Monthly Post

A Life Remembered

I don’t get into personal matters in these essays very often. Partly that’s because I’m a fairly private person, partly it’s because the cult of personality that pervades today’s literary and creative scenes is so dreary; this whole notion that literature and the arts exist so that writers and artists can “express themselves” belongs in the trash heap, since writers and artists are no more interesting than anybody else.  The most important reason, though, is that there’s so much else to talk about that’s more relevant than me.

Sara when I first knew her.

That said, I’m an essayist and a novelist, and like many other writers, I use the habit of putting long strings of words together as a way to make sense of the world and my experiences in it. Right now, as many of my readers already know, I’m coping with the death, after a long illness, of my wife Sara. How long it’ll be before that experience finds its way into fiction is anybody’s guess—it took many decades and a friendly shoggoth or two before I finally found a way to use fiction to talk about certain aspects of my childhood—but essays are easier, being less indirect if less powerful. So I’m going to write a little about Sara here. I don’t imagine she’ll get more than a few lines of obituary anywhere else, and she deserves more.

The novelist John Gardner, author of Grendel, wrote somewhere that every marriage is a little civilization, and the end of a marriage is the fall of the civilization.  He was reflecting on a bitter divorce, but it’s just as true of a marriage that really does last “until death do you part.” Memories, jokes, habits, shared interests, all the little ways that two people can weave their lives together—all those lose most of their meaning once one of the participants is gone. As the saying goes, you had to be there, and nobody else was.

Still, I want to make the attempt.

Sara and I met in the spring of 1982 in Bellingham, Washington, where both of us were attending college. I was a student at Fairhaven College, one of the last bedraggled remnants of the 1960s free-learning fad, and she was enrolled at Western Washington University, the state institution to which Fairhaven was a mostly unwelcome appendage. We had mutual friends; we heard about each other before we met; there was no particular chemistry in our first interactions, though I thought she was pleasant enough:  plump, intelligent, and bookish, all of which have always rated high with me. Then one school year ended and another started up, she and two other girls agreed to rent a house together, and they needed a fourth person to share the bills. A couple of other prospects fell through, they invited me, and I accepted.

One of our wedding pictures. We didn’t have a photographer — we just asked the guests to send us copies of the pictures they took.

Of such stray incidents are destinies made. Three nights after I moved in, Sara and I stayed up talking about favorite science fiction novels after the other two had gone upstairs. Backrubs followed, and we ended up tumbling into bed together.

I know you’re supposed to get to know someone before you get into a relationship with them. With me it’s always happened the other way around. Sara and I transitioned from casual bedmates to a full-time relationship almost at once—our housemates teased us about acting like an old married couple when we’d only been together for about a week. We both had to make a lot of adjustments; neither of us was a virgin but neither of us had ever lived with a lover before. There were rough patches. Both of us kept a little distance from the other, because she was graduating at the end of that year and going to Seattle for postgrad studies in art history, while I had another year at Fairhaven, and neither of us wanted a long-distance relationship.

So the school year rolled on, the two of us spent most of our spare time together, and then June came and away she went. A month later, I caught a Greyhound bus down to Seattle to take a martial arts class, and gave her a call from a pay phone in the Pike Place Market; she invited me to come stay the night in her apartment on Capitol Hill; I walked there, not having the spare cash for bus fare, and she saw me from the window and came running down the stairs to greet me at the door with arms flung wide. It was like a sunburst going off in my face. My memories of the next few hours are a blur in which the most important details were Sara’s futon, Sara, and the two of us lying all tangled up together afterwards under a stray blanket, talking, sometimes dreamily, sometimes excitedly. Neither of us was ever after able to remember who first brought up the word “marriage.” Maybe it was simply there, an inescapable presence.

So that’s how we got engaged. I dropped out of college, moved down to Seattle, and got the first of a series of wretchedly paid jobs. She did one year of postgraduate studies at the University of Washington and then dropped out, having convinced herself that she couldn’t hack it—a common habit of hers, and one she never did manage to break. I met her family and she met mine, we set a date for the wedding and got married in my father’s back yard on July 28, 1984.  It was one of the cheapest weddings I’ve ever attended, and everyone agreed it was also one of the most pleasant they’d ever seen.

A paper cut silhouette of Sara from a county fair in 1968. It’s one of the very few images I have of her from her childhood.

It was after the marriage that I really started getting to know Sara; like me, she was a very private person, and had a lot of trust issues I don’t have. I slowly learned why.  We both had miserable childhoods, but mine was miserable in a gray bleak lonely way; hers was a chiaroscuro of golden light and black ghastliness. She was physically abused by her mother and her oldest sister and molested by her father—and yet in the intervals between the abuse, her mother and father also provided her with some of her happiest memories. She had the further trauma of having the older brother she adored break his neck in a diving accident at age 19, spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair, slip bit by bit into habits of abuse and manipulation, and become a genuinely nasty person before he died. There was quite a bit more. I have very few pleasant childhood memories but I’d much rather have had my childhood and family than hers.

I suppose we were probably poorly suited to married life—a couple of hippies born too late for the Sixties, really—but we managed.  We quarrelled, sulked, apologized, adjusted. We both grew up at the ragged bottom edge of the middle class with parents who had been raised working class, and so living cheap came easily to us both—that, at least, wasn’t a source of strain. We liked to take long walks together through Seattle neighborhoods; we liked to sit together on the sofa, each of us reading a different book, being companionable though not a word was exchanged. We worked at various bottom-end jobs, I pursued writing in an undisciplined and desultory way, she dabbled in crafts and played the fiddle for her own pleasure. We drifted, though we didn’t see it that way yet.

Then 1989 came and she got pregnant, not quite by accident. Nine months later, on February 28, 1990, we lost our only child to medical malpractice. For me, that was one of those rock-bottom experiences that either breaks you or makes you turn your life around, and I managed somehow to claw my way to the latter. My writing stopped being undisciplined and desultory, and a lot of other things in my life made the same shift. I was done with drifting.

Sara in 1996.

For Sara, by contrast, it was one too many bitter griefs after all the others. She never got over it; there were good times afterwards, but the shadow never quite lifted. She also stopped drifting, but in her case it was because she began to sink.  She’d always clung to the things that made her happy, especially from her childhood—all her life she kept her favorite stuffed animal, a tiger she’d named Tiger Bright at the age of six after a scrap of Blake her father quoted in her hearing, and the copy of The Wind in the Willows he’d bought for her the day she was born—but thereafter the clutter increased. Anything that gave her a moment’s joy got squirreled away somewhere.  She didn’t quite become a hoarder, but sometimes it felt that way.

The tragedy had one unexpected gift for her—it opened her to the Unseen. She’d been a tarot reader since the age of eighteen, when she’d gotten her first deck, and dabbled in magic a little after our marriage, since it was one of my passions. After our child’s death, though, she found herself in contact with the spiritual world to an extent that startled both of us. Gods, ghosts, spirits, and more became everyday companions for her.  She became a conscious medium—not a trance channeler, but one of the rare gifted ones who can see and converse with spirits while still in ordinary waking consciousness. Like most mediums, she acquired a spirit guide, who before long was practically part of the family.

For a while there I got invited to a lot of Pagan events. Sara found them a very mixed bag but she came to support me.

She also discovered a previously unnoticed talent for bookkeeping. That wasn’t a matter of some spiritual revelation, simply that her employer asked her to do some data entry when other duties weren’t pressing, found that she was good at it, and gave her more and more bookkeeping duties thereafter. That led via a couple of intervening steps to the first really well-paying job she’d ever had, running accounts receivable for a camera store. After she got that job, she urged me to quit my job and put all my time into writing. I agreed, and flung myself into the work. Without her decision to support us, and the hard work she put into keeping us afloat, my career as a writer would have taken much longer to get going, if I’d been able to manage it at all.

In 1995 I sold my first book, and more followed promptly. Sara was always my best proofreader, my most precise critic, and my biggest fan. She especially encouraged my fiction—she was most of the reason I didn’t give up writing fiction as a bad idea after so many failures and frustrations. Even when I was just writing occult nonfiction, though, she gave me constant support. Her enthusiasm got me past a long string of early hurdles that many aspiring writers never leap. I tried to do the same thing for her—she was gifted as a writer, a photographer, and a fiber artist as well as a musician—but there I failed; she spent her whole adult life backing away from her own considerable talents.

For me, however, the results began to pile up.  Things got better for us, and better still. Before long I was selling one or two book manuscripts a year, and starting to get a reputation in the occult community. We practiced magic together and joined several fraternal lodges; we were both initiated in the Order of Bards Ovates and Druids, then came into contact with John Gilbert and studied with him. Her income, supplemented by my royalties, was more than enough to keep us comfortable. Everything was looking up…and that was when her health started to fail.

She was well enough to take a very active role in the Druid order I headed. This was her official photo as an archdruid.

It wasn’t anything drastic at first: digestive troubles, sudden bouts of weakness, equally sudden food sensitivities. She stopped being able to eat anything made with wheat. A year or so later, anything made with cow’s milk started giving her trouble; we adjusted our diet accordingly. The long walks began to get shorter. She made repeated attempts to get a diagnosis, and gave up when those proved a waste of time and money; she found, as thousands of others have found—there are whole communities of such people online—that American doctors, faced with almost any imaginable symptom in a fat woman, can be counted on to give her a blank look and say, “If you’d just lose some weight you’d feel better.”  She did lose weight. She didn’t feel better. Her nameless illness became another member of the family, a silent presence that always had to be reckoned with.

And so it went. We left Seattle in 2004, right about the time that the cost of living there started spinning hopelessly out of control, and left the west coast entirely in 2009 for a house in a little city in the north central Appalachians. It had been a dream of ours for many years to settle in such a place, grow some of our own food in a backyard garden, settle down in the community and spend the rest of our lives there. Her health didn’t allow us to pursue that dream very far.  By then I was supporting us with my royalty income and she was helping out a little with a part-time telecommuting job, working for one of John Gilbert’s alternative health care schemes.

Sara in Cumberland, MD. There were still many good days.

Even that turned out to be too much for her, and in the end, keeping up the house, the garden, and our income by myself turned out to be too much for me. It didn’t help that she had a health crisis that left me thinking I might be a widower very soon. She recovered, but never regained what strength she’d had left, and after that there was very little she could do around the house.

So we gave up the house and moved to a quiet little apartment in Rhode Island, where we knew we could get the foods her increasingly complex dietary needs required, and the demands on her would be as small as possible. Money wasn’t a problem by then, as my career did what the careers of successful writers generally do and picked up a momentum buoyed by a long backlist of books. I also added a second career as a political astrologer, which turned out to be unexpectedly lucrative.

But Sara’s health worsened further; she had another crisis, a bad one, and recovered only partly from it. I have no idea if she could have found a doctor to take her symptoms seriously and find her some kind of useful treatment; by that point she wasn’t even willing to try. She was very fixed in her opinions by then, and modern Western medicine in her eyes belonged somewhere on the scale below a dog’s secondhand breakfast.

As her health failed, though, her personality blossomed and healed as never before. She wrestled with the horrible memories of her childhood and came out on top. We joked about the way that to dozens of people, she became “Aunt Sara,” the wise middle-aged lady who talked to spirits, who would hear you out when you needed to talk about your troubles and then offer you good advice.

In her “Aunt Sara” persona.

Now and then, too, glimpses of older and stranger things surfaced.  We both began remembering scraps of past lives before we left Seattle—it’s a common side effect of certain kinds of spiritual practice—and some of those memories matched with uncomfortable exactness. It became clear to us that, if there was any truth at all to those memories, the two of us had been tangled up together for many lives, and some of those lives had been pretty ugly.

There’s a fair amount of New Age chatter about “old souls,” and it’s one of the reasons why I have trouble taking the New Age movement seriously. Genuinely old souls aren’t wise, calm and good unless they work very hard at it.  You don’t hang around longer than usual on this plane unless you’ve failed messily, repeatedly, and disastrously, and have boatloads of karma to clean up before you go on. Sara was a genuinely old soul, the oldest I’ve ever encountered, and she had the scars and the bitter memories to show for it—but she overcame those in her last years to achieve a good measure of peace with herself and with her past, in this life and beyond it.

The last photo I have of her, on a river tour in Providence before Covid shut everything down.

It was a worthwhile conclusion to a life that was running out.  Last October, her health problems shifted into high gear. Her conversation started circling obsessively around the brightest memories of her childhood.  She started talking about giving away some of the treasures she’d hoarded over the years, and stopped playing her fiddle. She started the cycle of tarot research and practice she’d set out for herself as a project for her old age, then abandoned it and suspended her occult practices as well. Her appetite failed; she spent her waking hours huddled up on the sofa with a blanket over her lap, reading her favorite novels, and spent much of the day and all night sleeping. I tried to tell myself that she might still pull out of it. I brought up the idea of consulting a doctor; she rejected it, saying, “If this is going to kill me I want to die peacefully here at home.” I’m pretty sure she knew she was dying by then.

Then New Year’s Day came, and she collapsed. Things got worse from there; I’ll spare you the details. On February 9 she decided that she’d had enough.  She dictated a letter “to whom it may concern,” stating that she was refusing all further food and drink and that she wanted to die, and signed it. Her signature was shaky but clear. Occult training has its benefits; she remained calm, lucid, and in full control of herself in her waking intervals right up to the end. I’d worked in nursing homes back when we were first making a life together in Seattle, and knew how to care for a terminal patient, so it went as well as such things ever do.

She died quietly in her sleep yesterday evening, a little after sunset.  Her instructions for her body were typically spare:  no funeral, no memorial service, no embalming, a simple cremation with the ashes to be scattered. I’ve arranged for her to be cremated with Tiger Bright, the copy of The Wind in the Willows she’d had since the day she was born, and a few other special things. Her ashes will go into the Seekonk River, from a rocky bit of shoreline that reminded her of places on the Spokane River where she’d played as a little girl.

Looking back now over what I’ve written, I think of the golden-haired child I never knew, seeking refuge in favorite books and bright memories from the ghastly events of a mangled childhood; I think of the insecure, awkward, passionate young woman I fell crazy in love with; I think of the many facets of herself she showed to me, not always willingly, in the years that followed; I think of the wise and calm elder she became in her last years. I think of the memories, jokes, habits, and conversations we used to stitch our lives together—and it always was a matter of stitching, of an ongoing effort to make our relationship work and keep each other happy, and always a matter of little things. Ours wasn’t a love built on tempestuous feelings and grand romantic gestures. It was built on careful negotiations, shared interests, backrubs, favorite meals, pet names, running jokes nobody else got.

“I sat upon the shore
Fishing, with the arid plain behind me.
Shall I at least set my lands in order?”

Those are gone now. So is my wife, my lover, my fellow initiate, my number one fan and my best friend. So, to be fair, are certain hard restrictions and some heavy burdens. I feel just now as though I’ve reached the last lines of T.S. Eliot’s tremendous poem The Waste Land, when the polymorphous main character is sitting on the seashore fishing with the desert behind him at last, except what’s behind me is a landscape of ruins still echoing with the life that once filled them.

The dim rumbling of thunder off in the distance doesn’t have any neat Sanskrit translation, either, as it does in Eliot’s poem. It simply reminds me of the overfamiliar lesson that death is a necessary part of life.  Sometimes the guy with the scythe kicks down the door like a rescuer and sometimes he sneaks in like a thief, but tolerably often he shows up on his regular rounds, sits on the sofa, checks the watch on his bony wrist, and does his job according to some cryptic schedule of his own. Then he goes his way, and those of us who are left get to pick up the pieces.


  1. Take whatever time you need John. We’ll be happy for your writing again whenever you can come back full time. Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts as you and Sara are in ours.

  2. @JMG

    I’m very sorry to hear about Mrs. Greer’s passing, although you had said that she was in her last moments. May Lord Ganesha bless her soul.

    Also, coincidentally, I’m going for a Bhajan (song in Hindu religious music) session tomorrow for my late uncle, who passed away on the 9th of this month. I am going to sing at least one Bhajan there to pray for his soul. If you don’t mind, can I dedicate what I sing to Mrs. Greer as well? You have educated me about a lot of things (to say the least) by way of your thought-provoking writings, and I’m sure that in part they were possible due to the rock-solid support and companionship of your late wife; hence, I would like to attend least pray for her. Please let me know if that’s okay with you. May the Gods and Goddesses of your pantheon as well as mine be with you in this time of grief, and ensure that Mrs. Greer has a blessed next life🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏.

    P.S. You mentioned that Mrs. Greer had stopped taking medicine as well as voluntarily ceased intake of food in her last days, when she realised that her end was near. Interestingly, this practice exists in Hindu tradition as well – it’s called prayopavesha. Very few people opt for it; generally, only those who are spiritually very developed opt for it. So I’m not surprised she opted for this.

    Best wishes,

  3. I’m so sorry for your loss. If it’s all right, I’d like to put you and Sara in my prayers.

  4. I hold you in high regard John. Thank you for commemorating her life in this way. Now I’ll be contemplating life and death for some time after reading this. Also reassess relationships and adjust. I’m out of words. Thank you.

  5. Thank you very much for this! It’s good to be able to put an image and a story to Sara’s name. 🙂

    It sounds as if Sara has achieved what she set out to achieve in this lifetime.

    May you both find peace and comfort, and may you find some rest after the demands of the past few weeks – and, if you want, a boat to explore the vast sea in front of you.


  6. She sounds like a wonderful person. I’m sorry for your loss. I’ll keep you both in my prayers.

  7. I am so very sorry for your loss. I wish you comfort and a long memory for all the tiny joys that weaved through your lives together.

  8. What a touching memorial for a very special person. I hope you are able to move through your loos and grief. Know that many of us stand with you.

  9. JMG, I never know quite what to say in these circumstances. If we were anywhere else other than here I would simply be silent. Since I can’t very well be silent here without seeming absent, let the intent behind my note serve to say what my words do not convey.

  10. This is one of the most touching eulogies that I’ve ever read or heard, a loving tribute to her and the life you shared together. May she rest in peace and enjoy the afterlife. May you be comforted and sustained by the circle of support that immediately surrounds you, as well as the commentariat who can’t thank you enough for the impact thyou have made on our lives.

  11. Dear Michael, obviously we don’t know each other, I don’t remember us ever communicating beyond your replies to my comments and occasional questions on your blogs, but in the 15 years or so since I found you, your wisdom and grace has been educational, inspirational, and at least at certain time comforting. Your posts are something that I look forward to with great pleasure. From that history, I can say that my heart genuinely aches for you . I don’t know what your grief is, but I know what mine has been, and I wish you weren’t going through it. My deepest sympathies, and Druid prayers that the Gods may bring you comfort and guide you quickly through this dark time and back into your light.


  12. A beautiful tribute. I wish you the best and will keep you in my prayers.

    It’s difficult to know that someone I look up to has had to go through all of this, but I’m glad to know that you’ve had the tools to do so, and many happy memories to look back on.

  13. This is one of the most touching eulogies that I’ve ever read or heard, a loving tribute to her and the life you shared together. May she rest in peace and enjoy the afterlife. May you be comforted and sustained by the circle of support that immediately surrounds you, as well as your readers who can’t thank you enough for the impact the both of you have made on us as a whole.

  14. Thank you so much for sharing your memories. Although our stories are different, I feel we are walking a similar road right now as I just lost my husband of 20 years on January 1st to an aneurysm. Anyways not to distract for your experience. Sara lives on through your memories, and now that you have shared them, though the memories of everyone who reads what you have written here. I am doing the same thing right now, to make sure our stories are not purely held only by my own aging mind. Sending you so much love.

  15. Deep condolences. You wrote a beautiful tribute to her. It sounds like you were both very fortunate to have had eachother. Much love, JMG.

  16. I am so deeply grateful to finally know Sarah a little bit and to be able to share with you the admiration and love

    my journey is not all that different from hers and I am praying that she will help guide me during my difficult times of poor health and discouraged spirits

    And I pray that you will find comfort and will continue being the wonderful Guide and companion you have been for so many of us for a few decades

    thank you so much JMG for sharing this love with us

  17. You have my Condolences.
    I am on the same bus as you. My wife & I were married in 1987 and we lived a full life in France and New Jersey (no laughing, there are nice parts of NJ it just depends on the exit :)). She passed last June. It’s tough not only losing a lover but also a best friend at the same time. Time heals all wounds.


  18. A lovely tribute, and well deserved.

    Thank you for your insights, and for your ability to translate them for the rest of us. I am sorry for your loss.

  19. I echo Milkyway’s thoughts here: “Thank you very much for this! It’s good to be able to put an image and a story to Sara’s name.” I know that you both value privacy, especially as a writer and public figure. Still, thank you for allowing us this little glimpse into her life. It is a most fitting memorial. Peace, prayers, and condolences.

  20. Dear John M. Greer
    This honoring of your true companion is very loving and has moved me to tears in its honesty and humble look at the truth of this life and the world behind the world.This kind of exposure is a balm for a time when the abbreviated and glossy presentations tell me how much our culture has strayed from the Holy -In-Nature butI ,like you are older ,ancient hippies who haven’t lost that spark for the numinous and have no time for the distraction of banality.So in honor of your deep love and loss you have touched the ever present grief that exists side by side to that which we love and for that you have led me to such grace as one can find in that shore …fishing

  21. John Michael, I am sorry for your loss. I will ask my God for your comfort and strength in your grief.

    Know that you have honored Sara beautifully and well in this tribute.


  22. Deep condolences. Thank you for sharing a bit of this sorrow.
    From one of your respectful readers. My name also is Sara.

  23. John,

    A few years back, we met at the Morrigan’s Call retreat. We spent a lot of time talking, and I remember us talking about Sarah.

    The topic of stoicism came up, and while I referred to it as bull****, I’ve since come to embrace it as the cool towel for a fevered brow, as you called it.

    As such a towel, I offer Seneca:

    “Believe me, a great part of those we have loved, though chance has removed their persons, still abides with us. The past is ours, and there is nothing more secure for us than that which has been.”

    What is remembered, lives.


  24. Thank you so much for this gift in a time of grief–a portrait of a human person and relationship with so much -reality-.

  25. You have left me very thoughtful and silent. What a moving and beautiful memorial to your wife, Sara and the life you shared for so many years. Please accept my wishes for a healing path forward, one that will some time bring you new happiness and new awareness. Be well.

  26. Sara had great eyes and looked great in green. Thank you for sharing a little about her and your life together. Sometimes the dragon wins. I’m so very sorry for your loss. Please allow your community to help you in whatever way feels good for you.

  27. Reading this has produced a very emotional response in me. Sara’s childhood (and later health problems) very much remind me of my mother, the difficult stories she has told me about her childhood and the long bout of poor health she’s suffered with for many years now. And your marriage very much reminds me of the marriage my parents had, before my father passed away a few years ago. I am very sorry for your loss, JMG. I’m also glad that you and Sara shared your latest incarnations together. May your gods bless you, JMG, and may Sara’s gods bless her in the afterlife.

  28. Very sorry to hear this. It’s something I went through at the age of 33, and it was an ordeal I wouldn’t wish on anyone. Can’t think of anything more to say than that, other than we’re all thinking of you out here.

