We remember Abby

Abs in the Alps

Abigail Stearns Freeman, December 8, 1976 – June 1, 2014

We remember Abby as beautiful, inside and out. She lit up the room. She connected with you. She had high intelligence, high elegance, and high climbs. Most of all, she was loving and caring.

She was that way all her life. Her passion and joy as a friend, performer, wife, and mother never diminished. Over her last year, she fought her disease courageously, and suffered terribly. Through it all she continued her loving attention to those around her, with true grace.

Not that there weren’t times of intense fear. The type of aggressive, chemo resistant breast cancer she had is still rarely stoppable, particularly if not detected early, which tragically was the case, due to initial misdiagnosis as swelling from nursing. By the time she got a biopsy, her prognosis was extremely poor. Nevertheless she and the rest of us searched for a way forward, to maintain hope. She kept wishing, she said, for a happy ending to this story, wanting with all her heart, as all of us did, to beat this beast so she could continue to be there for Merlin, Owen and Julia. As each setback dimmed her prospects, she told us to “keep calm and carry on”, and ultimately wanted us to accept, as she did, that even though it wasn’t fair, her present journey would end not in the natural course, but prematurely. Bearing the unbearable, we are carrying on for our precious family, but with sorrow beyond words. We miss her.

Abby felt that prior to her cancer she had had a wonderful life—growing up in a warm family and caring community who supported her in pursuing her career dreams; a marriage of true love; a legacy of two beautiful, bright children; a record of reaching for and finding an outer edge of artistic adventure and accomplishment all over the world. She said she didn’t have a bucket list. She believed there would be something next for her, and whimsically said she would like to return as a dolphin because they are so sleek and strong, and play so joyfully and freely in the waves.

Near the end I asked her why she had chosen to be a theatrical performer. She said she loved the expressiveness of it, and the whole physical and mental process of creating a production with her teammates. She recalled that as a young teenager she would dance in her room for hours to Madonna’s music. And then she recalled the time she woke up one night terrified at finding thousands of tiny spiders on the ceiling, and that I had used a vacuum cleaner to get rid of them.

For each of us there will always be such heartwarming recollections of Abby in our lives. How deeply we loved her, and always will. When I told Abby that her light was shining, that her love, her goodness, and her spirit would carry on in all of us, she put her hand on my arm and added: “Forever”.

– Jack Freeman

138 thoughts on “We remember Abby

  1. Isabel, Jack, Cynthia and Dan and Merlin…My heart is breaking for all of you! I am so sorry Abby and you all have had to endure such horrible pain and suffering. Life can be so unfair! Our family cherishes the times we spent together in Belmont and our enduring friendship. Please let me know if there will be a service in LA because I want to come if possible. Sending much love and big hugs. Diane Burrus

    • Abby was light and love and pure grace. She will remain in my heart always and always. And in the hearts of all those she blessed with her beautiful spirit. I’m so so sorry for your loss. We loved her dearly. And will, all the days of our lives.

  2. I will always remember Abby. She made such a beautiful impression on me during our years of working and playing together in New York and Los Angeles. Sending love and condolences to all of her amazing family and friends.

  3. A very very sad news …. so much pain.
    All my condolences to the family of Abby, her parents, her brothers.
    A Merlin and children sending them lots of light and great force.
    All my love from Argentina.
    Vanina Said (De la Guarda cast in Argentina)

  4. Abby was five years old when we moved to Belmont. I watched her grow up through the various children’s choirs, musicals, and later in high school plays. I also saw her in New York, in a performance piece that involved aerials, and she saw me in the audience and gave me a big hug. Those church kids were like children of our own. I feel like I’ve lost a member of my own family. My heart is breaking.

  5. Jack,
    I have been thinking of you and Isabel throughout this time, your bearing of the unbearable, with sorrow beyond words… I so appreciate the words you were able to find to write this remembrance of Abby. I am not surprised that she led the way in acceptance, that she set the tone of the course to follow, “Stay calm, carry on,” because that is how she lived her life. It’s been hard to be so far away… and Abby didn’t like to talk on the phone even when she was well! But I think it was because she valued being *present*. And that she was, for Merlin and her children, and all of you by her side, cherishing every moment she was granted… And I am so grateful that you and Isabel, Cynth and Dan, were all able to be lovingly present for her. What great peace it must give her to know you will continue to be present for her children. My heart aches for you all. We all loved her dearly and will miss her always.
    Love, Peace, Comfort, Gratitude

  6. To the Family of Abby Freeman,
    My heart is heavy today, as I hear the news of my talented and warm childhood friend Abby. She was an inspiration and dreamer who always knew that she would be a performer. She introduced me to so much in the short time that we were together as friends. My condolences to all of her family and friends, may her soul Rest in Peace.
    With Love,
    Jessica O’Connor

    • I am so sorry for each of you. Abby was so needed, as a mother, daughter, and friend. It all seemed to happen too fast. I was so happy to make friends with Abby, I would have loved to have become better friends. I can only imagine how she is missed by her family. Too soon and too fast. I will remember you as a joyful spirit.

  7. Jack,

    Your remembrance of Abby is so beautiful, reflecting the person she was and the life she led as well as the beautiful person you are. I have a large hole in my heart and I know it is tiny compared to what you, Isabel, Cynthia and the family are experiencing. Abby left a profound mark on all who knew her. These many years later I can feel, like yesterday, the spirit she exuded and the beautiful smile on her face. My thoughts and prayers and sympathies are with all of you.

  8. All my love to the Freeman & Larsen families. My mom & I will offer a mass for her here in Indian Shores, FL at St. Jerome’s church. I look forward to seeing her again in heaven.

  9. Sending all our love on the saddest of days. Abby was an inspiration to me and so many. We will always be here for you and we will always hold space for the most beautiful and courageous girl I have known. Blessings

  10. Jack- so many wonderful memories of childhood adventures with abby are now flooding back to me… I adored abby and your entire family. You are such a special, welcoming and caring group of people, and I am thinking of you all as I sit, looking up at a beautiful blue open sky above New York City and feeling Abby’s absence. I cannot imagine your sadness, but through your words here I do feel your immense love, your acceptance and your
    grace. I am so sorry.

  11. With a heavy heart, I send my love to you and the entire Freeman & Larsen family. Abby is one of the rare few I call my sister-friend. Thank you for bringing such an incredible gift into the world and sharing her with me. I will forever treasure memories of our artistic collaboration, performances, heart-to-heart talks, laughter & extreme silliness.

