GOODNIGHT FROM HEAVEN... saying goodbye to a dear friend

Real Estate Agent with First Realty Auburn

In the stillness of night, when the world was asleep, my heart heard the words: GOODNIGHT FROM HEAVEN. I've hesitated to write here about the recent passing away of a dear friend, Neele. When I received The sudden news a few weeks back, it momentarily shattered the innermost heart of what I've come to know as feeling AT HOME on earth. Beyond our personal abodes, we grow the gardens that are abiding through the spaces and songs of friendships. Like the refrain or chorus of a musical score, we all get to know well, how it begins and somewhat of how it ends, but it's the spaces IN BETWEEN that fill the pages of a life-story with original lyrics & songs of friendship. She left the world with many songs in many hearts. Anyone who knew Neele at all, will, I believe, know for a lifetime one of the greatest treasures of our humanity--- a true friend. A few weeks ago, surrounding the sadness of our celebration of life gathering to remember her, the gladness was remembered in the hearts of so many, and rendered, especially, in the faces of her children, Colin and Arianne.

Neele was exceedingly generous with her gifts... her joy and infectious laughter, her affections and artistry... she had the wisdom to---in the works of the infamous music--- Let It Be... to not intrude upon what she may have considered to be divine arrangements, but rather to gather the energies and impressions, notice the patterms of movement, observe the animation--- and simply give thanks for the elementary GOODNESS and dynamics of A GREATER LOVE that was somehow ever-present and to be trusted. Her faith was strong that way.To hear her talk about Life's images & impressions, was like viewing verbal pictures at an exhibition... to be observed, to be sought out and strengthened by, to be revered, one-by-one, as yet another reflection of Divinity, bearing gifts for a struggling humanity.

Sometimes Neele would say or write "Thank you, Mara, for just being you." Who in this world wouldn't know the priceless gift of space and room to grow that only a true friend allows? In a refreshing and earthy style all her own, she polished pearls and tended rosebushes in all those IN BETWEEN spaces of so many lives, so many hearts, making us all, feel at home...I was so blessed and inspired and remain in awe of this beautiful woman, dearest friend, and the numerous ways in which she resided in my life. And I'll always remember her colorful personality, bundled in scarves and subtle accessories, thinking like a mountain and moving through our lives like a gentle breeze, as dusk descended one ordinary day, and changed our lives forever.

[Neele's bird is her original sketch; she did a lot of painting in her later years. Below is one she did of her favorite, local place to hike at the end of Coldwater Canyon in the L.A. area.}

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Pat Whitehouse
RE/MAX 1st Olympic Lynchburg Va - Lynchburg, VA

Mara-I'm very sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing her with all us. I'm glad you decided to do that as I hope it will help you in the healing process. Friendships like the one you had with Neele are so precious and bring such beauty and happiness into our lives. She is gone but will never be forgotten in your heart where she will live forever. God bless you and give you strength during this time of sorrow. Pat

Aug 31, 2008 04:16 PM #6
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Mara, What a beautiful tribute to Neele and I'm so sorry to hear of your loss.  Blessings to her family and friends during this time.

Sep 01, 2008 02:20 AM #7
Bill Gassett
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Hopkinton, MA
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate

Mara - I am sorry to hear about the loss of your friend. Life is never easy it seems.

Sep 01, 2008 07:21 AM #8
Chuck & Lucy Willman - Alpine, UT

I know how difficult this must have been to write... I'm so thankful you chose to post it. How wonderful it is that she shared the words, pictures and paintings... that you have that tangible presence of her to go along with so many memories. You're in my thoughts, Mara- I wish you serenity through these days.

Sep 02, 2008 03:07 AM #9
494,722 ~ Dallas Real Estate Agent Top Team
Dallas Houses for Rent Dallas Apartment Rentals - Dallas, TX

GREAT post, we dont know how a friend impacts our lifes, they witness our lives with us as we grow together some stay for years others are there for a period of time, we are all blessed.

Sep 02, 2008 03:30 AM #10
Lynn Johnson
Coldwell Banker Home Connection - Owatonna, MN
Owatonna, MN Real Estate

Mara - Thanks for sharing such a wonderful tribute to the friendship you experienced with Neele.  She sounds like a wonderful person who gave so much to others during her short time with the people she loved.  Hopefully we can learn lessons on giving encouragement to others just as she did for her friends.

Sep 02, 2008 04:13 AM #11
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

Lloyd, Dinah, Ginger, Mary, Gary, Pat, Carole, Bill, Chuck, Lynn911, Lynn... Thank you for your care & lovingkindness... what a gift of healing words that you have given to me. I've only met you in this RAIN, and yet there is a kindred tone that touches the depths of my emptiness, and softens into a smile. Thank you...

(Neele's van Gogh...)

Sep 03, 2008 01:59 PM #12
Gary White~Grand Rapids Home Selling Pro Call: 616-821-9375
Flexit Realty "Flexible Home Selling Solutions" - Grand Rapids, MI
Real Estate Services You can Trust!

Mara, sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.  Sounds like she was a wonderful woman, artist and friend.  Thank you for sharing her with us.  Take care.