  29. My condolences. Thank you for sharing this with us. It felt beautiful and soothing.
    There’s one thing I would like to ask. I sincerely apologise if it’s inappropriate, but I ties into topics you often do address. Do you believe you two will meet again?

  30. This was both beautiful and heartbreaking to read, definitely made me tear up. It’s always horrible when the medical system of the US fails the people who need it. I’m glad you two got to have each other while you could, enjoying the time together that you had. Death may be a necessary part of life, but man does it suck losing the people you love and care about in life. You have my condolences, truly.

  31. Dearest JMG
    Tears and love for beautiful Sara. I am so sorry for your loss and sending the deepest of sympathies.:my dear father passed peacefully in his bed early last Tuesday morning..
    Wishing them heavenly rest in the Celestial Realms ( or whatever their hearts desire for their next adventure), and to you and me the gift of carrying in our hearts the best of them.
    Much Love and Thanks
    Jill C

  32. A few days ago, after reading some of your comments in the last post, I was visiting a “place” (one I know well, but not found on the physical plane). Someone had mentioned, in one of the connected threads, that there are many of the “suddenly dead” who are shocked at what had happened and could benefit from prayer. With this thought in mind, I was sitting by the side of a pool in this “place”, and watching little “roilings” in the pool, as bits of disturbance, which I could not quite make out, surfaced and thrashed about. As I prayed for the souls of the recently “suddenly” dead, I could see each focus of disturbance being lifted up by a circle of pink light and carried upwards. I hoped that my prayer and the vision were somehow in correspondence… but anyway, as I sat praying and contemplating, very suddenly a bright, irridescent salmon leapt from the pool, and before its leap turned into a fall, it was transformed into a hawk, and carried on flying upwards under its own steam. My instantaneous thought was “that’ll be how it is with Sara.”

    May her onward journeys and ways be blessed!

    Thank you for this memorial post. It was lovely. May your own journeys and ways be blessed!

  33. Thank you for this beautiful sharing of Sara’s life JMG. Away from the dramas of social media personalities it is refreshing to see such humanity revealed.

    Blessings to both of you.

  34. JMG,

    My thoughts are with you.

    I wish you all the best for this time of flux, endings and beginnings.

    Thank you for letting us in / behind the curtain in such a personal way at a time such as this.

    Warmest wishes for the days and weeks ahead.

  35. I got to know Sara only slightly, since the two of you moved to Rhode Island, but my first and lasting impresssion of her is that she was a remarkable person, wiser and braver than many, more aware than most. Elva and I mourn her passing.

  36. Thank you so much for sharing this. It touched me deeply.
    Since my beginning with the CGD and DOGD seven years ago, Sara shared her wisdom, guidance and encouragement in response to my questions, along the way.
    I will always remember her as one of my great teachers.

  37. What a beautiful, vulnerable, loving tribute to Sara! My heart breaks for you as you navigate your grief over the loss of your beloved wife and best friend. May you always feel surrounded by her love and devotion. Best wishes as you enter this new chapter.

  38. What a lovely remembrance you’ve made for Sara. Thank you for taking the time to write this and for sharing your words and the photos. Sara sounds like she was a truly amazing woman who managed to overcome so many challenges, or at the very least to reduce their impact. You were so lucky to have found each other and I hope you do so again.

  39. Please accept my deepest condolences, and please be kind to yourself whilst you mourn.
    May your sadness soon transform into an enriching gratitude for Sara – a gifted life well-lived.

  40. I’m very sorry for your loss. Your remembrance of your wife was all the more poignant for its honesty. I quite agree with you that a marriage is something that requires constant attention (stitching as you put it) and that once the infatuation/carnal passion stage has passed, as it must, we have to travel stonier territory. And that difficult path is what determines our character. Wishing you comfort.

  41. What honor you do to your partner’s life, and to your life together. I have not commented before, but I am too moved not to. My heart is full for you both. Thank you for your writing. Blessings on your journey ahead.

  42. It’s not a good look for a 58 year old orthodontist … crying on the train
    But I wouldn’t have missed reading this for all the world
    Thank you and may the sunshine rise on your winter when the time is right

  43. I’m so sorry for your loss . You wrote a beautiful and honest obituary. I have tears in my eye as I write this , I don’t usually comment. I heard that grief is when love doesn’t have anywhere to go.

  44. My sympathies to you…. You wrote a beautiful tribute to Sara…… Take care of your precious self in the weeks and months to come. Susan

  45. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. She sounds like an extraordinary woman and wonderful companion for your life together. Thank you for writing about this so honestly.

  46. This was a beautiful commemoration for a beautiful person. Thank-you, JMG, for sharing. You have helped so many of us in the past and now its time for us to be here for you. Be well, my friend, and mourn as you need.

  47. My heartfelt condolences, John. You are not alone. I went through something fairly similar a few years ago and can say with confidence that new loves and new adventures await both you and Sara. God(‘s) rest her soul!

  48. Much gratitude for your many elucidations on the matters you bring to us. This is a touching memoir of your beloved. I’m going to sit here a while until my heart stops tugging.

  49. Deepest condolences for the loss of your true life partner.
    “Good night, ladies; good night, sweet ladies; good night, good night.”

  50. Dear John, I offer my most sincere condolences on the passing of Sara and I send thoughts and light that may help you heal. Your biggest fan will surely be touched by such a beautiful tribute to a life that transcended the angst of her being.

  51. I am very sorry for your loss, Mr. Greer. I wish to light a candle for Mrs. Greer, with your permission. She sounded like a very wonderful person.

  52. I live on the English coast, a few miles from Margate where TS Eliot wrote some of The Wasteland.
    The beach shelter where he sat still exists, and I regularly walk past it.
    Whenever I pass it by I shall think of you, and especialy Sara.

  53. Dear JMG,
    Thank you for such a beautiful sharing of your life with Sara; it touched me in so many ways.
    Your words are magical /l\
    As always my deepest respect.

  54. John Michael Greer, please accept my sincerest condolences on the passing of your Beloved Wife Sara. 🙏🏼

  55. Thank you for this beautiful obituary and the story of your life together. It helped me put a character to the glimpses of Sara that your writing provided.

    I prayed for both of you and will continue to do so. I hope for you to find strength below the grief and for Sara to go on to better lives, in the material world or beyond.

  56. That was a beautifully sad memoir, JMG. My condolences for your loss. I’ll always remember the quote you put at the opening of your Druid Handbook (paraphrase): “Love, love, love, for the light of love heals all wounds.”

  57. What a wonderful eulogy and portrait of Sara and your relationship. Thank you for that heartfelt gift.

    If I may say, as a person who lost their spouse to a long, painful condition, it takes a good year or longer to reorient to this world. Folk advice to make no major changes, purchases, sales, or moves is one of the most insightful and important things in the process.

    Please let our thoughts and good wishes be support for you. You are not alone.

  58. I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for this beautiful piece. Your honesty and openness are very moving, as are your love and appreciation of Sara. The arc of an intimate human relationship in all its complexity comes through with bright clarity. I find myself relating deeply and grateful for that. My heart goes out to you both.

  59. IDear JMG, I am so sorry for your pain & loss. Healing and strength to you, I will keep you in my prayers!

  60. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and honest reflection. Many blessings to you and the spirit of Sara.

  61. A beautiful piece, and very honest. A close relative of mine experienced abuse as a child and recovering and bringing something positive from it was the work of a lifetime – a difficult path indeed to walk. You’ve mentioned your personal circumstances somewhat over the years, thank you for sharing more details and filling in some gaps. Not that we need this detail to appreciate the wonderful insights you provide in your books and essays, but it is strangely comforting to understand the burdens that people carry, it casts some perspective and lightens one’s own, so thank you. May you be blessed with peace and clarity as you mourn and begin to plan your next steps. And may Sara find rest and refreshment for the journey to come.

  62. RIP Sara. I cried when I read about her gentle passing and the death of your child. Chin up mate, I would usually say something about fixing bayonets but it seems oddly inappropriate after your respectful and heartfelt eulogy. Life goes on until it doesn’t.

  63. Hi John.
    I have little to say beyond the stereotypical, but it’s a small grain of anecdote that I hope can make it onto the mountain that is her memory.

    Back in 2019, 2020, when I first got serious about my occult practice, I read your blogs religiously. I suppose you remember 😅. One night during that time I had a dream where I basically did a pilgrimage to visit you. The Astral being the Astral of course, you lived in a non-euclidean neighborhood of Mexico City. After a series of fantastical adventures I made it to your place, but I didn’t get to meet you. It was actually Sarah who opened the door, kindly let me in into a vestibule and went for you behind a door. I woke up before you got back, but I have a very warm memory of what my own unconscious, informed by your writing, presented to me as her person in that single interaction in a dream.
    My deepest condolences to you.

  64. I am not good with words at times like these, but this was a beautiful essay. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  65. Thank you, everyone, for your thoughts, prayers, and condolences. I’d like to thank each of you individually, but it would get very repetitive very quickly, and given the rate that comments are coming in, I’m not sure I’d still have time to, you know, eat and sleep and things! I’m glad so many of you found this essay moving; I started working on it as soon as it became clear that Sara was dying, because I wanted to share some few scraps of what she meant to me and what our life together was like.

    A couple of questions have come up more than once here and elsewhere, and I might as well address those now. First, yes, I would be grateful for continued prayers and blessings, and thank you very much for asking. I know one of the main reasons this has been as easy as it was for Sara and me is that so many people have sent us both so much positive energy.

    Also, yes, I’m doing my best to take good care of myself: I’ve been getting plenty of sleep, including afternoon naps as needed, and meals are a good deal less complicated now that Sara’s dietary needs aren’t an issue. (It’s a pitifully small consolation, but I get to bake and eat my own homemade bread again, for the first time in twenty years.) Of course I’ve also got the Essene healing methods, among others, to help me weather the inevitable stress; in a few days I’ll start looking for a good local massage therapist to help with that, too. As I noted in my post, grand romantic gestures aren’t my style; I could easily have another thirty years to live, and I propose to make the best of them. (Sara and I talked about that more than once in the last few months, and she enthusiastically encouraged me in that resolve.)

    Several people have also asked when I’ll be posting again, or suggested that I take as much time off as I need. I appreciate that, but I’m back to my regular schedule, effective now. Partly that’s because I had the chance to do a lot of my grieving while Sara was dying; partly it’s because I have a lot less to do now, and the hours could very easily start to drag — but it’s also because I’ve missed the interactions with my online community, and I’d like to get back into the thick of our conversations. I’ve wished more than once over the last couple of months that we all lived in the same city or something, so we could get together at regular potlucks or some such arrangement!

    With that said, I want to respond to those who had specific questions and the like.

    Viduraawakened, thank you and you may certainly dedicate some of your singing to Sara. That’s interesting about prayopavesha. There was a similar tradition among the Cathars, called the Endura. Like a lot of serious Western occultists these days, Sara remembered a Cathar life; like so many of them, it was cut short by being burnt at the stake; and she told me once that when she was dying at the end of that life, one of her regrets was that she had to die that way instead of passing through the Endura. I think she finally got her wish.

    George, good gods. Thank you for this; what a horrific experience to have gone through. You have my profound sympathy.

    Karen, please accept my condolences!

    Dobbs, many thanks for this. A beautiful piece.

    Rick, and please accept my condolences in return. It’s not an easy trip for any of us.

    Ed, I’m delighted to hear that you’ve found a little more value in Stoicism. It’s gotten me through a lot of griefs and it’s getting me through this one, too. Thank you for the Seneca quote!

    Dermot, ouch! I’d have been a complete wreck if I’d gone through this at that age. Now, at 61, it’s a little easier.

    Gaia, it’s not inappropriate at all, not least because I mentioned reincarnation in the post. Yes, I expect Sara’s soul and mine to meet again. For that matter, I’m dimly aware of her now — I could feel very clearly when she woke up on the inner planes this morning. (Most souls go through a period of relative unconsciousness after separating from the material body — it’s much easier that way.)

    Jill, please accept my condolences! This seems to be shaping up to be a difficult month for many people.

    Scotlyn, thank you for this!

    Heather, you may certainly light a candle for her.

    Paul, thank you for this! I don’t know if I’ll ever have the chance to get back to England, but if I do, I’ll try to put that shelter on my get-to list.

    Elkriver, thanks for this.

  66. JMG, condolences, and prayers to you and Sara.

    From what you’ve written, I think that for all its challenges, your marriage to Sara really did exemplify this to-the-point description by poet Rainer Maria Rilke:

    “It is a question in marriage, to my feeling, not of creating a quick community of spirit by tearing down and destroying all boundaries, but rather a good marriage is that in which each appoints the other guardian of his solitude, and shows him this confidence, the greatest in his power to bestow.”

    Good marriage.

    Thank you.

    Will M

  67. “Writers and artists,” as you say, may be “no more interesting than anybody else,” but I have always been intrigued and inspired by whatever tidbits of your life you have shared over the years. To learn so much more about Sara (and you) like this is both enriching and devastating. My heart aches.

  68. I am in England, but I happened to light a candle yesterday evening and say a prayer for Sarah, in Chelmsford Cathedral, a stunning small place of worship.

    What a beautiful essay. Thank you for it.

    I will hold you in my thoughts at this sad time, with gratitude for all that you bring to the world.

  69. Dear John Michael,

    Thank you so much for sharing your life with us in this way. I grieve for you, and my prayers go out to Sara for a peaceful and beneficent passage into The Great Beyond.

    It has always struck me as one of the cruelest of life’s contradictions that one can experience such pain and loss as the death of a dearly loved one, while the world goes on spinning, seemingly unconcerned and unaffected. But would any of our dearly departed really wish for the world to stop simply due to their departure from it? No, they would want us to go on living all the more. I hope that you are able to go on living all the more.

  70. My deepest condolences, JMG. While I’m sorry for your loss, I can’t help but feel a little bit of jealousy – for your writing skills with a moving tribute to Sara as powerful as anything I’ve read by you, and for both of you having the luck of meeting, falling in love and sharing that mutual emotion for as long as you did. Godspeed with your remaining time in this life.

  71. John, I pray for your strengthening and comfort in this time of loss. In the days (and weeks, and months, and years) that now follow may you continue to seek out and find warmth and light for your continued growth.

  72. Thank you for this,
    Over the last weeks I found myself wondering about the person whom I never knew, but whose passing was a felt reality for me. A fine eulogy!
    Please accept my sincere condolences in your loss.

    And give license I will ask a question. You both remembered past lives, a long line of them. I know you mentioned memories from 2k back. Add to that the mentioned ability to perceive each other across the veil. Experience with the catharsis, on a high level. Living with a spiritual guide “as a family member”. I could go on…
    How do people as developed as you two still need to reincarnate?

  73. Dear John:
    I think of those of us who started out our lives on the magical campus of WWU and walked that green sward that connected and separated Western from Fairhaven College. I remember the fake Stone Henge and the Backyard Farm and the goats. I can see us all there laughing in the sun. Though I did not know you and Sara. I was going to school during those years, probably passed you both dozens of times. We were poised on the edge of the beginning of our adult paths., our lives bursting with potential and a million possible futures. Being 20-something was terrifying.
    But, we have lived and somehow we got here to today. Life didn’t turn out at all like I thought. It’s been worse and far better than I could have imagined. So here we are washed up on some shore
    close to the place we started from or far away. We are now in our 60’s. How did that ever happen?
    I’m just glad to know that you had so true a friend and love for so long, nearly your whole life. That the promises of lifelong love really can be fulfilled.
    I feel sad for the youngsters we were but joy for the elders we are now. You have lived and loved well.
    God’s peace to you, dear man.

  74. Thank you, JMG, for this beautiful tribute to Sara. This was truly a labor of love.
    It is also full of wisdom for the rest of us.
    Blessings to you both,

  75. Dear John Michael,
    Memento morri… thank you for sharing your and Sara’s experience in simple words…
    OM SHANTI and may the breeze of her LOVE carry you on to greater passions and accomplishments before you join her in the non-physical.

  76. Another thing. Yesterday, oddly enough, I felt a shift in the Force. I didn’t know what to attribute it to. I suddenly felt that everything was going to change….

  77. Dear JMG,
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful tribute. I’m glad those of us who are newer readers of yours could know a bit about Sara. I am sure you are dealing with some complicated and heavy feelings, as you mentioned: relief at the end of her suffering, but also knowing you will miss her. I personally was encouraged to see that she was able to make some great things out of her life after such a rough childhood. You both are on my blessing candle as long as you wish.
    Best wishes, take care, and I look forward to your further writings.

  78. My condolences on your loss.

    Sherri, my wife of 20 years, died seven years ago. It’s been a short time, and a long time. Mourning sent me on a living visit to the underworld, in which the comforts and certainties of life were revealed as necessary illusions. This bleakly honest vision has since faded, thank goodness, as my heart has slowly healed.

    I wrote a memorial poem about her. That helped; for poetry is an angel, and poetry is a vulture. Friends and laughter also helped. So did “Across the Great Divide” by Kate Wolf, which I listened to whenever I needed a good cry. After I post this comment, I’ll go listen to it again.

  79. Dear JMG,

    I posted this to the DOGD Dreamwidth community today. If it’s appropriate and with your blessing I thought I’d post it here as well. Sara met so much to so many of us in the DOGD. I’m not always the best communicating over text but I hope that it might communicate to the blog community and you how much she meant to us in the DOGD and how big a part of our order that she was and will continue to be.


    I know a lot of you read JMG’s blogs and are already aware, but for those that aren’t I have some sad news. One of our members and Past Archdruid Sara Greer passed away yesterday peacefully in her home after a long illness.

    In my opinion, if John Michael is the brain behind the DOGD, Sara was and in many ways will always continue to be it’s heart. For a lot of us she was our primary interface with the order for the first 10 years as the order’s secretary. She was also a spiritual mentor for many of us. She always gave very direct and no messing around spiritual advice, and always let you know, usually gently, when you were being a knuckle head. She was also very quick to let you know when she was wrong or didn’t know. I really admired that about her.

    In my personal experience with her, she was probably the most psychic person I’ve ever met and was able to help me untangle a lot of experiences I’d had in my life and how to use those experiences. She also reminded me many times that it was ok to unfold spiritually in my own natural way.

    I met visited Sara once about sixish moths ago after a lot of correspondence over the years. It was wonderful meeting her in person. I wish that I could have met up with her again, but I will always carry her teaching and friendship in my heart, as we all will.

    Fair Winds and Following Seas in your further journeys Sara. Thank you for your blessings and mentorship.

    Virtue, Harmony, and Light
    Yours in the OIW,

  80. Thank you for this very touching essay. Sara has always been in the background as an influence in your writing. It’s nice to finally get a sketch of her life as a remembrance. It helps us to understand the man behind the writings as well, since much of your life and times were more or less private and only hinted at before. The twists and turns of your shared life’s saga give some very meaningful points for reflection on life in general.

    Please accept my condolences for your loss and I will continue to keep you both in my prayers.

  81. Dear JM Greer, I echo all of the thoughts, wishes and prayers posted above.
    My deepest gratitude to you, for sharing so much of your own private life, in another masterpiece of your lovely writing.

  82. Deepest and most sincere condolences for your loss, dear elder. Since I’m nearby, I will light a candle where fairhaven meets wwu. The trees there will remember you both, I’m sure.

  83. Thank you, Papa, for a most beautiful love story.
    Even in deepest pain you give beauty.

    Thank you.


  84. Dearest JMG, teacher and spiritual advisor,

    Thank you so much for sharing this loving tribute to Sara with all of us.

    May you find peace in your grief.


  85. Many condolences to you, dear John Michael Greer. Thank you for sharing this beautiful and moving story of her life and of your marriage. Blessings to you both.

  86. Thank you for the story of Sara and your life together. It is an example of “one hand washes the other” where the friction of being together rubs the rough edges off your personality.

    It is always a shock when someone close to you dies, even if you’ve been expecting it, as I discovered when my mother died after a long illness. You need time to rebalance your life.

    Like Sara, my cousin chose to stop eating rather than continue to endure the physical problems caused by a totally unnecessary (IMO) operation at the age of 80. One can only respect their choice, and wish them a better time in the afterlife.

  87. Dear JMG,
    What a blessing to have known her, loved and lived with her, helped her ‘endura’ and written such a moving eulogy. Thank you for sharing it with us. I will soon be facing the ‘endura’ of my beloved younger sister, and your words will help. For now I will “hold you in the light” as my mother used to say, if that is OK. We have not met though you’ve always felt familiar to me, in an oddly comforting way. Peace.

  88. I read your comment below: You’re so alive, too. Welcome back to all you’ve built around you!


  89. Dear Mr. Greer,
    I have no memory of how or when I ended up on your mailing list, but I’ve always found your posts interesting and your generosity impressive. Today my heart breaks for you. I hope Sara’s spirit is at peace; perhaps you both will be able to break the “old Soul” cycle and find rest together. I am a year older than you but had my first child in 1990 not long after you lost yours. I am so sorry you and Sara lost the chance to spend the last 34 years as parents, but I think all of your readers appreciate how much you (and Sara) have given of yourselves to the greater world — an ability that might have been more constrained had you had other responsibilities. Thank you for sharing your story and your pain. I wish you quiet peace.

  90. Yeah don’t worry about us. Take all the time you need. That’s the nicest and most flattering and also honest obituary I think I’ve ever read. Thank you for sharing that tribute with us.

  91. John Michael Greer you have been and remain my greatest teacher. Other than my minor in Native American Philosophy, Cornell University’s Natural Resource degree doesn’t even factor. From the moment I read your first words in 2011 I vowed to be the best student possible. Now that I have read your essay, I thank Sara for believing in you and creating the financial structure required to set you free to help so many of us. The power of your words eminates from the deepest spring of love and now I know its source.

  92. “Memories, jokes, habits, shared interests, all the little ways that two people can weave their lives together—all those lose most of their meaning once one of the participants is gone. As the saying goes, you had to be there, and nobody else was.”

    Ah, these words, so very true. I lost my Beloved 2 1/2 years ago, after a long battle with cancer. I too, lost the part of myself that was “us.” The soul of my soul, the breath of my breath.

    Life goes on, and we who are still in mortal form learn to go on too–hopefully with joy and compassion, and most importantly I think, with Gratitude. I am grateful each day for this life, in this body, in this World.

    My Beloved gave me his heart when he passed from this world, and I find strength in the fact that I now have two hearts. It helps, as do the moments when I find myself cracking a joke and my Beloved laughs along with me.

    Sending prayers and love, brother.

  93. Dear JMG
    Thank you so much for being so generous to share this deeply moving story with us. My husband and I are both old now and I for one fear a future without him. I hold the phrase by Tagore in mind:
    Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp
    because dawn has come.
    I send you Peace, Blessings and Prayers until we meet again.
    With deep respect,

  94. Blessings JMG. This was a very moving tribute, and both you and Sara have been an inspiration throughout.

  95. I’m sorry for your loss, and you’ve written a beautiful remembrance. February is weird. I lost my mom and husband in a February. I was 49 when I became widowed, (2017), so I felt cheated really. I can really relate to your paragraph about how all the routines and such after 24 years in my case, are gone with the person. Take care of yourself! I’ve really enjoyed the books of yours I’ve read, and plan on reading more!

