The burial of Marion’s ashes happened on her birthday, on Sunday, 6/24/12 at 8am in the morning, in the Columbia Historic Cemetery. Marion had requested that she be buried in Columbia, California, the California historic Gold Rush town where she owned a cabin and went for vacation for the past 55 years. Marion’s grandson Theo placed the wooden urn containing the ashes in the hole that had been dug, and we all placed things for Marion in the ground with her, items for the journey. She had sacred ash and flower petals from India, her old blue, wooden egg cup, the collar from her dog Goethe, a packet of catsup (because she put catsup on everything!), some German lebkuchen, a stone from the sacred mountain Arunachala in India, a bunch of lavender flowers, and many little amulets that she always kept by her bed. Then everyone in attendance came forward and took some pink rose petals and offered them on top of the urn, including her one year-old great granddaughter, Abhaya Marion. Every person then took either a handful of dirt or a shovel of dirt and placed it into the hole until it was filled. The stone carver came forward and placed a beautiful pink granite stone with white lettering, on top of the filled space. The stone reads:
JUNE 24, 1914 – JANUARY 18, 2012
TO THE GRAND OLD LADY, I LOVE THE CHILD IN YOU. I LOVE YOUR DISCOVERY OF HANDS. I LOVE TO BE WITH YOU. I HONOR YOUR SENSE OF QUALITY -- YOUR COMMITMENT TO SERVE. YOUR WAY OF FLOWING WITH LIFE. I JUST FEEL SO GRATEFUL TO HAVE MET YOU.
The first person to speak was Hans Axelson. He spoke about Marion as both his colleague and his best friend. We were all deeply touched by what he said. Several people then read poems that they had written or brought for the occasion. We once again sprinkled the stone with pink rose petals, and some people laid bouquets of flowers on the stone. It was a very sweet and moving morning.
Two lavender bushes and one red azalea were planted next to the stone. I walk there every morning to water them. This cemetery is a beautiful and lively place. There are many birds and deer, different wild flowers and trees, and all the town locals walk and jog through there in the morning. Many tourists visit the spot because of its historic value.
If anyone would like to visit here, I have written a brief summary below, of the places to stay and to eat and to shop, that were Marion’s favorites.
Our beloved friend and teacher, Marion Rosen, passed away peacefully in her home at 10:24 pm, January 18th, 2012, at the age of 97. She was surrounded by family and loved ones.
Marion's passing was with the same grace, courage, wisdom and insight as she lived, and perhaps more so. She did not hesitate to tell one nurse how to move her to avoid pain. She knew and asked for what she needed. We followed her directions carefully, as she was always right.
Marion continued to teach from her bed. One day Marion said that she had all these new ideas about the work. I asked, "What are they?" She said, "... about what happens when you relax. When you relax, you can feel strength to live. You can feel yourself." A few days before she passed on, with eyes closed, Marion was gesturing in the air with both hands, "demonstrating" and "explaining". She said '....... here, here and here ....... and diaphragm ........' When we asked, "tension there, tightness?" She answered 'yes'. This went on till early morning, between naps.
Tina arranged her mother's care so there was always someone in the room with Marion, day and night. It was beautiful to experience. At one point, one of the care providers asked, "who are you people?" She said she had never seen anything like it, not in the hospitals or homes. Sometimes 2-3 people were sitting with Marion, attending to what she was needing, talking with her, singing/humming to her, stroking her head or hand gently, listening in silence, just being there as she rested or slept. When she could, Marion loved to hear the messages of love and gratitude from around the world.
As Marion took her final breath, one small tear appeared in her right eye. She was peaceful, surrounded by people who loved her and so much love and prayers sent from around the world.
One of the songs Marion really liked was "Love Is Something" by Malvina Reynolds, and a song we sang to her.
The chorus goes:
Love is something if you give it away,
Give it away, give it away.
Love is something if you give it away,
You end up having more.
This song has hand motions that include opening your arms and rolling your hands. These were motions Marion repeated the last few days, and perhaps is her final gift and message to the world.
Marion's legacy lives on in each of us. We honor her now by being all we can be, a wish she held for everyone. Her hope was that we would share this work in the world to do good, to work for PEACE.
Valerie and Grace