When Jan Peerce died, I was reminded to be generously kind.
When Bucky Fuller passed, I was reminded to work for the greater good.
When Dr. Deming left, I was reminded to direct my mind into wisdom.
When Beverly Sills departed, I was reminded to express in grace.
When John-Roger transitioned, I was reminded to love it all.
Recently, during SE’s, the words above flew across my consciousness and I wrote them down. Upon asking myself why, I heard, “These are five for whom you shed tears upon dying.” Reflecting on that, aside from family members and pets (which are family to me) they were those that generated grateful tears upon passing.
When in college, I first met Jan Peerce, a long-established star of the Metropolitan Opera, and a singer whose artistry I idolized. He was what I call “instantly human” with no seeming agenda other than to be fully present. We became friends. I know this because he told me so over a lunch one day, inviting me to stay at his family’s home, should I ever be in his New York neighborhood. Not just dinner or a visit, a stay. I was a kid in awe of his abundant kindness that gave me a completely new standard for the quality of generosity – inwardly and outwardly.
Some years later, I spontaneously purchased a ticket to an event at Carnegie Hall to hear a “soloist” named Buckminster ‘Bucky’ Fuller. Speaking to a packed house, he postulated that the President of the United States was a bit hamstrung in the good he/she could do by swearing to “protect and defend the Constitution ……” in taking the oath of office. Bucky instead choose to, “See what one human being could do on behalf of all humanity.” He then proceeded to demonstrate, without a doubt, there was more than “enough” (food among other things) for everyone on the planet. A joyous, life-changing evening to be in the presence of one genuinely working “for the highest good of all concerned.”
Dr. Deming was recruited by General Douglas MacArthur to assist the Japanese after World War II and is credited as a primary player in turning that economy into an “Asian Tiger”. At age 87, he delivered one of his famous, days-long, seminars in California. I was one of 500 fortunate attendees. His caring, intelligence and ability to teach were astounding. At times, making a point, his voice could be like rolling thunder. One particularly loud punctuation was, “Wisdom isn’t hard to learn, it’s hard to find!” I remember that when my gratitude for “finding” MSIA comes forward with the practical simplicity of the teachings. Deming was rigorous in the very best sense and an inspiration for me to, “Sit down and do these SE’s!”
If Jan Peerce was a star, Beverly Sills was a super-nova, at one time gracing the covers of Time and Newsweek magazines the same week. To hear her sing live was to marvel at the size and beauty of her voice, delivering a musical expression that left listeners awestruck. I never got to meet her to thank her, but to my ears and heart, her expression was a reflection of the feminine polarity in “Father, Mother, God…” Remembering her, my only thought is, “Thank God for the grace of hearing you sing. May my expression at times reflect your inspiration.”
Sometimes when things appear good, but mostly when it seems they aren’t, I try to remind myself to “love it all.” How many times did I see J-R demonstrate that in circumstances – large, medium and small – where I couldn’t imagine how to be loving? More than I care to remember. Didn’t I hear him say, “Be patient, God isn’t finished with you?” I’m grateful for all the keys given to me by Jan, Bucky, Dr. Deming and Sills, but most grateful for the Master Key delivered by a Traveler. His last physical words to me were, “I love you, Tom.” He loved us all. He loves us all.
Death can be a useful reminder that those we love live on.
13 thoughts on “Death as a Useful Reminder”
Thank you, Tom- what a lovely way of looking at the blessings.
I haven’t seen or heard from you in a long time. Your essay is a beautiful reminder of all the grace and kindness you share. Thank you Tom
This piece is perfect for this time in my life. It has been a gentle reminder for my life as I look back. Thank you.
Tom, thank you so much for your beautiful perspective.
What blessings fall on us like rain. For me, you are one of those. Thank you for your articulate expression of receiving and responding to four marvelous souls.
Thank you Tom! I love your beautiful Insights! Allowed me to look at death in a different Light!
I read your contribution in the New Day Herald.
Never have I met a man who could parse words so impeccably, meticulously separating the wheat from the chaff so all that is left lavishly nourishes the reader. A man who speaks as one who is composing a work that imparts beauty, form, grace, melody, power, and wisdom. You taught me so much over the years. In large part by directing my attention to those who recognized their Spiritual Contracts and answered the call to make them manifest. Elegantly precise, yet strikingly beautiful and profound. I stand in applause of the beauty in your expression and exit the hall of your prose with the tune of it echoing eternally in my Heart. A creation that has become an indelible part of me.
I am so glad that you are patient, and that God is not finished with you yet. So many times, as I saw you do your work, I was aware I was standing on hallowed ground. You taught me that life is a composition. A symphony of the Soul.
I am enriched.
With Love, Light and Appreciation Everlasting,
(Please forward to Tom… Thank you for the Gift)
I’ve been up this morning reading an article a friend sent me about cremation (just for giggles) and then I came upon your beautiful reflections on those you’ve loved that have passed yet still live on…
Thank you for your graceful insights and eloquent sharing. Your words brought tears and joy to me this day.
With much love and gratitude to you Tom for the times we’ve been fortunate to have shared with you throughout the years. Those memories bring a smile to my heart.
Sending big love from Nan and me. ❌⭕️♥️
Thanks for a beautiful reading as I rock my new grandson to sleep and wonder about the beautiful gifts he will bring to us in his lifetime
It truly is a precious life we share
Love you Tom
Terrific article, Tom. Clean, clear, right on the money.
Its been years since Ive seen you … philly days . Thank you so much for your letter
( above ) about 5 deeply influencing people for you . I will carry this message in my heart .
Love and God Bless from Lala
Tom, for what you did for me far away in Nigeria, Africa without having seen or known me in LOVE, I have always wondered the length and breath of your knowing and practicing the Highest good of all concerned. When it was not possible in the early 2000 for someone to sign so I could be approved as an MSIA minister, you came in for me. I had no doubt in my mind that it must be Tom who have shown again YOU and the highest good of all concerned. A read that is inspiring, educative, informing, revealing, instructive and a must but unconditional way to face Life and death. I share my LOVE with you. Thank you so much
Thank you dear Tom. This is an eloquent blessing and reminder to appreciate, cherish, honor, and express our gratitude for the gifts we all bring. God bless you!