  96. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful tribute with us. I will light a candle for Sara and continue to pray for you dear John Michael . Reading some comments here, I wonder whether Sara was really as mysterious an ‘unknown entity ‘ to us who read and interact here from afar as I used to think (I discount those who actually met her IRL). For my part, the pictures you shared show me a woman uncannily like what I pictured her all along. Where she looks straight in the Camera , my thoughts were: “Yes, of course, THERE you are”. And your words also confirm some of what I sometimes thought, especially when we got the odd rare snippet from Sara- that there was a woman who had a lot to offer to a large, untapped audience – but who chose not to, for reasons none of my (or anyone’s) business. You are lucky to have had this beautiful woman beside you, and she, to have had you, right up to the end. What a privilege.
    Anyway, we are here, here , here for you! Sending love and condolences from England.

  97. Thank you for this beautiful elegy. I really have a sense of who she was. May the peace of all the gods be with you.

  98. Oh, most eloquent Archdruid JMG, your eulogy is deeply moving. Sara was so fortunate to have had you in her life, especially at the end. Your words illuminate the profound good fortune of your having shared life with her. My heart reaches out to you both. Deepest condolences.

  99. Dear JMG,
    Thank you for sharing your story of your life with Sara. I can feel the love and connection you share, and I can picture your life together as I know some of your home locations well. Your tribute to her is truly moving. May you both feel the support and care of your community to carry you through this time.

  100. Dear JMG,

    Thank you for sharing this. It’s one of the more beautiful things I’ve read. I admit it’s a bit startling to read something so explicitly personal from you, but really joyous to see your love so clearly and to get what feels like a clear and honest picture of Sara, even if necessarily still very limited. I never met her, but feel a bit now as if I had.

    I’m sorry for your loss and sorry Sara is no longer in this world, though I wish her and expect she will have a good journey into the next. I will send out more prayers for you both, and I wish you comfort during this time. Home baked bread is a good start!

    I also want to thank you specifically for sharing more about yours and Sara’s marriage. For whatever it’s worth, it actually means a lot to me to read about it, particularly from someone I have come to respect so greatly. Much of what you wrote resonated with me and made me reflect on my own marriage. Some of it was a little surprising, but pleasant and comforting to read. All of it was very beautiful and a fitting tribute.

    It also was both affecting and helpful for me at a personal level and I just want you to know that. Thank you again for sharing.

  101. She sounds like a lovely person. The readers of this blog owe quite a lot to her, it seems. That’s a shame about her latent creative potential. It’s something I’ve struggled with all my life, so I feel I can relate. I wish her the best in unraveling that potential in the future stages of her journey, whenever she is ready and willing to do so.

    Thank you for sharing a small piece of your story together, it was a privilege to read.

  102. Dear Mr. Greer,
    This is a loving testament to the civilization you and your wife built together. I am truly sorry for your loss and I pray you continue to feel her with you even now.

  103. Dear JMG, a beautiful and moving tribute! My condolences, and my very best wishes for both of you for the times ahead.

  104. I’ve been lurking on this blog and the ADR for something over 10 years now, but this pushes me to break my silence. My wife and I shed, and shared, some tears this morning while reading this. Thank you so much for sharing. What blessings we have to give are yours.

    Gene (and Maude) of Bramblehaven

  105. Very kind of you to share so much, with so much feeling and intimacy. It was an unexpected gift.
    Mortality has long been a companion of mine, ever since I stopped being an ‘immortal’ with all the egotism and clumsy stupidity that usually accompanies the shortsighted unthinking of those who still think ‘that won’t happen to me.’ It was beautiful the way you presented this intimate encounter with mortality.
    I am both entertained and enlightened by your writing. For that I thank you. I hope your literary quest to show us more exactly where we are and the consequences we are creating for ourselves continues for a long time.
    Your past and present nonfiction are my go to reading whenever I am either slipping into the darkness of the third hand ‘news of the day’ that slips past my filters, or into some shallow illusion that says I can ignore the real consequences of my actions.
    Because of your writing (and the Discworld series by Terry Pratchett), I no longer bother myself with my forsaking my teenage dream of becoming a writer. I am content that the two of you have done the best job I can imagine writing the type works I might have aspired to.
    Sara lives as long as your love for her lasts, and perhaps longer.
    All the best recovering from your lost civilization.
    With great respect,

  106. Even in this, your saddest hour, you still teach us.
    Thank you so much.
    My love and prayers for you both.

  107. Hi John,

    My deepest condolences to you. There’s nothing more poignant than to read the details of another person’s life at their passing. Wisdom is experience, and other peoples stories are a type of vicarious experience. Thanks for telling her story so honestly. On my next visit to church I will light a candle for you both.

    She lived her life true to herself, loved her family in spite of their flaws and faced death bravely. What more can you ask of some one.

    I wish peace and pleasant dreams of Sara to you, John.

  108. Dearest JMG,

    Thank you for sharing your special connection with your beloved. A wonderful example of a relationship rooted in deep love and compassion.

    What immense and great Work the two of you have accomplished together… and will continue to do so, on a whole new “level”. No doubt, interesting times ahead.

    Allow the grief to flow and break your heart over again – Sara is worth it – and you wouldn’t want it any other way.

    … and then, without realizing it, happiness will reign once more, and you’ll feel the joy of having a remarkable soul still at your side.

    You’re in our thoughts.

    Sending love and great big hugs,

  109. My deepest condolences as well. Your portrait of Sara, and of your lives together, is refreshing in its honesty. I am keeping both of you in my prayers for as long as you want them.

  110. I am so sorry for your profound loss and my prayer is for you to find the strength to endure it, the courage to face it, and any comfort you can find for solace. That said, I don’t recall ever reading or hearing a more honest, evocative and loving eulogy than the one you’ve shared here in honor of your beloved Sara, and I am deeply moved by it. I am just one of your many admirers who hope and/or pray that you prevail through your grief and are able to find peace and joy again.

  111. Truly sorry for your loss, and appreciative for the elegance and honesty of your written remembrance. You two were obviously lucky to have each other. May you both have peace, Sara in her ending and you in the time ahead.

  112. I offer you my sincerest condolences on your wife Sarah’s untimely loss. I also offer you my congratulations on your marriage to each other – it was clearly a very successful one.

  113. Hi JMG,
    Thank you for sharing this beautiful essay. Your vigil is over, but this love now purified by death is going to live as long as you do. You’ve had it. As a participant in a very long and very cold marriage (Hello, Venus conjunct Saturn!) I think that there is so much happiness in small gestures of care, back rubs, and the ability to negotiate. You’ve had it. Lucky you!

  114. JMG I just wanted to say, under an alias, that I also really appreciate what you have had to say about the difficult aspects of your late wife’s childhood. A lot of us men have wives or have been in past relationships with people who have been abused. For the person who went through it, it was a nightmare. That trauma gets lodged in the body IMO, and the soul, and manifests in different ways, none of them easy for the person who endured it, but the effects are also felt by their loved ones -as they were by you. Knowing there are other men who stick it out through these kinds of difficulties is encouraging. You said you don’t usually get so personal in your essays, and I know you don’t, having read you for so long, but I thank you for sharing the shared story of your marriage. It’s given me another ray of hope when there have been many recent dark days, due in part, to the lasting legacy of the past.

  115. RIP Mrs. Sara Greer.
    If I have your ok, John, I will do the divine mercy prayers for the repose of the soul of your dearly beloved wife. (A Catholic prayer derived from the visions of St Faustina in a Polish nunnery in the 1930s).
    May I recommend her harrowing tale at the hands of the church.
    Also, the day before yesterday I did an online excorcism and noticed apart from invocations to the saints, a great part was taken up with prayers to forgive others, lest we not be healed, which is to say, forgiven. It was a first for me and I attained a deep recollection that continues. Peace I have not felt before, even with an abiding sorrow.
    Anyway, here’s the link, should you choose to give it a go.
    Peace on you good sir.
    Connect via the link at the bottom of this page, if not for the entire excorcism, but even just the 4 minute youtube video prayer to undo generational curses. Saint Michael centre on youtube.

  116. JMG – This was beautiful. I must imagine that Sara is very pleased by it. She has lovely eyes in those pictures, very captivating, her intelligence shines through. My wife and I ordered Pagan Prayer Beads right about the time we learned of Sara’s imminent passing. When we get some proper rosaries made, we’ll consider that our little tribute to her, with gratitude for her teaching us how to do it. Thank you. – Jeff Huggins

  117. John
    That was one of the most beautiful eulogies I have ever read or heard, especially your honest presentation of her life and your life together. So often people tend to give only an exaggerated version of the good side of the departed. I hope she accomplished everything she needed to in this life. It sounds like she did.
    I have appreciated so deeply all your posts over the years, and in many fields, such as resources, alternate lifestyles, warfare, etc felt I could offer something in return. However as to lifes, deaths, reincarnation,gods, and the spirit world, I feel I have known so little and gained so much from you and from Sara’s contribution to you as well. I feel much more at ease in that world than I did before your guidance, which is a good thing at my age, 84. I am deeply grateful to you both and offer my sincere thanks for this,

  118. I can’t add anything to what has already been said. I will only point out that, in many religious traditions (including my own), those who have lost a loved one spend 40 days in mourning. During that time, no work is done, and the surrounding community provides for the needs of the bereaved as much as possible.

    If you wish to declare a 40-day moratorium on further posts, I think that would give you space to properly grieve.

  119. I am so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this moving tribute with your readers. I’m going to share it with my wife. Your recent podcast with James Howard Kunstler was playing in our kitchen while I was cooking the other day; we had an interesting discussion of some of your thoughts.

  120. John Michael. I just read your tribute to your beautiful wife, Sara. Heartfelt and heart-giving.
    I wrote this poem some years ago. I’ve always liked it. My sincere condolences on your loss. Don.
    Wait upon me a while.
    Pour cool water over my brow
    then guide me to where
    I would stand.
    On salt-scarred rocks
    we will look together
    upon all there is.
    And later,
    let my darkness guide you
    across that rare ocean
    to distant shores
    that gift new travellers
    with bright pearls.
    Take with you my song,
    my early voice,
    and listen to it a’ times
    upon the wind.
    For I will be there.
    And here.

  121. Thank you JMG. I am honored for the tidbits of your personal experiences you have shared. This one of the imprint and entwining of your life with your beloved was remarkable. I’ve often felt in reading your essays there was a touch of Sara in them. She’s without a doubt planted many seeds within you from the life you’ve shared, and now that she has gone beyond the Veil I’m certain we will see some of those seeds which haven’t already germinated and blossomed to begin doing so.

    May you have the strength and wisdom needed to begin this new chapter in your life. And may Sara’s spirit travel safely.

  122. Again, I’d like to thank everyone for their kind thoughts, prayers, and condolences. I am deeply moved, to the point of tears, by the breadth and intensity of the caring that’s come to Sara and me during this difficult time. Please consider each of you thanked personally.

    Will, that’s a lovely passage even by Rilke’s standards, and of course that’s saying something. What’s more, he’s right.

    Alan, maybe I’m just weird, but it helps me a lot to know that the world goes on. This morning, when I woke to the cold solitude of my apartment, I spent a while watching the starlings splashing around in the gutter of the house next door, chattering and bathing. It made me feel better to watch that irrepressible display of life.

    Marko, because both of us had a lot of difficult, tangled karma to work through, and that can only be done in incarnation. It’s a mistake to think that spiritual development makes one immune from that — quite the contrary, most souls turn to the spiritual path only when it hurts too much to do anything else, and that usually comes from many lives of stupid choices.

    Elizabeth, thanks for this. My time at Fairhaven was a very mixed bag — some good memories, some very difficult ones — and the one thing most worth having that I got there, of course, is gone now. There are the memories, at least.

    Paradoctor, please accept my condolences; I know it gets better but the grief never really goes away.

    Dean, thank you for this. I wish Sara could hear it.

    Meg, I’m kind of a middle-aged soul, practically a spring chicken compared to Sara; my great and stupid mistakes spun out of control less than two thousand years ago, while hers went back much, much further, into megalithic times. Our task in this and previous lives was to help each other come round right at last, and I think we succeeded.

    Susan, that’s a lovely bit of Tagore — thank you.

    Joel, I’m very glad to hear this. It took the two of us a lot of work to make our marriage succeed, and if that can inspire anyone else to do the same thing, that seems like a wonderful tribute.

    Grateful, I’m very glad this is useful to you. The aftereffects of trauma — hoo boy. Yes, that’s a very heavy burden to shoulder, and only love makes it worthwhile.

    Jay Bee, Sara specifically asked that Catholic rituals not be done for her; she left the church for what she considered very good reasons at the age of nine, and remained very bitter about much of what she experienced then and afterwards. I’m sorry to have to say this, as I know you’re acting out of caring, but that was her request.

    Stephen, very glad to hear this.

    Michael, thank you, but that’s exactly what I don’t want or need right now. Forty days of enforced inactivity would be a totally miserable experience for me; what I need now, to start the healing process, is work to do and interaction with my community of readers. Still, thank you.

    Don, thanks for this.

  123. A beautiful, heart-full remembrance. I won’t forget the tenderness of it. I’m so sorry for your loss. May Sara’s memory be eternal and her future full of light.

  124. My condolences. This was a beautifully written reflection upon her life and your relationship, both the highs and the lows. I see honesty touched with grace here, which is too rare of a combination.

    I believe I only interacted with Sara briefly, regarding the OSA. (I think that was her, considering the spelling of her name and how she resigned her position abruptly in October.) So I had no real sense of her as a person, but your announcement still filled me with grief.

    I lost a friend to cancer earlier this month. It was a difficult death and she was a difficult person. I haven’t quite been able to grieve for her, since I’m quite good at stuffing emotions down, but her death has opened me up to more keenly appreciate the bright and the dark of life.

  125. John,
    Long time lurker, first (probably last) time commenter.
    I am so sorry that you have lost your lifetime soulmate, companion and friend.
    I hope that time brings you healing and that the fond memories linger longest. Peace and strength to you, fellow traveler.

  126. Dear JMG:

    There is nothing I can say that hasn’t already been said. A beautiful tribute to the life you and Sara made.

    My thoughts are with you as you move on through this, and also with Sara as she goes to the next steps. She was obviously a strong woman.

    Your last picture of her is wonderful; the definition of “old Happily Married Couple”; you were both enjoying the day out!


  127. My condolences to you. Thank you for the vulnerability of sharing your grief and praise with us. Her remembrance is beautiful; and it’s instructive on how to move through the grief and troubles of this life with clarity, accepting the truths, shouldering them, and working around and through them. Having cared for an elder through a protracted illness and long-expected passing, I recognize the tangled knot of feelings that arise from the caregiver’s mind, body, and will being relieved of long strain even as their heart and soul are grief-fully parted from a physical companion. May Sara be blessed in her journey; and may you be blessed in your recovery.

  128. John, thank you for introducing Sara to us. As happens so often, we only learn of someone’s life after they have passed and we can more truly share our compassion.
    Last year you bade me go away and use a dictionary. There is a very funny side to that. No one, least of all me, could have imagined a life-long labourer like me should devote my latter decades to understanding what I am actually saying. Nearly all my “spare time” this century, waking and sleeping, has been given to living in the Online Etymology Dictionary.
    Events such as the loss of my family, personal death threats, undiagnosed atrial fibrillation, the failure of my congenital bicuspid aortic valve and, most recently, radiation for inoperable cancer during the Covid 19 epidemic have probably livened my sentience of my own mortality. Two things have become clear to me during this etymological journey:
    – our struggle to embrace our mortality is manifest in our use of words;
    – words alone can never enable us to transcend the paradox of the continuous universal transformation.
    This said, here is my translation of three Maori phrases:
    Ka mua, ka muri – (we are) walking backwards into the future.
    Kia kaha – may you enjoy strength.
    Aroha nui – enjoy all the love there is and know it is bounteous.
    In compassion
    Dave McA

  129. JMG,

    Thank you for sharing this beautiful, moving, deeply personal account of Sara and of your life together. As someone else mentioned above, I appreciate your honest depiction of marriage and the joys and challenges that flow from living life with another and slowly uncovering each others vulnerabilities. It gives me much to reflect on as my husband and I embark on our second decade of marriage. I will keep you in my prayers.

  130. Juan Pablo, err, two or three years ago I had almost the same dream except that it wasn’t a non-euclidean Mexico City. My trip had been from Seattle to a city that doesn’t exist today, which was sunny but cool. Sara welcomed me in, I looked around the place and she went looking for JMG to a different room while I waited in the living room just before I woke up.

  131. Dear John Michael,

    Ave atque vale, Sara.

    Thank you John Michael for this moving tribute. It’s a real pleasure to read that you’ve enjoyed the presence of a partner, lover, best friend, not to mention strongest reviewer (the lessons will surely be with you every time you commit pen to paper – you’ll still hear Sara right up to the final words), whom fitted you most comfily.

    Life’s one heck of a journey.

    With sympathy,


  132. Dear JMG,

    I’ve been reading your writings since about 2010, and I think this is one of the most beautiful essays you have ever written. May the Divine bless both of you.

  133. Hello John,
    You have my deepest sympathies. What a beautiful tribute to Sara. Thank you for sharing this very personal glimpse into your lives together.
    I have been a silent follower of your writing since the early days of the Archdruid Report and greatly appreciate learning these details of your life’s journey.
    Warm regards,
    Randall Schalk

  134. JMG Your skill with words comes through powerfully in your tribute to Sara. I found it very moving. My your journey through grief go smoothly and well.

  135. Hi John. I am deeply saddened to hear of your wife Sara’s death. You both were an awesome match for each other. I am thankful that you shared your memories of Sara and your times together with us. I know she was every bit as giving a person as you. Den

    I watched this video repeatedly after the recent death of a very much love freind of mine.
    The Life of Death

  136. There’s a lot to ponder and learn in what you have written. A thought comes to my mind – a response I got from you on a Magic Monday, not too long ago: “Yes, very much so. Following through is essential.” I bow my head in gratitude and respect before you and Sara.

    All the best,

  137. Dear JMG,
    My wife and I often say you never know what is going on in someone else’s marriage. You did a fine job sharing some of the uniqueness of your relationship with Sara. Thanks for the opportunity. Much sorrow.

  138. I’m very grateful to Sara for supporting the launch of your writing career. She (and you) have changed the world for the better. Today I will feel sadness with you.

  139. You both seem like remarkable people and this was an exemplary tribute. Thank you for telling us about Sara. I’ll continue to pray for your wellbeing and for Sara’s peaceful transition.
    It’s kind of awesome to see you swing right back into this commentary and essay writing. Here’s to the 30 more years!


  140. What a beautiful and moving essay. You brought each other so much love and made the world better for yourselves and everyone around you.
    My deepest sympathies and condolences.

  141. Hi John. Sorry to spam you. I hope you’ll consider the video. I know you hate videos. The you tube commercial is irritation but can be skipped in 5 seconds. The animation is set in nature. I think it is beautiful and has me in tears again. I’m truly sorry for your loss. I will remember her name, Sara. Den

  142. Understood John. Admittedly the Catholic church has failed miserably in its mandate to protect the innocent. My many syblings would agree with Sara. I luckily missed out on that.
    I am so sorry for your loss good sir.
    A life well told, indeed.

  143. I have just planted or rather sprinkled a variety of poppy seeds in my small left coast garden in Sara’s honor.

  144. JMG,

    Thank you for sharing this, a truly beautiful and moving tribute to your beloved Sara. Our prayers are with you and her.


  145. “Stitching”… which is what love is, of course. The real thing, not the greeting-card version.

  146. I am remembering the lovely book ‘Pagan Prayer Beads’, Sarah (Clare Vaughn) wrote with you in 2007. Assuming your writing brought in the histories of various traditions of prayer beads, a universal use of strings of beads, enhanced my understanding of meanings in the materials and patterns I be using; her descriptions of her rosaries are still an inspiration for me.

    May you both be blessed in your ongoing journeys. Yours being the harder for now, may you find comfort with the bead prayers she likely left with you.

  147. A moving hommage to Sarah. We don’t hear enough honest eulogies for a marriage. All the best to you in this difficult time.

  148. Thank you for sharing Sara with us like this. I feel like I know her a little bit now. I’m so glad to hear that you had each other for companionship, love, good days and bad.

  149. Thank you for sharing this beautiful eulogy to your beloved. The work in rejuvenating the Ancient Order of Druids in America by Sara, yourself, and others is valuable beyond measure. I will continue to send prayers.

  150. JMG,

    Thank you for sharing this, I had tears in my eye’s as I was reading it. I’m glad you were able to have this life together, while sorry for your loss. You made a contribution to society that has have enriched my life and many others.


  151. Thank you for sharing these moving memories. I am still grateful for the patience and the humor that Sara had with me in our correspondence during my abortive first efforts with occult practice.

    Would it be permissible to adjust the current Prayer List entry on behalf of the two of you to continue to support Sara in any way on her current journey? Or would you prefer to let prayers on her behalf come to an end now that she is on the other side?

  152. I am so incredibly sorry to hear of Sara’s passing. I always enjoyed chatting with her back in our Livejournal days, and I feel the world has lost a bit of its brightest color with her passing. My condolences to all who loved her.

  153. Thank you for sharing Sara with us.
    I am glad you are making bread. I hope you have some decadent butter and cheese to go with it. I know different cultures handle grieving differently, but if you were close by, you’d have one of my macaroni casseroles on your doorstep.

  154. What a beautiful eulogy. Blessings to her soul on its journey, and to your heart in this difficult time.

  155. All hail the traveler.
    Thank you for sharing this story of a life. Your faithful readers appreciate it John. Be well

  156. Thank you for posting this. I knew her through her letters, and felt then that she was a real sweetie, and wise, and someone you could confide in – as I said much earlier, like another sister.
    When you spoke of your first meetings with her, I found myself envisioning the two of you as sharing a single aura from the first – not two auras merged, but as one. I grieve with you, and wish all the blessings of the world on you and on her spirit.

    Having mislaid my handwritten booklet of chants, I offer from memory, as a blessing:
    “The river is flowing, flowing, and growing. The river is flowing, down to the sea. Mother, carry me, Your child I will always be. Mother, carry me, down to the sea.”

    And from an older, harsher tradition, for the one left behind:
    “Cows die. Friends die. Loved ones die.
    You, too, will die.
    But I know one thing that will never die:
    Your good name. And the deed you did in life. ”

    For what it’s worth.

  157. Again, many, many thanks for the outpouring of love and support. Consider yourselves thanked individually and at length.

    Cliff, no, that was a different Sara, but still a worthwhile person to meet. I’m very sorry to hear about your friend.

    Dave, thank you for taking that request of mine seriously! I appreciate the Maori phrases — lots to learn there.

    Jay, thank you for understanding.

