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Remembering a Daughter

In poignant eulogy, Lu Lingzi’s father recalls “little jolly girl,” love of beauty

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Last night, Lu Lingzi’s father, Lu Jun, spoke to a crowd of approximately 1,200 mourners gathered in the Metcalf Ballroom for a memorial service for Lu Lingzi (GRS’14), who was killed in the Boston Marathon bombings on April 15. His eulogy appears below.

Respected faculty members, classmates, ladies, and gentlemen:

First of all, on behalf of our whole family, I would like to thank you all for coming to attend my daughter’s memorial service; our thanks goes to Boston University, the Chinese and American consulates, and other people who are involved, for your kindness, hospitality, and careful and meticulous organization and arrangement for this service. I also would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to Lingzi’s classmates and professors, who over the past few days made every effort to look for her and provided my family with tremendous help and assistance. Thank you so very, very much!

Now I would like to make the following statement to comfort the heavenly soul of my beloved daughter.

Lu Lingzi was born on August 17, 1989, in Shenyang, Liaoning Province, China, into a very ordinary family, where three generations lived together in an incredibly close-knit and extremely happy environment. As a little girl, Lingzi demonstrated her intelligence, kindness, and attractiveness; she was the family’s Shirley Temple, if you will, the little elf and the little jolly girl, bringing everybody in the family ceaseless laughter, lightheartedness, and fun. She took piano lessons, practiced calligraphy, danced, and even acted as a show hostess; whatever she set her mind to, she would do a great job; her interests were very diverse; she was naturally openhearted, energetic, verbal, and communicative. With everyone around her, whether it was a relative, family friends, or neighbors, old and young, she would, without exception, develop meaningful relationships and make them happy. We could take Lingzi anywhere; she often would join us at parties and company events.

From a very young age, Lingzi was never shy; she was full of confidence on the stage, playing the piano and dancing. At home, in family reunions, she would offer to perform tongue-twisters, piano pieces, and to sing songs. At her maternal great-grandmother’s 90th birthday party, her grandfather’s 70th and 80th birthday parties, and my parents’ birthday parties, she would, on behalf of the whole family, give congratulatory speeches and offer best wishes. Her compassion, sweet voice, and beautiful smiles will forever stay in my heart and mind.

After she entered the elementary school, Lingzi worked extremely hard, always challenged herself, and set high standards. Academically, she had been outstanding all those years. When she graduated from the elementary school, she placed fifth in the entire class, entering Northeast Yucai Middle School, the best of the city; when the time came for the National Entrance Examinations, again she performed well, ranking third among the whole class of extremely competent students in a highly competitive process, and she was accepted by the Beijing Technological University.

She set her life and career goals early on, determined to go abroad to see the world and become an independent and well-educated woman; she knew what she needed and never wavered in pursuing them. At college, if anything, she worked even more diligently, and as a result, won school scholarships every year. Besides required courses, she particularly worked hard on her English, getting up very early in the morning and staying up late to study; she was also actively involved in different community programs, social activities, and volunteered extensively. She participated in internships at Deloitte Consulting, at banks, and at securities firms.

Lingzi used every opportunity and made every effort to learn about international college acceptance requirements. In college, she was extremely busy, independently working on her goals, without much help from us. To make her dreams come true, she was relentless and spared no efforts.

When learning the wonderful news that she was accepted by this beautiful Boston University, she was thrilled and ecstatic. It was God-given and well-deserved; we were all so happy for her and proud of her.

During her spare time, Lingzi showed another aspect of her personality; she yearned for life, loved beauty, and pursued happiness. While in middle school, she impressed all of us by successfully passing the toughest eighth-grade piano test; she had a great passion and a tremendous taste for music, possessing a large collection of music CDs by Chinese and international masters. Before she left for America, she asked us to take good care of them, her invaluable treasures over the years, and told us that she would come back to enjoy them later on. After piano lessons, she wanted to do more, on various occasions expressing interest in guzheng, an ancient Chinese string instrument. Even after we told her that this instrument was not practical, that lessons were too expensive, and asked her to reconsider, she was not persuaded. She continued her interest because she believed the instrument was beautiful. She was passionate about beautiful things, and she was determined to learn how to play it. Lingzi loved all things beautiful.

Yet she loved eating delicious food even more, a self-proclaimed connoisseur, remembering every food she had ever tried. She used to dream of becoming a dough master or bread baker.

Lingzi, like other girls of her age, was sentimental and had high hopes for her future. Years of hard work and busy study schedules occasionally took a toll on her energy level and made her feel exhausted; sometimes she would speak out, saying she was ready to call it quits—and just find a good man to marry. During school breaks, she would indulge in romance novels and love stories.

