The Passage of a Wise Woman
When Helen and I married in 1983 we each knew we were in for a vast leap in spiritual awareness and growth caused by the inter-play of our two unique characters. We both totally underestimated, however, what a magnificent and challenging and deeply rewarding journey we were embarking upon.
Helen’s legacy is quite profound, and even though I am still in a deep mourning state, Helen’s living spirit is helping me to muster the energy needed to share her (our) message with you. Helen (we) would like to share the following wisdom with you which we learned in the crucible of dealing with the unknown, dealing with the “grim reaper” and dealing with incredible pain and suffering:
a) “En-thuse-iasm” is the elixir of life. I often think of Helen as the “cosmic imp”!
b) Fear of death is fear of life. Love of life is the anti-dote for fear of death. To the degree that you don’t risk, to that degree you don’t live.
c) “Memorable times” are the substance of a meaningful life. Nurture them and cherish them and they bloom again.
d) The deeper you love, the greater the pain in separation, but it is worth it. Take time to mourn. Pick up the pieces. Jump back into the roulette wheel of life as soon as you are ready.
e) If you are stuck and/or withdrawing into a cocoon after a long time, elicit help from other folks who have traveled the same route and meaningfully survived.
f) It is better to lead two years of life crowded with joy and loving kindness than to live 70 years acquiring artifacts and wealth and being too busy to experience each sacred precious moment.
g) Be strong even though you may experience Sartre’s “Encounter with Nothingness”. Paradoxically we are starkly alone and finite and also immersed in the sea of humanity simultaneously. Come up between the paradox. Have the courage to face the abyss and also to smile upon others and spread cheer and compassion as you navigate through your moment, your day, your year.
h) Probably Helen’s (our) main wisdom – as any of her dozens of women-friends will recall is – “stand on your own!” Not independently, but inter-dependently. We enrich our culture and heal our en-viron-ment by reducing our child-like ir-response-abilities to a minimum.
As a legacy to our beloved Helen all three of us are committed to obtaining an advanced degree and using it to improve the human condition – myself in mediation with Helen posthumously on the degree, Robin in psychology and Tanah in environmental studies.
By being married to Helen for seven years she/I/we were graced and allowed to tap in on a field of energy that we hope that you have or will experience. It must be the pinnacle of human experience because we have felt that our minds would pop if we got any higher.
Some North American Native folks give tribal members a second spiritual name (not their birth name) when it is ascertained that their “body-vehicle” manifests an energy that has existed in the tribal historical fabric before. Several generations can pass without there being a living em-bodi-ment of this particular type of energy. The concept of re-incarnation is merely a pop-psychology, simplistic version of this energy-form concept. In the last four years fighting, transcending and learning to live with cancer, Helen had become what she described as a “medicine woman”. We both experienced her old, former self with all its weights and baggage go out through the roof one night. From that point on she displayed all the above-mentioned characteristics described in this “eulogy”. This transcendence took place when she was in full healthy “confident” remission about one year ago.
Even though Helen was almost totally comatose in her last several days in the hospital, she still was “good to the last drop”. From her unconscious state she rose twice, physically, to express thanks and “good-bye” to people she cared deeply about. If these two events were performed by anyone else but by a person like Helen they could have been described as miracles.
It is patently obvious to me that Helen actually chose her moment of passage out of her body and into her spiritual energy field. We never said “Good-bye” because we both know that for us it will always be “Bye for now”.
Helen’s beautiful, loving smile, which attracted any child within eyesight of her, shall forever be emblazoned in our memories.
Helen’s last living wish, expressed without the advantages of speech and motion, was quite “clear” and “audible” to any who could hear: “Carry on where I left off!”