Dear Maya,

Your presence is so strong with me right now. It is palpable.  I just spent three days at Omega on the Maya Gold Foundation Board retreat.  Your spirit was with me at every moment as we worked together to make real our vision.  And of course your vision for a better world.  Working with these dear, committed friends, I felt how you had affected them all so deeply, and the mark your choice has left on us all.  And I felt your spirit in our collective desire to move forward with our work, to help youth thrive, to embody our core purpose and live by our core values.  So much love was in the room, and such a link to you.

Strategic Plan
Your Spirit Embodied Through Our Work at Omega

Before the retreat I read the book that you read two years ago, Sold.  The book tells in graphic detail how a young Nepali girl is taken from her family to a brothel in India.  The book was so troubling, so painful to read.  On every page, as I felt what I was feeling, I wondered how you could have processed this material at such a young age.  How deeply did it affect you, my dear one?  I guess I know.  I remember when you told me of your plans to go to Nepal to work at an orphanage.  I did not really know where that came from.  Now I do, in part, and I feel that same impulse, pure love, pure compassion. After I read the book I had a night of vivid dreams.  In my dream I was in Nepal, and I was doing good, helping children, slowly and patiently, one person at a time, and you were with me Maya, you were with me, guiding me, showing me the way.  As you are now.

Maya at Omega
At Omega, October 2014

Maya, it has been eight months, but time has taken on a strange new meaning for me.  October 2 seems like  yesterday, but so much has changed, how can this even be possible? Each morning when I wake, and each night in the moments before sleep, you are with me.  And each day, you come and go, sometimes scarce, sometimes very present. I am learning to be ok with that, to accept it as it is. I feel so grateful for our time together, Maya.  I am trying to focus on that more and more, and to process the grief through the lens of our shared life.  It is helping me to smile.  When I smile, I think if you.  Always.

I wonder what the next five months will bring.  I wonder, but I do not obsess, about the future, as more of a curiosity than anything else.  What a strange, unpredictable journey I am on.  I had other plans, Maya, I had other plans.

Tonight your dear friend is with us, visiting, sharing stories, healing together. Watching him process his own grief is inspiring.  You had such an amazing relationship with him, it makes me happy to know that you had each other.  I only want to comfort him in his loss too, for you. In fact, because of you, Maya, I have only love, compassion, and the desire to help others.  And yes, I hear you making fun of me right now!  That is ok, I keep that part of you with me always too.  It keeps me humble.

I love you and miss you Maya.  See you in my dreams.



One thought on “Presence

  1. Matthew, in this photo, the presence in Maya’s eyes is stunningly beautiful, mesmerizing, and wise. You have fully relayed her presence in this post and allowed me to feel how alive she continues to be for you, your family, and the entire community. Thank you for continuing to bring this extraordinary young woman’s presence alive for all of us.
    -May you continue to grow in love and compassion, for the benefit of all mankind.

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