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A Funeral Fit For A Kennedy

May 27, 2014 

Before tonight's episode of Real Housewives of New York begins, I have to say that Sonja is one of the sweetest, caring, loving people I've ever known, and it's been a wonderful privilege to be her friend and help her when I can.

Last year, Sonja's dog and companion, Millou, passed away after eighteen years by Sonja's side. Eighteen years! How much more loyal can a dog be? Sonja loved that beautiful creature, and he was a great friend and comfort to her.




Photo by Andrew Werner

Sonja asked me to deliver a eulogy at the funeral for Millou. It was such an honor. Sonja reached out to me because I think she knew that I would understand how important it was for her. I've delivered eulogies for my mother and father in front of all my friends and family. I've read Thoreau at my brother Duane's funeral. I believe it's one of the greatest privileges that the living have, to honor the faithful departed in a way that celebrates their time with the living.

It was an event that we all took very seriously. Sonja and the other housewives showed up in regal dresses and fascinators, the men wore solemn suits. Everyone looked as if they had dressed for the funeral of a Kennedy.

We met on the upper east side. Champagne was served, and there was a beautiful framed photograph of Millou. He had been cremated, and Sonja wanted to scatter his ashes into the east river near the apartment they had first shared. It was a difficult event for Sonja, and understandably so. I couldn't help but think about about my own dog, Lucky, and how devastated I will be someday, hopefully far, far into the future, when Lucky leaves me.

As I delivered my eulogy, it was a stunning sight to see all of the beautiful housewives standing in solemn solidarity with Sonja. There was no bickering, no arguing, no drama or conflict of any kind. The seriousness of death, even for a dog, brought all these ladies together to support Sonja. That's the bottom line: We all were there because we love Sonja and want to support her in her time of sorrow and grief. There aren't many events that can unify people like a funeral. There's something about it that says as long as we're all alive, we're all in it together. On that day, we were all in it together for Sonja.

Carole Radziwill also delivered a beautiful tribute to Millou, who turned out to be quite famous when she googled him. After, we stood on the edge and looked out over the east river. As Sonja sprinkled his ashes into the water, the wind picked up and blew some of the ashes onto the sidewalk, which Luan was the first to call out.

I believe it was a cathartic experience for Sonja. After the funeral, as we were all walking to lunch, Sonja stopped and looked in the window of a pet store at a little dog that looked just like Millou when he was a baby. I know she misses him more than words can say.

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