Megan Elizabeth DuPrie Arrington Armstrong
September 14, 1963 - March 18, 2001
Memorial Service on Wednesday, March 21, 2001 at noon
This eulogy is written in fond memory by Gabrielle, the
The brighter the flame, the more quickly it burns out.
Megan was smart, creative, charismatic, and beautiful. She seemed
fearless. She had an inner dignity that she herself wasn't even aware of.
She was loved more than she was probably able to believe.
For many years we have celebrated with great pride each of her successes
and agonized every time she suffered a setback. We all know she tried
her best to defy what was inexplicably an unconquerable foe.
But there was much more to Megan's life than her horrible battle with substance
abuse, much more about her that we can and should remember.
Megan was loved more than she ever really knew or understood.
Donning her grandpa's hat and grinning in glee as it slid over her eyes
and covered her face.
Hugging her new doll with a grin that just split her face on that Christmas
morning when she was two.
Squealing with glee on the Mad Tea Party at Disneyland, wanting to go faster
and even faster, until she actually lost her lunch. And then wanting
to go again.
Sitting around the dining room table with her siblings as their cousin
drew silly cartoons depicting each of them.
Standing in her grandmother's flower bed, with carnations taller than she
Swinging so hard and so high that she made the legs of the swing set come
right out of the ground.
Wobbling down the sidewalk on a too-big bicycle, never giving up.
Always the first to run through the sprinkler, no matter how cold the water
Helping the Bluebird troop make cheese sticks.
Holding her breath longer than her brother or her sisters. Every
Somehow managing to make a too-big St. Mary's school uniform still be short
enough on her to upset the nuns.
In the garden, sitting hidden amongst the corn, devouring fresh vegetables
right off the plants with gusto, salt shaker in one hand, a half-eaten
tomato dripping juice in the other.
Always sitting in the back of the bus no matter WHO told her she couldn't.
Lying on towels in the grass with her sisters, in search of that elusive
Really, really wanting the song for her first wedding to be "Green Grass
and High Tides Forever".
Crying because her grandmother was going to be there for that wedding.
Announcing to each sibling, one by one, "you're going to be an aunt.",
and "you're going to be an uncle.", just glowing with pride and bursting
with unspeakable joy as she said it each and every time.
Just married and pregnant, and so young, traveling across the country to
begin a new life.
Sharing a birthday celebration, and a special bond, with her grandmother,
as they blew out candles together.
Picking plums off her grandparent's tree.
Making potato pancakes from scratch. She could make them almost as well
as her cousin. And she cleaned up better afterwards, too.
Sitting on the front porch in the early summer evening, just shooting the
breeze and visiting with passing neighbors and watching the world go by.
Inexplicably losing an entire car. Forever. It was a white
Laughing at the sheer silliness of "sex on the beach" - a mixed drink.
And experiencing the real thing, too.
Somehow managing to make her grandpas (all of them) laugh, even when they
were absolutely determined not to.
Waddling from the bedroom to the refrigerator in search of ice cream, ANY
ice cream, at three am, the day before her son was born.
Enduring a long, difficult labor and delivery, then saying "it was nothing".
Decorating that very first apartment with hardly any money at all, but
still managing to find real furniture.
Sharing strawberries with her little boy, as he looked up at her with eyes
glowing and mouth agape, awaiting the next morsel. The joy in his
youthful giggles and in her eyes as they shared their snack, eating an
entire quart of the juicy berries, not a care for the red juice dripping
off their chins and elbows. And the way they looked at each other
and just laughed and laughed.
A collector of little piggies.
Dressed in an apricot bridesmaid's gown. And though it wasn't even
remotely her style, managing to be poised and beautiful and the perfect
bridesmaid while simultaneously somehow letting just a bit of wackiness
Getting her nose pierced way before it was a common thing to do.
And just daring you to say anything about it.
Loving her son more than any other human being on earth.
And also more proud of that son than she could ever tell him.
Crying at the beauty and wonder of each newborn that made her, once again,
Barefoot and comfortable and just plain happy on a summer day, sitting
in the grass and blowing bubbles, soap dripping from the sticky wand.
Quoting text from the Hitchhiker's Guide series and dialog from the movie
Wearing a daisy behind her ear.
Understanding the true meaning of value - sentimental items and remembered
conversations and just plain old hugs were worth more than money or anything
else to her.
Making an entrance. Megan never, ever walked into a room unnoticed.
Living every moment one hundred and ten percent, with every fiber of her
Saving her father's life.
Announcing her newfound love and marriage with a pure and clean and simple
happiness and sense of wonder.
Living harder, playing harder, loving harder, and hurting harder than most
people ever do, in a span of only thirty seven years.
Megan returns to dust accompanied by her worn out raggedy ann doll.
The doll was made for her with love, over thirty five years ago.
Her journey has had trials and joys, challenges and successes, highs and
lows, but it now ends with the simplest of childhood toys. She leaves
us with the one possession that she has owned longer than anything else;
the one possession that reflects the pure innocence and sweetness and joy
that were far too fleeting in her brief life.
Megan is with God now, and has found the peace and comfort and dignity
and grace that she found so elusive in life.
We love her and we will miss her.
May God's love give comfort and peace to all here who mourn the loss
of Megan Elizabeth DuPrie Arrington Armstrong.
The above pictures from her Brother's wedding
Megan with her cousin Mike, at her sister's wedding.
Megan and her son, Mike.