Sep 05, 2008 09:35 AM #13
Sharon Young
Ivy League Mortgage Philadelphia, Pa - Southampton, PA

Mara ... thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing such a personal story. Your post is a tribute to Neele and I know you loved her. I pray for comfort for you! Neele's paintings are absolutely amazing!! I adore the colors and the impressionism .... what a nice legacy.

Sep 05, 2008 11:41 AM #14
Liz Moras
Harrison Hot Springs, Cultus Lake - Chilliwack, BC
Chilliwack Realtor, Garrison Crossing,Chilliwack, Abbotsford

what a beautiful beautiful post and tribute to a dear was so moving and hit close to home........a dear friend of mine from high school and my matron of honour just passed away a few weeks back.......and even though we weren't that close these last few many memories came flooding back, when I knew there would be no more.......unfathomable .........thats what it all is to me.....i'm so sorry for the loss of someone that was so special to you...

Sep 05, 2008 06:58 PM #15
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

Gary - thank you for stopping by & learning a little bit about my friend & for leaving your kind words.

Sharon - Neele & I were young moms, then both worked in the school office for years, busy with Mother's Club events & our families. In the 90's, we both went through divorces together. She began to paint for the first time, astounding her art teacher. I'll never forget her non-chalant response & how she would shrug this off, commenting that "I always knew it was in me, I just never had the time to bring it out!" It amazed me how it just never surprised her at all! thank you for your heARTfelt comment.

Liz - I'm so sorry for your loss of your friend. I know you can understand, and your word unfathomable truly describes it... what you might expect one day--- in your mind, but can't begin to imagine, after the day, in your heart. Your friend must have also been quite young... may angels watch over you and strengthen you on your own journey... keep walking, shine and rain... dearest hugs to you.

Everyone - This is a picture of a painting of Neele (when she was "new"), done by her can see the gift in the family tree...

Sep 05, 2008 10:25 PM #16
Jason Crouch
Austin Texas Homes, LLC - Austin, TX
Broker - Austin Texas Real Estate (512-796-7653)

Mara - This is a beautiful tribute to your late friend.  I thank you for having the courage to share this with us here.  I am going to include this one in the Family Ties recap today.

Sep 16, 2008 10:41 AM #17
Susan Mangigian
RE/MAX Preferred, West Chester, PA, RS152252A - West Chester, PA
Chester & Delaware County Homes, Delaware and Ches

Mara, what an absolutely beautiful tribute to what was a wonderful woman.  Thank you for sharing this, and letting us feel how special she was to you. 

Sep 16, 2008 01:44 PM #18
Kara Casamassina
International Property Management Group, LLC - Aiken, SC
Boomers and beyond

Mara, Thank you for sharing Neele with us, sounds like she was a wonderful woman.  Her art is beautiful.  I know it must have been a very difficult post to write. 

Sep 16, 2008 04:01 PM #19
Mara Hawks
First Realty Auburn - Auburn, AL
Inactive-2012 REALTOR - Homes for Sale Auburn Real Estate, AL

Jason - Thank you... getting to know of your strength and courage in everyday Life, that I gather in many of your posts, fortifies these needed qualities for me (and many, I'm certain) for these particular moments of Life.

Susan - I feel and appreciate, so much, your soulful stream of support, always.

Kara - Thank you for letting me share a story of my friend with you. I haven't visited this blog in a few weeks... I was feeling the void so much yesterday and this morning, and came back here... the comments and presence of all you people in the RAIN, continue to hug my heart, re-syncing its offbeat rhythm...such a strength and comfort, this community...

Oct 01, 2008 11:33 PM #20
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Mara- It feels good to see that your Post has been able to help you in some way.  I remember you telling me about your friend, and the loss you felt.  This Post has b een able to do more than you expected at the time, giving you a place to put your thoughts, share your love, and now come back and feel a sense of peace.........

Just wanted you to know I was thinking of you :)

Oct 05, 2008 12:51 PM #21
Robert Vegas Bob Swetz
Realty ONE Group - Las Vegas, NV
Las Vegas Henderson Homes for Sale

Mara - Thank you for sharing this post with us and it is very sad to see some one we love leave us. Hang in there kid and we are all here if you need any comfort.

Robert Swetz

Oct 05, 2008 06:42 PM #22

Mara, you are so fortunate to have had friend in you life like Neele. Your tribute to her and the good things you wrote about her, lets us know she was a very special person. You also have to be special to have had a friend like Neele. My prayer are with you.

Oct 08, 2008 12:58 AM #23

Mara, you are so fortunate to have had friend in you life like Neele. Your tribute to her and the good things you wrote about her, lets us know she was a very special person. You also have to be special to have had a friend like Neele. My prayer are with you.

Oct 08, 2008 12:58 AM #24
Sharon Paxson
Arbor Real Estate - Newport Beach, CA
Newport Beach Real Estate - Arbor Real Estate

Mara - you have written a wonderful tribute to your friend. I am so sorry for your loss. I love her art work!

Oct 08, 2008 01:48 AM #25
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