.
She insisted she saw a bright golden dome over my head and that I was engulfed in the most glorious golden light.
Susan did not see this dome but Jacquie did and she knew then and there that I would be her friend.. and her hairdresser.. forever.
That was my introduction the the world of Jacqueline, and like everything about her is was adventurous and magical and big.
There was never anything ordinary about that woman.
Those of you who know me know that I rarely have a problem with the written or spoken word, but these words, todays words were very hard to find.
I actually looked to Susan for inspiration, although foolish, for I could have never known her as Susan did.
I can only come from my heart and my experiences as her friend.
Being here today it is even more apparent just how complex and beautiful a being she was.
Just how grand and colorful was the landscape of Jacquie's life.
We all knew very different Jacquies, she had that gift for being the one you needed her to be, expected her to be.
She was many women before she burst into my life.
She was a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a wife, a socialite, a celebrity and a devoted partner to Susan.
It was precisely because of all these things that she was eventually and thankfully led to so many of us.
We can not deny any of these truths, to do so would be the greatest injustice to the memory of Jacquie and all that she was.
When my mother passed, not that long ago, in the same Hospice where Jacquie and her sisters lost their father, the second phone call I made was to Jacquie.... at 2:30 in the morning.
They answered and were by my side within thirty minutes.
Now there are two remarkable things about that, one, only true friends take your calls in the middle of the night, and two, that Jacquie could get up and be anywhere in thirty minutes.
They sat with me by my Mothers side for nearly three hours
We had those grand talks about life and death, and it occurred to me that these two women knew a thing or two when it came to life, loss and love.
You see, I wouldn't let the funeral home take my mother away, I wasn't done saying goodbye.
Jacquie held me closely, calmly and firmly and told me that thousands of goodbyes would never be enough... she told me to say one last one and let her go.
Loosing Jacquie as suddenly as we did feels very much like a punch.
It's like i am still trying to catch my breathe.
I know so many of us feel defeated and cheated, like something rare and precious has been ripped from our grasps.
Like we should have fought harder.
But that rare and wonderful woman was not ours to keep.
She belongs to someone else, to someplace else.
We all know that and will one day find peace in that thought,
So for now, for me, I will hold my memories of Jacquie closely, calmly and firmly
I will say one last goodbye and let her go.
The above eulogy was written by me and read by me at the memorial service for Jacqueline Kimberly
on January 7, 2006.
Jacquie took her own life with a single gunshot thru the heart six months after the death of her beloved Susan.