In Honor of Bethany Richmond

Dear Friends,

My heart is breaking with the news of the passing of a beautiful, amazing young woman I was honored to meet and know towards the end of her short life on Earth named Bethany Richmond.  She passed into the Spirit World after a long struggle with cancer.  She just turned 29 years old.

The irony is not lost on me that the morning after writing my piece on not wanting to be alive, I get the news that a dear young woman, who very much wanted to live, is no longer.

Bethany dedicated her life to being an advocate for our animal relatives.  Quiet, a little shy, beautiful, her passion came alive when talking about the rights of animals and the importance of a vegan diet.  I only got to spend a little time with her and a few communications via emails, but I feel a huge missing in my heart today, and I am grieving her loss.

And, as much as I deeply appreciate all of the responses people sent to my last posting because I know they are coming from a genuine and caring place, I do not want to sound ungrateful, but no one is telling me anything I do not already “know.”  I “know” where my upset comes from—my thoughts and mind.  I “know” that I am a highly blessed and privileged human being.  I “know” that compared to many, my life is a walk in the park on a gorgeous, sunny day.  I “know” that life is not about outcomes, it is about living.  Not only do I “know” all of this, I have written on and talked about all of these things and so much more, many, many times before.  I appreciate the responses reposting things I have written and said before, helping me re-presence my self in a new way to the old things I already “know.”  And I appreciate the Rumi poems because Rumi is quite possibly one of my all time favorite poets because he was a master at calling forth Love in its most powerful and Divine.

But sometimes, there is just the experience of the feeling, the pain, the overwhelm, the grief, the anger.  Sometimes, for me since I was a little girl, there is this force within me that calls me to take myself out.  It is not a thought so much as it is this force that is overwhelming.  Being born is not some grand philosophical belief, as some feel and have said.  Literally, it is just this thing that happens.  Things are born, die, reborn, to die again.  I “know” that I am just a tiny microscopic blip in a long continuum that may or may not have a beginning or end—we don’t know. EVERYTHING else is a story we make up.  It is about coming up with whatever story works for us that helps us in this wild, unpredictable journey.  Life does not happen for a reason.  Life happens, and then the reason is what me make of it.

For me, as I have mentioned many times before, the story I keep returning to is one of love and service.  It’s actually why I write on this blog.  I don’t write seeking advice, although I deeply appreciate everyone’s care, concern, and desire to contribute, and I am very open to learning something new from others.  I write because I hear from people that sometimes what I write is of service, and service is core to keeping me here.  And I keep returning to love because it is what drives my desire to be of service and because it seems the only thing that calls me to be bigger than I know myself to be.  I keep choosing love.  Why Love?  Why Not?  Because it hurts like hell, that’s why.  And at the same time, it is what helps call me back out of the pain, over and over again.

And, then, Life in all of its wild, random, synchronicity reached out to me yet again, as I sat this morning tears streaming down my face as I received the news of Bethany’s passing, and looked up to see a young woman, probably right about Bethany’s age walking by with a big black, off the shoulder shirt and emblazoned in big, bold white letters…


Thank You Bethany for Loving Life so much.

I love you.


Published in: on February 4, 2011 at 10:14 pm  Comments (13)  

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13 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. A beautiful tribute.

  2. No te rindas, aún estás a tiempo
    De alcanzar y co…menzar de nuevo,
    Aceptar tus sombras,
    Enterrar tus miedos,
    Liberar el lastre,
    Retomar el vuelo.
    No te rindas que la vida es eso,
    Continuar el viaje,
    Perseguir tus sueños,
    Destrabar el tiempo,
    Correr los escombros,
    Y destapar el cielo.
    No te rindas, por favor no cedas,
    Aunque el frío queme,
    Aunque el miedo muerda,
    Aunque el sol se esconda,
    Y se calle el viento,
    Aún hay fuego en tu alma
    Aún hay vida en tus sueños.
    Porque la vida es tuya y tuyo también el deseo
    Porque lo has querido y porque te quiero
    Porque existe el vino y el amor, es cierto.
    Porque no hay heridas que no cure el tiempo.
    Abrir las puertas,
    Quitar los cerrojos,
    Abandonar las murallas que te protegieron,
    Vivir la vida y aceptar el reto,
    Recuperar la risa,
    Ensayar un canto,
    Bajar la guardia y extender las manos
    Desplegar las alas
    E intentar de nuevo,
    Celebrar la vida y retomar los cielos.
    No te rindas, por favor no cedas,
    Aunque el frío queme,
    Aunque el miedo muerda,
    Aunque el sol se ponga y se calle el viento,
    Aún hay fuego en tu alma,
    Aún hay vida en tus sueños
    Porque cada día es un comienzo nuevo,
    Porque esta es la hora y el mejor momento.
    Porque no estás solo, porque yo te quiero.Mostra tutto

  3. From one slightly befoilbled visioinary activist love warrioress to another:i really do love,julia and will forever hold your highest well being in prayer very close to my heart.

