The Funeral of Dr. Joel Glaser
From the moment I arrived at the Funeral Home, until I left, I couldn't control my tears. They came out effortlessly.
My sister’s husband had come with me that proved to be a great strength. A good friend of mine, an artist, LR, was there and her presence was very soothing.
When I saw the incomparable Dr. Schatz enter the room with the family entourage, the tears gushed forth. I felt so sad for him, his friend, constant companion professionally of 40 years is no more. One could never think of Glaser without thinking of Schatz. May the Spirits protect you, Schatz…
I tried to figure out the incessant flow of tears. From a personal point of view, it is a closure of a book for me: student days to my present life as an International Medicine/Anthropology consultant. But there was something more than that.
All of yesterday, I was sitting and either talking or chatting on line with people whose very presence brought comfort.
When I had sent my note on Joel Glaser to several of our common friends, those friends who mean something to me replied immediately, offering comfort. They were concerned about my sadness. That action has brought me closer to them. When my sister Jackie called from CI, I couldn't stop crying.
This is the third loss of scholars for me: Irina first and then my teacher and friend Dr. Cecil Helman in England and now Joel Glaser.
And those whom I hold dear in my heart, when I saw them on line or in person, the uncontrollable sorrow affirmed the love I have for them, reminded me of the love shown to me and continued to be shown to me by so many people
It is as if our dear friend Joel was saying to me:
Hold on to the love you have for these people, and it is a force that brings a balance into your life. You don't love them any more because I am leaving; you have always loved them, like I have loved them.
So today my gratitude list include my loves in Miami,
My sister and her husband, Dr. S, LR. My Kickapoo sister, Mena
The usual culprits in Paris. Tehran and KL
It is so good to feel this love: given and taken with innocence and no expectation.
A Colombian writer, was it Alvaro Mutis, who had written
When a friend passes away, he just does not die, until all the people who knew him have also died. So as long as we devoted family and friends of Joel are alive, he is alive in our memory. He is alive. He has left us enough to satisfy our penchant for his presence.
American Indians have a very different view of death than the Non Indians.
OmPaTonga or Big Elk of the Omaha was a powerful orator and his funeral oration at the burial of a Lakota Chief in 1813 is well known:
Do not grieve. Misfortunes will happen to the best and wisest of men. Death will come and it always comes out of season, that is the rule of the Great Spirit, and all nations and people must obey….
Misfortunes do not flourish particularly in our path they grow everywhere. What a misfortune for me that I could not have died this day, instead of the Chief that lays before us…..
When I wrote about Joel’s death to my Mexican Kickapoo Indian sister (in the Indian kinship system), Mena wrote back to say this: (I reproduce it as she wrote: Kickapoo is her first language, Spanish is second and English is a third one)
My Brother Sudah
I don't know if i ever tell you this first of all i am really sorry
about your professor but remember that he is gone physically but not
spirits he will be always we you in your heart and he will be with you
spiritually you can even talk to him spirits always send us a massage
some how i don't know how but it help us in way that we know that they
are with us just remember that.
I know that there is no words to help you heal the pain of loosing
some one very special in your life. all i can say is that he will be
with you and am sure that he don't what you to be sad remember him as
it was in person.
Dear Friend and Counselor Joel, your loss would have been unbearable if I did not have such love from so many close quarters, spread around the world..
Bon Voyage, mon professeur..