  12. So very saddened by your family’s — and the world’s — loss. Sending all my love to everyone.

  13. I have no words to express my sorrow. But I am filled with awe at the abundance of love and support you all have given so freely to Abby and to each other. Abby, and all of you, will always be in our hearts. Love to you.

  14. To the Freeman and Larsen Family’s,

    Very sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.

    Matt Sullivan

  15. Thank you, Jack. Your words help me to cope with my feelings of loss, guilt, anger, and sadness. They help heal all of us.

    Life is a gift for which we are grateful. We gather in community to celebrate the glories and mysteries of this great gift.

    Abby made the most of this great gift.

    From Abby’s friends in Belmont, MA — Ranganath Nayak and family

  16. Jack- so many wonderful memories of childhood adventures with abby are now flooding back to me… I adored abby and your entire family. You are such a special, welcoming and caring group of people, and I am thinking of you all as I sit, looking up at a beautiful blue open sky above New York City and feeling Abby’s absence. I cannot imagine your sadness, but through your words here I do feel your immense love, your acceptance and your
    grace. I am so sorry.

  17. Our heart goes out to such a wonderful, loving family. We offer you all love and light. Last year, Abby gave our daughter Allegra a birthday present of a beautiful butterfly wind chime with the most delicate of rings. As the winds gently blow through the canyon and the chimes ring, we will always remember her.
    Much much love her family.
    Diana, jeff, Allegra & Thalia

  18. I am at a loss for words. Sending all the love and warmth to the Freeman & Larsen family. You are in my prayers.


  19. Abby was an exceptional young woman whose smile could light up a room, a stage or even an entire school. I can hear her now telling me..”now Mr. Wright we really need to do it this way.” Then that large smile….I can hear her perhaps saying to her family and to all of us… Death is nothing at all…I have only slipped away into the next room…I am I and You are you…What ever we were to each other..THAT WE ARE STILL …Call me by my old familiar name …..speak to me in the easy way which you always used…..Put no difference into your tone….wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow…Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes we enjoyed together…Play, smile, think of me. Let my name be ever the household word that it always was. Let it be spoken without an effort. without the ghost of a shadow on it. Life means all that it ever meant. It is the same as it ever was….there is absolutely unbroken continuity…I am but waiting for you…somewhere very near, just around the corner…All is well…..

  20. Thoughts and prayers for a safe passage for Abby and for her family to make it through this hardship and move forward. She touched so many of us in so many wonderful ways, and I will always remember her beautiful spirit and truly remarkable presence.

  21. Abby was and shall remain an inspiration to us all. She was a dynamic charismatic and generous performer, Friend and Mother. Her Physical presence will be greatly missed. We are all so fortunate to have known her and to have had her be a part of our lives. All my love goes out to Her Family. She was extraordinary and shall always be a part of us.

  22. Well said Jack.
    We will all remember Abby because of who she was and how she made life better because she was a part of it.
    Sending Love from NY to the Freemans and the Larsens.
    We shall meet agian…

  23. I am so sad beyond words. Merlin, Owen, and Julia you were so lucky to have her in your lives. I am so grateful to have met such a beautiful person. Bob adored her beauty inside and out. Owen and Julia, I see so much of your mom in both of you. She loved you immensely.

    My deepest sympathy to the Freeman and Larsen family. She will forever be you light.

    Love, Pauline, Bob, and Luna Goodwin

  24. I am heartbroken for the Freeman and Larsen families. Abby was a blessing for anyone lucky enough to meet her. I cannot fathom the depths of sorrow and pain everyone is experiencing. Thank you Jack for posting such a beautiful and moving tribute to Abby and her family especially in your time of deep grief of the loss of your daughter.

  25. My deepest sympathy to the Freeman and Larsen families. You are all in my thoughts and prayers. Abby was one of the amazing women who taught me how to fly and inspired everyone around her to truly express themselves.
    Love and light,

  26. My heart goes out to Merlin, Abby, the children and the families. Our hearts is very sad on this day.

    Our condolences. Todd and Casey Romanick.

  27. Abby´s family, my deep condolecence and peace in this so sad moment. When there is not any chance and choise, just to keep comfort and peace!!! I guess she was spiritual and warrior heart woman.

  28. I am so sorry to hear this news and of your loss. I remember Abby from school as an amazing and warm person. My deepest condolences. – Becky and the Rosen family.

  29. I have been so emotional for weeks about Abby. I started following this blog last summer and fortunately had some communication with her over that time. I thought she would get a happy ending as her life oftentimes seemed like a fairy tale. It is hard to believe that someone so vibrant could leave this world. I am in awe of your family’s and Abby’s strength. I have a special message for Julia. When abby was pregnant with you, I had the same due date with my daughter (also the second and also the first girl). Your mom was so eager to have a daughter and we talked about how wonderful it would be to have a boy and a girl. Abby shared this with me, an old , distant friend. I cannot imagine what she shared with her close friends and family as she prepared to depart. But I am sure you, as her children, will have many stories that will be told to you by your dad, aunts, uncles and family members. And they will be like gifts that you will unwrap day after day.

  30. I’ve been thinking about you all and I’m so sad to hear the news. I hope I can help in some ways in the future. Be it with the kids or around the house or anything.

    Greg Boose

  31. Forever and ever. I love to think of her as a dolphin — friendly, agile, powerful. My thoughts are with Abby and with all of you.

  32. How tender and beautiful were your words, Jack. Undoubtedly, you were writing through tears at this sad time. What a huge loss!! Abby brightened Belmont for so long (and our caroling party when you were here in recent years). What a joy she was to so many and to us. She was like family–so many musicals, so many great performances, so many smiles. We are deeply sorry for all of you for this heartbreaking and premature death of such a light.
    Love from all the Widmers

  33. Dear Abby’s family,
    There are no words- just sadness for you all at your loss. I knew Abby mainly as an amazing High School performer, and really kind upperclassman, and can envision that wonderful mane of hair and big smile bounding down the Belmont High hallways.
    May your family find the strength to move on, happiness from the memories, and have the peace of knowing that she touched so many in the biggest and smallest of ways.
    Much love
    Meg (Brusch) Avilla

  34. My deepest sympathy to the Freeman and Larsen families. I have so many great memories of growing up with Abby. I will always cherish them. She was a beautiful person inside and out. You will all always be in my prayers.

    Kristine (Kennedy) Pugliese

  35. Dear Freeman and Larsen families,

    I’m feeling an indescribable sense of pain and loss, although Abby and I had never even met, so I can only imagine how profoundly you will miss your beautiful girl. But I can assure you that she’ll find some fabulous company, in her new home. I’ll ask my angels to look out for her and welcome her with a warm and loving embrace. Sending you love and strength and healing energy.


