Eulogy for Jocelyn
Written the weekend of April 27/28, 2002
name is vicky mcmahan, and
jocelyn was and will always be a very important part of my life. i would like to share with you, as
best i can with a numbed mind and a heavy heart,
aspects about jocelyn's life while she made her home
i first met jocelyn at the neighborhood coffee house called "common grounds" where she loved to spend her time and her dime. it didn't take but a minute to recognize jocelyn as a very down to earth, grounded, spirited, friendly and generous woman. my friend, connie, and i, asked jocelyn if she would like to accompany us on an afternoon adventure, and i loved jocelyn's response. she said, "i'd really like to, but i promised my boy, aug, that i'd take him to the park today." this was a woman who kept her promises and loved her animals. that's who jocelyn was. she then asked connie and i if we listen to public radio on wcbe, and told us to not go anywhere, that she'd be right back. she left, and later returned with wcbe coffee mugs and soveneirs to hand to us. this was a woman who went out of her way to make people happy. that's who jocelyn was.
in my relationship with jocelyn, i valued so many things about her...all the things i'm sure all of you valued in her too--her loving nature, her big heart, her booming personality, her willingness to do anything for anybody, and the way she communicated her love in special ways--but what i appreciated most about jocelyn was her grace, especially in the way she resolved conflict. jocelyn was gracious in the way she shared her heart and in the way she shared her life. that's who jocelyn was.
as the morning music show host at wcbe, jocelyn was a local celebrity in town. she loved discovering new music and she loved sharing her finds with other people. jocelyn was so happy being involved with public radio and her passion was evident on and off the air. (once, it expressed itself in a most unusually way...when jocelyn and i started dating, for one whole week, her music program turned into "love songs, nothing but love songs" and i was as enamored by this as she was giddy!) she loved feeling connected to her audience and to the community. she loved acquiring knowledge and worked hard to improve her radio skills even when she was so talented already. she was often approached by a variety of organizations to MC charity events around town, and she gave willingly of her time and enthusiasm to support causes and culture. that's who jocelyn was.
the station started experiencing financial difficulties, jocelyn's
hours got cut back to part time status and though public radio was her passion,
she felt it was in her best interest to look for more stable employment. she interviewed with
at home, jocelyn loved to relax with a nice glass of merlo or a gin and tonic (extra lime), watch movies, listen to music, fix great meals, work in the yard, and read the latest tom robbins book. she loved giving attention to her menagerie of animals and was always at the park encouraging augy to chase the geese and juno to fetch the stick in the water. she had a passion for flowers and loved making her own arrangements. she loved dining out and her favorite restaurant was "restaurant japan" where she ordered sushi to her heart's content and loaded on the wasabi. she loved sitting on the porch in a rocking chair with a nice cigar or samporna clove cigarette now and again.
jocelyn was very protective of her neighborhood. i remember one saturday afternoon, we were sitting on the front porch when our neighbor across the street rode up on her bike, laid it down by her back door, and ran inside for a moment, but in that moment, three youths casually walked up to the bike, picked it up, and continued to walk down the street with it. jocelyn sprang into action, took the bike back, and explained to the boys that it wasn't right for them to take something that didn't belong to them. our neighbor was so very thankful to jocelyn for getting her only mode of transportation back for her. when jocelyn saw a wrong, she wanted to do what she could to make it right. that's who jocelyn was.
jocelyn loved her family dearly and cherished her childhood memories. she loved talking to her dad on the phone and hearing news about her family. she loved going to the mailbox and finding a beautifully written letter from her mother. she loved what she would call "the luxury of conversation" with her family, friends, and neighbors.
i'm sitting here now looking at a postcard jocelyn sent to me years back that's filled with her wonderful spirit. she wrote, "i think that it's fabulous that i thought to call you on the spring equinox. i believe that to be significant...to have a pull to connect in a time of impending change, growth, renewal." she taped to the postcard the following sufi teaching, "when the heart weeps for what it has lost, the spirit laughs for what it has found." i found jocelyn to be very spiritual and growth oriented. that's who jocelyn was.
i could continue to write a novella on who "i" thought jocelyn was, but if you were to ask "jocelyn" who "she" thought she was, she could sum it up in five simple words. they are five simple words i heard her express many times with such pride and principle. she would say, "i am my mother's daughter."
my deepest sympathies to evalyn and harley, and to everyone who is in this chapel tonight, feeling the same tremendous sense of loss that i am feeling.