    KarenJoy, if I ever get the rights to that book back, it’s going to be listed as Sara’s work pure and simple. I did about ten per cent of the writing; my major contribution was shepherding it through an unusually contentious editing process. I still wish she’d written more!

    Quin, that would be fine. She will benefit from further prayers on her behalf — it’s one of the best things the living can do for the dead.

    Random, thank you for the thought! One of the other petty but real consolations is that an entire world of good cheese is back within reach. I had to set aside a lot of favorite foods because of Sara’s dietary needs; I accepted that willingly, and would have gladly done without them for the rest of my life for her sake, but now that she’s gone I have some catching up to do. 😉

    Patricia M, thank you very much for this. That last bit’s from the Havamal, isn’t it? Old and harsh, yes, but cleansing as a bucket of cold water in the face.

  158. Thank you for sharing these precious memories with us. Words cannot describe the depths of grief when losing a beloved partner. My prayers are with you and Sara.

    *Death is nothing at all.
    It does not count.
    I have only slipped away into the next room.
    Everything remains as it was.
    The old life that we lived so fondly together is untouched, unchanged.
    Whatever we were to each other, that we are still.
    Call me by the old familiar name.
    Speak of me in the easy way which you always used.
    Put no sorrow in your tone.
    Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes that we enjoyed together.
    Play, smile, think of me, pray for me.
    Let my name be ever the household word that it always was.
    Let it be spoken without effort,
    Without the ghost of a shadow upon it.
    Life means all that it ever meant.
    It is the same as it ever was.
    There is absolute and unbroken continuity.
    What is this death but a negligible accident?
    Why should I be out of mind because I am out of sight?
    I am but waiting for you, for an interval,
    Somewhere very near,
    Just around the corner.
    All is well.*
    – Henry Scott Holland

  159. This was a beautiful tribute to your lovely wife and I suppose we all owe her a debt of gratitude to her for supporting your writing. She sounds like she was a lovely lady and I will pray for her soul to find rest in the next life. I’m sure you will meet her again (but not too soon I hope!).

    As they say in the Jewish faith, Zikhronah Livrakha – may her memory be a blessing.

  160. JMG,

    Thank you for sharing that beautiful remembrance of Sara. I wish her spirit safe travels to the next phase of her journey.

    There’s a synchronicity I wanted to ask about. Back when the corona debacle kicked off, I started thinking about the way I wanted to die, should I be given any choice in the matter, and the idea of death by starvation arose. I’m open to anything that keeps me out of our increasingly dystopian hospital system in my final days.

    I turned to the internet for ideas and, perhaps unsurprisingly, it is full of fear porn on the subject, which just makes me think there must be something worthwhile in the idea. I’m curious whether that was something you and Sara had planned beforehand and whether there’s any references you followed on how to do it properly.

  161. So sad to hear of the passing of someone so very dear to you.
    Am praying for a peaceful transition for you both.

  162. I never know what to say in times like this.
    Please take your time to grieve in whatever way you need to. All of us will be thinking of you, and waiting for you to bless us with your writing again whenever you are ready.

  163. Dear JMG, sincerest condolences, and thank you for sharing your poignant elegy with us. Love and Light to you both. Peter

  164. Thanks for sharing memories with us,
    the largely anon.
    I offer the hope that while endless , some light does penetrate, the tunnel.

  165. My deepest condolences. I’ve always questioned myself about what happens to people’s souls after death. If people can go where they want to go after their life ceases, may your wife go where her heart desired, and hopefully you meet her again in another life. And lastly, always remember to keep your head and spirit up and strive to live long, because she’s always wanted you to stay strong and continue with your life missions.

  166. A beautiful tribute, thank you for introducing us to Sara in all her complexity. She reminds me very much of a close friend of mine, who struggled with family issues, an abusive early marriage, lack of confidence in her creative work, miscarriages, and chronic ill health (she is now entering the later stages of Alzheimer’s). I teared up a bit over the lovely gesture of cremating her with her beloved Tiger Bright–it’s something I’m considering for my own funeral with two of my oldest and dearest childhood companions.

    My sincerest condolences on the loss of your life companion, and my continued prayers for her soul’s rest and healing in the Otherworld.

  167. Apologies for the late reply…

    Thank you for sharing – like many there were mists upon my eyes as I read certain parts.

    As they say (and you know this already), never doubt in the shadows what was clear in the light.

    As a fellow aspie I get that spending forty days doing nothing, especially after a build up where you know it is coming and have already processed through much of the grief (as opposed to a sudden unexpected passing) would be of little to no help and most likely harmful to you. That being said if you are slower than normal, react slightly differently, respond to questions different from the one you might have been supposed to answer etc we will understand.

    There are those with partners whose abuse is still with them but who blank it into the ‘past and done’ bucket and choose not to deal with it and so those who love them carry the burden for them … those ones perhaps might look whistfully upon the journey you took together as opposed to their own.

    Love and prayers your way

  168. John Michael Greer, thank you for opening this window into the ordinary yet extraordinary life you and Sara shared. Over the years you’ve given us glimpses of the outlines of this story, but to read it like this is both touching and heartbreaking.

    Yesterday evening I happened to be out for dinner with the friend who first introduced me to your writing twelve years ago. Twelve years ago I was about the same age you were when you and Sara were married; I was in dark trouble, and your weekly blog posts were the strange, unexpected light that showed me the path on which I needed to start stumbling upward.

    How very beautiful to be reminded that her gift to you of financial stability enabled your gift to us of hope, meaning, and unexpectedly vast vistas of discovery. Together you two have changed many, many lives for the better. I am the same age now that your child would be, and it is largely because of your encouragement and example that I found the life I am living now. Out of the bitterness that life threw at you both, you together brought forth beauty, and I have resolved to do the same.

    May the gods protect and bless Sara, and may they bring you life renewed and made whole.

  169. So sorry to hear of Sara’s passing, John Michael. Although we went in different directions in life, you two have been in my thoughts many times over the years. Sara was such a remarkable being; thank you for sharing some of your life with her here. My deepest sympathies and condolences to you.

  170. John,

    What a lovely tribute! I can guess the places on the Spokane River where she played. There were some good play areas in that river, and a lot of areas perfect for just sitting quietly. I’m glad that there is a place in the Seekonk that she found familiar. She will be missed by many.

    Best wishes from Spokane in moving onward.


  171. Thank you again, everyone. Your kind words are deeply appreciated.

    Enjoyer, hmm! Not a poet I’m familiar with; thank you.

    Simon, the specific term to look up is “voluntary stopping eating and drinking,” VSED for short. It’s essential to stop taking fluids, because dehydration is relatively quick and painless, while starvation is slow and much less easy to tolerate. If you use the phrase or the acronym you can find a great deal of good info. Sara looked into it well in advance; I researched it after she broached it.

  172. This is brutal, but in the apparitions I follow on , Our Lady said, ‘It is a mercy for those who die now.’, because they could not handle what is nearly upon us.
    2 so far in my family, 1 child, 1 more with clots, 2 dementias and an 11 year old just had her lungs operated on for polyps after getting a leg removed due to (turbo) cancer. All vexxed.
    Not to take away from the depth of grief you are in, John.
    As ever, jb

  173. Oh John. Sending you love. Personal collapse is a hell of a ride. Be thankful for that beautifully described life together.

  174. Dear JMG,

    Thank you for sharing a little of who Sara was and what your life together was like.

    I am saddened to hear of the suffering she endured, and that she was not able to fully embrace or pursue her own talents in this lifetime, but I wanted to say that I am very grateful for her dedication and generosity in supporting your writing career. I have benefited greatly thereby, and I just wanted to acknowledge that enabling you to help so many people was a blessing that she was able to give to the world, in addition to what she herself created and shared. Such a role is not always given the respect it deserves. I was also gladdened to hear of the happy times you shared and the peace and grace she was able to achieve at last.

  175. My deepest respects to you and Sara. You both made a big difference in my life. It was an honor to know her, work with her, and experience her. I send my thanks and respect to her in the beyond

  176. I always come away from your work learning something. This time I’m coming away deeply moved. I’m so sorry for your loss. This was very beautiful. My prayers are with you and Sara.

  177. A wonderful tribute to your wife. Condolences for your loss, and may you have peace and comfort as you process her passing. All the best.

  178. Ships in this harbour sit
    They change with tides and fade with mists
    All things will pass away.
    Sara waits beyond the veil
    For you, in eternity.

  179. I love you, Brother. I’m blessed to have met and talked with both of you, individually and together, at OBOD’s East Coast Gathering many moons ago. Thank you so very, very much for sharing these powerfully personal words with the world…I pray your crafting of it brought continued healing and peace to you.

  180. JMG, thank you for this glimpse into Sara’s life. It is her support of your work that likely turned me onto an occult path after 20 years of atheism. It has been a long, strange ride since then. I went from denying the existence of subtle planes to realizing I had been talking to all sorts of unseen things and people my entire life, including personalities from past lives. Of course I could be wrong, but I believe I am far less crazy than I was when I ostensibly did NOT believe in such things. My father died of cancer in a Chicago area hospital (a veritable astral and etheric cesspit) in late October of 2023. I was the only one in the room with him. I did a silent Sphere of Protection to clear the room as he was napping and this brought two Guides who ushered him away in safety and peace. I was and am able to talk to him. In the oddest way, once he was physically gone, it was easier to talk to him, because I could finally say all those emotional things we Midwesterners keep buried and suppressed in regular life. It is my belief that my father’s higher self has become part of my unseen ecosystem. When I want to invoke or communicate with him, I must remember an act out his best characteristics: compulsive generosity, humility, diligence, conscientiousness, and humor. My parents were married for 58 years. I hope Sara prospers in the afterlife. Maybe someday you’ll be the one who helps Sara — however she is ensouled — promote her talents and works. Blessings to her as she travels to the place beyond space and time.

  181. I’m so sorry for your lost. Even I don’t know you personally I have a great respect for you after reading your books.

    Blessings 🙏

  182. JMG,
    I am deeply sorry for your loss. I’m a local; next time I’m down by the Seekonk river I will offer a prayer for Sara.

  183. Thank you for sharing so much about your life with Sara. I can see your life together had a special beauty, all its own.
    Condolences, peace and strength to you.

  184. JMG,
    My most heartfelt condolences upon your loss of Sara.
    For those of us that have had the blessing of long marriages the loss of our spouse is indeed likely the most Intense “Rite of Passage” we can ever
    experience. That said, Your Courage, Understanding and Maturity in the face of such a Great Loss is Most Commendable!
    “May your Perceptiveness and Receptiveness of this World and to the Other World be most Clear!”

  185. My sincerest condolences. Like others here, I tend to be a silent mourner, but of course that doesn’t work especially well in a text-based medium.

    I’m feeling something of the same way. My grandfather turned 89 in January, and although he’s in good health for his age, that’s… well, for his age, and we’re all well aware that any visit or phone call we make to him could well be the last. When he passes (barring some tragic event involving someone else in the family), he will have been the closest relative of mine to do so, and while I have to an extent been “pre-mourning”, I don’t know to what extent if at all that’s going to blunt the pain when it actually does happen.

    One thing that struck me, pondering mortality, is not just the sheer inevitability of death, but also the inevitability of survival. Barring some extremely unlikely event in which you and everyone you care about die simultaneously, either you will outlive (some of) your loved ones, or your loved ones will outlive you, or (the most likely) both. Grief is just as inescapable as death, an inseparable part of the human condition, but that fact doesn’t make it any easier.

    If it’s any help, I know I have had dreams involving relatives who had already passed (including those who had passed so long ago they would have almost certainly re-entered incarnation by the time of the dream).

    Peace and blessings upon you, and peace and blessings upon her.

  186. Please accept my condolences. Since you say it’s all right, I will pray for Sara’s peace, and your own.

    Your remarks about reincarnation and karma have got me wondering about my mine. But that is for another time.

  187. This is an exquisite, poignant, beautiful, painful, loving remembrance of a life. Thank you for the reminder that marriages and relationships are as often founded on pain shared and (at least partially) overcome as they are on unbridled passion.

  188. Dear John,
    I’ve been following you for many years now here from the mists of Balkans, never commented on forums as far as I can remember, but this time I got to express to you my deepest and sincerest condolences and sympathy. May Sara peacefully travel to the Great Beyond whither we all shall join the journey one day.


  189. So sorry to hear of your loss, John. I send you my deepest condolences. May her memory be a blessing.

  190. JMG, the prayer I have currently listed for you and Sara reads as follows: “May John Michael Greer’s wife Sara Greer, who passed away on February 20th, be blessed and soothed as she moves into the next stage of her spirit’s journey. And may John Michael Greer be blessed and soothed, and lent strength in this most difficult time.” If you would like me to adjust this wording in any way, please feel free to let me know.


    At this link is the full list of all of the requests for prayer that have recently appeared at and, as well as in the comments of the prayer list posts. Please feel free to add any or all of the requests to your own prayers.

    If I missed anybody, or if you would like to add a prayer request for yourself or anyone who has given you consent (or for whom a relevant person holds power of consent) to the list, please feel free to leave a comment below.

    * * *
    This week I would like to bring special attention to the following prayer requests.

    May John Michael Greer’s wife Sara Greer, who passed away on February 20th, be blessed and soothed as she moves into the next stage of her spirit’s journey. And may John Michael Greer be blessed and soothed, and lent strength in this most difficult time.

    May Timmy W. have the guidance, support, and strength he needs to overcome his PTSD, and may his mother, Rachel M., have the energy and wisdom to support him through it.

    May Erika’s partner James remain cancer free, and make a full return to robust health.

    Tyler A’s wife Monika’s pregnancy is high risk; may Mother and child be blessed with good health and a smooth delivery.

    May the surgery for Yuccaglauca’s mother Monica‘s malignant mass be safe, successful, and conclusive of the matter.

    May Frank Rudolf Hartman of Altadena California (picture), who is receiving chemotherapy, be completely cured of the lymphoma that is afflicting him, and may he return to full health.

    May Audrey’s nephew Jon, who is now in a wheelchair due to ALS, have peace and comfort during this difficult time, and be healed of his condition to the greatest degree possible.May Just Another Green Rage Monster‘s father, who is dealing with Stage 4 Lymphoma, and mother, who is primary caregiver, be blessed, protected and healed.

    May Kyle’s friend Amanda, who though in her early thirties is undergoing various difficult treatments for brain cancer, make a full recovery; and may her body and spirit heal with grace.

    Lp9’s hometown, East Palestine, Ohio, for the safety and welfare of their people, animals and all living beings in and around East Palestine, and to improve the natural environment there to the benefit of all.

    * * *
    Guidelines for how long prayer requests stay on the list, how to word requests, how to be added to the weekly email list, how to improve the chances of your prayer being answered, and several other common questions and issues, are to be found at the Ecosophia Prayer List FAQ.

    If there are any among you who might wish to join me in a bit of astrological timing, I pray each week for the health of all those with health problems on the list on the astrological hour of the Sun on Sundays, bearing in mind the Sun’s rulerships of heart, brain, and vital energies. If this appeals to you, I invite you to join me.

  191. Hi Mr. Greer, I am sorry for your loss. I can’t imagine what you’re going through. I’ve followed you for many many years and you’ve educated me more than I can say. You are my favorite writer. I’m devastated that this happened. I’ve never understood why bad things happen to good people.
    I hope you can be around good friends during this grieving period. I’m sure she wants you to carry on
    and move on. I wish you all the best Mr. Greer and I hope you will continue doing what you are so good at. You are a force for good in the world! Again I’m sorry for your loss and hope these words (which are heartfelt) help in some small way.

  192. My condolences Mr. Greer.

    Thank you for sharing this, your story of a life with Sara. I commend what was surely a difficult and painful task of writing these words. May your peace not tarry and may life reach out and brush your heart through rooted branch.

  193. Dear JMG,
    I’d like to add my voice to all those thanking you for this moving tribute.
    Please accept my heartfelt condolences, and take care now,

  194. My deepest condolences to you John and thank you for writing this wonderful tribute to Sara.

  195. What you have written is tender and beautiful. You seem to me to have been a very courageous and strong couple. I will look upon your story as a model for my own marital live, and i will also tell your story to my own children, since i already taught them a lot of things about you and they know who you are.

    I really wish you all the best in this next stage of your life, you are a blessing to all of us.

    Guillem Mateo

  196. Condolences in your grief. Beautiful text, if only more people could put words to their loss as well as you did. Far too often we just rush through things like these. I had a similar experience with my mother during her last time in this life. I too have been working at a nursing home many years prior which made it a little bit easier nut no easy. Many years later I still, from time o time, dwell on my last days with her. I wish you strength and hope on your way forward!

  197. Thank you JMG, for sharing with us some of Sara’s life and the life you made together.
    They say the price of love is grief and I believe this.
    The twinges and the sighs and the wistfulness will always be there, but yes, there is much life still to be lived and you definitely deserve many good days and experiences, including the delight of hot, fresh bread!
    And lashings of butter, yum!
    I only finished reading The Glass Bead Game last week, and I am reminded of the Music Master and the effect he had on all those who came into contact with him in his final weeks.
    I am very glad for the both of you that you were able to go through this final journey together at home and that those memories though sad, can be looked back on with fondness and gratitude that you were together till the end.
    My wish for Sara is that this time of rest will be a rejuvenation for her soul and I sincerely wish and hope and pray that in her next life she gets the best Mum and Dad and siblings that any kid could wish for.
    I had previously mentioned that my boss was also dying.
    He died at home last week with all his family with him.
    He was only 51.
    He always maintained his cheerful happy go lucky attitude despite all the rounds of chemo and various operations.
    He was never woe is me.
    He was the bravest person I know.
    The greatest gift we have is our health.
    It’s up to all of us to make the most of our time, and to always try to be kind to others. Karma and all that 😉.
    If I was in your presence JMG I’d definitely give you a big hug 💚.
    Lots of love, I know you’ll do well.
    Looking forward to many more posts!
    Helen in Oz

  198. What an accomplished writer you are. Your wonderful obituary is a demonstration of how so many people must still suffer in spite of modern medicine and much-touted alternative cures. I sincerely hope that Sara has now graduated and may choose, if she wishes, never to return to this vale of tears.

  199. My deepest condolences. I am so sorry to hear this. I will continue to keep both of you in my prayers.

    And thank you, for this deeply moving tribute. It’s beautiful.

  200. John,
    Thanks for that beautiful, frank and very moving tribute. My condolences, and I pray your spiritual guides, guide you well at this challenging time.

  201. Please disregard if asking questions at this stage is inappropriate or insensitive. I have a few if allowed: ‘Claire Vaughn’: Clairvoyant? Would VSED in Sara’s case count as the S word? Given that she was in the process of passing, what does occult philosophy say about going a day or two early? Does it mean part of her lingers close?
    Thank you again for all you and Sara do and have done for us for so many years.

  202. JMG, I wish you hadn’t had to write it, but that was a great obituary. I feel like I actually know Sara a little.

    —Princess Cutekitten

  203. Thank you John Michael for sharing these open, beautiful and inspirational words. Much to reflect on regarding my own marriage and also grace at the end of an incarnation. I cried whilst reading your post. I can’t remember the last time I did that. Thanks again.

    I feel significant gratitude to Sara for the part that she has played in enabling you to share all that you do in this world.

    Please accept my condolences.

  204. Dear John
    My condolences for your loss.
    And thank you for sharing some of your memories of Sara with us. It is moving and much appreciated.
    Best wishes to you.

  205. This was a beautiful eulogy, and reading some of the comments brought tears to my eyes. I never thought my heart could be so heavy for people I’ve never even shaken hands with. One thing that struck me as a I read is that in all her pictures (except for the last one for some reason), she seems like she’s radiating a subtle sort of beauty, like a thin white light that’s just on the edge of my perception. I also couldn’t help chuckling at your old hair and 80s style, and how wonderfully ordinary you look, JMG (I mean that in the happiest way possible). I’m a tiny bit jealous, but mostly very happy that you two managed to share such a wonderful love together, despite how short lived it may have been.
    Some months ago I was going through a bit of a rough time, though nowhere near what you’re dealing with, regarding a relationship that didn’t work out and my fears of never finding love and the crushing loneliness I’ve suffered under for 9 years since I fled home continuing on for many decades. Eventually the despair dissolved into numbness and then relief when, on a cold foggy night I stopped under a streetlight after a long nightshift and realized “I am the same person now that I’ve always been, and always will be, I was fine then and I’m fine now. And so no matter what happens, I will continue being me, and I will continue being fine.”
    I guess that’s a super wordy version of the fellow quoted by Seneca in his Letters from a Stoic who lost his wife, children, all his property and his entire home town, who said “I have all of my possessions with me.”
    May the Gods bless and comfort you JMG, wise and kind teacher, inspiration to me and all here. <3

  206. A question, if I may: If old souls aren’t wise,, calm and good by nature, what are they then? Is there a common factor to old souls besides the scars of the consequences of past misdeeds?

  207. A fine eulogy, she couldn’t have asked for better. I never had the chance to meet Sara, but I always had a positive impression. To live through the death of a significant part of your life is a terrible thing, and I’d like to echo the sentiments of others here, and their condolences & well-wishes.
    One of my favorite authors, Frank Herbert, never finished the 7-part Dune series, officially because of death from illness, but I personally believe his wife’s death took too much out of him. Hopefully you’ll be able to process this and rebound, especially since you’ve been an important guide to the occult, for myself and others.
    RIP Sara’s incarnation; it makes matters somewhat easier to know that death is not the end, but a transition.

  208. Thank you so very much for sharing all of your remembrances of your brilliant “civilization.” My heart goes out to you. My husband Michael read your work avidly and discussed it with my brother Steve and me. Mike passed last May 20. Here’s to marvelous, loving marriage civilizations we can remember into our final years.

  209. A psychic bookkeeper. Who knows what other talents lurked. Sounds like she led an interesting life.

  210. I think there are a lot more couples who tumble into bed together in the way you described, than might be otherwise stated. My experience was similar. Again, thank you for an unvarnished look at your marriage and the strength you each gave to each other.

  211. Dearest Mr. Greer:

    I am so, so sorry that Sara is gone from us; she meant a lot to me, through you. I appreciate the memories that you have shared. I know how you feel, especially this: “Memories, jokes, habits, shared interests, all the little ways that two people can weave their lives together—all those lose most of their meaning once one of the participants is gone.” as my husband of 43 years (plus the 6 we were together before we got married) passed away a month ago.

    Pam in Virginia

  212. Hello JMG.
    I’m so sorry for your wife loss, and I’m sad. You’ve written a very good essay-obituary for Sara. After reading it, I think you two were happy together in your life as a couple. When I’ve seen the photographs and I’ve read your sensitive words, I’ve thought Sara must have been a great woman.
    Thank you for this post, JMG.
    I have no more thoughts and no more words to write here.

  213. This is so beautiful, JMG. I was deeply moved by it, and this rarely happens. Thank you for allowing us to know Sara and your life together.
    Also, I know about the effects that looking after a relative with long term health problems can have on a caregiver, as it happended in my family. I’m so glad you’re doing relatively well in that sense and have things to look forward to.

