At the Cemetery 5/16/17 | Maya's Gifts

At the Cemetery 5/16/17

Dear Maya,

Your mother has laid daffodils at your feet,

gold, like you.

They will spread throughout the forest.

At your head

a crown of crystals and stones, all precious,

and a leaf,

married as you are to the trees.

How beautiful it is, how beautiful you always are,

even here,

your mother gives you life.

We need a way to water these flowers

your mother says and then remembers her tears

and the tears of your father and brother and sister

and the tears of your friends and the strangers

who read about you and your teachers and your cat

and your treehouse and even your bike

and all the others who cry at this cemetery for others

and at that realization more flowers bloom in the

forest at your feet

planted at the hands of more mothers.

So no need for water.


Your name means love in Nepali; you are always love.

See what good has come of this death, dear ones

offer to comfort,

as they point to the work of the Foundation.

But your good was your life.

Your good was the daffodils you sent down the stream

one summer at camp,

and the way you cared about everyone around you

and the way Play played through you and the way we

are better for it.

Your good is what lives in us as memory

and as the present.

Your death brings as much good

as any of our deaths have and will,

as we enter the Great Ocean and send

waves upon waves to the shores of the living.

We must prepare and tend our graves,

as your mother teaches,

so there’s something to welcome the rain,

something to shine

the way you did,

so that we can continue to shine

the way we do.

Here loving you,


Maya was blessed to have a couple of moms.  I have such deep gratitude and love for Noelle, who truly was another mother to Maya. 


  • Noelle, Your words touched my heart, and the heart of all things bursting with life… even in death. Thank you for your vivid
    Remembering of who Maya is in this world, now, and will forever be

  • So very beautiful. So real. So right on. I’ll go to sleep tonight thinking of Maya who I didn’t know in life, and all the good and happiness and the sadness too. The word is love.

  • This is so beautiful a testament to life and death. The joy and pain that loving fully brings. So many emotions all at once are evoked at reading this, but most powerful is the human spirit of love mixed with the natural beauty of the world around us each and every day.
    Elise your life is so obvious a testament to this, the daughter you raised and the life you shared with her; and continue to share this joy and pain of loving Maya fully even in death. Thank you Noelle for sharing your heart.

  • Blessings and gratitude to both Moms–envisioning you enveloped by the golden love of daffodils. And connecting with the essence of Maya. Love.

  • amazingly beautiful and my heart aches too… Thank you for these words! A string of pearls- each one precious!

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