Eulogy by Monica Iken
Read for the memorial service of Michael Iken
St. Patrick's Cathedral, New York
September 27, 2001
The last time I saw you, I was half-asleep, you were
smiling and you came to kiss me goodbye. You said,
"I love you, have a good day."
And those words soothed me back to sleep.
Not long afterward, the phone rung and I was startled
to hear your voice. You said you were all right, not to
worry and turn on the news. I said "Okay" and turned on the
news, in horror. You called again to assure me that you
were safe and to call the family. I wished I could
have told you to run from the building. To get out.
But I didn't, I couldn't believe what I was seeing.
You told me you were safe and I wanted to believe you.
I never dreamt those would be the last words I would
hear from you.
As we all know, Michael was a character with his
good-byes. He was always looking to do the great
escape. He didn't like to stay in one place too long.
At gatherings and parties, all of the sudden you would look
for him and he would be gone. I called him the moving
Nomad. He told me that someday he would take me on a
great adventure around the world. I wish we could
still do that, Michael.
When Michael told me he was going to take sailing
lessons, Jennifer and I cracked up. We couldn't imagine
Michael sailing the high seas ..... So he set out to
prove to me that he could do it. In late August, he
took me sailing in the Hudson River where we admired
his place of work, the World Trade Center. He told me that I could steer so well. He was so proud of me.
Michael was the best. He included me in all of his
activities, much to the chagrin of his colleagues and
clients, I'm sure. He even wanted me to attend his
"boys' nights out." I'm sure his best buddy, Kevin
was thrilled to see me all the time, but he understood
that we were a package deal. Right, Kevin?
That's how Michael was. He wanted to be with me all
the time and I loved him for it. Trust me, there are
not many people who want to be with me all the time.
For those of you who know me, you're probably nodding
your heads in agreement right now.
Michael even gave me the keys to Kevin's house and the keys to
his car, the precious Volvo. What was he thinking?
Did you know that he loved making pizza? He made the
most delicious pizza I've ever tasted. We all know
that Michael loved to laugh. In fact, one night he
and I were laughing so loud that my friend Jennifer,
who lives on the other side of our townhouse complex,
had to close her windows because she was so annoyed. We had
such a good time together. One of the things he loved
to do was to go down to the river with me at night and
gaze at the bridge all lit up and see the water
reflecting the life of the city. I'll miss that look
of wonder in his blue eyes.
He was so good with my mother, getting out of the car
to greet her all sweaty from playing basketball on
Monday night, September 10th. Playing basketball was
his favorite thing to do. I'm so happy that he had
the chance to play the game he loved for one last time
before he was taken from us.
Did you know he had an obsession with running water?
He used to complain that Kevin didn't have enough
water pressure in his house, so the first thing he did
when he was at our apartment was check the water pressure.
He also argued with me about the air conditioner. It was always
too hot and I was too cold. We had to negotiate on
the heating and cooling of our apartment before we
went to bed each night. Sometimes he drove me crazy,
it's true. Asking me where I'm going and how was I
going to get here. But I was guilty of that too in my
own way, following him around the house, constantly
harping until I got him to do what I wanted. But our
relationship worked. I've never been happier than in
the past two years I spent with him. His favorite
thing to say was birds of a feather flock together.
That's how he described our relationship. We were
both characters and we loved each other for our little
I never thought I would be without Michael. From the
moment I met Michael I knew there was something about
him. I was drawn to his soul. He had a way of
looking deeply into my eyes and pulling me in. We
were all drawn to Michael. He had that special
something that made you want to be near him. He never
realized that he was good looking. I was blessed to
have had him in my life for two years. We never spent
a night apart, we were together all the time. We made
a great team!
I will miss his manly voice, his blue eyes, his laugh
and his smile. I loved everything about him. I
always told him that he was the "Best Husband."
Michael was a character who lived his life to the
fullest, he didn't have a fear of dying. We can take
some comfort in this. I was proud to be his wife and
know he was as happy and in love as I was.
I wanted to grow old with him and looked forward to
starting a family.
Now I look forward to be reunited with the soul I
fell in love with. I know he will be waiting to greet
me in the next life - where we can spend eternity
together. Until then, I will rejoice in his
memory. There is no doubt in my mind that he will be
sitting right next to me on his favorite chaise. I am
blessed to have a wonderful guardian angel at my side.
He always wanted the best for me and supported me in
whatever I wanted to do. I know that he is at peace
and surrounded by family and friends as he was here on
When I close my eyes I still see him smiling at me,
telling me to have a good day on our last morning
I will try Michael. Until we're together
again, I will try.
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