February 3, 1998 Tuesday
The loss will be felt for a long time. Jen called my roommate D today to tell him the sorrowful news that her turtle Jake has passed from his world and on to the next today. A service for the afternoon was quickly set up just behind Thompson, our freshman residence hall. At 4:45 a small group of us–D, Eli, Jen Penry, Jen twin, Collinsville, and I–gathered to pay our last respects. It was like a bad sitcom episode. To a recording of “Amazing Grace” playing from Eli’s tinny portable CD player, I gave the best eulogy ever written on a napkin in under three minutes:
“We are gathered today to pay our final respects to our honored dead, Jake “The Missile” Turtle. I cannot say I knew ye well, but he will be missed by all. This is not a time to laugh, but a time to mourn. Yet, if it were a time to laugh, it would be more of a hee-hee laugh than a ha-ha laugh. In closing, go towards the light, Jake; go towards the light. That’s it boy. Good turtle.”
We tried to stick to the task at hand and not become overwhelmed, but a few times natural emotion came out and we had to compose ourselves. This is just one of those time I think I will remember forever. And each time I do, I’ll laugh.