Henry Ward Beecher said, “Every charitable act is a step towards heaven.” If that is true, then Emily Spiegel ascended the steps towards nirvana many times while with us at CC. There are some people who carry bliss with them, who know how to make a paradise in a world where hate and suffering exist —Emily was one of those people. A moment with Emily was a moment not wasted — it was a respite from the stresses and pressures of everyday life. People often remark how around Emily, humor seemed to appear times when happiness would previously not have taken root, how a simple welcome could turn into a two to three hour conversation, and how “how are you?” from her could result in you pouring out your deepest concerns to her. She radiated trust and hope.
Emily lived with extraordinary depth and sincerity, and during her short timewith us; she lived more fully than most others would be lucky to see in many lifetimes. Above all, Emily was a fighter, a crusader who believed in us all. With her sword of love and shield of compassion, and propelled by absolute empathy, she stubbornly refused to lose a battle when the lives of others were affected. Our needs and fears, our joys and hopes, were hers. She comforted us in our darkest times and celebrated our triumphs as if they were her own. Emily was a friend to all, a companion to the brokenhearted and downtrodden, and a beacon of charisma and invincible energy in the darkness of everyday banality. Her only enemy was the overwhelming illness she fought. And yet, even as she suffered though immense personal hardship, her foremost concern was always for others.
We in student government are heartbroken and hollow without Emily’s smile, works of kindness, and energy. But her departure does not end her labors in student government. We will make every effort, confront every fight, and exhaust every resource to fulfill Emily’s plans as a Vice-President of Student Concerns. In the coming days, we will be asking from help from the student body to see that her vision is realized.
As was said during Emily’s vigil, we have not lost her completely. One of the most beautiful and moving parts of Emily’s legacy is the pieces of herself she gave away to us all. All those who were touched by her carry the lessons she taught us, a part of our hearts that is filled with the absolute joy, selflessness, and courage that she embodied. Those gifts are priceless, and we should make every effort to nurture the virtues she lived every day. As long as there are people at this school who chose to smile at a stranger on the way to class, who invite the struggling first year to dinner, who make a surprise batch of soup to the sick student down the hall, or who have the courage to speak out about their own struggles and ask for help, Emily will live on. – CCSGA