Tuesday, January 03, 2006

My friend has passed

I haven't fine-tuned my decisions about the afterlife exactly. I have a kind of bastard view that is one part reincarnation another part nebulous (we return to "energy" not dust). But when I first heard about the Buddhist concept of the Bardos many years ago, the name for the places the soul goes after death (temporarily, before reincarnation), I couldn't help but like the idea. In the Bardos the soul first realizes it is not in a body any longer and has a flash of recognition for the person it once was, then it goes on to another series of (three? six? more) bardos based on the karma of the person's life, which takes approximately seven days to complete. It is here that a person either goes on to Nirvana or comes back into a body to do more learning.

In the first three days of the Bardos, it is said, often the soul tries to make contact with loved ones. I know many people who tell of stories of seeing, hearing or otherwise contacting a dead relative in these first three days.

Yesterday my friend Stephanie Moore died of ovarian cancer. She was in her fifties. She was one of the sentries on my path as a writer. When I was working a job that had me so busy I barely had a chance to think, much less write, she came along and reminded me how much I needed to be writing. She was bigger than life, goofy, intense, and focused in a way that sometimes intimidated me, but unforgettable. I saw her many times over the years after she stopped being my teacher.

I went to the hospital when she was first admitted as part of a "shift" because she didn't want to be alone. She was surprised to see me, because we weren't close friends. But I felt compelled. It was crucial that I see her, that I let her know she'd influenced me. I am so glad I did it.

I wish I knew a prayer that would say exactly how I feel about your life.

How about: Stephanie, I feel you in the Bardos right now. I hope that you are able to experience the life you had with something close to pride. I hope that you choose to come back again and teach more people. May your friends and family suffer your loss as little as possible, and remember you with love.

Thank you.


At 9:24 AM, Blogger Katie said...

Very sorry for your loss, Jordan. This is a sweet tribute to your friend.

At 4:08 PM, Blogger Jordan E. Rosenfeld said...

I really can't believe she's gone. I can't imagine what it must be like right now to be her daughter or a very, very close friend. As it is, I feel in shock about it.

Thanks for stopping by Katie

At 6:43 PM, Blogger Patry Francis said...

jordan, it's amazing. I never met you personally, but I can completely see you going to the hospital to be there for someone who had touched you, even if you weren't personally close.

I had a friend who died of ovarian cancer in her thirties, and it was such a hard road. She, too, dreaded being alone with it. I like to believe that the people who come in "shifts" make it a little easier. And I love the concept of the bardos.


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