IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. shares his moving eulogy for niece Saoirse Kennedy Hill

Kennedy delivered emotional words about his late niece, who died last week at the age of 22.
/ Source: TODAY

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has shared the moving eulogy he delivered at niece Saoirse Kennedy Hill’s funeral on Monday.

Hill, 22, was the only child of Robert Kennedy’s daughter, Courtney and Paul Michael Hill. She died last week of an apparent drug overdose at the family compound in Hyannis Port, Massachusetts.

She was “an outgoing imp with a rebellious nature, an irreverence towards authority and deep commitment to mischief all of which she might have inherited from both Courtney and Paul,” Kennedy said in his eulogy, which he posted on Medium.

Despite the fact Hill was an only child, Kennedy said she seamlessly blended into a larger family.

"She became a sister or daughter to a hundred Kennedys, Shrivers, and Lawfords. We all considered her our own,” he said. "“She had a knack for friendship that put her at the center of an enormous network of our relatives, and their friends, and their friends. She made herself the axel of a sprawling community. She was like a politician. Everywhere I went people knew Saoirse.”

"She was very, very, very easy to love,” he added.

Hill’s death stunned and saddened the Kennedy family.

"She left a gaping hole in the lives of all those who loved her dearly," Maria Shriver, the daughter of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, one of Robert F. Kennedy's sisters, wrote on Instagram.

Shriver's daughter, Katherine Schwarzenegger echoed her mother's sentiment.

"After wiping away the tears, after the beautiful sunsets, there is always a new day," she wrote on Instagram.

Schwarzenegger also used the moment to express her gratitude for being a member of her family.

"I feel so incredibly blessed to be part of such a loving, supportive and strong family that shows up in good times and in tough times," she wrote.

Hill was a student at Boston College who in 2016 wrote an article for her high school newspaper in which she admitted she once tried to commit suicide.

"Although I was mostly a happy child, I suffered bouts of deep sadness that felt like a heavy boulder on my chest,'' she wrote.

Kennedy said Hill had problems, but they didn’t detract from who she was.

"She understood that her feelings weren't facts; they were illusions,” he said. “Seersh separated herself from her illness. Feeling bad did not mean she was a bad person."

The Kennedy family has endured many tragedies, but Kennedy tried to look on the bright side.

“If anybody ever wondered whether God loves the Kennedys the proof is that he gave us Saoirse, this brilliant beam of light and laughter,” he said.

"Now, it’s time for us to cease being sad at her passing and to practice being grateful that we had her for 22 amazing years."