The Memorial


Sunday was the memorial for our friend. It was a nice event. Well over a hundred people attended from SGI, the Postal Service, friends and family. We did gongyo and chanted for a long time as people filed up to offer incense. Our friend’s daughters shared a gongyo book and chanted. She would have been so happy. The ceremony was scheduled for the exact time as our district’s Women’s Division General Meeting. Jean’s wish for a big turn out was accomplished.
Several people talked about her. They seemed to all be from different parts of her life. A college friend, the woman who introduced her to NSA (now SGI), postal workers from Oakland, Salinas and Aptos, people who knew her for decades and her newest friend, a new member of our district. They met right at the end of last year, but were fast friends. The SGI leaders did a great job, too. It seemed to take a weight off my shoulders. I decided not to speak at the memorial and was glad when her new friend got up to represent all of us in Salinas District.

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I have spent more time doing SGI activities and chanting than I have for many years. Home visits – that’s something I just didn’t do. I lead a study meeting on Saturday, chanted with an area leader visiting from LA on Sunday and did a home visit on Monday as well as our regular Monday night chanting meeting. Last night our MD district leader did a home visit. That is amazing. Neither of us do that kind of activity.
Our MD district leader is trying to reignite a couple of men, the WD of Salinas District are still planning to have a Women’s Division General Meeting, our chapter is about to turn a group into a district, we are working on getting another group reorganized so it can grow into a district by the end of the year and my 12 year old daughter chanted 45 minutes with us on Monday night.

Friday, February 8, 2008 just before 6:00 pm I answered the phone. It was our WD area leader. She asked if I had heard about Jean. No… what? Another member says she was murdered by her boyfriend. Jean is one of our group leaders and her boyfriend, Eddie, was just appointed unit leader four days earlier. That first night was rough. The news wasn’t releasing her name and we couldn’t verify the information. I went to her apartment building and saw the police leaving her apartment