  214. Dear John Michael,
    Nothing I can say that hasn’t;t already been, but once more my deepest condolences and sympathy.
    Since you have given your permission I will continue to pray for you both.
    You eulogy is deeply moving and inspiring, thank you.
    A poem I wrote decades ago in a time of difficulty keeps coming to my mind, I hope it’s appropriate;
    When we are, we are still as before,
    as waves still wash on a distant shore.
    We return – we burn, like fire,
    falling back, mounting higher,
    burning more, burning more.

    with gratitude and admiration

  215. I’m sorry for your loss. I’m happy that you and your wife were able to have a long and loving marriage, and I hope that both you and Sara find peace and comfort now and in the days ahead.

  216. JMG, thank you for this.

    I appreciate the clean and honest way you are dealing with your wife’s death. Our current culture’s attitude towards death has a lot of problems with shame and denial around death,
    and that causes serious problems, including greatly aggravating dealing with the denial around covid and vaxx injuries and recovery. Your being gracious enough to share in public like this is a good and helpful thing, and again I thank you.

    I watched my wife die of cancer 15 years ago, here at home about six feet from where I am typing this. I sympathize with you.

    I will be offering Sara and you in my mass intentions for all the services I attend, from now through to Easter. I hope that’s okay.

  217. Thank you so much for sharing the story of yours and Sara’s life together. The tale of your life together, warts and bliss alike, was to me something of an inspiration and confirmation of what I have also experienced in my own long term relationship. Sometimes we just need a slap upside the head (provided to me by your moving memoir) to be reminded that some of us have been very lucky and blessed in our choice of partners, warts and all. I am grateful for all you and Sara have shared with us over the years and I will be hugging and snuggling close to my beloved tonight to honor what you and Sara have achieved as a couple.

  218. Thank you JMG for sharing the story of your marriage, so lovingly and tenderly told. I found it deeply moving. Like Sara, I find myself at irreconcilable odds with western medicine. In the last few years the realization has slowly been dawning—until this year it emerged crystal clear—that I want no truck with it. Most especially, I do not want western medicine to decide the character of or intervene with my death. I salute a death without “diagnosis,” peaceful and fearless and with some good luck at home. Thank you for sharing Sara’s inspiring story.

  219. Dear JMG, my condolences. Sara and you are still in my prayers.
    I’m touched by your open and honest eulogy. The greatness of both of you shines through it, as it is not the successes that showcase greatness but how one deals with the setbacks and failures. Like many others here I always felt that you and Sara were a great team and your eulogy confirms that. It feels sad that your journey together in this incarnation has come to this early end. My heart goes out to both of you. May you be blessed!

  220. A fine tribute to Sara and your shared life together, JMG. I know at times like these that there are no words. So I will just say that there is a whole community of people out here who care about you and who benefit greatly from your efforts. Keep up the good work.

  221. C’est magnifique. Une vie magnifique. Tragique comme nos vies. mais belle par votre relation. Vous fûtes un compagnon d’exception pour elle comme elle le fut pour vous.
    Beaucoup d’amour vers vous deux

  222. Once again, thank you, all of you, who’ve posted your condolences, kind thoughts, and reflections. I continue to be deeply moved by all of it — consider yourself individually thanked.

    Jay Bee, there’s a point to such reflections. Hard as it is to be without Sara, I expect to have a somewhat easier time riding the stormwinds of the near future now that I don’t have to worry about her well-being. Neither she nor I were willing to have even a single shot of a certain heavily pushed pharmaceutical, btw.

    Brendhelm, sorry to hear about your grandfather. Yeah, the process of waiting and bracing yourself — it’s rough, but necessary.

    Quin, thank you for this. I’d prefer to leave out “soothed,” as I don’t feel that’s something that will help me — how about just “blessed and lent strength”?

    Ken, thanks for this. Bad things happen to everyone, and so do good things. That’s simply one of the basic realities of life.

    Helen, not coincidentally, I’m rereading The Glass Bead Game right now — Hesse’s novels are among my go-to reading whenever I need the sort of luminous clarity he was so good at putting into words. Condolences for the loss of your boss — it’s a rare employer whose employees genuinely miss them.

    Miow, I was wondering when the questions would start. (1) No, it’s her middle name — her full name was Sara-Ellen Clare Greer — and her maternal grandmother’s maiden name. (2) Traditionally, no, because the life process is allowed to wind down naturally, just at an accelerated pace. That’s why the Cathars practiced it as a way to release one’s remaining karma and pass as easily as possible into the Otherworld. (3) She’s fine — I’ve received certain communications. (Another of the advantages of occult training…)

    Booklover, the only common factor is that they’ve been here longer than most other souls. Since there are plenty of different ways for souls to screw up and heap up lots of karma that then has to be resolved, there are plenty of variations in the results.

    Xcalibur, I think you’re probably right about Frank Herbert, but remember he also had major health challenges by then, and the death of his second wife was a long and very difficult process — she had cancer, and spent something like a decade in and out of hospitals. My life is in the hands of the gods, of course, but I come from a long-lived family — my dad, who was a two pack a day smoker and a heavy drinker for most of his life, will be celebrating his 86th birthday this May — and I find that writing is a good way for me to work off my grief. Expect more books in the years ahead.

    Other Owen, one of my pet peeves — I may post a rant about that one of these days, in fact — is the way that society shoves so many of us into such narrow cubbyholes. There are plenty of people with talents at least as diverse as a psychic bookkeeper who played a very lively fiddle! I think most people, in fact, have that kind of potential in them — but so many of us get browbeaten into doubting ourselves and never getting around to developing our talents that someone like Sara, who developed some of hers, looks unusual.

    Pam, please accept my condolences.

    Lurksalong, thank you for this.

    Charles, one of the nastier burdens that our society lays on us is precisely its unwillingness to deal with the simple, ordinary, inescapable reality of death. We hush it up like it’s something shameful, and thus each generation grows up without any experience of dealing with it. As little as a hundred years ago most children could count on the experience of tending a dying grandparent or sibling, witnessing their death, and then helping to get them clean and ready for the undertaker. Most Americans nowadays would be horrified at the thought of a child witnessing that — but it’s normal, and it meant that children reached adulthood having already experienced death, mourning, and the recovery that follows, and thus prepared for one of the inevitabilities of their lives. I had the good fortune to get that same education in my twenties as a nursing home employee, but I know a lot of people never get it, or get it the hard way, late in life.

    As for Mass intentions, here again, I’m very sorry to say that Sara requested that no Roman Catholic rituals be done for her or in her name. She had a difficult and bitter relationship with the Catholic church in her childhood, renounced the church at the age of nine, and never went back. (It wasn’t because of abuse she suffered, btw; it was because of the way the clergy in her parish treated poor parishioners. I can tell the story sometime if you like.) I know you have only the best intentions, but that was one of her firm requests.

    Kay, I’m delighted to hear this. Thank you.

    Eileen, I think a lot of people are coming to that conclusion these days. I’m glad this essay of mine helped confirm you in your intention.

  223. That wedding pic, man… Just looks great, I like it.
    Though being born in 1990, as it were, I’m partial to the retro “feel”.
    Sending positive thoughts in your direction.

  224. JMG,

    My sincerest condolences on the passing of Sara. I find your writing above a fine tribute to her life, not least of which because you include the good with the bad. I am reminded of the floor of King Solomon’s temple, black and white, representing the life of man, checked with good and evil. Your writing above feels far more real and human than many other eulogies I’ve heard and read, and I certainly appreciate it. My prayers are with you and her spirit.


  225. I’m so sorry. Thank you for letting me share a little of her hard-won light and grace, and yours.

  226. After my mother passed away last May, she too was cremated with a (rather worn) soft toy, Big Ted, that she’d had since her early childhood. For me, there’s something peculiarly poignant in the notion that, in a way, the little girl she had been was there facing the flames at the same time as the elderly lady she became, but not alone. (And Tiger Bright is an absolutely cracking name, by the way.)

  227. Dear John,

    My condolences for your loss. I didn’t know you were going through all this hardship.
    Sara appeared to have been a pleasant person, judging by your description. I wish we could’ve known her better.
    I also wanted to let you know that your writing has guided and inspired me for the last 12 years. Strangely, it provided comfort despite the bleak topics often discussed, like the collapse of our civilization. So, thank you, JMG.

  228. Thank you for sharing the story of your life with Sara. You were indeed soul mates. As others have said I feel as I know her more now.
    My deepest condolences.


  229. I will continue praying for you. Thank you for the lovely eulogy – I never met Sara, but it is nice to learn a little about her, and makes me kind of wish I had.

  230. Thank you very much for this, and for everything else you wrote. Sara does sound like a wonderful person. I am glad to hear of what you had, and offer my condolences for what you lost.

    Loss has been on my mind recently, so your thoughts on the subject resonated with me. Every arrangement is impermanent, but the good of it can be enjoyed while it lasts, and it can leave behind good memories. Again, it sounds as though you had a good life together by this measure.

  231. No Catholic rituals for Sara – got it. But since I’m Catholic, and that’s the God I know, would it be okay to ask Jesus and his mom to ease Sara’s transition and yours? I’ve gathered you’re on good terms with them…

  232. Just the tail end of a half-remembered chant:
    “When we are gone, they will remain,
    Earth and wind, fire and rain…”

    I’m glad she contacted you from the other side and all is well.

  233. I hope you get plenty of sun, gardening and nature time in the next phase of your life. Paix à son âme.

  234. >so many of us get browbeaten into doubting ourselves and never getting around to developing our talents

    The talent is already there (for some of us) it’s just a matter of remembering what you already know.

  235. JMG,
    Thank you for sharing this touching memorial with us so that we may better know this wonderful soul you had the privilege to love. I wrote eulogies for my childhood best friend and my beloved grandfather, and I hope that, like me, you found some some measure of comfort and healing in the midst of grief through your writing. It certainly moved me.

    I have read your work for around 15 or 16 years now. After that long, I feel as if you are more than a favorite author, more than a teacher, but almost a kind of friend. Sara was a part of that friendship, as she was mentioned often enough in your blogs, correspondence, and book dedications. Once when I thought I had offended you, I offered to purchase a newly released punk rock album and send it to you as a gift to her, as I recalled a passing comment about how that she also enjoyed that genre in her younger years. Silly maybe, but I offer this small memory to the storehouse of your heart.

    With peace and blessings,

  236. With you a part of me hath passed away;
    For in the peopled forest of my mind
    A tree made leafless by this wintry wind
    Shall never don again its green array.
    Chapel and fireside, country road and bay,
    Have something of their friendliness resigned;
    Another, if I would, I could not find,
    And I am grown much older in a day.
    But yet I treasure in my memory
    Your gift of charity, your mellow ease,
    And the dear honour of your amity;
    For these once mine, my life is rich with these.
    And I scarce know which part may greater be,—
    What I keep of you, or you rob of me.

  237. John, I am grateful you posted this wonderful homage to Sara, not least because of what it brought up in me.

    You brown sugar tin
    Some eastern scene splashed on your dark lid
    Are a treasure far more dear to me
    Than any space your vacancy could offer.
    If I tiptoe
    Up your shin bone
    While you are asleep
    Ease myself between the bone and cartilage
    Buried in your flesh
    Play that harp
    Bone harp
    Tendon strung
    Will you let me go?

  238. JMG,

    I’m very sorry for your loss, and thank you for this lovely and transparent rememberance. I hope when I pass someone will write something as honest. We are all complex creatures, with victories and defeats a plenty,


  239. Again, thank you all profoundly for your comments and your support.

    Thibault, glad you like it. At 61, I suppose I should be used to being retro. 😉

    Owain, on Tuesday evening, while we were waiting for the medical examiner to show up and pronounce the obvious, I talked with one of the police officers who came out after I called 911 to report the death. I mentioned Tiger Bright, and she blushed and admitted that she also had a favorite stuffed toy from earliest childhood and would be keeping it as long as she lived. So it’s apparently a more common habit than I realized!

    Roldy, you may certainly say prayers to whomever you prefer to pray to — she didn’t request any deities to be excluded! It’s purely the organization and its egregor that she wanted nothing to do with, in life or death.

    Patricia M, believe me, so am I!

    Owen, and not being bullied out of doing something about it.

    Pete, what a lovely piece of Santayana! Many thanks.

    Jay Bee, thanks for this.

  240. This may not be eloquent, but it is sincere:
    Thank you so much, for all your writing and for everything.
    Thank Sara so much, for helping you.
    I wish I had met her and known her personally. She would have bee a great friend if I had had the privilege. Such a great loss for the world.
    Thank you for such an honest and moving description of how your marriage worked. It is helpful to me.
    I wish you whatever blessings you need in the difficult times to come.

    Christine S (UK)

  241. Hey JMG

    I was meaning to ask about the funeral arrangements, but was unsure of the appropriateness of doing it so soon. I thought it would be cremation since you seemed to of written of it favourably in the past. Coincidentally my mother was also cremated, but we kept the ashes in little decorative jars rather than released them into a river. Also due to a lack of family coordination it took awhile before the cremation finally took place, and so I pray that you don’t experience the delays in getting it done that I experienced.

  242. I was very moved by your writing JMG. I’ve been reading you for years, so all the information here kinda fits. It’s a shame that with all the progress she made Sara still had more hurdles to overcome. That’s life. Real life anyway.

    I know I’m gonna sound like a crass fracker here, but I’m glad she gave you the greenlight for further romantic pursuits. I always thought you had a certain rizz, despite your Asperger’s, made way stronger via your spiritual practice. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are suitors already lined up to be honest.

    I prayed for both you and Sara already to Ganesha, but I still hope you’re on the road to recovery.

  243. JMG
    Thank you for writing this. I regret you had to go through it. It seems we all will. I and my wife are in our 70’s and I have had death come very very close then recede and so has my wife. I am glad you wrote for Sara, and for yourself. She was a real living person who was here. People die every day and they get these obituaries that seem to be a list of their descendents who are still living, and the fact they will be missed by them. No doubt they will. But I much prefer to see more tributes like yours that recount the person they were, the space and history they were in, that is now missing. They are gone. Who is gone? What is missing? Who, what were they? People deserve to be spoken of and remembered in all their complexity and detail.

    There is that old African saying, “When an old person dies a library burns to the ground.”
    You quoted “the fall of a civilization.” Seems even more apt to me.
    When a person goes there is so much that is gone.
    May you stay connected, even to the other side, may you be blessed and have the strength to carry on.

    Hesse seems a very good read right now.

  244. John , tears rolling as I read your words. Take care and know we care. And to all who wrote I’m learning a lot on how to understand this .

  245. Dear John,
    In the past, you have been very kind to a complete stranger by answering questions I have posed to you online. Now, I have stumbled upon this tender tribute your wife Sara., and I am moved by the honesty and the gentleness with which you remember her. You have my deepest sympathy. May all the Gods shine on you both.


  246. I am sorry for your loss, JMG. Thank you for sharing this with us. It is as if you held a funeral service for Sara attended by the Ecosophia community.

    I came across this recently, the epitaph C.S. Lewis wrote for his wife. Being a well-read fellow, you are probably familiar with it. I thought others here may enjoy it. Perhaps the Christian wording of it is not so well suited to remember Sara, but I find particularly moving the first part, evoking the loss of an individual consciousness dear to us.

    Here the whole world (stars, water, air,
    And field, and forest, as they were
    Reflected in a single mind)
    Like cast off clothes was left behind
    In ashes, yet with hopes that she,
    Re-born from holy poverty,
    In Lenten lands, hereafter may
    Resume them on her Easter Day.

  247. What a beautiful tribute to your wife. I was present at the passing of my father, mother, and sister, and in each case, as painful as it was, felt it to be a most holy moment when my loved one transitioned to the next realm. May you continue to be blessed and comforted by memories of your time together and look forward to further adventures in future lives with one another.

    Joy Marie

  248. John, I’m so sorry to read about Sara’s death and your loss. I’m so grateful to read your beautiful telling of her life. I’m typing this through tears.

    Grief keeps its own schedule. I wish you hope and healing as it has its time with you.

  249. I truly feel for Sara about the refusal so many doctors have to taking health issues among people who are overweight seriously. At this point it makes my blood boil, because this is one of the worst failings of modern medicine.

    It’s not just women who have this problem: as a man who until recently weighed over 300 pounds, I could not get doctors to take any of my issues seriously. I had asthma, digestive issues, muscle weakness, chronic migraines, and various other problems, but all that I’d ever get if I sought treatment was something to temporarily treat the discomfort, and lectures on how I needed to lose weight. The one time I tried that, it made my health issues much worse, so I gave up on it.

    Once I addressed the source of my health problems (a severe carbohydrate intolerance) starting early this year, not just did all my health issues start resolving themselves, my weight began to drop quite rapidly without any effort on my part. I’m still overweight, but much less so; and I’m still losing more weight at a rapid pace.

    The bitter irony then is that my excess weight was itself a symptom, and not a cause of my health issues; and when I looked into it, it’s very well known in the medical research that attempting to reduce weight by caloric restriction leads to “internal starvation” which is just as healthy as it sounds, and that there are numerous pathological conditions, some of them extremely common, which include weight gain as symptoms! This was the case for me: the excess insulin associated with pre diabetes (a very common disorder) causes body resources to be shunted to fat cells; which causes weight gain.

    Perhaps it was something similar for her, or maybe she was just heavier than normal; but this blanket dismissal of any health problems in anyone who’s overweight, when it’s known certain medical conditions directly cause weight gain, is just disgusting.

  250. Thank you sir for that. I have read your posts for years. You are absolutely one of the best historians I have read. A wider picture than the small framework we are mostly required to think in. Thank you for a life described as it is. It’s so much less when we gloss over the hard things it’s only telling a fraction of what our stories are. Please know that your lucidity has been a comfort and an inspiration to me.

  251. Dear JMG,
    Back in 2009 I stumbled across an article on the Cumberland Times News : “Transplanted artists ‘very happy’ with move to Cumberland”. On the article was a photo of your wife and you. I was awed by the amount of Love that shined in your eyes while looking at her.
    The same amount of Love can be felt on your words on this eulogy.
    I will pray for you and Sara, and I will also pray that at least some of us, mere mortals, will experience that kind of Love.

  252. Once again, thank you, all of you, for your kind words and prayers. I appreciate them more than I can say.

    J.L.Mc12, her material body will be cremated tomorrow; I went to the funeral home this afternoon (it’s about two blocks from my apartment) and made the final arrangements. I expect to scatter her ashes sometime early next week. It all worked out very simply and appropriately; she’s had the requisite three days for the etheric body to finish separating from the material body, so the whole process will be easy and natural.

    Merle, er, that’s not something I’m even going to begin thinking about for a good long while. Partly I need to deal with my grief and spend ample time reflecting on forty years of marriage, partly I know — not, I’m glad to say, from personal experience, but I’ve watched it happen — that relationships on the rebound are almost always a disaster.

    Vlad, there’s something pleasantly ghoulish about that wish from someone with your internet handle! Still, I thank you for it.

    Helen, I wasn’t familiar with that — I’ve generally avoided Lewis’s poetry, since by all accounts (including that of his good friend J.R.R. Tolkien ) it was dreadful. Still, that’s actually pretty good; it’s good to know that even a very limited poetic talent can sometimes rise to the occasion.

    Anonymous, I’m really sorry to hear that you’ve also had to put up with the same kind of condescending crap! I gather that finding a physician who can be bothered to display even the most basic degree of competence and caring is a major challenge in America today.

    Whispers, I have that photo around somewhere.

  253. I am sorry to hear of your wife’s passing.

    But it sounds like it was as good a death as can be hoped for. I doubt I will be so lucky.

    It’s sounds like you are holding up well, and for that I am grateful. As others have said, we, your loyal readers, are here for you. If you need anything, just ask.

    Much Love,

  254. I’m very sorry for your loss. Your writings have touched me – I see now that your wife has been part of that. Thank you both.

    I will say prayers for your peace and comfort, and hers.

  255. Thank you for sharing a tiny bit of Sara and the lovely civilization you built together. I am so sorry for your unfathomable loss.

  256. Dear JMG – I’m sorry for your loss. Losing a person in your life that you have spent so many years with would be a hard thing.

  257. Dear JMG,

    I can’t add anything to the beautiful words everyone here has expressed. Every night I go out, look up at the stars and I talk to them, asking them to take care of Sara on her journey, that she is being supported and loved and that you are being supported too.

    And thank you to all the commentariat for your words. What a wonderful community to be a part of!

    If there is a potluck this year and we make it, I’ll bring my French cheese bread, cake aux olives.

    Be well and know we are all here for you!
    Ellen in ME

  258. John,

    I have a wide reading background, having read all of Plato, Nietszche, Dosotevsky, and many others at a young age. I did not find your writings until my 30’s, but you have been the most positive influence on my intellectual development of anyone I have read. In your time of loss, I want to reach from across the world and thank you for sharing all your writings, but especially these memories of Sara. Though we cannot replace her day to day intimacy, quirks, and enduring friendship, you are still loved and admired my many.


  259. John Michael,
    I’m so sorry for your loss. I pray that Sara has found peace. I pray that you may find peace, comfort, and strength for what lies ahead for you.
    Blue Sun

  260. What a profound tribute. I am sorry for the loss of your wife, and also for the loss of your child together.

    There are many similarities of Sara and my beloved.
    In a better timeline, these two women would have been friends who’d have very much enjoyed each others’ personalities, and companionship, and interests. They would have helped each other deal with the sometimes shattering aftermath of violently abusive childhoods. They would have encouraged each other to learn how to fully, confidently honor the worth and value of what they had to offer.
    In this timeline we now share, all that’s appropriate for me to say is that some of what you describe was heard by one with ears to hear. That for many parts of what you describe, but certainly not all, I can honestly say, I know how some of that felt for me; and I saw how some of that felt for another I loved, and ultimately could not save.

    What you’ve shared of your recent experience makes me appreciate all the more your ongoing writing and community building. I apologize for times I’ve misapplied a conditioned-in debate style, one not helpful to support the community. I affirm a desire to participate more thoughtfully as a way to honor Sara’s memory.

    Grief is the process of transition when a wonderfully unique sharing of life with a wonderfully unique person is now gone.
    Because it’s unique, it’s different for each person.
    There are no stages or sequence that are mandatory or right for all.
    Sara’s unique presence now leaves a unique once in the universe absence, which you will deal with in your own way.

    In my own case, checking in with friends daily about each day’s meals was a very helpful thing in the initial weeks.

    Anyone worth your love in the future, would fully honor however much time you need in the present, to honor the full meaning of your love in the past.

    I am glad you have the photos of times Sara was beautiful, happy, creative. She was obviously very pleased you were by her side. I hope you take legitimate pride in the ways she liked that you helped with her joy. I pray that your best memories of her continue to shine with your shared joy. May solace and comfort and peace now be your second dearest companions in life, after your dearest companion is gone.

