Heard, held and loved | Maya's Gifts

Heard, held and loved

I remember the first week.  It was the end of Shiva.  Rabbi Aura expressed how “we did not imagine that we would make it another day, not to mention an entire week.”  This was so very true.  Yet there we were.  Today marks two years.  How can this be?  And here we are.

For those who follow the blog, and are not typically on social media, I would like to share with you a video of an acceptance speech that I delivered last week.  TMI Project honored me with an “Agents of Change” award.  The first part of this speech highlights the relationship between TMI Project and the Maya Gold Foundation.  I then talk about my more personal story; a story that I share in different ways on the pages of this blog.  Thank you for your interest.

The date, “October 2nd” is imprinted in the hearts of so many.  I was showered with many kind thoughts and wishes from friends near and far, via emails, phone calls, texts, cards and messages.  I would like to share with you one email that my friend, Dara sent me.  Dara lives in Oregon.  I have only seen her once since.

Dear Elise,

 No response needed, truly.

 I just watched your TMI speech. I’ve been off Facebook for a few days but consciously got on to check in on you today. I will never forget this day. I also celebrate Maya’s life but I can feel the impact of this day as it’s the one that scratches off the scab of the most perplexing emotions and thoughts.

I felt the need to reach out to you via email, hopefully a welcome break from the amazing yet overwhelming social media space.

I’m one that is hearing you, holding you and loving you.

So many of us have been broken open again and again, your wails are not in vain. I so wish losing Maya wasn’t the way I’ve been gifted to reach deeper into my courage, vulnerability and discomfort. In Maya’s honor and in honor of your loss I have consciously chosen many kinder and more generous actions. I have a long way to go but wanted you to know I’ve stretched myself to take more risks in being vulnerable. Yet, I’d trade it all to have her back with you. I believe she’s with you always and love is a power greater than anything we can even conceive but we can begin to feel it’s enormity if we stay open as you show us in all your words and ways. Thank you for continuing to teach and lead us through Maya’s gifts and those she has so unrelentingly and beautifully chosen for you or possibly chose together.

Loving you, Mathew, Sasha, Adin and Maya.

Kissing the top of your head today my dear sister.

With warmth and kindness, 


I am  always so moved when I hear of the ways that Maya’s life and passing has touched so many.  Heard, held and loved.  Thank you again and again.



  • Dear dear Elise,
    Thank you for everything you’ve shared here. I had not heard of TMI except for a play by that name several years ago, and don’t really know what it’s about. But your speech, and your spirit, is beautiful as always, and shines with your unique integrity and composure. Your friend Dara could not have given more perfect voice to how I feel. Knowing you these last two years has had a subtle but profound effect on my life . . . in fact, it has taught me that subtlety CAN be profound.
    You are most cherished, my dear.

  • Time is a strange entity. On one hand it doesn’t seem possible that 2 years have flown by since Maya made that irrevocable decision. On the other, each day must seem interminable without her. I send my love and hugs to you and her loving family.

  • Elise, thank you so much for this post. Your acceptance speech was beautiful and I imagine very helpful to others. As you have courageously shown the world, sorrow and grief are worthy of honor, of love, of community.

  • Elise, I have admired your insight, courage, compassion, strength, and courage the past two years. Please send my love to Mathew, Adin and Sasha on this sad and tragic anniversary. May the beautiful memories you have of Maya bring you comfort. Love, Cynthia

Post a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

  • Recent Comments

  • Subscribe Here

    Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 611 other subscribers