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.
Smooth journey, Lingzi! Thank you.