  261. Thank you John Michael Greer for sharing these glimpses of your wife and your private life together. Through the years, going back to the Archdruid days, you would sometimes mention her in passing, a detail or two here and there, and I would idly try to imagine what this person might be like. I’m thankful I got to know her a little more through your writing. I offer my condolences for your loss, and my thanks to Sarah for her fortitude in life and for being in your corner throughout your time together.

  262. Dear JMG,

    I appreciate you sharing this brilliant reflection on Sara and your life together. I’m trying to hold it together in the cafe where I’ve been reading it. It is heavy business, our lives down here. Perhaps you both will meet again when the circle of Abred pulls on your souls no longer, look back on all your times together and move on to greater adventures.

    My condolences and best wishes


  263. And again, my profound thanks to all for your good wishes, prayers, and condolences. It means a great deal to me.

    Slink, it was very much the kind of death she wanted, once it was clear to her that that’s where her condition was headed. I take some comfort in that.

    Christopher, one side effect of the slow erosion of Sara’s health is that I’ve been doing essentially all the cooking for years now. I’m simply cooking for one now, and making a less restricted range of foods. As for the rest — well, yes.

  264. Thank you, JMG, for the example you and Sara provided on how one can indeed pass away quietly at home. My mother, 86, is convinced that her time is near. She lives in a retirement apartment in Bellevue, Washington, and has one of my sisters stop by on Tuesday, and another one on Friday to do any shopping, and I give her a call every Saturday from my home in Boise. Visitors exhaust her, and I’ve not been to see her in years. She appreciates a weekly phone call, though. For the past several weeks she’s loaded up my sisters with stuff to donate to the local thrift stores. Sometimes she’s up for chatting, mostly not. Primarily, she just wants to continue her strongly preferred long-term hermit existence until she dies. (She calls it “graduate” or “being excused”.) I guess some would be appalled that this is what we’re doing. I guess our family is weird. But it’s what she wants, she does not appear to be suffering, and we’re doing our best to honor her wishes.

  265. Hi John Michael,

    I had even more to say, but I can be quite the nitwit at saying things at a bad time, so am limiting it. If I am off-base, chalk it down that I am a blithering idiot.

    These things struck me.

    💦😢Through your ever-so-slight mentionings of Sara over the years, you built layers of mystery about her. Thank you for your writing here in more detail—you gave her depth. Until this post, I see that she has been THERE through everything you have written, your whole life. You filled in the gaps: invisibly, Sara has had a great positive impact on me. When you moved from Maryland to Rhode Island, I felt you falling, and I fell too—I felt quite lost when you disappeared. I guess I am not saying this right.

    Secondly, in the Northern Hemisphere, within the four seasons, since I was a kid, I have felt that the third week of February is ‘the proper time to die.’ No s***. I recall growing up in upstate New York, the third week of February was always the bleakest, most unendingly-miserable week of the year. The feeling got smash-frozen into my soul year after year. Brightness and fun of Christmas a far-away memory (mind); ice hadn’t broken (water); clouds grayer and thicker (air) (zero fire); grayscale (no color); snow layers harder (earth); no sign of Spring (time); all reserves gone—starving time—food scarce (sustenance); no hope (low spirits). That week FELT like death closing in on the living.

    Sara sensed the exact right week—of the exact right season—to die. There was never a better time of the year to say, “Enough already—release me.”

    Thirdly, I was a fan of So You Think You Can Dance. In 2009, a man named Hampton Williams auditioned a unique dance. Fourteen years later, I never forgot this dance. The music is “My Immortal” by Evanescence, from their album “Fallen.” The dance is on YouTube at:

    For some reason, I am led to mention this.

    And it is an honor to have known Sara indirectly. You paid her the best tribute EVER.

    🙏I hope your recovery is an easy one. Who knows? Stranger things have happened.🧚‍♀️

    💨Northwind Grandma💨😪
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  266. Thank you for sharing your heart and memories of Sara. I am very sorry for your loss. Lot’s of love from Sweden.

  267. Merle Langlois, I was thinking same thing but sitting on my hands so’s not to type it.


  268. Do I remember correctly that Sara had children from a previous relationship? I seem to remember you saying you had step-children. Or am I thinking of someone else?

    God(s) bless you both.

    💨Northwind Grandma💨🤕
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  269. What a beautiful elegy. Your love for Sara shines through every part of it. May we all be so fondly remembered.

  270. Now that I am reading that you are back to the living (which I am overjoyed at hearing!), your words today have inadvertently encouraged me to start writing about my husband’s and my recent experience of his 84-year old mother living with us for seven months (June to January). After roughly four months, she turned into Kamilla, the Komodo dragon,— a Komodo dragon that was INSIDE the house, gunning for us 24/7. Utterly harrowing for the latter three months. I insisted she move out before she burned the place down. (She moved to a different state👍🏼.)

    And, oh, what I have been doing for the last month is organizing and inputting our small business’ 2023 bookkeeping! I finished it earlier today, and so am freed up to do other things. I would love to mention the bookkeeping software that so saved my life but not sure if I would be breaking the rules so I shan’t. (Ooh, ooh, I so want to.)

    💨Northwind Grandma💨🦎
    Dane County, Wisconsin, USA

  271. JMG, thank you for sharing this tribute to Sara. I recall from the first Ecosophia summer solstice gathering that Sara was such an intelligent, accomplished, and interesting person in her own right, and how obvious it was that the two of you adored each other. Condolences on the loss of your wife and best friend. You’re in my prayers.

  272. I’m glad that you are holding up as well as you said, John Michael! Meanwhile, the world hasn’t stood still: Avdeyevka has fallen, the mass media in the West are currently obsessed about the death of Nawalny, former left-alternative newspapers have commentaries about the final victory of Ukraine like in the final months of the Third Reich, and Denmark is sending its whole artillery to Ukraine.

  273. Beautiful and loving tribute!

    Whenever someone laments my wife’s passing I state that it’s not about what I lost, it’s about what I had, and what I had was magical and will never be forgotten. I know it’s the same for you.

  274. And again, thank you, each of you, for your comments, your affection, and your support. I deeply appreciate it.

    OtterGirl, your mother will need more help when she passes into what the medical types call “active dying” — the week or so before death. Ask her to let you and your sisters know when she doesn’t want to eat any more; make it clear that you’re not going to badger her, you just want to know because that’s a sign that things are winding up fast. After that, somebody should visit her daily if possible, and once she’s no longer able to drink or leave her bed, it’s best if somebody can stay there, while leaving her as much privacy as she wants in her bedroom. After that it’s comfort measures, changes of linen, and watching vital signs. If she can sign a note as soon as possible explaining that she is ready to die, or better still a DNR (Do Not Resuscitate) order, that’ll simplify things once she passes and it’s time to bring in the medical examiner. But, yes, it can certainly be done, and it’s a far easier and more peaceful way to go than putting up with hospital or even hospice care.

    Northwind, thanks for this. I’ve never had a particular sense of February as any more bleak than the other winter months, but that’s the legacy of a Seattle childhood, where winter is four or five months of flat gray skies and steady soaking rain. As for Sara’s semi-invisibility, that was by her request; as I noted, she was a very private person and preferred to live a quiet, unnoticed life. No, she didn’t have children from another relationship; you must indeed be thinking of someone else. The child we lost was the only child she ever had.

    Booklover, oh, trust me, I’ve been following the world situation closely. It never seems to sink in among Europeans that Russia is a mighty grindstone; it takes a while to get up to speed, but once it does so, whatever weapons you bring against it get reduced to sparks and filings in short order. The self-anointed masters of the world are about to get a brutal wake-up call.

    TJ, granted, but at the moment the loss also hurts.

  275. Back in Albuquerque, I always felt early spring to be cold and bleak, and wondered why I loved the fall so much and that time so little. Here in Florida, November is Autumn, December and January are Winter, and February is Spring – flowers, birds, trees leafing out. It’s all a matter of your latitude.

    In Albuquerque, and all over New Mexico, people put up little descansos by the roadside where someone was killed in traffic – crosses, or sometimes circles, covered with flowers. *When the family took me to St. Augustine (FL) last summer, I saw a few there as well. I think its a lovely custom and a fitting memorial as well.
    *Also “ghost bikes,” bicycles painted white and so decorated when a cyclist was killed.

    I buried my cats in my back yard in Albuquerque, wrapped in an old T-shirt, and planted a rose bush on top of each grave. There’s a conservation cemetery here, and I’ve told me daughter I want something similar done for me. For what it’s worth. YMMV.

  276. I am so sorry John. I can’t even imagine having anything else to say, any words I could muster just seem hollow.

  277. Such a profound, beautiful and honest tribute to Sarah and your love and shared life with her. I send you love and patience with your grieving.

  278. Thank you for sharing this, JMG. A very moving tribute to a remarkable woman. As I said at my brother’s funeral in 2011: “may our love be as a wind, guiding you safely as you sail into the infinite.”

  279. I’ve known people be buried or cremated with their teddies and when it’s my time I’d like my toy bunny to come along with me. I don’t know when this bunny came to me but recognised it in an old photo of me with my mother, so know it has been with me since I was about three. The scene in that photo was the time of my last innocence before, like Sara, the abuse by my mother and older sibling began and life became dark and frightening for several very long years. It has been my life’s work to overcome the impact those awful years so I feel enormously sympathetic towards Sara and, in my way, understand her lack of trust towards others, and possibly herself. It’s astonishingly hard work to claw your way back from early trauma and Sara sounds like she made great headway after a horrible start in life.

    The two of you were lucky to spend so long together and you clearly tried to support and help each other in any way you could. And you had her back and cared for her until the end, which must have made a huge difference to her. I would love to have met Sara, she sounds like a lovely and very gifted woman, her time sadly cut short.

    For now, rest, recuperate and enjoy the cheese. I looked up ‘cheese shop Rhode island’ and see there are a few about, so may you have your fill of cheese!

  280. John Michael,
    My condolences for your loss. May you and Sara both be blessed as you each navigate her transition.

    I feel moved by your writing here and its description of the commitment you and Sara made to love each other even when things were hard. As someone with a childhood trauma history that made love and commitment very difficult for me, your offerings have helped me recently turn a major corner in my own life in my capacity for love and connection. I feel deeply grateful to you for your wisdom and generosity and beautiful writings. Having said that, my stuffed pig, Molly, a dear friend I’ve had since childhood, will remain a companion in my life as I take more risks loving humans. 🙂

  281. Your writings have been a part of me and my thoughts for some 13-14 years now. Thus Sara, in her support of you, has had a remarkably positive impact on my life. While I did not know her personally, I am truly grateful for her impact on this world, and I am truly sorry for your loss, John. What you have written is beautiful. May you find peace and know that her bright memory will live on.

  282. I don’t know what else to say. So please forgive me if I just say a few words in the language of my own tradition.

    To Him do we belong and to Him are we all returning. May God have Mercy on her soul, and may He cause her to enter the highest of His Paradise. And may He bring much peace and patience to the loved ones that are left behind.

    Prayers and best wishes John.

  283. Dear John-Michael,

    My deepest condolences to you in this time of change and sadness. I am saddened, myself. I had the great pleasure, and as I now understand, honor, of spending some quality time conversing with Sara at the first Ecosophia Potluck. I felt strangely comfortable talking with her, as if I’d known her for some time. A real person. I truly appreciate what you’ve shared here with us. I don’t know what else to say that would be in any way helpful.

    Be well and be strong!


    Steve (‘sgage’, a fellow traveler for quite some time)

  284. 🙂
    Glad to see you got some russian in you, you are rolling along at a steady speed and a remarkable grinding capacity. I noticed that the pervasive news articles about Nawalny were irrelevant, but not that the tone was a sign of military swings.

  285. Mr. Greer, you have my sincerest condolences for the loss of your wife, lover and best friend.

    I lost my husband to a rare cancer many years ago. I did have support from family on both sides, his especially, and had my two girls to raise and shepherd into adulthood as best I could. I am happy to say both are productive and responsible citizens and far more successful than I ever have been.

    I know that loss of a beloved partner creates a wound which does not and cannot heal soon. I shall continue to include you both in my Lenten prayers, but, respecting Mrs. Greer’s wishes, no Mass intentions.

  286. This was a beautiful eulogy. It rings with truth, when so many would fall back on trite sentiment.

    Speaking of trite sentiment, it’s a bit of a cliche to say that every death is a loss to the world; we might say it, but only those close to the departed can feel it. With your words have made even those of us who never met or spoke with Sara feel the loss. I knew I would sympathize with you in your loss, but now I find I mourn with you, which is not the same thing. That’s a tribute to you as a writer.

    I think Sara was really, truly blessed to have you in her last days. There are few who can face the inevitable with such enviable poise as your wife; fewer still, I think, can stand and help a loved one as you did. So while you have my heartfelt condolences, I also want to offer you the highest praise. It sounds like you were able to serve her very well in this final, hardest task of your marriage, and you deserve recognition and applause. Life will never be the same, of course, but I hope you can take some comfort knowing that ‘ya done good’.

    (I don’t think I could match you in that; I take a small, selfish comfort from my own health issues in the thought I am very likely to predecease my better half.)

  287. What a beautiful and sincere tribute John!

    This has made me think that when the guy with the scythe passes through the door of my house I hope that he takes me before my beloved wife; and I hope this is what will happen because she is seven years younger than me, and our children, even if they are adults, will need her more than their introverted and absent-minded father (me).


  288. Yet again, please accept my thanks and heartfelt gratitude for your thoughts, prayers, and kind words. Those are a very real comfort to me just now. (And it’s startled and impressed me that this post has racked up more than 400 such comments in not much more than two days. Clearly there are many more caring and thoughtful people out there than I realized.)

    Rolypoly, thanks for this. I think Sara would have been deeply moved by it. As for cheese, I’ve already started getting some old favorites.

    Anonymous, I’m very glad to hear that this helped. Give Molly a hug for me.

    Mobi, thank you. I don’t object to the language of your tradition, btw.

    Marko, thank you — that’s high praise! Paying close attention to the accelerating collapse of the Ukrainian position gave me something to do during those long silent hours of waiting.

    Tyler, it’s something that not too long ago, most people had to do at some point in life, for a parent, a spouse, a child, or a friend. In the not too distant future, it’s something most people will have to do again, once the energy surplus that allows us to stuff the dying in medical warehouses goes away. I’m glad I was able to face the challenge and give Sara the kind of passing she wanted, not the kind that’s pushed at us by our necrotically decrepit medical industry — but it’s a normal human task, and I hope others will realize that it’s something they will probably have to do, too.

  289. Thank you for sharing this. It paints a vivid picture for those who did not know Sara. I shall hold Sara and you in my prayers.

  290. This is the most touching, beautiful thing you’ve ever written, as well as the most truth-filled eulogy I’ve ever read. Please consider writing an autobiography at some point.

  291. JMG,
    I’m sorry about your loss of Sara. I hope the supportiveness from this online community has been healing for you.
    What is with this year? Almost everyone I know is being tested to the limit in some way (or in several ways), myself included. I suspect a really crummy astrological confluence.

  292. Hi again, JMG,
    I’d like to comment some more. This time less about Sara (may her soul rest in peace) and more about life going on. I just watched on Russian media Putin asked by a journalist to comment on Biden calling him “a crazy son of a b—h”. Putin just smiled with his icy smile and reinstated his wish for Biden to successfully win the elections. It’s chilling. As an American citizen, I am embarrassed by the behavior of my president that would be excusable in kindergarten… but there is more to it… feeling of being unprotected… like a high school boxing champion against Muhammad Ali. Yikes.

  293. Thank you so much, JMG, for your kind and detailed response to my mother’s situation. Truly, your and Sara’s generosity in sharing her passing continues to help others. I plan to share your comments when I call my mother for our regular Saturday chat tomorrow. My gut says she will be delighted. It’s such a shame that death gets the full denial treatment in our society. It’s framed as if it’s a personal failing. This is craziness. As you’ve said before, more of us will get hands on experience soon enough.
    My prayers are with you and Sara.

  294. My condolences for your loss. I hope that the memories of the four decades you shared provide solace to you every day.

  295. May Sara swiftly obtain a rebirth that has all the blessings necessary for a spiritual life, and may you both meet again someday in a place of love and happiness.

  296. John
    Please let me add my condolences to those that have shared them. Thank you for sharing your moving remembrance of your wife. I wish you well.

  297. Whispers (#373) mentioned an article (with photo) about Sara and JMG in the Cumberland Times News. It’s still available online.

    JMG, that is a nice photo of the two of you. I was a bit amused at you referring to the west coast as having “a drastic history shortage”. I have a feeling the various west coast native tribes might have a bone to pick with you about that! 🙂

    Joy Marie

  298. Oh John… when you took hiatus, yes we knew it was for something big but this is just something else. Look at the outpouring of love and support. That is just neat. Be well and do as you need.

    I don’t know if will help but it is something I say of any death that at least puts it in context a little. I hope your Druidic side might appreciate the angle.

    When the wind blows, the leaves fall. Some are young, some a old. This is the way of life. We are just like the leaves in that our time is not guaranteed and the winds will blow in a million different ways. And although we mourn the loss, we can also remember that there will be new leaves, new people. To we the wave of time and action. We are no different than anything else in nature and that should be cherished to its fullest.

  299. I’ve been reading your blog since the early Archdruid Report days but have always been so busy preparing for the Long Descent (gardening, food processing, raising sheep and chickens, spinning, weaving, knitting, prayer, spiritual practice, making community connections, etc, etc.) that I haven’t posted more than once or twice over the years.
    But now it feels crucial to let you know how much you (and Sara, as I now realize) have shaped my understanding of our times and the way I live my life.
    I was especially moved by your description of the way she encouraged your writing career and the amazing ripple effect that this support has had on all of us, your many readers. I was also deeply touched by your incredible honesty about your marriage- warts, golden threads, and all. Truly the most moving eulogy I have ever read…thank you with all of my heart.
    You and Sarah are in my prayers. I’m part of a small Celtic order and have been offering some of our Gaelic chants and practices for her peaceful transition.
    Beannacht De le h-anama na marbh.

  300. Oh no, I’m so sorry to read this John. So often we don’t know the struggles that others are dealing with. I can only offer that reading your thoughts about your life with Sarah has caused me to re-evaluate my approach to the problems in my own 31 year marriage. It’s all well and good to know there have been other relationships in other lives, but in this one we experienced so much and must find a way to preserve that for such small time as we yet have. Your having written that all down was valuable in many ways.

    I hope you can find peace, and I expect this experience will inevitably change your course in some way – just keep writing.

  301. And again, thank you all for your very kind words and wishes. It’s really made this whole experience easier.

    Dennis, hmm. I doubt I could make a book-length piece out of a life that has been, all things considered, very quiet and not especially interesting. (Like most writers and artists, my creative work is what I do instead of having a colorful existence.) But I’ll consider it.

    Lacking, I’m not at all sure what to make of all this astrologically. There are a couple of very powerful outer planet conjunctions coming up, but the material I have doesn’t suggest that those indicate a difficult time for most people — and yet you’re right, the first part of this year has been a very harsh test for many of us.

    Kirsten, the US and its allies have two immense disadvantages just now. The first is that our ruling classes are so far gone in decadence that I’m not at all sure the leaders of the quote free world unquote can wipe their own backsides without half a dozen officious helpers and an illustrated manual. The second is that they’re up against one of the half dozen or so greatest leaders Russia has yet produced, a careful, competent, ice-cold bastard who took over an economically and politically prostrate nation on the brink of total collapse and turned it step by step into the world’s leading military power, not to mention the rallying point for the three-quarters or so of the world that’s utterly sick of putting up with our fatuous antics. The endgame of the current confrontation between the US and its allies on the one hand, and the rest of the planet on the other, hasn’t arrived yet, but it’s getting closer — and when it comes, the reckoning is going to be ferocious.

    OtterGirl, you’re welcome and thank you. May your mother have the transition she wishes.

    Joy Marie, the west coast First Nations have no shortage of myth and legend, and in fact one of the books I prize most is a copy of Arthur Ballard’s Mythology of Southern Puget Sound, which recounts the stories of the peoples who lived where I grew up. Myth and legend are valid and important, but they’re not the same thing as history!

    Michael, a very Druidical sentiment! Thank you for this.

    Karunateresa, many thanks for that; Sara’s paternal ancestors were from Ireland and she’d appreciate knowing about the chants and practices.

    Twilight, I’m very glad to hear this; very often even a somewhat difficult marriage can be made a good one if only both parties are willing to work at it. As for writing, it’s what I do; I have several new book projects in the works right now.

  302. JMG,
    Thank you for this honest and poignant glimpse into your life with Sara.
    Blessings, strength, and peace to you and best wishes to her on her journey.
    Also, thank you for adding so much to my life and development over the years with your profound thinking and writings and thanks to Sara for being part of all this.

  303. Thank you for your moving tribute to Sara, and sharing this. Please accept my condolences. I am glad Sara could participate in decisions with you by her side, side-stepping our rapidly declining medical system for this transition. Somehow, perhaps your rare mentions of her steadfast support, I have sensed her presence in the background.

    I hope the warmth and obvious ongoing well wishes of this community and others, will help support you through your grief, reflection, renewed memories and loneliness. In some ways, you have been almost like family – gently teaching and guiding, while not letting gross misconceptions go unacknowledged. Feeling a bit helpless in the inability to give back, beyond passing on to others. Take care.

  304. Thank you all, again, everyone.

    Alan (offlist), thank you for this. I didn’t respond, as I was trying to figure out a graceful way to say “Thank you, but please don’t.” But thank you.

  305. Thank you for a magnificent, moving and honest testament to Sara and your life together. I don’t have anything to add except that I am so sorry for your loss.

  306. Dear John Michael,

    Thank you so much for the gracious reply (#438), and please know that I completely understand, and have utterly no bad feelings in response. On the contrary, I feel a bit awkward myself for having put you in a position to feel, and to say, “Thank you, but no”.
    Hey, if my own sister can and will refuse such an offer (and much more bluntly), you have no reason to feel in any way discomfited for doing the same, while having done so in a very truthful yet courteous fashion.

    Aside from that, and as some other posters have expressed, I am impressed with your apparent strength of character in the face of what you are dealing with right now, and for even continuing (or being able to continue) to monitor and post to this blog. I am pretty certain that, were our positions reversed, I would be utterly unable to do the same, and to continue on as you seem to be doing. By having said that, though, I do not mean to imply that you come across as some unemotional stump, far from it.

  307. @Kirsten (#423):

    I’d like to echo JMG’s reply (#434), especially the part where he says that Putin is “one of the half dozen or so greatest leaders Russia has yet produced, a careful, competent, ice-cold bastard who took over an economically and politically prostrate nation on the brink of total collapse and turned it step by step into the world’s leading military power.”

    Putin seems to me to be highly intelligent, completely sane, quite realistic about the possible futures that lie before Russia, and totally devoted to his country’s best interests as he and most ordinary Russians see them — which are not, never have been, and never can be, harnonized with the best interests of the USA or any other powerful nation. Biden’s very recent infamous comment about Putin couldn’t have been further from the truth of the man.

