Eulogy for Alana Marie Banerjee Funeral – October 12, 2013
By Michael Durante, Jr. (Uncle & Godfather to Alana)
You would think that there’s not much to say about a baby who died before she was properly born, but you’d be wrong.
Alana Marie Banerjee – there is a lot to say about you. I could tell you about how you got your nickname, The Bean, because that’s all you looked like to us in the first photographs we have of you. I could tell you about the months of preparation put into your arrival, how you were showered with gifts, how your parents arranged their lives just to attend to all of your needs, how you had the most pristine nursery to enjoy the first nights of your life. I could tell you about the calls we all received last week, expecting the happiest news in the world, but instead hearing the worst.
But I only have a few moments up here, and seeing as I’m your godfather, I ought to give you some advice. After all, I would have given it to you anyway, whether you liked it or not, had you lived.
First, go find your family. There’s nothing more important. I’m sure all the Banerjees, Durantes, and Tedeschis up in heaven have yearned to hold you just as we all have. Maybe start with your great-grandmother, Mary, who we will bury you beside today. She liked chocolate ice cream and hot coffee, in case you want to get on her good side.
Remember to watch over us, your family, but especially all of your future brothers and sisters and cousins. They may share some of your belongings, but what they’ll really need is the beautiful guidance and leadership you would have given them as their big sister. Give all of us the strength, as our little guardian angel, to live with a spirit you would have been proud to call your own.
Always rest assured that you have been loved and you will continue to be loved. Your parents, grandparents, and uncles were so excited to welcome you into this world, and we’ll pray for you until we leave it as well.
Before I step down, your parents asked me to read something to you. It’s the book you’ll be buried with. And how appropriate – with Sudeep’s curiosity and natural intelligence, and Samantha’s creative loves of writing and reading, you were bound to cherish books. This one’s called Guess How Much I Love You.
I love you this much.
I love you as high as I can reach.
I love you as high as I can hop.
Big Nutbrown Hare leaned over and kissed her good night.
I love you right up to the moon.
Your parents wanted me to add that they love you all the way up to heaven – and back down again, if they could.
Alana Marie, our little bean, though we were never blessed to know you, we will never forget you. And your parents, your family, we will always love you. Be at peace.
Read Alana’s full birth story here.