  36. Jack… thank you so much for your beautiful message. You generously presented us with a picture of Abby’s spirit and wisdom over these last difficult months, and it was a welcome gift as we struggle to understand and accept our loss and yours. We are unspeakably sad for for Owen, Julia and Merlin, for you and Isabelle, for Cynthia, Danny and the grandads.

    The memory of Abby’s joyful smile, her vigor and her grace will continue to live in the many hearts she touched. Much love to you from five Moores

  37. Dear Folks: I am sending love and comfort to you all. My eyes are full of tears and my heart sore with the news. I will hold Abby and her families in my prayers, and listen for her in the wind and the bird songs floating on the breeze. Her grace and beauty live on in our minds eye, always.

    Carrie Chapman

  38. I am so so sorry for your loss. I knew Abby from summer camp and remember her smile, her loveliness, her kindness, her presence, her talent. I didn’t know anything about her illness until today and am shocked and rattled. I don’t know what to say other than I am sorry and that Abby, you, and your family are in my thoughts.

  39. Meeting Abby & Merlin for the first time at their place, years ago, in Silverlake, watching her take flight on the rigging system in the yard, was something absolutely beautiful. What was even more magical, was Abby on the ground, with her smile, her sparkle and her joy…while we may not have seen much of one another over the years, when we did, it was always more than a joy. To the Freeman and Larsen family, you are in my prayers…sending you love

  40. My heart goes out to the freeman family and the Larsens. You will be in my prayers….
    Abby was an angel to all. She was passionate, smart caring and an amazing performer.. She was special.
    I remember watching her fly throught the air and seeing how graceful she was…what a talented woman, caring mother, loving wife.
    I Will always cherish out memories in the air and on the ground!
    Your spirit will live forever!
    Love marlyn (ny,DLG)

  41. Dear Freemans,

    Even though I knew Abby only distantly through my siblings, I am struck by the profound outpouring of love and admiration for her and your family. The most dynamic energy in her smile and eyes are a true testament to the love and support surrounding you all. May that energy continue to bolster you and comfort you when you need it most.

    I can only imagine the depths of your grief. When you are ready, please read the following article. It has been a comforting road map as I continue to process my own: http://sojo.net/blogs/2014/01/13/new-normal-ten-things-ive-learned-about-trauma

    I wish you blessings going forward. Abby’s energy will forever be with you.


  42. Dear Isabel, Jack, Cynthia, Dan, Merlin, and your extended families,

    Dick and I are so very sad to hear about Abby. Her absence in your family and in a greater world is profound. One of many mental images I have of her was her wearing a mask while dancing in a Belmont High production. The mask could not hide the beauty of her movement and the elegance of her person.
    We are thinking of all of you and know that you will find what comfort is to be had in being with each other.

  43. A real and deep inspiration to so many of us, an amazing performer and person. Abby we love and miss you. I’m crushed.

    To Merlin and the kids, the Freemans and the Larsens I’m sending my tenderest condolences. Much love,

  44. What a tragic loss. We only spent a short time together for the André Chénier production at the Bregenz Festival 2011 but it was long enough to have taken her to my heart. I’m absolutely speechless about this bad news. My thoughts and prayers are with Abby’s beloved family.

  45. Jack,
    Thank you for sharing your remembrance. We deeply mourn Abby’s passing, and our hearts feel heavy with the loss you and her family has to endure.

    Our family will continue to love Abby and the beautiful spirit that is she. We will continue to feel her loving and glowing presence in our neighborhood, and when we play with her children.
    Much love, Cara, Jonathan, Isabela, Julian and Anya

  46. To Abby’s family: Merlin, Julia and Owen, and to Isabel, Jack, Cynthia, Dan, David, Pat, Fred, Susan, Miles, Dylan and all other family members,
    Michael and I are so so very sorry to hear this news. As a breast cancer survivor, I had hoped that Abby would be able to beat her illness. Her beautiful spirit and grace through this process leaves us in awe. We send our deepest sympathy to you in your tragic loss.
    Cercie (Miller) and Michael (Lasell)

  47. You are in our hearts forever!
    Her smile was and is a ray of sunshine!
    We are fortunate to have had the chance to be taught many things
    by the AWESOME ABBY!
    It is hard to find words….I am deeply saddened
    Muchness to the Family

  48. Abby is an unforgettable soul. Prayers for ease during this difficult time. So much love.

  49. Isabel & Jack,
    I am so sorry for you loss. What you are going through is so hard. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

  50. What beautiful words…I am so very sorry for your family’s enormous loss. Abby was a special person who touched so many. Many thoughts and prayers with the Freeman and Larsen families.


  51. Dear Jack, such a beautiful remembrance of Abby. I join many First Church members and friends who are deeply saddened by Abby’s passing and are holding your family and Abby’s in our thoughts and prayers. We indeed embrace the children that we watched grow up in the church as part of our own. Though I did not know Abby well, I do certainly remember her beautiful smile and the positive energy she radiated on the stage and at the caroling gatherings at the Widmer’s and Lind’s. I imagine Abby brightened the day of many people in her years with the simple act of sharing a smile. I also recall the love and joy with which you and Isabel beamed in being her parents as she made the passages from child to teen, to young adult, wife and mother. This passage is far too soon and one that no parents should have to make, nor her siblings, husband and young children. Our hearts are with all of you.

    With love,
    Jeanne Mooney

    From the church hymnal:

    We Remember Them

    In the rising of the sun and in its going down, we remember them.
    In the blowing of the wind and in the chill of winter, we remember them.
    In the opening of buds and in the rebirth of spring, we remember them.
    In the blueness of the sky and in the warmth of summer, we remember them.
    In the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn, we remember them.
    In the beginning of the year and when it ends, we remember them.
    When we are weary and in need of strength, we remember them.
    When we are lost and sick at heart, we remember them.
    When we have joys we yearn to share, we remember them.
    So long as we live, they too shall live, for they are now a part of us,
    as we remember them.

    From Roland B. Gittelsohn

  52. Dear Freeman’s,

    I have fond memories of Abby; she always carried a smile on her face & most definitely lit up each & every room she walked into. Words can’t express my condolences. All the best to you & your family during this difficult time.

    ALL the Murphy’s of Belmont.

