This is what I read at Lore's Memorial Service that was held in Falls Church, VA a few weeks after her funeral in Minnesota.
Lore Ann Clark: May 2, 1967 – Lore Ann Wegner November 18, 2003
Thank you all for coming… your presence here today, your cards… calls… the offerings of food… but most importantly, your heartfelt compassion for our family, -- especially Lore’s children. Words will never be able to fully express just how much it means, so I give you a simple “Thank You” and hope that it will be enough.
For we gather today to say goodbye to Lore. We come to pay our respects, share our sorrow and express our love.
Some of you never knew Lore, but are here to give support to our family. Thank you for your friendship and support.
Some are survivors of suicide… This is not a fun club to join. I know that for you, Lore’s death brings you back deep in your own pain, but hopefully we can all heal together.
In putting my thoughts together, I have so many emotions. It’s hard to get past my anger… it’s now been over two weeks since Lore died. I am glad that this service was not even just a week ago. For this time has given me the chance to gain some insight and soften my heart and help relieve some of the immediate anger.
Lore died in an accident, which NONE of us had the power to prevent. For there is no blame to seek, no accusations to direct – only a need for understanding and acceptance of our loss.
I believe that she is looking down on us right now and now realizes what a stupid and pointless choice she made from which there is no chance for reconsideration and in my heart I KNOW that she wishes she could right this wrong.
For one split second, Lore was so blinded by a pain I cannot fathom, that she lost sight of all the love around her.
Self pity is never and will never be productive. To allow it to occur is to allow the “Evil” to win. I will not choose that path, nor should you.
Let us each instead vow to use our energy to help each other and to help ourselves. LET THAT BE OUR TRIBUTE TO LORE.
I know it will not be easy. Oh…. The anger I feel. For anger is nothing more than a feeling. Neither right nor wrong, we must use our energy to turn this around into something good – something useful.
Instead, I will thank God for the time he allowed Lore to be your friend, your daughter, our sister, and Robert & Rachel’s Mommy.
I know that it’s hard to say “Thank You” to God the same time that we are questioning “Why?”
I want to share with you some of my fondest memories of my sister and when I’m done, if you would like to, and I hope you want to, join me and share with all of us your favorite memory of Lore.
If not today – some other day. If not with us – share it with someone else.
When we are done today, it is my hope that we will have started our transition from pain and sorrow to understanding, forgiveness and hope.
I try to think of times of happiness, but for now they slide past my eyes…. They seem so long ago and foggy. And I know as I work through my anger in healing, that I will slowly build my memory bank of happier times with Lore.
Lore was always a very emotional girl. I remember giggling at her when she would cry at the McDonald’s commercials, you remember? The really mushy Christmas ones… kind of like the Hallmark commercials.
Commercials… boy, could she sing every jingle from every commercial! She used to drive me completely crazy!
Lore was really smart. She was in advanced placement classes in school and out of all of us kids, she got the better report cards… and she never let the rest of us forget it!
She liked to read a lot… We would have to drag her away from her books to get out of the house to play… whether it was playing kickball on Hale Court, capture the flag in DeVonne Woods or basketball at Kraig’s house.
Lore liked to cook… She was always my mom’s helper in the kitchen… and I was really glad! … I wanted as far away from the kitchen as possible. She would be very impressed by my cooking now… well, the cooking I did before cooking kid cuisine.
Lore never really had a best friend. I can think of a couple of good friends at different times of her life. Her relationships never endured… and now it makes more sense to me. And it saddens me. I just think that she wasn’t capable of ever truly opening herself up and trusting someone.
Maybe it seemed too risky.
In reminiscing with Rob & Lee over the last couple of weeks, we were really laughing at some of the memories we had…
Like the time that Lee and I were so mad at Lore for not letting us have a turn driving to school. (We all had our driver’s licenses with one car to share) One time, Lee & I protested by refusing to sit in the front seat with her… we made her be our chauffeur and took notes on every traffic violation – tail gaiting, refusing to come to a complete stop, the music was too loud.
We wrote up a report for our parents… who weren’t that impressed with us, even though Lore did get the safe driving lecture. Lee and I still considered that a minor victory.
Having a sister close in age, was also like having a 2nd closet. We would fight over clothes, mostly it was me wearing her clothes without asking her.
Once when I was in the 7th grade I was wearing a pair of her shoes. She didn’t notice until we got to the bus stop. She yelled at me in front of everyone and made me take them off. Right then! She wouldn’t even let me wear them back to the house. She was soooo mad.
I had to walk home barefoot to get another pair of shoes… then I missed the bus! So that meant no school for me that day – because our parents were at work. I think we kept the whole thing a secret or we would have both been in pretty big trouble. I don’t remember why Lee didn’t tell on us… we must have owed him some chores for that one.
We really did share each others clothes a lot. My most fashionable year was the 8th grade… by the time I got dressed for school; Lore was already on her way to high school … Oh! The choices I had!
She was also in the marching band after school, so I could conveniently put her clothes back in her room without her knowing… and prayed I hadn’t spilled anything or that she wouldn’t notice any wrinkles.
Lore was, so I thought, also the expert. Not matter what I told her about school or boys… she knew the answer. If I was in the 6th grade and she in the 7th… she would always preface her advice… “Well, In 7TH Grade, this is the way…. Blah, blah, blah…” you get the idea. It wasn’t until I was in the 9th grade that I realized that she had no idea what she was talking about. I had been duped!
By that realization in high school… it also brought on a lot of sibling rivalry. We could be each other’s best friend and each other’s worst enemy.
Once boyfriends came into our lives, the rivalry really peaked… now that I am a mom – I don’t know HOW my mom stayed sane through the boyfriend/girlfriend dramas of 4 teenagers living under the same roof. I hope that my daughters think boys are really “gross” until they go off to college.
It feels good to remember the Lore that I knew.
I didn’t know this other Lore of the last decade. My mom said it best one time after a phone conversation with her… she said, “I just don’t know her… She’s my own daughter yet she seems like a stranger to me.”
It feels good to see so many old friends here today.
You wouldn’t have recognized the Lore from Minnesota either. When we went out for her funeral, all I kept thinking was, “None of these people knows OUR Lore”. It felt so hollow and empty.
I imagine that’s how Lore felt.
I felt like I lost my sister a long time ago… but I was always hopeful that someday I’d have her back. I never imagined that I would never talk to her again. Though, I do know that I will see her again… in heaven.
I want to share a poem with you that I found online through a suicide support website: (Author unknown)
He Only Took My Hand
Last night while I was trying to sleep my sister’s voice I did hear.
I opened my eyes and looked around but she did not appear.
She said, "You've got to listen. You've got to understand;
God didn't take me from you, He only took my hand.
When I cried out in pain that night, the instant that I died,
He reached down and took my hand, and pulled me to his side.
He pulled me up and saved me, from the misery and pain.
My body so badly wounded I could never be the same.
My search is finally over now, I've found happiness within.
All the answers to empty dreams, and all I might have been. I love you all and miss you so... please don't keep asking why.
My body's gone forever, but my spirit will never die!
So live until we meet again, and please try to understand
God didn't take me from you, He only took my hand.