I can keep talking about my daughter’s stories for days and nights. During the past several days, everyone in the family, no matter what they were doing or where they were, could not help seeing Lingzi’s smiles and replaying her life stories in our minds!

Alas, she is gone; how can our living move on? She is gone, but our memories of her are very much alive.

An ancient Chinese saying says, Every child is actually a little Buddha that helps their parents mature and grow up. Even though we brought up Lingzi, and yet today while reflecting on her short twenty-four-year life, we as parents admire and appreciate her kindness, courage, and her yearning for a beautiful life!

Lingzi, you are simply the best!

Just shortly before we came here, your former teachers, classmates, as well as strangers on the website back at home, all spontaneously gathered in the Shenyang Central Square one evening. They lit candles, and held a ceremony in your memory. Your elementary home-room teacher wrote, “May you remain as jolly as a little elf in the heavenly garden!”

Before I finish, I would like to quote a poem published in the Shenyang Evening News on April 18, to console Lingzi and all those who perished and were wounded in the attack:

You’re a beautiful girl from Shenyang,
The pride of your parents,
An honor of Yucai,
Last night, Shenyang, your hometown,
Lit you an everlasting candle,
Lighting up your path to heaven,
So that you won’t lose your way anymore,
There will be no bombs,
Or terrorist attacks in its path,
In tears, we hear you say, the forever young,
“Dear Dad and Mom, don’t cry,
I love you!
If there is an after-life, I will be your daughter again!”
May the perished rest in peace, and the survivors be strong.

Our eternal thanks to the poet. We owe a tremendous sense of gratitude to all the teachers, professors, and classmates who had loved and cared for Lingzi in her life.

Thank you!

Smooth journey, Lingzi! Thank you.

71 Comments

71 Comments on Remembering a Daughter

  • F.B. King on 04.23.2013 at 7:37 am

    Heartbreaking. A cherished daughter lost … I cannot imagine anything more painful … bless these fine people and may time ease this terrible wound.

  • SSmith on 04.23.2013 at 8:51 am

    I’m in tears reading this. Powerful and moving tribute. Thanks for sharing in its entirety.

  • Kasey Elliott on 04.23.2013 at 9:18 am

    Beautiful.

  • on 04.23.2013 at 9:42 am

    叔叔、阿姨,我会继承令子姐姐的梦想的!

  • 庄志毅 on 04.23.2013 at 10:06 am

    我参加了117届波士顿马拉松。我和我的跑友们永远都不会忘记吕令子。我们的心都碎了!

  • Laura on 04.23.2013 at 11:39 am

    My heart goes out to you. With much love…

  • David Bee on 04.23.2013 at 11:47 am

    The moving eulogy by Ling-zi’s Father apparently was about Her chosen-English-name Dorothy, which means “gift of God”.

  • BU on 04.23.2013 at 12:02 pm

    What amazing strength from such wonderful, loving parents.

  • R.N. Grady on 04.23.2013 at 12:09 pm

    Her father is extremely eloquent despite his immense pain. A beautiful tribute to a wonderful person whom all will miss.

  • Donovan Lu on 04.23.2013 at 1:39 pm

    她的笑容永远在我们心中

  • Nicky on 04.23.2013 at 3:33 pm

    The enduring love from the amazing father…. I am in tears

  • David on 04.23.2013 at 4:16 pm

    Iris Chang and now Lingzi. They will enjoy each other on the journey. So much alike. It is so understandable to see how these women came to be when you see their parents and family. Can we try and say “never again?” I guess that’s what Hope is….

  • AresYuen on 04.23.2013 at 4:47 pm

    I can’t stop my tears falling in reading this…

  • 旭卿 on 04.23.2013 at 5:13 pm

    parents are the most wonderful. Enduring love~

  • John M - Texas on 04.23.2013 at 7:08 pm

    To all who read – please forgive the length – The tears started on Monday and increased as it was learned this wonderful young woman was among those who had been taken from us so early in life. I did not know her and were it not for this event likely never would have ,, the hurt and saddness has been felt each time I see a photo of her, esp the one on the podium ,, these were the eyes of the future. For her father to stand and present his daughter in her life as he did took great courage. I have felt, as he does now, the same need for inner strength when being faced with such a loss. For those around Lingzi, who loved her, knew her and now surround her family – thank you all ,, you will never know the amount of strength and comfort it provides to those who have lost such a treasure. To Mr and Mrs Lu, may you find comfort in your loss knowing that Lingzi’s journey had filled those around her with love, great happiness and endless memories. She will be missed in her presence, but remembered always in her spirit. You are in our eternal fathers arms now little star, may you find comfort in your saddness and joy in the love you have given to many.

  • ken on 04.23.2013 at 7:58 pm

    can’t stop my tears even i am a guy. Lingzi, REST IN PEACE!