  53. incredibly sad right now. The thought of Abby not being here right now is so hard to grasp. Merlin, Owen and Julia I feel your pain and wish you with all my heart that you’ll be able to continue feeling LOVE for Abby. My prayers go out to both families. Abby practiced yoga with me at Yoga Desa regularly. We hung out every week in the library truck before the current library opened. When I offered her free Yoga at her house she already had a hard time breathing.
    Abby, you are such a light and I know you’ll continue to shine!!!!
    Merlin, please let me know if you’d like to come to any of my Yoga Desa classes, be my guest!

  54. Loved the tribute from her father. Abby was such a beautiful artist and wonderful person. She loved her family, her community and her art. She lived her life with passion and true beauty, and always seemed to have so much fun! I hate that she is gone. I will always remember her.

  55. Such a beautiful, heartfelt, and moving tribute to Abby. I too love the thought of her returning as a dolphin and will think of her whenever I see one. My brother posted a photo of the two of them from The Music Man, and the sight of her towering over him brought a smile through the tears. I will light a candle for you all at our UU service here in Paris next week. Please smother her kids with hugs and kisses from all of us who are far away.

    All my love to you all, Carrie

  56. Such beautiful, graceful and healing words, Jack.
    Abby shines so brightly in this universe.
    We are holding you all so close to our hearts.

    All our love,
    Rasmia, Carla and Edwin

  57. No words to explain the tragic loss of a beautiful and young woman…. Talented performer …amazing mother….
    My thoughts to you Merlin and all the people around you ……an incredibly sad day

    My love


  58. I am so sorry to learn of this loss to such a wonderful family and group of friends. Knowing Cynthia, who oversees my work at Community Partners, I have no words that can express how saddened I am to have learned of Abby’s passing today. I hope that the memories of Abby will comfort you Jack, your children, family and friends. The heartfelt comments and posts attest to a wonderful life, well-lived. It is the very best that all of us can hope to have. God bless you all.

  59. Abby, along with the Freeman and Larsen families are in my thoughts during this heartbreaking time. Offering my condolences, and prayers. Her beauty and smile will never be forgotten.


  60. Beautifully written. Thank you for sharing these words. Her love and light will surely continue forward forever.

  61. I am profoundly sorry for the loss of Abby. It has been both inspiring and heartbreaking to learn about Abby through this beautiful tribute. May the memories of the light and love she brought to your lives and to the world be with all of you forever.

  62. What an amazing tribute to an amazing woman!! I am honored to have known Abby, and dance with her on Valentines day. She was the pillar of grace and strength during this past year. I had the privilage of knowing her and doing her hair, and near the end supply a safe place in which to fall for a moment. One of the most beautiful women I have ever known. God bless to all of her family and friends who lover her. The world as we know it will be missing an angel, only for a moment until she returns with even larger wings. Love so much, debra

  63. I keep reading these posts over and over today. Abby touched so many people with her kindness, talent, and beauty. It’s a testament to the life she lived. There’s so little one can say in the face of such tragedy, but I’m sending love to her family and close friends, and feeling grateful to have known her.

  64. Jack, I don’t know where you found the strength to compose such a meaningful recollection of the Abby we all knew and loved. But thank you for that. For, along with all the deep, deep sadness and tears your words evoked, they also reminded us of Abby’s spirit and sweetness. In this moment of sadness I have wonderful visions of Big Wheels and birthday parties in our old neighborhood; church choir and Alfa’s plays; high school plays with Abby’s amazing stage presence (especially “Damn Yankees”), and on and on the memories of the earlier years go. Since I’m still on the East Coast I haven’t seen any of you for too long, but I am very much with you today. I leave you with this thought and hope it gives some small comfort at a time when we are all wondering why these things happen. “Remember her in your heart, your thoughts and your memories…for if you always think of her, she will never have gone.”

    Elayne Cantor (formerly DiBiccaro)

  65. My deepest and most sincere condolences to you and your family. Growing up with Dan, I could plainly see that Abby brightened a room every time she entered it. She was so upbeat and cheerful and such a wonderful human being. Words cannot really express this kind of sadness, but just please know that her warmth and kindness positively touched even the most peripheral people to your family.

  66. Mr. and Mrs. Freeman,

    I am so very sorry, there are no words to express how much. I had no idea your family was going through this terrible ordeal, and my heart aches for all of you. I was just recently saying how nice it was to see that Cynthia, Abby and Dan were so close as adults. I hope you find comfort in each other, and strength for Abby’s husband and beautiful children. You are in my thoughts.

    Kim (Oberhauser) Hilton

  67. My heart goes out to everyone in losing this magical woman who made us all feel like we were someone beautiful and important, just in the way she looked into our eyes when we talked. My heart goes to all the sisters she held in her arms and hands throughout her life. Cynthia, Stefanie, Sierra and Julie – I will always see Abby in you. May all the beloved find some comfort in one another somehow. My love to everyone in the Freeman and Larsen families.

  68. I am so sorry to hear this very, very sad news. My heart goes out to you and your entire family. Thank you for your beautiful words and insight about a dear person. I have such fond memories of Abby from childhood. For a period of time, she, Cynthia, my sister Carrie, and I played together with such frequency and for such extended periods that we were more like siblings than friends (for better and worse — LOL!). We would bounce back and forth between houses and play/explore outside until dark. We walked to and from school together, carpooled together for choir, etc., etc. Many formative experiences! I have two daughters, ages 6 and 4. We are fortunate to have lovely neighbors with a 5yo daughter. She and my girls play in the same way that Abby, Cynthia, Carrie, and I did, and because of their staggered ages and the nature of neighbor-friends, it reminds me so much of my experience — and I am touched by that! To their delight, I have told my girls this, along with many stories of our adventures. One of our favorite things to play was “Little House on the Prairie.” My girls have recently gotten into the books and like to act out the stories and improvise based on what they know of that time period, just as we did, so I have been telling them about playing “Little House” with Abby and Cynthia. Abby has touched and enriched so many lives. Her memory will live on in our hearts!

  69. Abby, you exuded life. We will miss you. Freemans, my heart goes out to you all in this tragic time – what an immense loss. Sending you love and support. The posts are testament to the number of people Abby touched; we will all carry her memories and spirit with us.

  70. Jack, Isabel, Danny and Cynthia,
    I send you my loving embrace in this time of immense sadness. I remember Abby as a blond curly haired 3 year old climbing under the fence form your yard to ours to play with Heather, a highlight of Alfa’s shows for years and years, and as a beautiful talented young woman filled with warmth and grace-always with a huge smile that lit up the room.
    May you find comfort in your loving memories of her beautiful being.

  71. It’s hard to fathom such a loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Freemans and the Larsens. We especially remember Abby’s radiant smile, her warmth and her huge talent. Her memory lives on in our hearts.