    It is extremely fortunate for us here in the USA that Putin sees — quite correctly, IMHO — that the best future for all major world powers lies with a multipolar world, not a hegemonic one ruled by a single superpower. Otherwise the well-known “doomsday clock” of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists would probably have to be set at 10 seconds to midnight instead of its current 90 seconds.

  308. JMG and Robert Mathiesen (#441),
    Are we allowed to veer away from the topic? Sara certainly comes off as a person who loved lively conversations.
    Robert, I like your point about Russian interests that can not be harmonized with American interests. Of course! Instead of acknowledging this situation and intelligently addressing it, our leaders regress to name-calling. This is the kindergarten level of performance, not the world leaders level. I was shocked to watch first Pelosi calling Putin “among top three or four evil people in the world” and then Biden calling him “a crazy son of a b–h”. Do they really think in these cartoonish terms or is this a conscious stab at propaganda? I sure would love to know… It is this background that makes this “ice-cold bastard” look particularly formidable.
    JMG, I said “Yikes” and you said “Ferocious”. I hope you are wrong, but my hopes are diminishing with each passing day. Maybe Sara is lucky in a way. She gets to skip a really ugly part of history.

  309. Thank you so very much for sharing a little of Sara, and your inspiring love for each other, with us.
    Sending love to you .

  310. Dear JMG,

    Thank you for the essay-obituary. It is deeply touching and helps to put some things into perspective; it also communicates tons about both Sara and you.

    Sometimes I think I am not able to love enough, but the moments in my life when people I cherished died show me, how much I loved them. The little moments or words we shared – but they are still nested there, in the memories. The moments we could or would have shared can be challenging for me to let pass; but when I gaze at the skies, I do realize how big the world is and that I need to be able to accept changes and the new entering my life.

    I would like to share a little story. When I saw the pictures of Sara, at first, I was a little shocked, for they did not seem to match the mental image (very unclear, though, I am not good at the visual) I had of her. But then I looked again, more carefully – for the features that are on the borderline of the physical, that is, the expression of the eyes and face, and there she was! My Sara! And there she is, still, in those who knew her a little and loved her a lot, enriching us, even as she is going on on her journey:
    When the night falls,
    Greens of grasses turn,
    Into a past.
    When the dawn calls,
    Past memories burn,
    Into a green blast.


  311. I am so sorry for your loss. What a beautiful eulogy for your wife and the life you shared together. Wishing you peace, solace, and blessings in this moment.

  312. I am glad she can get the tribute and obituary she deserves, from a writer who knew her as well as anyone could.

  313. I wish you much strength and a good transition for your wife. I will dedicate the merit of my practice to you.

  314. My wife’s mother is trapped in the hospital dying of turbo cancer and firmly stuck in denial, which is stressing the family out because now they have to go hospice shopping for her and availability is scarce and super expensive. My wife is pretty tore up about this and I asked if her mom was ever religious. She told me as kids her mom kept trying to get them to go to Catholic mass but they all hated it. I recommended sending a Catholic priest and see how that goes, and if at some point she’s ready to accept things to mention the home death you most beautifully described. I used to volunteer in hospitals and move bodies down to the morgue and could sense the things that live and feed there. It’s risky sending in an unknown priest, but thinking about the larvae crawling all over her for the next few weeks as her mind slowly goes makes it seem like it’s worth a shot. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  315. Dear John,
    I am so sorry for your loss, you and Sara are in my prayers at this time.

    I have never commented before but have read your blogs and books since 2008.

    I also wanted to take this opportunity to thank you for all that you have done. I’m not overstating it in the least to say that you have changed the way I think for the better (for the far better, as a matter of fact).

    I now put on my “They Live” sunglasses whenever I read a mainstream media article and just laugh and shake my head. Before I would simply ingest their mindless drivel and then go on some shallow rant for no reason.

    As it so happens I came across your work on the same day I couldn’t work out why I was so angry about something (I couldn’t sustain what I was ranting about because there didn’t seem to be any reason for it or behind it).

    Why you are not more well known is beyond me, but perhaps my previous points have something to do with it.

    As we say in Australia, you are a top bloke John and you are the writer I most admire.

    Take John and all good things, always. Wishing Sara safe travels, until you all meet again.

    From Another Aussie here

  316. JMG, sorry for your loss. Sara always intrigued me and I had hoped we would hear more from her as she did comment now and again on your blogs. Also I thought we would never see JMG’s chin, but there it is, in the wedding photo!

    You were lucky you found each other early in life, and I understand Sara’s not wanting to linger on the earth plane. I used to visit lots of Care Homes for my job and many people there had horrible existences with no quality of life or dignity. As for her being a Cathar in a previous life, were you one too? I visited Carcassonne castle before and didn’t really appreciate the horrors that would have gone on there at the time.

  317. If the picture didn’t come through the quote said…

    Your wings were ready…
    But our hearts were not


  318. For Sara

    Your struggles in this life are over. The battle with ‘unexplained medical symptoms’ which could be an undiagnosed autoimmune disease is done. Now you are a starchild, part of the cosmos. Now is time to rest, to be at peace. Unity with the wider universe. You are missed here among the mortals.

    Katy England

  319. @Kirsten, As regards Pelosi and Biden as representatives of our leadership class, there is a saying “ whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad” Even this armchair expert in my limited knowledge of history, geography, economics, and current events saw a doable realpolitik path to peaceful co-existence between NATO and Russia. But what I call the Atlanticists have been striving to make Russia a compliant part of their order and have decided to sacrifice countless Ukrainian and Russian lives and borrowed money and their arms supply in a vain attempt to do so. The miscalculation on the part of our idiot leadership is astonishing.
    My father who passed a few months ago stated before his death at 91 that he had lived through a very good period of American history and he saw a not so pleasant future coming up. The Furies of fate are coming America’s way.
    And JMG, your writings have deepened my soul, you have many memories of your loved one to feed upon to nourish your soul, thank you for sharing some of them.

  320. @Kirsten (#442):

    I had a certain amount of contact with the Bidens and Pelosis of this world during my decades teaching at Brown University. Yes, many of them really do think in such “cartoonish terms,” so far as I could ever see. Their distinguishing characteristic seemed to me to be utter ruthlessness, not intelligence or decency. (Of course, there were also highly intelligent and decent exceptions to my generalization, but not all that many of them.)

  321. I cannot add anything to the lovely tributes here, except to add my sincere condolences for your loss.

  322. Profound – as usual
    Sincere condolences to you at this time of loss
    May your writings and reveries, remembrances and reflections provide some solace and equanimity
    Thank you for sharing this piece – and this stunningly beautiful piece
    Be well, stay safe, and continue flourishing

  323. Once again, thank you, each and every one of you, for your kind words and thoughts. You’ve helped make a difficult time noticeably easier.

    Kirsten, I was worried that the crisis would hit at a time when her health wouldn’t permit a nimble response. One of the few consolations I have for her passing is that she’s fine now, and doesn’t have to worry about what goes on down here on the material plane. Mind you, I don’t think the situation is hopeless; given the nimble response just noted, it should be possible to dodge the falling walls and be standing there grubby but unharmed as the rubble stops bouncing and the dust settles.

    Markéta, many thanks for this.

    Aloysius, I’m very sorry to hear this. If you have a relationship with a deity, btw, praying for your wife’s mother will help.

    Another, many thanks for this! I’m not more well known precisely because so many people don’t want to think about the future that’s looming ahead of us. It’ll be interesting to see what happens as that future becomes more widely distributed.

    Bridge, Sara used to work as a cook in a nursing home, so she knew exactly what the score was and didn’t want anything to do with that. As for Cathar lives, no, I didn’t have one — I was running away from all things spiritual at that time. It was the seventeenth century before I finally stopped that futile effort and faced my karma.

    Anonymous, I’m the only one who can post images here, so:

    Thank you very much for this!

  324. Thank you for writing this and for all the other treasures you share with us as well. I’m glad that the heartfelt good wishes of your readers are a help at this time and I’m sending mine to you.

  325. Dear JMG:

    I am sorry for your loss. Your obituary was beautiful; I almost feel I knew her.

    It is a blessing that she was ready to go, that you were there for her, and it was an easy passage.

    I’m the last photo, I had the sense of two people who, of all the places they could be and the people they could be with, this was it. With each other, on a nice day, in Providence Harbor and the Seekonk.

    My thoughts and prayers for you both.


  326. My mother was terrified of Alzheimer’s disease. Her mother had Alzheimer’s and spent the last 10 years of her life as a shell of a human, being turned periodically in her bed to prevent bedsores before finally dying in her 90s. My mother didn’t want to deal with that in her own life. In time, she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and decided to end her life while she still had some agency by no longer taking in food or water. She was very disciplined about it. The doctor said she wouldn’t last more than 10 days.

    She lasted 3 weeks.

    No one could figure out why. The doctor theorized it was because she’d had surgery some 20 years earlier that had left her with an edema in her left leg that acted like a camel’s hump.

    It was a gift. She gave us 2 weeks of reminiscing, laughing, crying and resolving all the things that needed to be said and, after a final week slipping in and out of consciousness, she died.

    I share this not to suggest that my experience was anything like yours. It clearly was not. But I found that, after the grief had (mostly) passed, I was inspired and motivated by her strength and resolve. Even in death, she still impacted my life.

    I sincerely hope for this outcome for you. I’m thinking of you John.

  327. I’m sorry for your loss

    There was a friend,
    Who’s endearing and sensitive
    Transfigured by the wings of poetry

    Of verses that arose
    From a deep inner feeling

    A singer who roamed the town square
    Burdened with loneliness
    Who had learned from pain to weave words
    To express himself in contention
    From the incorruptible truth of his being
    His being…

    Where are you, from which meadows?
    The shepherd of Urepele,
    You who have fled to the mountains,
    Towards tomorrow
    That lingers within memory

    By breaking barriers,
    You released your song
    Finding ardently
    For freedom, beyond the ties,
    And the limits of your body

    With your last breath,
    In the deepest verse,
    You turned it into a violent cry,
    Of hidden truths,
    That can never be expressed…
    Never be expressed

    Where are you, from which meadows?
    The shepherd of Urepele,
    You who fled towards the mountains,
    Towards tomorrow ,
    That lingers within memory.

    Agur eta ohore

  328. Again, I thank each and every one of you for your kind words and thoughts.

    Aldarion, no, I’m not much of a fan of Lewis’s nonfiction.

    Arthur, that’s actually quite common; the literature on VSED (voluntarily stopping eating and drinking) says 10-15 days is average, and 5-25 days is not unheard of. Sara lasted 11 days, and yes, we had ample time to say everything that needed to be said, and have all the conversations you want to have in that situation. The clarity and calm she displayed while facing death is an ideal I hope I can match when my time comes.

    Achille, thanks for this.

  329. I add my voice to the many wishing you and Sara well in this plane and the next. I have been trying to put into words what I read in your remembrance of her, but I can’t. It is an impressive piece of writing. Perhaps part of it is that what you wrote simply presents Sara and you and your marriage as-is, unvarnished, without any attempt to force the reader to feel one way or another. Simply, “hi this is us”. That sounds easy to do, but it is not. And it has the quality that high literature has of being both very particular and yet at the same time universal.
    And I want to acknowledge the quality of this commentariat.

  330. Words are so, at times, such an poor thing to express something, but please understand and accept my expression of concern and wish for all blessings possible at this time of lost for you. Clearly, your wife was a full blessing for you as you were for her. And clearly, this lost shall be hard, and terrible to live. However, the blessings of her shall remain to enrich you to end of your own time in this plane we call life. It isn’t an easy thing to continue on after the lost of partner. I have it twice in my life, but we experience such and we find the whatever to go forward as we face the next things coming at us. I know you will find your way.

    Mythic Provence

  331. I am sorry for your loss. I hope Sara’s passing was as peaceful as hoped. The eulogy was beautiful even to someone who never had the chance to meet her.

  332. I’m very sorry to hear of your loss, Mr. Greer. Reading this and the way you describe your relationship reminds me of my own relationship. There are parallels, certainly. I will cherish what we have and I’m glad that you and Sara were able to spend so many happy years together. Take care of yourself, for the literary world is a much richer place for having you in it!


  333. My condolences. Thank you for sharing those intimate thoughts with us. You will meet again, for shure.

  334. Thank you Mr. Greer for sharing this touching account of your wife’s life and legacy. As the saying goes, “There is a great woman behind every great man”. It certainly sounds like you became what you are today because Sara believed in and supported you the whole way through.

    If I may quibble with one point though, you wrote “writers and artists are no more interesting than anybody else.” This is true… but what you described above sounds like many people would benefit from hearing more. At some point in the future when it seems appropriate to tackle such a project I am sure many of us would like to hear more about your life living with a medium and your past life connections with Sara. These things are fascinating. I had no idea you had that kind of connection with Sara, and it brings up a boat load of additional questions that, if answered, would inspire a lot of people. I know you are not much of a visual entertainment person, but what you talked about reminded me of the movie “What Dreams May Come”. The film is about a couple who are soul mates, which in that movie means they find each other in any given reincarnation, and the husband’s search for his wife in the afterlife after she passes on. I suspect this might be one of the few movies you would find interesting. More to the point, a lot of people think these sort of discussions are well worth investigating/learning from. If you are open to sharing such personal details I suspect you would find a wide, sympathetic audience.

  335. I’ve been rereading the Divine Comedy, this time in the Dorothy L. Sayers translation. These lines from Paradise, Canto 1 struck me. Beatrice and Dante are still in the Earthly Paradise, line 100, and:
    “She turned on me, with a pitying sigh,
    A look such as a mother’s let fall,
    Upon her infant, babbling feverishly.

    And she began: ”All beings great and small,
    Are linked in order, and this orderliness,
    Is form, which stamps God’s likeness on the All.

    Herein the higher creatures see the trace,
    Of that Prime Excellence who is the end,
    For which that form was framed in the first place.

    And being thus ordered, all these natures tend,
    Unto their source, or near or farther off,
    As divers lots their divers fashions blend.

    Wherefore to divers havens all these move,
    O’er the great sea of being, all borne on,
    By instinct given, to every one enough.

    ‘Tis this that draws the fire up to the moon,
    The mover this, in hearts of mortal things,
    This that binds up the earth and makes it one.”

    Godspeed Sara.

  336. JMG –
    My deepest condolences. Prayers for Sara’s beautiful soul as it continues on it’s journey beyond the veil. Prayers of comfort for you. Thank you a lovely, moving tribute to Sara. Much to reflect upon.
    – PatriciaT

  337. JMG, a long while ago a neighbor back in my hometown died from lung cancer. Mr H was an engineer and much respected in town, and when he passed, Mrs H, his widow, remarked ‘thank God he’s dead.’ At the time, being younger and relatively inexperienced in life, I thought it was a harsh thing to say, not that I’m Mister Sensitivity which I’m not. But the clock ticks relentlessly and Mr H’s demise and Mrs H’s comment disappeared in the shifting sands.

    Fast forward three decades or so, my dad was diagnosed with stomach cancer, and after the required rituals of radiation and chemo, where we lie to ourselves and each other that maybe it’ll work, and which did stop the internal bleeding for a while, a year later he too died. In the meantime there were many exhausting trips to my parents’ house, at the time a three hour trip away, and to the hospital cancer clinic and the ER and many, many days bedside vigil while he wasted away.

    I had long forgotten Mrs H’s comment until my Dad’s funeral and then I understood what she meant. Now we do it all over again with my mother in her descent into dementia with every other day bringing another issue to unravel. Boo bloody hoo, right? we all have our problems.

    When I was young the old timers would tell me that life is short. Yes it is, and full of difficulties besides. One real old guy from the old country would sit in his wheelchair in the nursing home and sing a communist fight-song (The Red Flag) in the native lingo. His mind was going and apparently he thought it was the 1930s. In a lucid moment he said to me that getting old is lousy but it’s better to get there. Yeah, well, maybe, maybe not.

    The point is that I have an idea of what you’re going through. And so for what it’s worth you have my sympathy.

  338. I am so sorry, John Michael. Your description of Sara and your time together is clearly of a heart-felt life and tribute, with treasured memories of your partnership. I wish you the best as you adjust going forward.

  339. My condolences, and heartfelt thanks for a wonderful remembrance.

    I highly respect Sara’s decision to reject medical intervention and actively confront mortality. My own health challenges so far seem to have a directly inverse relationship to my breadth of mind and understanding of the world. It is a strange space to inhabit, so very much against the ruling mythos of our society – my thoughts sometimes run off onto all the things I could do if my health were ‘normal’; and yet those imaginings are worldly, removed from spirituality. My conclusion has been to understand and treat ill health as a blessing; an opportunity that in another world I may not have. I have also noticed that the teachers in my tradition most worthy of reverence have similar issues; to the extent that rude good health and general lack of obstacles is a strong indicator of a potential charlatan. A most curious phenomenon.

    May Sara, and all others, realise the true nature of being. Om ah hung benza guru pema siddhi hung!

  340. Thank you for this article. I could feel the sense of finality in the way you spoke of Mrs. Greer over the past few weeks, but it is difficult to mourn or pray for someone you know nothing about. Now I understand the life that you cherish so much. Thank you for articulating the life of your beloved in such vivid detail. Even though I know neither of you in person, reading this eulogy gives me a sense of how you were together, as people. It helps me to understand her, as a human being. Thank you for filling these words with warmth and sincerity.

    The two of you have undergone a great amount of struggle in this lifetime. I am glad to learn that she found tranquility in spite of all that has transpired in her life. I am sorry to learn about how utterly modern medicine has failed her, and how much suffering it has cost you both in the process. I am sorry to learn about your child, who never saw this world. I cannot begin to feel the agony of this tragedy, and the suppressed pain of carrying that agony over a lifetime. I hope that you can find peace and fulfillment too, in time.

  341. What a delightful picture of you and Sara on your wedding day! Thank you for sharing her life with us, John– And as for having a not very interesting life, it would not at all surprise me to find a psychic bookkeeper lurking in the background of one of your future books, like Alfred Hitchcock, happy to remain unnoticed but giving a gentle push to the protagonist now and then that keeps him heading in the right direction. 😉

  342. Thank you John Michael Greer for sharing your memories and experiences of your wife Sara: of meeting, of marriage, the rough times, the good times and everything between. Your candour here and in your other writing (and interviews, where I first found your work last year) have given me insights on life in many forms opening up previously unknown perspectives to explore past present and future after a very long period of confusion, I thank you for this also

    Prayers and blessings are offered for Sara’s journey and for your own

    All the best from Martin William Catchpole
    (Ramsholt, Suffolk, England)

  343. Dear JMG, it’s hard to choose words that haven’t already been said, but thank you for this moving and honest eulogy, which served for me as a vivid introduction to Sara’s life and your time together. I’m sorry for your loss, may she pass well into the afterlife, and thank you for all that you do.

  344. Thank you so much for sharing your and Sara’s stories. My world is more meaningful because of your generosity of spirit. Peace and blessings to all.

  345. This is an incredibly beautiful and moving account of Sara and your life together. You evoke so vividly the many happy moments of complicity and the many shadows that fell upon your journey together. Thank you for sharing these memories and for painting Sara’s portrait so lovingly. My deepest condolences go out to you, dear John, and my thoughts are with you and your lovely wife wherever she may be now. May you both find peace until you find each other again.

  346. Again, thank you, each and every one of you, for your kind words and support during this time. You’ve really helped.

    Jessica, I have the best commentariat on the internet, full stop, end of sentence.

    Stephen, I’ll consider that. It might make a blog post, at least.

    Peter, many thanks for this. During Sara’s last days I reread Bernardus Sylvestris’s Cosmographia, which is set in the same medieval cosmos through which Dante traced his journey, and so this passage is even more moving than it would otherwise be.

    Smith, it’s quite common to feel a certain amount of relief when somebody dies, and not inappropriate, especially if it was a long and difficult process getting there. Sara’s final illness was a lot less difficult than it might have been, but it was still hard on her as well as on me and others. “My body at this point is nothing more than a box,” she said to me a couple of weeks before she died, “and I just want to get out of it.” And she did.

    Daniel, one thing our traditions have in common is a recognition that illness can have a karmic origin, and accepting it can be one way to resolve karmic debts and burdens. So that’s one way in which ill health can certainly be a blessing.

    Emmanuel, nah, it won’t be a psychic bookkeeper — I don’t use my own experiences quite that directly in my fiction. There are already characters in some of my novels that borrow certain qualities from Sara, of course, and doubtless there will be more.

  347. As Gen X, Sara’s story reminds me of my mom’s friends and my friends’ moms. Some of them had abusive husbands or drug habits from the 60s/70s. Most of them had one kid. Or none. And they didn’t seem at all interested in parenting so we ran wild long into the night. I feel like there was a sense of purposelessness as the hippie era ended and it was just “get back to work” 80s? And it was especially hard on low-income folks who were getting old without marketable skills, while the upper class seemed to effortlessly shed the tie-dyes and coast into the corporate world, the 60s neatly framed in a corner office poster.

    I’m not saying Sara is like the broken women around me growing up. Clearly, she had purpose and meaning. I’m just saying your “old souls” comment struck a chord, a thread of quiet tragedy that women are good at covering up, whether that’s with clutter or giving up their dreams to support us men. I’m sorry you guys could never be parents and I’m sorry for your loss, John. Rest in peace, Sara.

  348. W.H. Auden, poem XXX, expresses one aspect of grief better than I ever could. It’s too long to insert here. Every time I read it aloud, it makes me weep even though I have no recent loss comparable to previous ones. Worth a look. Thank you for letting us into your time and times, and blessings.

  349. Hi JMG,

    I’m glad to hear that Sara passed peacefully and in accordance with her wishes, but terribly sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing this with us, I was always curious to learn more about her as she sounded interesting from your previous mentions of her here and there.

    Hope you are well,

  350. Sorry to hear of your loss JMG. I am glad she was able to be at home for the end. It’s about 18 months since my grandmother died, who also died at home, and was mentally quite well at the age of 98. It’s only recently that we finished selling her house, so it feels a bit fresh again.

    #442 It sounds like they have actually started to believe in their own propaganda. I can’t imagine that ends well.

  351. I never had the chance to meet Sara, and only very briefly corresponded with her when I joined the AODA over ten years ago now (and then dropped out because I found it too hard, and I was drifting in those days, unwilling to sit down and do any serious work), but I think she quite literally saved my life with Pagan Prayer Beads. Many years ago, I spent some time studying a new religious movement in another country as part of a university student exchange program; and when I came home, I kept a few keepsakes from the trip. One of these was a set of prayer beads. They were worshipping an extremely nasty entity; and they had charged these beads with a great deal of energy, which was negatively affecting me even when I got home.

    By the time I found Pagan Prayer Beads a little over a year after I got home, I was on the verge of suicide; I didn’t know why my mental health was falling apart, why I had so many dark images in my head, or why my life had become such a disaster, until I read her book. Reading it, and seeing how prayer beads could be used, allowed me to make the connection, and realize I needed to get rid of my souvenir. Once I did that, things started improving instantly.