  • Jim in NOLA on 04.23.2013 at 8:04 pm

    This is among the most beautiful things ever written, and yet done so during a time of such overwhelming sorrow. Our prayers here in New Orleans are with you, and in time may you find peace in your heart!

  • Monica on 04.23.2013 at 8:56 pm

    My prayers are with you and your family

  • Hengdong Cui on 04.23.2013 at 10:57 pm

    As a alumnus of BU, and also father of two lovely kids, I can imagine how painful this father feels now. Yes, may the perished rest in peace, and the survivors be strong. God bless the parents!

  • Audrey on 04.23.2013 at 11:18 pm

    Such sadness! May all of your beautiful memories comfort you in your time of sorrow. What a lovely child.

  • Bert on 04.24.2013 at 12:19 am

    Beautiful words. Easy to see how much she was loved. God bless.

  • Noura Tabbara on 04.24.2013 at 1:29 am

    May Her Soul Rest In Peace. She was a Great and Loving Daughter . I hope she is in a Better and Peaceful Place Now. Our Prayers Are With All Her Dear Family.

  • Karla on 04.24.2013 at 2:32 am

    Absolutely Beautiful, just like how they described her. Im speechless she had such a great future ahead. Prayers from Calironia are with her family, and loved ones.

  • Paul on 04.24.2013 at 11:21 am

    It is obvious to anyone who ever gazed upon your daughter’s face that she was filled with wonder and joy and that was the gift she gave to those of us already claimed by cynicism. Your daughter had a beautiful spirit and she shared that with all of us. I weep not only for you and your daughter, but for the world she had so much to offer. Please forgive us; we failed to protect your beautiful, precious, baby girl. Believe me when I say to you that we are all broken, with nothing left but a burning desire for justice in an unjust world.

  • Jiang Lan on 04.24.2013 at 1:33 pm

    Lu Ling Zi is the same age as my older son. Her parents are probably the same age as me. I can’t imagine the pain of losing such a beautiful and talented daughter, especially the only child they have. Life will never be the same again for them. No words can express my sorrow for such a tragedy. Only time and tears will slowly heal the wounds in their hearts.

    • Michele Plaisimond on 04.24.2013 at 4:27 pm

      Such a beautiful and moving eulogy. I am a BU Alumnus, 2 of my children go to BU. My sincere condolences to you the parents and the entire family. I can’t stop the tears… Sending you Love and Courage.

  • xue on 04.24.2013 at 9:56 pm

    Bless. We will remember.

  • Zhen Pan on 04.26.2013 at 12:55 am

    R.I.P

  • Mike on 04.27.2013 at 3:27 am

    Lu Jun, I can’t imagine the pain of losing your daughter. I am an American teacher in China, having lived here for long enough so that my own daughter, who is only one year older than Lingzi, grew up in China. I pray that you will have God’s peace to comfort you as you walk this difficult road.

  • Beth Mackey on 04.27.2013 at 11:07 am

    Dear JoAnn, Thank you for sharing this moving eulogy with the world. We will never know what Lu Ling Zi would have accomplished in this world. May her sweet and bright influence travel for generations.
    Very touching .

  • 非哥 on 04.29.2013 at 4:45 am

    可怜天下父母心!

  • Wendy on 04.29.2013 at 4:52 am

    Hope his loving daughter have peace in the heaven.

  • cjoe on 04.29.2013 at 4:54 am

    i am an alumni from bit, can not hold back my tears. lingzi, rest in peace and born as kind and lovely as in this life in your next life.

  • 木旦云峰 on 04.29.2013 at 4:56 am

    愿死者安息,生者坚强。

  • Quentin on 04.29.2013 at 5:13 am

    RIP.

  • LV on 04.29.2013 at 5:19 am

    Lv Lingzi, miss you forever!

  • Maureen Mo on 04.29.2013 at 5:52 am

    May this beautiful girl rest in peace in the Heaven. She is truly a beautiful, hardworking, and kind soul.My prayers go to her family.

  • Hugh on 04.29.2013 at 6:11 am

    Full of tears, rest in peace, the beautiful elf!

  • yuan jinfu on 04.29.2013 at 6:35 am

    May the perished rest in peace, and the survivors be strong.

    PEACE!

  • Dora LOU on 04.29.2013 at 6:35 am

    I am the only child in my familiy and a chinese girl studying abroad. After reading it, I cannot image that if my mum loses me… How painful the father is… Lingzi.. We will remember you…

  • fandi on 04.29.2013 at 6:45 am

    rest in peace,Lingzi.

  • 淼焱 on 04.29.2013 at 6:47 am

    滴滴深情,字字泣泪

  • Peter You on 04.29.2013 at 6:52 am

    He was really a great father! I felt sorry about the death of Lingzi, I wish she will be happy in heaven. Pray for her.