    Amy & Mark

  72. I find myself returning to this precious space, over and over. It’s restful and healing, to be surrounded by such incredible love. With each shared memory, I feel like I know Abby more intimately. This morning, a beam of sunlight entered the overhead window and broke into a resplendent rainbow, in my shower. I saw Abby, dancing in abandon, amidst the droplets. She was sleek and strong and joyful and free. A dolphin. An angel. An infinite, boundless soul of incredible grace and beauty and light.

  73. I am so very sorry to hear this news. I did not know Abby well, but I remember her vividly from the BHS Chorus and from rehearsals for “The Pirates of Penzance.” She exuded warmth and vitality, and she was so immensely talented. Your family will be in my thoughts and prayers.

    Jane Reynolds (BHS ’93)

  74. Dear Issie, Jack, Merlin, Cynth, and Dan,
    I’m so sorry, but I can’t even say anything right now. I’m just very upset. Why Abby, of all people? I know life is unfair, but why Abby? David

  75. I only just heard of Abby’s diagnosis a week or so ago. I am so terribly sorry for your loss. I worked with Abby in Seoul. She was so solid and kind. I am so sorry.


  76. I, too, am so moved by the love and grace of your family in the face of such sadness and the loss of an incredible woman. I am heartened by how fully you respect and laud the beauty and value of the way Abby lived her life, not because it ended too soon, but because she just did it so well. Her vivacious, affirming and centered spirit shines through your whole family and is inspiring. I am sending each of you all my love…

  77. When word of Abby’s death reached the offices of the UU Veatch Program at Shelter Rock staff in Manhasset, LI, we all stopped breathing in disbelief. The interdependent web connects us through Cynthia as a beloved former member of our staff and through my tenure as student minister and acting senior minister in Belmont, where the entire Freeman family was beloved. The image of Abby that overcame me was that of a dazzling meteor or shooting star, blazing across the sky, leaving us speechless with admiration, wonder and awe. Bright, intense, beautiful . . . and much too brief. For all those left in mourning, may the love that Abby’s life generated surround and sustain you . . . now and “forever.” Rev. Ned

  78. Dear Jack, Isabel, Merlin, Cynthia, Dan, and the rest of your family,

    I’ve sent an email a little earlier with my sympathy, but I want to share just one memory.

    On a First Church Youth Group ski trip to our house in Franconia, N. H., Abby, then a late middle schooler or early high schooler was the one to notice that things needed to be done: dishes washed, put away, the floor vacuumed and then pitched in to help. I also remember that despite lots of kids sharing the bathrooms and our water pressure being weak she just had to was her beautiful head of blond spiraled permed hair. She was just so beautiful.

    Love & Hugs, Nanny

  79. I also keep returning to this page to read the tributes as they flow in. I am deeply moved by the power of this large community’s love for the Larsens and Freemans. I happened to be in Belmont on Saturday when I heard that Abby was close to passing. I stayed up that whole night, reading this blog, thinking about Abby and her family and listening to my daughter breath in her sleep. Yesterday, the 1st, I walked to the UU church and sat outside the open doors for a few minutes, listening to the congregation say a prayer in unison. When I later read Mrs. Widmer’s note that they had said a prayer for Abby at services that morning and that it was the day of Abby’s passing, I wept. Abby was an idol for me throughout my childhood, and sister to one of my most dear friends. We lit a candle today for Abby, and for Merlin, Owen, Julia, Cynthia and her family, Dan, Isabel and Jack. Sending love to you all.
    Maya Nayak

  80. Dear Abby,
    We don’t know why anyone should have to endure the suffering you went through. I’m sure those closest to you are crushed right now, and I’m so sorry for their pain.

    I do have faith that your spirit is watching over. In spirit, you’ll be there for your parents, your siblings, your husband, friends, and most of all, those adorable children. I know you will send them gentle reminders of your love.

    May you rest in peace my friend.

  81. I was so saddened to learn of Abby’s passing. She was thoughtful, intelligent and beautiful. I wish peace and love to her family. Let’s keep her truly special presence in our minds, forever.

  82. So hard to read all this – I didn’t know Abby very well, just parents at childrens corner and topanga elementary and coaching Owen one time in soccer, but you know a beautiful soul when you meet one, and that was Abby, as a mother of small children though it is so hard to imagine the loss for her family, it is unbearable and so cruel, I wish you all strength that you need to carry on, my thoughts are with you. So much love, we were all so lucky to have known her, I am so so sorry for your loss, such a huge gaping hole where she was in this world.

  83. This was such a touching tribute. I was shocked and saddened today to realize that Abby had passed. I grew up in Belmont and can distinctly remember her as this beautiful, vibrant and kind upperclassman. She had such a warm energy about her that was just magnetic.

    I am profoundly sorry for your loss. My thoughts and prayers are with you all during this difficult time. I am certain she will be a beautiful guardian angel to you all.


  84. Dear Isabel, Jack, Merlin, Cynthia, and Dan and your whole family,
    Hearing on Sunday that Abby had entered hospice was a blow that left many of us in tears. We’re devastated today to hear your news that takes us beyond all the sadness we can bear.
    What a beautiful person Abby was – inside and out! Not only was she talented and accomplished but Ana reminded us what a good friend she was. And so good at “family” – not a surprise considering the wonderful people she learned from.
    We’re so sorry for your immense loss, and at the same time happy to have had the chance to know Abby. Her spirit will continue to light up your life as it does for us!
    With love and deepest sympathy to you all,
    Nancy and Mark

  85. Incredibly sad….
    I had the privilege of working with
    Abby at Jewish Women’s Theatre.
    She was so beautiful and full of grace. I remember watching her move and dance with her daughter… We were doing a photo shoot.
    She was like an angel…
    Sending love to her family…

  86. We are so sorry for your loss. Our hearts and prayers go out to you all.
    Ben and Tami

  87. Dear Isabel, Jack, Cynthia, Merlin and family,
    I’m in shock with learning the news of Abby’s passing. Unbelievable that such a beautiful young woman, wife, daughter, mom and friend could leave this earth…way too soon.
    I cared so very deeply for this great beauty; practiced yoga with her, took long, deep breaths together.
    In deepest sympathy,
    Karen Sherwood

  88. I’m in my hometown in northern Nebraska with my brother, and I’m just getting caught up on email and this shocking news. My heart goes out to all of you. Abby was such a beautiful person in all respects and in all ways. How can the universe take such a person at such a young age? It has always seemed to be a violation of justice, fairness, and order when a child dies before her parents. But I am glad that I got to see Abby just about a month ago at our house in Belmont. She looked so radiant and so strong. I’m sorry that I could not have done more for you, and spent more time with Abby, on that visit. I send my love to you all. Please let Nanny and me know what we can do for you or for Abby’s memorial. Lots of love to all the Freeman family in this difficult time.