    I wish I had thought to say this while she was still alive to hear it; but she will forever have my gratitude for this. Given I am still dealing with the karmic consequences of an earlier life committing suicide, and of a much earlier life giving in to a demonic entity, I expect that while I won’t necessarily remember it, my future lives will be greatly improved because of her book.

    I think I didn’t say this while she was alive because I can’t think of any words to truly express how truly grateful I am for what she did for me with her simple, yet profound, book. Nothing I can say feels like enough; but I think it needs to be said. I hope my profound gratitude reaches her, and that she is aware of the life she saved.

    So, here’s to Sara: may the gods guide, bless and protect you through your journey to wherever fate shall take you next.

  352. Querido Mr. Greer
    My deepest condolences. I can’t imagine what you are going through now.
    May she have a good journey.
    May the sun shine upon her hair.
    May the wind caress her skin.
    May the birds take her memories and help her reach peace.
    With love from Barcelona.

  353. Dear Mr Greer, I’d like to express my gratitude for for your beautiful writing. I have been following you since 2008. Thanks to you and Sara my world view has changed.
    May she rest in peace.

  354. I am in tears reading this John.
    It is the rarest of things to share a life as you have with her. May it please the spirits that you find her again in the next life.
    Please accept all the love and compassion my heart if feeling for you right now.


  355. Thank you, JMG, for this beautiful and relatable song of Sara and your life together.
    This real life shared is so helpful and valuable. The parallels to my life have given me much to think about. It seems I’ve spent most of a slightly longer life than yours learning and struggling with how to do life. There’s always a lot more to learn and further to go, so, much appreciation for an elegant elegy and your life and work . Blessings and gratitude to both of you.

  356. It’s hurts. I know your pain. There are a number of loved ones and semi-loved ones that I would like to have known better. The opportunity to related to them is gone and memories of them are fading.

    There is an Irish ritual(?) where a white napkin is laid on a dinner table and a clean glass is laid on top with bottom up. It represents those that you wish could be there but are not. You make a toast and clink your glass with the glass of the absentee person. There is some solace there. I’ve taken that internally and every once in a while thoughts of a person and even a family pet long gone are reminisced and a clink of the internal glass saying “I wish you were here”.

    I am sorry for your loss. You have my condolences.

  357. How brave Sara must have been. I mean, to do it this way must take an incredibly strong will, no? Both you and Sara remain on my mind, with heartfelt gratitude for many years’ gifts to us, your readers.

  358. What a moving eulogy. It infuriates me that she never was taken seriously by the doctors, and never got any help to at least find out what was ailing her, that’s such a shame. My sister became a veterinarian, and I a vet tech, because we had pets die from medical neglect and outright incompetence, but becoming a doctor out of self-defense is not an option for everyone.

    I’m impressed by the way your wife chose to leave this earth – I’m absolutely sure I couldn’t do it. May your grief be lightened soon.

  359. Dear John Michael,
    Up to now, I rarely commented, although I follow your blog since about 2007 and learned a ton from your blog and your books.
    So, thank you very much!
    My heartfelt thanks also for sharing this very important part of your life, Sara’s dying and death, with us.

    I’m very moved and touched about your beautiful essay and your comments in the discussion.
    I’m also touched by the many prayers and blessings offered to you by the commentariat.

    This example of a good death is very heartening and comforting for me.
    I didn’t know much about VSED before and find this information very heartening too.

    After reading your essay and the comments, I thought, well, dying is not necessarily difficult. Maybe not such a big deal, after all. On a more intellectual level, I knew this, but now I can feel it. Death has become more real and less difficult to contemplate for me.

    Again, my heartfelt thanks to you.

    I pray for you and Sara and wish you all the best


  360. John Michael, that was a beautiful tribute to Sara. I read it with rapt attention – twice. Thank you.

  361. Mr. Greer,

    Sometime ago I was dealing with a personal tragedy and, though your blog, you put me on to these words from the Handbook

    Never say of anything, “I have lost it”; but, “I have returned it.” Is your child dead? It is returned. Is your wife dead? She is returned. Is your estate taken away? Well, and is not that likewise returned? “But he who took it away is a bad man.” What difference is it to you who the giver assigns to take it back? While he gives it to you to possess, take care of it; but don’t view it as your own, just as travelers view a hotel.

    They gave me succor then, and I return them to you.

    May the divine bless Sara and keep her.

    Your student

    –Anonymous Millenial

  362. So much love, so much lost…
    Thank you for letting us lighten your burden sharing your grief. I am feeling your lose.

  363. Thank you for a beautiful piece of writing. By the time I’d finished reading I almost felt I’d met Sara somewhere. Her photo of 1997 is very striking and reminds me of a friend who has a similar look in her eyes and is probably of that ‘old soul’ type: a wise and generous woman yet suffering deep intractable physical and inner affliction. I’m glad Sara had her way with Death, and you were her doula. That seems like a happy ending and new beginning for her. Please accept my heartfelt condolences for your loss.

  364. There’s never much to say in times like these, to people far away that you don’t really know, but I am so sorry. I am 60, so we are of an age. My wife had a heart attack in July and open heart surgery in September. I can’t imagine losing her, but I did imagine it, a lot. I am so sorry my friend.

  365. Dear JMG

    Please accept my condolences. I have been with number of close family members who are at various stages of their final journey for the past few years – some already departed, some ready to leave any time, some who are just getting started. I closely identify with everything you have said. It does not feel like this is the end. But then, it does not feel like it is a beginning either. At best, it feels like a pause, a break, till you meet them again at an unspecified point in the future. They didn’t “arrive”, they didn’t “leave”, they are always there.

    Here is something in from the Veda that I thought is appropriate:

    ॐ पूर्णमदः पूर्णमिदं पूर्णात्पुर्णमुदच्यते
    पूर्णश्य पूर्णमादाय पूर्णमेवावशिष्यते ॥
    ॐ शान्तिः शान्तिः शान्तिः ॥

    Translation: “It” is always whole and complete. From “it” comes “everything”, which is also always whole and complete. When “everything” comes out of “it”, what remains, remains whole and complete. .

    I have a feeling that this translation will make sense to you.

  366. Thank you for this, JMG. I was aware of Sara’s importance in your life, and gained some sense of her personality, from your occasional mentions of her in your blogs, but didn’t really know much about her. This testament reminds us that all lives are complex, rich, and important – and worth of memorial.

    My condolences to you on your loss. I gather from what you’ve previously said that you have friends around you to support you, and that’s good. Grief takes a long time to get over, and the hole in one’s life can never be fully healed, but it helps enormously that you had the opportunity to say all that needed to be said, and that you were both fully prepared and ready for the transition.

    Take care, and thank you for all your work.

  367. It was a beautiful eulogy and we should count ourselves lucky if ever we are the recipient of both the words and the love they contain.

    My deepest condolences for your loss and my best wishes for your future.

  368. Thank you for sharing with us this deeply moving tribute to your wife. May the deities comfort you in your grief, and may they be with Sara as she gets used to the afterlife.
    Thank you, John, for all your hard work in the past 30 years. Your books have improved my life considerably.

  369. Thank you for sharing this moving piece on your shared life with Sara, and my condolences to you for her passing away.

    I am not quite sure now is the time to discuss this, so feel free to delete or defer. You mentioned Sara had a growing number of food intolerances, starting with wheat and milk, and then generalizing. I have started having similar intolerances 2-3 years ago, and at the time I had attributed symptoms like persistent fatigue that would not resolve after naps and having the need to nap several times a day, even after a full night of sleep, on stress. But then at some point it grew so bad, I spent half of my vacations just napping and persistently exhausted. So being on vacation, I reasoned it was probably not stress related. I looked up some other symptoms I had, like feeling inflammation in my belly and being persistently inflated, and found that some people had these reactions after eating wheat or milk. So I stopped both, and immediately noticed my level of energy going back up. I quickly lost a lot of weight, then my weight stabilized with no effort on my side, and some long-term dermatological issues, like having deep pimples that would take months to heal, greatly reduced.

    The main issue however, is that I would not always have these symptoms even when eating wheat or milk, so this would always appear somewhat random. I also did not test positive for celiac disease, so all blood tests I was recommended by a physician did not provide any clue to what was actually going on. Now it feels like I have developed more serious lactose intolerance and I have stopped eating out because it is mostly impossible to know in advance whether I am going to react to something.

    I remembered you shared a paper on the other forum that linked obesity to living downstream of major water ways, with the hypothesis that pesticides might actually be correlated with it. To me that seems a much better working hypothesis than most of the tentative explanations I have heard so far, including “wheat today has more gluten than previous varieties” and “we are not supposed to drink milk past infancy”. When we look at the impact of pesticides, fertilizers and monocultures on ecosystems, we see that they weaken them and reduce their diversity, life in the soil drops dramatically, and all grown varieties become more prone to diseases and less nutritious. So that would not seem like a big stretch to me that by analogy, our digestive system, which is actually an ecosystem of bacteria and microbes that live in symbiosis with us, might be similarly affected by pesticides, fertilizers, antibiotics, and general pollution that remain into our food, leading to similar outcomes.

    On a related note, Jean Bedard, a philosopher-farmer from Quebec now in his 70s wrote about his experience of going through terminal cancer of the colon with metastases in the liver and recovering through a combination of philosophical reflexion on the topic and a nutritional approach designed to foster health rather than beating diseases, based on vegetables he grew in his garden. In a book he wrote about his experience, in which he carefully avoids to give any health advice, he nonetheless at the same time acutely questions the dominant and objectifying approach of the current medical establishment.

    Here is a short blog post (in French) on the topic:
    Here is the book (in French as well) as sold in Quebec:

    I think there is definitely a blind spot on the health impact of Western industrial agricultural practices, and a better ecologically-anchored philosophy of life ought to also include our nutritional system, including both our digestive system and the larger ecology in which it is integrated. So I would be really interested in any future discussions on the topic and would be curious about your current take on the topic.

  370. My continued thoughts and prayers for both you and Sara, now that her soul has finally passed on. My deepest condolences to you.

    I’d also like to applaud and give thanks for this poignant, brave and honest eulogy.

  371. John Michael,

    Please accept my heartfelt condolences. I can barely imagine what it would be like to lose some one so special.
    Thank you for this essay about Sara. I have often wondered about her and what was her story. Now I have an idea about it and I feel honored to know. Thank you for that and blessings to you.

    Will O

  372. @ JMG “My body at this point is nothing more than a box,” she said to me a couple of weeks before she died, “and I just want to get out of it.” And she did.

    “Death is absolutely safe. It is like taking off a tight shoe” – “Death is a ceremony, In which one takes off one pair of clothes and adopts a new one. That’s from the soul perspective. From the ego. Death is a stopping point. It’s the end of the ego. The ego sees death as suffering. And the soul see death as the awakening” – Ram Dass

  373. So many comments, so many expressions of love.

    I hesitated to add one more for you to read during your grieving and adjusting to a new and maybe emptier life, but I wanted you to know that I found Sara’s story inspiring, especially her last days. To me: it’s powerful to die on your own terms, resisting the interference of a system that largely wants to milk people even on their way out. What a powerful way to go, and it personally gives me hope.

    Much love to you and Sara and your family.

  374. Dear Mr. Greer,
    My sincerest condolences for your loss.
    Death is indeed an inevitable part of life, and your essay prompts me to reflect how I will die, and how I should live my life till that moment.
    I cannot imagine you must be going through, but I can at least wish you and your late wife well, whatever lies in store in this life or the one that comes after.


  375. Dear John,
    Thank you for sharing your Sara and your Love for each other with us. Your generosity is beautiful.
    In the eyes of the angels may you find comfort.
    Peace on Earth,

  376. I am so very sorry for your loss.
    A few years ago I posted here and said that my cat of 15 years had died, and you wrote one of the most wonderful and comforting responses ever, I even kept a screenshot of it.
    May you receive the same comforting in this difficult time.
    Blessed Be.

  377. Been out of pocket for the last week, so I’m just catching up with this. I don’t like to think about losing my wife, and I applaud the humble, candid nature with which you and Sara tackled this greatest of all transitions together. I also appreciate the open and honest eulogy you’ve written for your wife and shared with us – people I hope you think of as friends, whether we’ve met in person or not. Because that’s how we think of you, our dear friend JMG. I, and everyone else here I’m sure, wish you all the best in this new chapter of your life.

    Gods-speed, Sara.

  378. Late but still, my condolences as well!
    Thank you for this compelling account and eulogy, as it has to teach a lot to us as well.

    Your marriage certainly has been one of these outstanding examples of a real connection.

    I wish you all the best in the necessary process of coming to terms with one of these events we face in life, loss, and thank you and your wife for all of your joint efforts, all the beneficial things you as a team have given to us!


  379. Once again, thank you, each and all of you, for your kind words and thoughts. I greatly appreciate them.

    Anonymous, thanks for this. She’d have been delighted to hear it.

    Millennial, I was just reading that passage again last night. Epictetus remains my go-to volume for dealing with hard times.

    Ramaraj, many thanks for this. The translation does indeed make perfect sense to me.

    Digest, Sara took her food intolerances very seriously. When wheat became a problem for her, she stopped eating anything containing it, permanently. The same was true of cow’s milk, and the other things on her list; we didn’t even bring them into the house. We got very good at teasing out hidden wheat, dairy, etc. from ingredient labels on products. For quite a few years we thought that would be enough, but over time her health kept on slipping anyway. In terms of the chemical hypothesis of mass obesity, the crucial point to my mind is that obesity is a complex, multifactorial issue — there is no single cause in every case. In Sara’s case, part of the issue was that she was systematically starved by an abusive parent in early childhood, which meant that her metabolism did what the metabolism of childhood famine victims always does, and preferentially deposited every spare calorie in her fat cells. But there was more to it than that, of course.

    Michael, I’m not a Ram Dass fan but every so often he really was square on target.

  380. Dear Mr. Greer, my condolences for your loss. I have learned a lot from your writings over the years and you still show how to be a better person even through your grief. I wish your wife a peaceful transition. MC

  381. I always thought Sara must be a very special person. I’m so grateful to you for sharing about your life together. Your writing brought me to tears. Much love to you both and my sincere condolences for your loss JMG.
    Unfortunately, there are many women in the modern world who suffer from mystery and chronic illnesses. Here is a very good podcast about it:
    Often times there is no cure, no diagnosis, and no answers – just a day-to-day drudgery of managing symptoms. Perhaps some light at the tunnel, with post-jab injuries, more people are developing chronic mystery illnesses, so finally the problem is getting more attention?!

    Why do so many of us not we feel(FEEL) well? It’s something I ponder a lot…

  382. I am so sad to learn of Sara’s passing. Having had the pleasure of spending a few hours with her at one of the Summer Solstice gatherings, I have held warm affection for her as a lovely, funny, insightful, caring woman. The world is diminished by her absence. May her memory be a blessing, John Michael.

  383. JMG, today, while driving to work I was thinking about what Sara said about nature being everywhere in the interview that was shared on MM. And then suddenly, for a short moment, everything from the trees to the guard railing radiated in an invisible, golden light, just as if nature wanted to say yes, see it’s true, I’m really here. It was brief, but very beautiful and very real.

    And then, a few days ago, while thinking about what you have written here about your and Sara’s life, I had some sudden realization about two Buddhist tales that really scared me to the bones when I first encountered them – namely that the turtle surfacing on the ocean, accidentally sticking her head through a ring floating somewhere on the water approximates your chances to be reborn as a human. The other was that only human incarnation but not “above” or “below” is conducive for reaching enlightenment. I hadn’t thought about these for years. I guess taking things not too literally helps a great deal and it seems I needed your example to get some understanding for the meaning beneath the words.

    I hope it is ok that I share these little episodes here – I just wanted to say thank you to both of you!


  384. So sorry for your loss, thank you for sharing some of your life with Sara and take care of yourself.

  385. Sorry John, the last line of my message should have read – take care John.

    I think this might have been commented on here before, but I have the feeling that a number of well known writers/media figures read your work directly or have at least picked up on it from somewhere else.

    I often read or watch something and think oh, John wrote about that ages ago.

    I’ve watched a few interviews with Tucker Carlson and James Kunstler, and Tucker mentioned that he reads Jim’s blogs every week, so he (or maybe one of his staff) could be following your work. I find it interesting that a lot of his ideas parallel yours, but I read them with you first.

    Anyway, your work has changed my life in so many positive ways and I hope many more people get to have that same opportunity too.

    Thanks very much for all that you do, and my prayers are also with you and Sara at this time.

  386. JMG, you’ve educated me, made me consider, and now this is what makes me cry. It’s not the loss; it’s the victory that stands for lives lived strong by both Sara and you – Carlo Colombo

  387. Hi JMG,

    Just curious, what is highest number of comments you have had to one of your posts?

    Surely, this one must be up there, which is all the more remarkable because often after a day or two many of the comments are talking to other commentators, whereas most of these seem to be straight to you.

  388. I am so sorry for your loss, I can’t imagine what you’re going through by I offer my condolences all the same. The loss of a loved one is the keenest sting healing does come. Grief and anger over the unfairness of it are natural as is deep sadness as are feelings of relief and peace.

    I’ve been reading you since you were writing “The Archdruid Report” and you’ve had a profound impact on my mindset and attitude towards science fiction. Wishing you decades of happiness and joy.

  389. @JMG I agree with the point that obesity (or any other health issue for that matter) is multifactorial. Being abusively starved as child must also have been pretty traumatic. Thanks for this great eulogy and that small glimpse of the life you and Sara have had together.

  390. Thank you for sharing with us your real life story with your loved wife. I am sorry for your loss. I am sure you will meet again sometime.

  391. John, I’m very sorry to hear of your loss. That was a very moving and beautiful tribute.

    I’ve been reading your blog regularly for the last several years, and greatly appreciate your unique take on current events and social developments. Take care.

  392. Dear JMG,
    I don’t want to let the week pass without adding my condolences and my thanks. You and Sara have been in my prayers and much on my mind.
    I’ve been reading you for more than fifteen years and, like so many here, I can trace some of the better developments, decisions, accomplishments, and aspirations in my life back to ideas you’ve introduced and conversations you’ve facilitated here. This week’s memorial essay is especially moving; as well as doing fine honor to Sara, it is a remarkable gift to your readers. Thank you for that glimpse into your life together, especially for sharing the ways that it was enchanted, magical, and spiritual at the same time as it was frustrating, imperfect, often painful, and in many ways just plain and mundane. I know you’ve never taught that magic and spirituality are an escape from the ordinary business of living, but this portrait of your marriage helped me understand that in a way I don’t think I had before. I’ve read it several times now and in its light have much to contemplate about my own marriage, work, life, and death moving forward, much to imagine and decide and get to work on.
    So thank you! I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am, and touched and inspired, that even in such a difficult and personal moment you’re able and willing to give so much by your words and your example.

  393. What an amazing post, and what a compendium of quiet hard-earned wisdom this discussion thread has gathered. As I face (and herein for the first time acknowledge in written words) my own beloved’s decline, and in due course my own, I expect to return to it often.

    Of course there cannot be ecosophia without thantatosophia. That’s what my thoughts kept orbiting during the earlier two weeks of waiting. A liminal space now dissolved, the world resumed, however clarified and however diminished. Then arising out of it, a literary rarity: an honest eulogy. Many topics to discuss in the future. But for now… my mere condolences for your loss. Peace and solace be with you.

  394. Thank you for sharing this part of your life with us and your memory of Sara. I’m so very sorry for your loss.

  395. Words never seem adequate at times like these. Very moving thoughts about Sara and your life together. Thinking of you at this difficult time. Michael

  396. Thank you for telling us of you dear wife and your lives together John Greer. God knows how I will deal with such a loss if my wife were to go before me. She is my other half.

    I wish you well in your journey through the rest of your life and wish to thank you for your written contributions to mine.

  397. My deepest condolences, John. In my life, I’ve found that the experiences that hurt most in the moment, that I most desperately wished I could avoid, are those that gave me the wisdom and patience to be a successful parent, partner, mystic, scientist, and public servant. I see glimpses of some of those painful fonts of wisdom from your life, things I’ve experienced and things I’ve never had to, in this essay. You are a private person, and so I thank you for sharing this part of your life with us as you honor the life of your Sara. We have her to thank in no small part for your ability to share thoughts, wisdom, and tentacled heros with us.

    I see echos of my mother taking care of my father, a disabled combat vet whose long slide is nearing its end despite a will to live that one could bend steel around. I’ll share this essay with her, maybe now, maybe later. In the meantime, my love and regards to you. I’m glad you two found each other and lived true love and commitment. I’d offer to buy you a beer, but the walk from SW Washington is a bit far.

  398. Wonderful way to send your beloved off into the next frame. Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful touching story.

  399. This is a beautiful, moving tribute to your life mate. I wish her well in what lies beyond, and I wish you the best with the life you have left to live absent her daily presence.

  400. I realize that a few words expressed across the internet don’t mean much at all, but I am so sorry for your loss John.

    Knowing that someone you have a deep respect for is hurting is a terrible sort of empathy, and there are few writers and thinkers I respect more than you. I hope that you can deal with your grief over losing your love in a way that has no more suffering than is necessary for grief to work.

  401. Here’s to believing that Sara is in a better place where the wounds of this life are no longer a burden. May you continue to benefit from this relationship for the rest of your days

  402. John,
    My condolences for your loss.
    Your tribute to your wife was moving.
    Be Well,

  403. My prayers for you and for Sara. This material world is full of so much heartache, but I see hope in your words. May Sara’s journey be a joyful one.

  404. I think I would count my life both blessed and a blessing if at its end someone wrote as vivid and loving an account of our time together as you have done here for Sara. Her light shines through your words. I am so very sorry for your loss.

  405. Condolences. Sara was blessed to find you, and your eulogy illuminates your relationship and love for each other better than any I have ever read. I am glad she found her place in the world and a peace with that place.

  406. I am happy for you and Sara in your successful marriage and I am happy for you in your devotion to fulfilling your vows to your wife.

    I am sorry that you and Sara had to go through this part so young.

  407. John,
    I only came across this news yesterday. My mother passed only a few days after Sara, coincidentally. This post was beautifully written. I am so sorry form your loss.

  408. Hi JMG,

    I’ve never met either of you in person, but I’ve read your work and seen plenty of what I now realize was Sara’s hand in much of the AODA as a member today.

    You and Sara touched my life again with your message here. I’ve been doing my best to heal from my own gray childhood. My partner supports me unconditionally as well, and I should stop backing away from my talents, too. I don’t want to wait until it’s too late. I don’t want him to feel like he failed me. He hasn’t, and you didn’t fail her either.

    I truly believe she will continue positively impacting lives, now without the medical stresses she was forced to carry on top of everything else. I’m so sorry for your loss, and I hope that both you and Sara can one day find peace.

    Thank you for sharing glimpses of your life together. I’m nearby — I’ll visit the river when I can and pay my respects there, too.

    – Morihalda

  409. My heart aches for your loss, and indeed the world’s loss. Thank you for sharing this beautiful love story with us. They say behind every great man is a great woman and it felt like a gift to learn about her.

  410. I have just read this and I am very sorry to hear about Sara. I suspected this was happening.

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