Funeral Service

Published 10 years, 1 week past

The funeral service for Rebecca is this afternoon at 3:00pm EDT (GMT-0400) at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple in Beachwood, Ohio.  If you can be and wish to be there in person, please come.  Even if we don’t know each other very well, you are welcome.  There will be enough room.

If you can’t be there but want to be a part of the service, there is a live stream planned, as there is for most events in the temple’s main sanctuary; it will be available at the Fairmount Temple’s livestream page.  It even looks as though the service will be available on demand later, which horrifies me almost as much as the countdown clock.  Even though I understand why these things exist, and why they are as they are, I broke down for a while at both.  This is what I helped to build, what I helped make happen, I thought in despair, as if my work on the Web had somehow led to my daughter’s death.

The mind makes little enough sense in the best of circumstances.  In the depths of grief, it deploys an illogic that defies belief, let alone reason.

I talked with the video hosting company about possible demand, a conversation which was horrifying in its own right.  They assure me that they should be able to handle any load.  Still, I make this request: if you are planning to watch the livestream, please access it early only if we know each other personally — family members, friends, and so on.  Just click on the logo 15 minutes or so before the start time to get the spinning circle, and wait for the stream to start.  If you don’t know me that well, please wait until just before the start time before getting into the queue.

I may be wildly overestimating the demand for watching a funeral in real time, but then I would never have expected the social-media campaigns currently underway.  I probably should have anticipated them, but I had never really thought much about what would happen after she died.  I was too focused on trying to find a way for her to live, and then on making her final days the best we could make them.

I can write all this now, in the small hours of the night and scheduling publication for the morning, because I’m currently in a shock/denial period.  Today was mostly grief, but eventually the grief drains you to the point that you just slide into numb shock.  Then something triggers you back into the grief for a while.  There were a lot of triggers today.

It’s still so hard to believe.  The enormity of it, and the closeness of it, makes it almost impossible to grasp.  My mind keeps insisting that she’s just away at camp, or asleep in her room.  Not gone forever.  Never that.  Not until I suddenly remember the cold, empty truth of it.

I miss her so much.

Comments (31)

  1. Check. I’ll wait for noon PST if logging on.

    Again, sincere condolences.

  2. Your focus was exactly where it should have been: on Rebecca. I’m sorry that technology has added an extra dimension of weird to what is already unfathomably awful; I hope that you can take some comfort from the outpouring of love and support that it has enabled.

  3. Holding hands across cyberspace to support you in some shape or form…

    Will dutifully respect your request to connect to the service later on, allowing closer friends and family to connect earlier to pay their respects to Rebecca.

    Wishing you and your family all the strength necessary in this period of your lives. I almost have tears rolling down my face as I write this and can only begin to imagine your collective pain. I am so genuinely sorry for your loss Eric.

    For what it is worth I admire and respect you greatly for sharing this time in your lives so openly. Please continue to share so we can all continue to support you and your family through this time in your lives.

    All the very best.


  4. Thinking about all of you today.

  5. Eric – My thoughts and prayers go out to you, Kat and the family on this awful day. I know words mean very little right now, but I hope you guys are able to take at least some small measure of comfort from knowing – and seeing today – that you’re loved and supported by so many awesome people.

  6. Although I have never met you or your family, after following your tweets for over a year now, I feel like I know you as a friend or colleague.

    I can not imagine your pain in losing a child. But I did lose my Dad in April of this year so I do know the pain of losing a loved one.

    Please accept my family’s condolences and compassion in your time of grief.

  7. So sorry for your loss Meyer family. Just know that you guys have a very large community that is here for you and is thinking about you.

  8. Hello Eric, Me and Naomi’s thoughts and prayers are with you and your family on this day. Naomi thinks about Caroline often and hopes and prays that she is okay as best as she can be. As much as we like to attend todays service, we can not attend because I have to work this evening. We will pay our respects and watch it live stream. Technology so much has changed today. I find it to be a double edged sword in regards to today. On the one hand it allows for those who can not personally be there like myself and Naomi to be a part of her farewell. But in the other is takes away from the privacy of it all. Even more disturbing after you and the family have said the farewell and put her body to rest that anyone can just go back and view it as though it is a television show. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family today.

  9. Ignore the circus and concentrate on you and your family’s needs. Everything else can wait. Sending love and hugs.

  10. I found your story via Jeff Zeldman. I don’t know you, you don’t know me, but I am sobbing uncontrollably for your loss.

  11. Although not physically present, our sadness for you and Kat, Caroline and Joshua, blends into the pool of tears and love for your sweet little daughter. From an unfathomable struggle and loss, and through the strength of Rebecca’s spirit, a purple sea of awareness,
    community and love was created. Rebecca did that, just by being Becca. Her loss has created more awareness and more compassion and more community. Quite an amazing achievement for such a tiny little girl. No doubt, her legacy of love and community will grow and continue and that will keep her memory and precious life within your hearts, forever.

  12. There is so much beauty in her, in you, in how you have let us share in that beauty.

    Many of us are thinking of you, crying, and finding the precious, fragile beauty in our lives. Thank you for that.