  89. Dear Freeman and Larsen Families,

    We are heartbroken to hear this news.

    Abby’s warmth, spirit and grace brought so much to everyone who knew her. Every morning when we woke up early and looked out the kitchen window, a light in your house would be shining in the darkness. It always gave comfort. Abby’s light will shine on.

    We send love to all of you,

    Bill, Debbie, Andrew and Emily Blumberg

  90. My heart feels so very, very heavy with sadness for all of you.

    Much love,

    Linda oxox

  91. We don’t know you, Jack, but we often saw Abby dropping off and picking up Owen. Theo and Owen are friends. Abby always smiled a very knowing smile, and engaged in conversation if there was time. She was remarkable in that she stood out of the crowd. Something in her eyes. I’m floored by the news because I am a mother too, and I don’t know how to wrap my mind around your experience as a husband, and your children’s experience. But I needed to write, because I want you to know that her life has meaning for many of us. Her experience helps us to hold on a little longer, love a little more deeply, she helps us to stay just a little more present as mothers, as wives, as women. She may be gone from our world, but her existence will continue to hold deep meaning for many of us.. and it will continue to fill the world with the beautiful energy she constellated.
    Our love,
    Tim, Virginia, Theo and Paloma

  92. Abby’s death is a tragic loss for all of us.
    She was a wonderful student, a beautiful person and a burst of sunlight in the classroom.
    My deepest condolences to all of you. She is gone far too soon.

  93. I had the great honor and joy of directing Abby in two productions for Jewish Women’s Theater. She was a shining star! I will miss her and carry her in my heart. Peace and ease to all her fellow artists, friends, family and her lovely children. Love, Eve Brandstein

  94. Hard times, heavy hearts. Not sure if I am the right person at all to speak for a big, gorgeous echoing canyon filled with the souls to match it, but we Topangans will watch out for you and yours, beautiful Abby. Rest well and rise up renewed…we’ll be watching for you in waterfalls and on the trapeze, in swallowtail butterflies and birthday cupcakes, in laughter and in times yet to come. -Bonnie, Adrian, Sophie & Sawyer, who loves “his Julia” so much…

  95. Deeply fortunate to be her parents’ close friend, I knew the gracious and graceful Abby all her life. I expected to bask in her warm and caring physical presence for the rest of mine. All of us shall now be deprived of that joy, most painfully her loving family. But we all will keep her spirit close in our hearts, the glow of knowing her in the past and more importantly in the present. Abby was first a giving person and she will give still if we continue to listen to her. She will teach us still to love and care and fly as she did. Yeats described the passing of living things as “eternal beauty wandering on her way.” Abby, you are eternal beauty.

  96. Jack, Isabel and family
    We are bereft to hear of Abby’s death, and so moved by Jack’s tribute. We remember Abby’s high school performances, her warmth and elegance. Our deepest sympathies to your entire family.
    Judy and Jason Cotton

  97. Dear Jack, Isabel, Cynthia, Dan and Merlin,
    We are so sorry at the loss of Abby. My memories of Abby are her positive energy, warmth, friendliness and bright smile. Anyone she ever touched no doubt will carry a similar memory of her and more and it will have a positive impact on their life and outlook. Please accept our most heartfelt condolences in this time of loss and grief.
    Cary Bullock for the Bullock Family

  98. My Love And Prayers Goes Out To The Freemana And Larson Family. To Merlin, Owen And Julia. This Is A Sad News With Heavy Emotions. And I Can Only See Her Beautiful Smile, Bright Light Shinning All Around HeR, Big Golden Locks Bouncing As She Flights Through The Air.. I’m So Honor To Have Met Abby And See Her Bright Light Shine As A Performer, Mother, Friend And A Beautiful Woman. This Still Shocking News, And Sad To Hear. But All I Can Think When I Think Of Abby. Is Love!!! May She Rest AT Peace And Continuing Shinning On.. My Deepest Condolences.
    Love You Abby!!!!

  99. My heart is just breaking for you and Owen and Julia and Merlin. I met Abby when Owen started Kindergarten and she was always such a sweet and graceful person. I didn’t get to know her as well as I would of liked too but I cherish the time we got to spend together.

    I send all my love to your family and she will be sorely missed. The world has gotten a little dimmer with her passing.

  100. My heart is just breaking for you, Isabel, Merlin, Owen and Julia. I met Abby when Owen started Kindergarten with my son Tom and we spoke often. She was always such a sweet and graceful person. I didn’t get to know her as well as I would have like too but I cherish the time that we did get to spend together.

    I send all my love to your family and she will be sorely missed. The world has gotten a littler dimmer with her passing.

  101. I think what I remember best about Abby was just how incredibly bright her spirit was and the effortless and selfless way she made others around her feel better about themselves. My deepest condolences to her family – I pray that you’re able to take comfort in the warmth and light that Abby brought to this world and doubtless carries with her to the next.

  102. I am terribly sad to hear of Abby’s passing. When I learned the news I told my family and my 11-year old daughter asked me what I remembered about her. The first thing that came to mind was her bright, warm smile. The last time I saw Abby was over 20 years ago and I can still vividly recall her smile and infectious energy. What a tremendous gift she shared with the world. My thoughts and prayers are with your entire family.

  103. My deepest condolence to the Family, she will be miss, I will keep the family in my prayers

  104. Nicholas and I are so sad to hear this sad news. Our deepest sympathies go out to the families, Merlin and mostly, the children. I told the story of how we met Abby & Merlin last night to someone when they moved into our little neighborhood in Topanga. We playfully called her “The New Abby” because my longest childhood friend who still lived just up the street was also named Abby. She and I and another neighbor were all pregnant with our girls at the same time and although we lost touch when we moved and rented our little house on Liberty Lane, we reconnected again when her Father and Merlin were helping to build the new playground at the Community Center. We feel very fortunate to have been able to know her, even for a short time, and to see her beautiful children at school with ours. Our daughter tells us almost every day who she played with at school and Julia is always in her top 4 and she says, “she’s my best friend.” I saw Merlin dropping off the kids this morning at TES, both clinging to him…I’ve watched the kids struggle to let go each day for months and marveled at the strength and love he has shown them each day. We are so sorry for your loss.
    Michelle, Nicholas, Camden & Stella Rumanes

  105. Dear Jack, Isabel, Dan, Cynthia, and Merlin,
    We are heartbroken to hear about Abby’s passing. My memories of Abby are her beautiful smile and her face just glowing with positive energy and happiness. I remember watching her in the church plays and hoping one day I would display just as much talent and grace as she did on that stage.
    We will always and forever remember her as a shining star.