  • 陆利成 on 04.29.2013 at 6:53 am

    很美的一个女孩。

  • Summer Shen on 04.29.2013 at 7:04 am

    Wish Lingzi peace and happiness in the Heaven!

  • James Li on 04.29.2013 at 7:25 am

    So beautiful words.My tears could only be hold on my eyes in reading it.

  • Tracy on 04.29.2013 at 8:06 am

    what a wonderful parents! Lingzi was really lucky to have you guys as her family. I couldn’t imagine how much it hurts for this family. May she rest in peace.

  • Paul C. Chou on 04.29.2013 at 8:36 am

    Lu while in college in Beijing, China, volunteered at Junior Achievement China. At her young age, she showed that she cares! She left something good behind, JA China is part of her story and her legacy. We thank her deeply. We do everything for the benefits of the young people of China. She is one of us at JA China. Always!

  • yicheng on 04.29.2013 at 8:40 am

    被感动了,生命很美好也很脆弱,如果真的有天堂,希望你在那里能快乐的生活下去。

  • Chalene on 04.29.2013 at 8:56 am

    May your family find comfort and peace.

  • 邱杭锴 on 04.29.2013 at 9:07 am

    As a chinese student, i have read his moving eulogy four times with tears. I can not image what support a great father to finish tribute. wish lingzi rest in peace, god bless the parents.

  • 吴伊帆 on 04.29.2013 at 9:24 am

    我和令子是同一届的,希望令子走好,在另一个世界里开开心心的。Death is not the opposite of life, it exists as a part of it.

  • Ye Chen on 04.29.2013 at 9:32 am

    This world lost a beautiful, elegant, and a smart lady, we will miss you. rest in peace, Lingzi!

  • Xun Jiao on 04.29.2013 at 9:59 am

    To Lingzi’s father:
    May everthing goes well for Lingzi in heaven. May you and your family enjoy your future life. The wound would be healed as time goes by. Be strong. And I believe that Lingzi would always be with you. You are great parents.

  • Neal Wang on 04.29.2013 at 10:27 am

    RIP

  • 光大 on 04.29.2013 at 10:27 am

    deeply moved!May the perished rest in peace, and the survivors be strong.

  • bobhopes on 04.29.2013 at 10:29 am

    The father of Lingzi in old age can see life in this way ,will less suffer the truth of death since his daughter’ life he cares for will continue and will encourage most of us moving on.

  • Thomas on 04.29.2013 at 1:04 pm

    everybody needs to carry on after the catastrophy, 逝者安息,生者坚强

  • Yanna on 04.29.2013 at 3:18 pm

    逝者安息,生者坚强!

  • 卓民 on 04.29.2013 at 7:45 pm

    虽然素不认识,但是希望你能够安息。希望你的父母不要太过悲哀。

  • Yun Zhao on 04.29.2013 at 8:49 pm

    Talent and attactive, such a wonderful girl! I am sure during the 24 years of life, her life was full of love and pride, Wish no more pain in heaven. Rest in peace, Lingzi!

  • Wen on 04.29.2013 at 10:25 pm

    有些人热爱生活,全心全意地想要活得更精彩,但是上天却不给他们这个机会活下去。想想我们这些活着的人,还有什么理由虚度时光碌碌无为呢?还有什么理由在这人生有限的时光里不去活得更精彩呢?愿逝去的人在天堂里安息,愿还活着的人们珍惜这美好的时光。

  • Tom Niu on 04.30.2013 at 3:09 am

    除了微笑,没有什么能改变这个世界。 —— 吕令子,愿你安息,我们永远记得你和你的微笑。

  • Tracy Wang on 04.30.2013 at 4:21 am

    She will be happy there,you must believe.

  • max wan on 04.30.2013 at 5:43 am

    such a wonderful girl!

  • Yan Wu on 04.30.2013 at 6:22 am

    Rest in peace!

  • 付文倩 on 05.01.2013 at 10:23 am

    她真的是很棒,和她比起来真是差太多,从她的身上感到了力量,沈阳的骄傲。
    一路走好

  • 喆明 on 05.02.2013 at 12:30 am

    令子,我们永远记得你。

  • Yitian on 05.02.2013 at 3:53 pm

    May Lingzi rest in peace! May Lingzi’s parents recover from the sorrow soon!

  • liping on 05.04.2013 at 10:33 am

    That day was my first working day in Hopkinton, MA. I sat there at the start point of malathon, can not image such a kind, beautiful girl would pass away at the end.
    really sad for you! God bless you in heaven!

  • HanFuture on 05.18.2013 at 11:12 am

    Smooth Journey. God bless you in heaven!

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