“What a beautiful difference one life made.”

To Abigail’s Parents and Family

I had the privilege of knowing Abigail for only a few hours but what a wonderful few hours. The occasion was the RMC reunion in September, 2017. Abigail was my dinner guest for the evening at the Old Brigade dinner.

Abigail was the Pipe Major and Piper for the evening ceremonies. She was an awesome piper and performed with the knowledge of all the traditions associated with the event and piping.

Between her duties and dinner she shared with me some of her training experiences and some of her goals. She had a clear vision of the years ahead and a career in the CAF. It was so refreshing to have a young person articulate their passion for the life ahead.

Abigail had to leave to perform at another event. Everyone at the table commented on how impressed and confidant they were that Abigail would be an outstanding officer. It was extraordinary that we all made that judgment in that short space of time.

The loss of Abigail is tragic and I am deeply saddened as I share these few memories. It is important for you to know that she touched my life.

“What a beautiful difference one life made.”

5482 Jim Furlong Class of ’62


Aux parents et à la famille d’Abigail

Je n’ai eu la chance de côtoyer Abigail que pendant quelques heures, mais ce fut tout de même un grand privilège. C’était en septembre 2017, à l’occasion de la réunion du Collège militaire royal du Canada. Abigail était assise à ma table lors du banquet de la Vieille Brigade.

Elle était cornemuseuse-major et jouait de son instrument pendant les cérémonies de la soirée. Musicienne très douée, elle a fait honneur aux traditions associées à l’événement et à l’art de la cornemuse.

Entre l’exercice de ses fonctions officielles et le repas, elle m’a parlé de ses expériences d’apprentissage et de quelques-uns de ses objectifs. Elle avait une vision très nette des prochaines années et de sa carrière au sein des Forces armées canadiennes. C’était véritablement inspirant d’entendre cette jeune personne parler de son avenir avec une telle passion.

Abigail a malheureusement dû quitter la soirée prématurément, car elle devait participer à un autre événement. Tous les convives assis à la table ont eu des commentaires fort élogieux à son endroit, convaincus qu’elle deviendrait une officière exceptionnelle. Cette unanimité après si peu de temps témoigne de son caractère extraordinaire.

Le décès d’Abigail est tragique et j’éprouve une peine immense en me remémorant ces quelques souvenirs. Je tiens à vous dire qu’elle m’aura marqué à jamais.

« Une vie peut en enrichir une multitude d’autres. »

5482 Jim Furlong, promotion de 1962

5 Comments

  • Ron Stewart

    May 25, 2020 at 1:16 pm

    Well said Jim. Too often we sit idly by hoping that someone else will say what we have left unsaid. Your tribute will help lessen the pain of loss for Abigail’s family and friends.
    6940 Ron Stewart class of 66

  • Gilles E. Girard

    May 25, 2020 at 4:11 pm

    Je n’ai pas eu la chance de la connaître comme Jim et supporte le commentaire de mon collègue Ron. Son départ pour d’autres cieux et son regard sur sa photo m’a touché au coeur. Quelle perte pour sa famille et le Canada!
    7087 Gilles E. Girard Classe 66

  • Gerry Stowe

    May 28, 2020 at 3:55 pm

    Abbigail performed on the bagpipes at three successive Old Brigade Dinners. After her first time, she asked me if I would request that she come back the next two years. As with Jim Furlong’s comments, I was privileged to have her join the Head Table , where she impressed everyone by her confidence and social ease, especially considering that all of us were at least 50 years older than she. A truly remarkable young woman to be taken so soon.
    I read in the excellent and heartfelt obituary written by Abbigail’s mother that she sang enthusiastically but not well. I watched and heard her and her classmate and friend Eliza Bruce sing a duet at the Concert in Scarlets a few years ago, and it was beautifully done and moved many in the audience to tears, including me.