    Our deepest condolences and with much love,

    Irma, Louie, Nadia, and Luke Pagnotti

  106. My sons looked up to Abby during our years at First Church, especially during those all those musicals, and I fondly recall how full of life she was. In recent years, I saw Facebook photos of her and her beautiful family, for whom things appeared to be so perfect. Her death makes me think of Edna St. Vincent Millay’s short poem:

    My candle burns at both ends;
    It will not last the night;
    But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
    It gives a lovely light!

    Abby did give such a lovely light for the precious years she was with us. And she still does.

  107. I am so saddened by this news. Please let me know if there is anything I can do. I’ll never forget how Abby made me feel supported and understood. She was an amazing woman.

  108. I fondly remember Abby as a classmate at Chenery and later BHS. She was clearly a bright light in the lives of all who knew her. It is clear that she touched the lives of so many people in her life. May your happy memories bring you peace and comfort.

  109. As a fellow parent of kids at Topanga Elementary and Children’s Corner I would talk with Abby from time to time in the playground or on the soccer pitch. I sadly did not know her well but always admired her poise, grace and beauty. I remember watching 2 yr old Julia launch herself down a 10ft high pipe in the playground, “Fearless!” I commented, “isn’t she,” said Abby with a huge proud smile. Abby’s death seems to have devastated so many people in Topanga and my heart aches for her family, particularly Merlin and the children. I am so very very sorry.

  110. We are close friends of Stephen and Robin Larsen and although we really didn’t know Abby, are hearts are heavy for you. We know she was a vibrant, amazing person and a wonderful mother and that she is irreplaceable part of all of your lives and how deeply she was loved. Our hearts got out to you…we are sending our love to all.
    –Barbara and Michael Schacker

  111. We are deeply saddened by Abby’s passing. We are sending out love, strength, and peace from our little mountain top…to all of Abby’s family and friends… all over the world. May your next adventure be glorious sweet Abby!

  112. I did not get to know Abby well during the 2.5 years I was in school with her at Belmont High, but she is still the person I think of when I think of Belmont High School and the Class of ’94–she radiated such talent, energy, grace, and kindness. While I’m sure she had her share of normal teenage ups and downs, from my perspective, she just seemed somehow ‘above’ all the high school drama and cliques. She was that incredibly popular girl who was confident and happy enough to be nice to everyone and friends with everyone. I was the recipient of her kindness on a number of occasions, and I just wish I had gotten to know her better. I have loved having the opportunity to do so through the postings and pictures here and on facebook, and they have all confirmed what I already knew about what a special person she was. My deep condolences to her family and friends.

  113. Dear Jack,
    I cried at this news…
    Thanks for sharing this heart-felt tribute to Abby. My heart goes out to you, Isabel, Cynthia, Dan, Merlin, the children and extended family. I know you all gave everything you could…and then some more, in surrounding Abby and her family with love and support. All of you are an inspiring testimony to great courage, strength and love in the face of staggering tragedy.
    Like so many others who knew Abby in the “Belmont years”, I felt she conveyed this simple, wonderfully youthful, sense of joy and wonder and caring. She had such a big heart and expressive, vivacious energy. She bought a responsive smile to many a face. It was always sucha treat to attend the her performances in Belmont, at John Hancock Hall and, then, some in New York City.
    I am grateful, indeed very fortunate, to have experienced Abby’s goodness, joy and thoughtfulness.
    Warmest thoughts and deep caring to all the family.

  114. My heartfelt condolences to Abby’s family and friends…

    ” It is hard to sing of oneness when our world is not complete, when those who once brought wholeness to our lives have gone, and naught but memory can fill the emptiness their passing leaves behind.

    But memory can tell us only what we were, in company with those we loved; it cannot help us find what each of us, alone, must now become. Yet no one is really alone; those who live no more, echo still within our thoughts and words, and what they did is part of what we have become.

    We do best homage to our dead when we live our lives most fully, even in the shadow of our loss. For each of our lives is worth the life of the whole world; in each one is the breath of the Ultimate One, in affirming the One, we affirm the worth if each one whose life, now ended, brought us closer to the Source of life, in whose unity no one is alone and every life finds purpose.”

    May the memory of Abby be for a blessing and continue to bless your whole family…

    Shalom and Love,
    Sheryl Nissen

  115. I am so sorry to hear about Abby’s passing. I went to Adler with Abby. I remember her as a strong, friendly, and beautiful. My heart goes out to her family and friends. May your memories of her comfort you at this time of loss.

  116. Dear Isabel, Jack, Merlin, Cynthia, and Dan,
    Dorothy and I have been following Abby’s saga through Sierra. How could this be? How could this be? The heart can’t fathom this. Abby was always a bright light, a shining star, a lover of life. Even when we knew her as a youngster, or in high school, or later in her family life, it was always special to be with her. And because of the way she made good contact, Abby continues. It’s not the same by a long shot, but she continues through each of you, through her children, through Sierra and all her friends, through Dorothy and me, through the numberless people she touched. Even though we miss her, she is a blessing forever.
    much love, John and Dorothy

  117. To the Freeman and Larsen families; I never had the pleasure of knowing Abby and Merlin, but I do know Steve and Robin and Gwyneth Larsen. This news is devastating to all who are familiar with the family and their rich love and commitment. I am so sorry to hear this news, but I believe God is building an army of angels to protect and care for us. Abby will be amongst them (probably in the forefront ) and she will keep a close eye on Merlin and the children. She is an inspiration to all and I only regret that I never saw her perform, meet, and give her my spiritual strength. (one can never have enough). Blessings and love to the Freeman’s and Larsens from me and my children , Cathy and Rich (Schwab).

  118. My deepest sympathy goes out to your entire family. I remember Abby from our childhood on Watson Road. She was so kindhearted and always seemed to be full of sunshine–such a beautiful being.


  119. I remember Abby from high school as not just beautiful and talented, but also friendly and kind. It’s wonderful to read about the woman she became and all the lives she touched, but it’s heartbreaking to hear that she’s gone – or rather, gone ahead. So unfair.

    Much love to all of you. I am holding you in the light, as the Quakers say.