  4. Thkx Julia…
    when I look at a starry sky …
    when I drink good wine …
    when I touch a tree …
    when I feel the scent of flowers
    the one and only thought …
    the one and only word …
    is “Thanks!”
    even when I think of you …
    your story … your path …
    Julia … You’re A Gift
    A gift that Heaven has sent to Earth …
    and I got straight to the heart …

  5. I cannot think of one soul who has inspired me more, shaken myself so raw awake, or pointed so many yearning, befuddled minds into a better direction than you Julia. You are absolutely, undeniably beautiful, whether your acknowledgment of this verity exists. The endless ripples of what you have cumulatively done, and still do, have pushed into infinite corners and out forever, one of the most beautiful calls for love, for empathy, for being connected to the cause and effect of not only all heedless actions, but better, and especially, by your every example, the rolling and expanding beauty that blooms from a single caring decision.

    You freak’n rock Julia. Swim, tan, heal and know you’re loved forever. : )

  6. a fine tribute our loss to not know her.
    hope you find time to frolic w/ocean waves.
    something to note with respect to planes they fly loaded or empty of passengers cause the system prepositions the return flight. bet u knew this but worth repeating =)

  7. Thank you for the lovely tribute, Julia! I miss her so much. It is such an honor to be her mom! Bethany’s mom, Eileen

  8. Eileen, i can only imagine what you must be going through and feeling right now. Please know, i am holding you deeply in my heart and prayers. The world is a more kind and gentle place for the gift of having had Bethany in it.


  9. .
    …e estado buscando adentro reconectar con lo mas simple…
    …leerte hoy Julia me otorga un buen Aire… me brinda …reconectarme me hace ser mAz .
    …en Este prezente del tiempo extraño la sensibilidad el Aire fresco… … zentir el frio que hace sentir VivO…
    …se que tu lo probaste alli arriba en aquel mundo del arbol…
    …GrasiAz Julia…
    …Eres una gota de Rocio…
    en el TiempO…
    …Eileen… . …Bethany…
    …es bueno el Dolor por que estamos vivos en este mundo…
    …tranquilos… …Fortaleza… …AlientO que la vida es Duramente Hermosa y sabia…
    …Ahora Bethany navega livre las estrellaz…
    …vive otro cielo tan seguro para decirlo que es mas lindo…
    …nosotros aum nos falta para llegar alli…
    …todo es un acuerdo de Almas…
    …ojala un dia pronto podamos vernos asi… sin separaxiOM…

    …vendran las lagrimas que aun no conocemos el retorno… al …Ser i Star… …O…


    … e been looking for in reconnecting with the most simple …
    .. read you today gives me a good air … … gives me makes me reconnect corn.
    … Human …
    … in this strange time Prezent sensitivity of fresh air … … feel the cold that makes you feel alive …
    … know you tried it up there in that world of the tree …
    GrasiAz Julia … …
    … You’re a dew drop …
    in time …
    Eileen … … . … Bethany …
    Pain is good … that we live in this world …
    … quiet … … Strength … Breath … life is beautiful and wise Heavily …
    … now browsing Bethany livre the dashing …
    … another sky lives as safe to say that it is more beautiful …
    inc … we needed to get us there …
    … everything is a deal of Souls …
    … hopefully one day soon we can see each other so … without separatiOM …

    … will come the tears that still do not know the return … to …Ser i Star… …O…

  10. I have an ever-growing shrine to the ancestors of the peace and justice, animal rights, environmental movements. I make offerings there and ask them to guide us, protect us, give us te wisdom and strength to do what needs to be done. And also to let them know they are not forgotten. Bethany is now being added to the shrine.

  11. Oh yeah, nothing upsets me more than when I am in pain and people tell me why and why I should not be. Sometimes we just want our pain HEARD, we want it to be held by others. You on’t have it easy. No one does, not really. And life just happens, I totally agree that there is NO big plan or spiritual context aside from human created ones that we know of. I like reading your blog when you are in a bad mood because when I first learned about you, you seemed unreal, so perfect, and I felt pretty crappy about myself, you were just always portrayed as so happy and filled with joy and never having an angry or sad or scared thought. Reading about your REAL self as a real human, you have become even more valuable to the world, and trust me, hearing about your struggles is the loing service that you have performed for me. Thank you for being real.

  12. Heather, Thank You for your beautiful messages– both for honoring Bethany and for reflecting that my sharing about the whole of my human journey has supported you. i do feel that my humanity is all i really have to offer and that pretending to be perfect all the time does not truly benefit anyone. It is an interesting journey this thing we call life.

    Love and Blessings,

  13. […] Poplar supporters who have passed away… This year, Team Bethany honors the memory of Bethany Richmond, a wonderful young activist who worked for PCRM and did a great deal of volunteer work for Poplar […]

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