    I am so so sorry for your family’s loss.

  13. I am watching the livestream of Rebecca’s funeral service until I have to go keep a prior appointment. I’m wearing a purple shirt with a purple scarf and earrings in her memory. My heart is with all of you. #663399Becca

  14. Mr. Eric Meyers, I can’t help but wonder how God can be so cruel to take away your beloved daughter from such a loving family.

    I visit your website for CSS knowledge but little did I know the bigger person you are and the wonderful family you have, until I came to know about your sweet daughter Rebecca’s demise.

    I don’t think any amount of words can console you and your family. May her spirit be with you and your family and I pray to God to help you with the pain and loss you are going through.

  15. Sorry that I wasn’t able to summon the courage to visit in person. Thankfully you have many good friends who are sharing this with you. For what it’s worth, I’ve thought of you and your family often over the past days, weeks, and months. You have my deep thanks for sharing your courageous journey and above all, my profound sympathy.

  16. As horrifying as the whole concept indeed is, I’m glad it existed today, since it allowed Lisa and I to be with you at least from a distance.

    I do not know, and hope never to know, how you and Carolyn summoned the strength to do what you did today.

    Continued love and hugs to you and Kat and the family, until we can deliver them in person later this summer.

  17. Even though I’ve never met you in person, Eric, I made a point of putting your name into the Acknowledgments of the book I have out now. Ditto with at least one of the two contracted that I’m in some kind of middle of working upon.

    …So goes the social media volume. Anybody who’s given a moment’s attention to how the Web finally started to work as designed, knows that you had a lot to do with that. And anybody who’s paid attention to you knows that your family is the point. The work that you do so well is just a backdrop.

    From where I sit, the people who take a moment to mourn Becca do so for the sake of the hope that by doing so, they can divide your sorrows.

    You’ve given. We want to give back.

  18. Sorry for your loss. Our prayers are with you and with your family.

  19. The service was beautiful. I’m grateful we were able to attend. Your family was, and is, amazing.

  20. Thinking of you and your family today Eric. Sending the warmest and happiest thoughts I can possibly bring forth.

    Love and light from Camby, Indiana.

  21. My sincere condolences, Eric. Reading about what Rebecca had gone through made me feel like she was part of my family too and I’m really sorry again for your loss. I wish I could say something to ease your pain. You and your family will be in my thoughts.

    From Turkey with love.

  22. your loss is unfathomable. I wish you all love.

  23. My heart goes out to you at this time!

  24. Heartbreaking , prayers with you and your family – from Bangalore , India

  25. My prayers are with you and your family. What you helped build did not not cause anything – all it did is to help people like me who do not never met you or know you personally – people like me to feel the pain and share the sorrow.

    I am so sorry for your loss… May God Bless.

  26. I sat quietly on my porch, wearing purple as I watched and listened to Becca’s service. Watching your daughter sing for her sister was both heartbreaking and heart-healing. She has such a memorable and beautiful voice. I lost one of my best friends tragically last year and was given the advice to concentrate on remembering him as one who lived and not as one who died. It was one of the only things said that actually helped during the coming darkness. My thoughts and prayers are with and for you all. May G-d, your family, friends and your community hold you all up and direct you towards the light during the coming storms. When you sit quietly, listen closely. You will hear the voices of all of us cheering you on and pushing you forward.

    with love and prayers for all,
    From a stranger-friend (Joanne)
    In Massachusetts

  27. I have been deeply moved by Rebecca’s story and wish only to extend my condolences. No other words seem appropriate except to say we share your sorrow. — The Moyer family in Philadelphia

  28. I am heartbroken for you and your family. I pray you find comfort in your family, friends and the prayers and wishes of those thinking of you during this time of incomprehensible struggle.

  29. Dear Eric–

    I was able to watch most of the funeral online yesterday (amazing that one can even do this!). You spoke so passionately and eloquently about Rebecca. It’s ironic that you’ve been such a huge influence on my website building education, and I’ve wanted to hear you speak about CSS and the web for over a decade. And now the first time I hear you speak is at the funeral of your daughter, Rebecca – yes, as it was said, this is backwards.

    Huge kudos go to Carolyn for her courage to get up there and sing yesterday with such sadness and joy. I have sung at many funerals, but I don’t know if I’d be able to sing at my own sister’s with the grace and poise that Carolyn showed. She was amazing. You all were. Are.

    Thank you for inviting us to share such an intimate, personal part of your life. I am sure God has a special place for Rebecca’s spirit. With all good wishes and prayers to you and your family.

  30. As the father of a young child, I am horrified at the thought of what you have been through and continue to deal with. My sympathies are deepened in no small way by the fact that I owe the career I use to support that child to your books and other writings. May Rebecca rest in peace.

  31. I only learnt of you, Rebecca and your family a day or two before she left because a tweet one of my friends posted. Just try to soak up all the love & support being poured your way & know that you’ve got people around the world thinking of you all. My Grandad died one year ago next Saturday & what helped me was knowing that he was at peace and no longer in pain. Lots of love

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