Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Memorial service info (day 28)

Hi, everyone.

My friend Val Syzmanski has confirmed the location for Nancy's memorial service. It will be held on February 8th, at 7pm, at Skeikokai Christ Church, 2140 Pierce Street, San Francisco. Her organization,, uses this location for their zen buddhist meditation and meeting space, and it sounds like it will be spacious and delightful. I look forward to seeing you there. You can see a map at

Today is our 28th day of mourning for Nancy, the fourth of seven weeks, more than halfway through. The shock of her death is wearing off, finally, and I'm now getting hit by the full force of her loss. I have depressed days, and know that I just need to open and let my feelings flow through me. When I do, the depression fades...and my feelings of sadness and tragedy can be overwhelming. I found her hair last weekend, the hair we removed last February when she was getting chemotherapy for leukemia...and I just lost it completely for a while. Sometimes, it's really hard to get anything done. But most of the time, I'm able to focus.

I'm getting stuff handled, cleaning out drawers, throwing away things, consolidating shoes and clothes, starting to tackle paperwork. One thing at a time, so I don't get overwhelmed. I have a roommate possibility, and I'll have to get to work on clearing the second floor of the house, one garage, and getting some finish details in the house taken care of. My list seems endless, but I'm just doing one thing at a time, and there is steady progress.

I've been learning more about the 49 days of mourning, and the theology from the Tibetan Book of the Dead. There is a remarkable Viking/Penguin edition of this book, with an introduction by HH The Dalai Lama, that is frankly blowing my mind. The introduction alone is a dense and very informative introduction to buddhist practice.

A friend suggested that I keep open to my intuitions about Nancy's passage, and indeed I am experiencing some strange feelings when I reach out to her that don't seem to be mine. Yesterday morning I felt very agitated, and had to go off for a few minutes at work to practice a tonglen meditation to transform fear into the heart-wisdom and love of Tara. It seemed to help. And I also have a strong sense that others are helping as well. She does feel more ethereal to me, the last time we connected. Perhaps I'm feeling more of my loss because indeed she is farther and farther away.

More stories! Send me your stories, and let me know if I can share them on this list!


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