Soul Sister, A Eulogy

Writing a eulogy is never an easy task. Writing a eulogy for your 37 year old best friend is just unthinkable.

Abigail S. Freeman
December 8, 1976-June 1, 2014

They say the brightest stars burn the fastest…..The strongest loves cut the deepest….The closest friendships last the longest…. limited neither by time nor space….


Before I begin I would like to thank everyone for the outpouring of love and support you have shown to Abby, Merlin, Owen, Julia, and the entire Freeman, Larsen, and Goldstein Families. I know for a fact that hearing from each of you over the past year was one of the greatest gifts of Abby’s lifetime. Each time I spoke with her she described actually feeling your love and support through the emails, posts, cards, and calls. She spoke of the abundance of gratitude, honor and peace she felt with each and every interaction she had with you, the ┬ápeople she had known and loved through each stage of her life. So, again, thank you.

To know Abby was to love Abby. She had this way about her. Her energy and kindness invited you into her world and made you feel as if you were right at home. I still remember our first conversation. It was the first week of seventh grade…We were at The Charlesbank Book Store in Belmont Center. She was there with Jack, I was with my Mom. Being the nervous awkward new girl I had spent the week paying close attention, trying to figure out who all the players were. Abby stood out. She was always smiling and seemed so happy. I wanted to get to know her. So I bravely walked up to her and said, “Hi Sarah! I’m Tarsha, I think you’re in my homeroom.” What an epic fail! Sarah, of course was Abby’s best friend. I had confused them. Instead of making fun of me and writing me off, as so many middle schoolers may have, she reassured me and invited me to have lunch with her the next day.

The rest, they say, is history.

We embarked on the friendship of a lifetime, two young girls who could not be more different if we tried. While she was one of the greatest actresses to grace the Belmont High School Stage, I think we can all agree, I was the drama queen of the friendship.


We learned from our differences. We shared so very many of life’s experiences, family vacations, boyfriends, breakups, college, marriage, motherhood….all the while pushing each other to take risks and find our magic.

Abby always knew that no dream was too far fetched. She put her heart and soul into the Drama Club, dominating Drama Fest during the years of her tenure. With the help of Joe Cabral and her cast mates she created a home for her creative spirit.

After high school Abby moved to “the big bad city” to attend NYU. As she gathered experiences and friends, she left her mark all over New York and it quickly became another home to her.

After graduation she took a chance with an unknown Argentinian group beginning an Off Broadway show. Enter the DeLaguarda family. She made a brave choice to follow her magic when she joined the cast and it lead her to her destiny. It was there that she met so many lifelong friends…oh yea, and her soulmate…Merlin, she fell so madly in love with you.

It was also with DeLaguarda that Abby honed her dramatic craft of aerial acrobatics. This did not surprise me at all. To me, Abby had always been similar to a shooting star, shining bright, sharing her majestic spirit with all of us. Abby “flying” through the world just made sense to me.

Years later she picked up and moved to California, all by herself, to chase her dream. I was not surprised at all. This is what I admired most about her. Abby was unapologetic about her passions. She left everything she had ever known. She left her love not knowing what would come of their relationship. Merlin, leaving you was the most excruciating part of the decision for her. Leaving you devastated her. Even so, she understood that her soul needed to be out west at that point and she trusted that the journey of your souls would never end. As usual, she was right.

I will never forget my first visit out there. She was living in a studio, somewhat lonely and scared but also completely determined. There was a spark in her eye, she was fueling her magic. She worked two jobs, made friends, put herself out there, and fought through it all while making California yet another home.

What can I say to my soul sister?

Abby you were BRAVE!

You did it! You followed your dream, your soul, your magic. It was not always easy but you trusted yourself and because of that, you ended up exactly where you were meant to be. You and your man with your beautiful babies in your dream house tucked into the most perfect canyon. So perfect indeed! It feels as though Topanga was created for the Freeman/Larsen Family.

Your core family trusted you as well. It would not have been so far fetched to envision you in CA, Cynthia in NY and Dan overseas; your parents traveling all about -visiting each of you. Instead…..Instead, everyone chose California as their home.

Together you were able to enjoy the magic of it all. You all created this rare bond, a life together where grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, and cousins exist together in a seamless interchangeable loop of unconditional love. The frequent gatherings, celebration of the small and simple things, and the unending support you all shared is, to me, all that truly matters in this life. Knowing you had these times to enjoy the magic of your lives will forever comfort my soul, you deserved it Abby!

Your friendship has been one of the greatest gifts of my lifetime. From Belmont to boats, from beaches to bungee jumping, from botanical gardens to basements and Barnstable to Britain, from birthdays to babies….it has been a blessing to have you by my side. I promise you that I will be present for your family. I will remind them of your courage, determination, and bravery when they are feeling weak or angry.

I Promise you that I will help Merlin in any way I can. I promise you that I will enjoy the magic of Owen’s spirit and to be a person he can trust and take risks with. I promise you that your sweet little Julia will know me as Auntie Tarsh, the one who spoils her with all things girly. I promise I will also show her the importance of being a confident and fierce young woman.

I promise you your children will know the love and devotion you have for them. I promise you I will not “let the distance get the best of us”

Thank you….Thank God for you….You will forever be a part of my soul.

Take care you…


Published by tarsha benevento

I am an educator who thrives on helping others. I spent close to 15 years teaching and then as an administrator in the New York City Public School System. During that time I completed my first Masters Degree in Teaching Reading and and additional degree in administration. I currently tutor students in all subjects and grades. In addition, after completing the Parent Advocacy Class with The Federation of Children with Special Needs several years ago, I am a parent advocate. I plan to dedicate my time to helping other families of children with special needs.

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