  120. Dear Jack, Isabel, Cynthia, and Dan

    Having read Jack’s beautiful tribute and some of the other messages this afternoon, our eyes were too misty to submit our own post then. So, here is another try —

    Although long-time members of First Church Belmont, having younger children meant that we watched all of you from somewhat of a distance
    — but from one that produced memories of a shared community over many years. Visions of the special glow and energy that Abby brought to her church performances or simply to entering a room are among these, and it seems that “glow,” “light,” and similar words are mentioned in so many other messages. As former performing arts faculty, our interest grew to amazement as we heard more and more about Abby’s training and significant career, even after all of you relocated to CA. Some of her work went far beyond skill and creativity as less courageous performers could never have mustered it.

    Suddenly, we are forced to remember that breast cancer is still a terrible scourge among us — one that causes searing pain to the immediate and extended family as well. May heartfelt sympathies from afar combine with the love of friends and family nearby to carry all of you through this most difficult of times. Our condolences also to Abby’s husband, children, other relatives, and loved ones.

    Alice Trexler and Downing Cless, 1st Church UU, Belmont, MA

  121. Josh and I are deeply saddened by Abby’s passing. While remininsing we both remarked on Abby’s sense of herself even as a teenager. Most of us were insecure but Abby always seemed confident. She was at peace with herself and had a presence to her that made everyone feel at ease. And as many have already commented, she was a bright light and talent. Our thoughts and prayers are with all of you. May you find comfort in each other and your wonderful memories.

  122. To Merlin and the Freeman Family,

    My family and I are praying for you all through this difficult time. We send love and our condolences. We remember so many good times on Watson Rd. We moved when I was 7 but we remember so many great times with Abby, and there are so many more from my brothers and sister. I remember dancing in your basement…..playing games or even Abby and Johnny walking us to Burbank School when starting kindergarten. Many years have passed but I will never forget how kind and fun Abby was. I will never forget seeing her perform in plays and what an amazing actress she was. I was close to front row for Bye Bye birdie I think it was her senior class play. I have seen many plays…. but Abby’s performance was the best. I knew her and I was so proud! I would only dream to have the courage to get up and perform like that. It was natural to her. Will never forget that. She was beautiful inside and out. Our deepest sympathy to all of you.

    The Labanara Family

  123. Dear Jack, Isabel, and all Freemans and Larsons-

    We are so very sorry for your awful loss! Thank you for sharing your memories of the brave, beautiful and bright spirit who is Abby. All these posts have said it so well, but we join our Belmont friends in remembering her as a sunny, strong, and gifted girl and woman.

    We hold you all in our thoughts and prayers.
    With love,
    Eliza, Ralph, Josiah and Amalia

  124. All week I have been trying to find words to send to all of you. words somehow never quite convey enough, or the right meaning in these saddest times in life. but this week, it feels like one of Maya Angelou’s poems is fitting.
    we will all miss Abby’s presence in the world. she has meant so much to so many of us over so many years.

    Tears, by Maya Angelou

    The crystal rags
    Viscous tatters
    of a worn-through soul

    Deep swan song
    Blue farewell
    of a dying dream

  125. For Abby: A Pantoun
    Stephen Larsen, New Paltz, NY
    June 8, 2014

    My tears are like the summer storms today.
    They come from this aching blue sky,
    All of her life, there was love, joy and play,
    Her suffering breaks open my heart, and I sigh.

    Against this aching blue sky,
    there are fleecy white clouds today.
    Her suffering breaks open my heart, and I sigh.
    Beyond wordless love there is nothing to say.

    There are fleecy white clouds today.
    This flowering tugs at my soul, till tomorrow,
    Beyond wordless love, there is nothing to say.
    No tincture of joy without sorrow.

    This flowering tugs at my soul, till tomorrow.
    My tears are like the summer storms today,
    No tincture of joy without sorrow,
    All of her life there was love, joy and play.

  126. Today, we had an appreciation brunch at JWT in which we remembered Abby with such fondness, and such gratitude. Abby was a driving force by which we are creating the women’s torah stories of our times for the future. She was filled with hope, creative skills, great acting chops, good business sense, and an incredible work ethic to make these stories our legacy to the future. She was so lovely and had such a wonderful sense of humor. Please tell her children that these gifts given by Abby will be paid forward, many times over.

    She was so beautiful, inside and out, and we shall miss her so much.

    May your cherished memories bring you strength and shalom. We said Kaddish at Temple Isaiah for her on Shabbat.

    Gail, A Jewish Women’s Theatre Board Member

  127. Abby is a true angel. There isn’t a person who met her that wasn’t positively affected by her.

    One my favorite memories was watching the sunrise on the beach with her and a family of dolphins swam by all jumping out of the water. It made her so happy!

    My heart and thoughts go out to her family and everybody who loved Abby…

  128. Words cannot express how sorry we are for your loss Merlin. Abby was such a lovely person, inside and out, and her presence in this world will sorely be missed. My heart goes out to you and the kids.
    May she be swimming with the dolphins right now!
    All our love and support,
    Nonie, Dan, Samantha and Ben

  129. Dear Freemans,

    I’ve been thinking about you all a lot. About Abby and all our shows together. About Playgroup with Liam and Toby and Cynthia. All the UU fun and joy and faith we experienced and developed as a small community within all of our other circles of friends. We were collectors of friends, Abby and I. I know she was because of the diversity of voices and spirits that morn her death and celebrate the little things she gave them over the years. I have been grappling with my own challenges this last month and wrote to Abby one night from the hospital. I wanted her to know I wouldn’t forget. I wouldn’t forget any of the adventures, the learnings, the trials, the shows, the music, the carol of the bells.

    I’ve struggled to come to grips with your death, Abby. I’m working really hard right now, but it wasn’t fair and I’m so sorry. But we did a lot of singing as kids together so the best I can do is offer you a song – I recently heard it any it made me cry again, but it made me smile knowing I’ll be telling Macy and Livy in the years ahead about the songs we sang and the beauty and grace you brought to us all through your friendship with so many people.

    “When you get up in the mornin’ and you see that crazy sun
    Keep me in your heart for a while
    There’s a train leavin’ nightly called “When All is Said and Done”
    Keep me in your heart for a while” Warren Zevon

    You are missed and remembered,

    Lots of love,


  130. I did not know Abby very well, but performed a few times with her at BHS. There are not many people that I would describe as a lovely person, but I think Abby would definitely be described that way. What an amazing tribute to her to see all the people here that she touched throughout her life.

    My deepest condolences,

    Emily (Brassard) Walt

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