Jeremy Paster memorial guestbook

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Submitted by Comments:
Name: Julie Gouldener
From: Forest Hill, Maryland
Dear, sweet, perfect Jeremy-
I am so happy to have found this page. The most difficult thing about your passing is that I haven't been able to connect to others who knew and loved you. Being in this space and seeing the tremendous amount of loving comments and energy coming from so many others is so healing.
I feel blessed to have spent the time with you that I did. You truly touched my life with a depth that only a handful have. I remember all the times we spent together as if they were only yesterday. Because I have always lived so far away from you, most of the time I find it difficult to believe that you are actually not in the physical world anymore. Every connection I have had to you I cherish. Every email is saved, every memento that you gave me is one that I look at, touch, and connect to daily. I miss you so much. We didn't know each other for very long, but sometimes it doesn't take that long to love someone. I know this was true for me- I loved you immediately and deeply, and this love connects me to the wild, passionate spirit of the Lover that Rumi always speaks of. I cherish this gift that you have given me, a gift that will stay will me all my days on this earth. In my dreams, we meet in the forest again. We sit in loving, quiet peace as we have before. I hug you and hold you over and over.
I pray that your great spirit can have patience with my poorly evolved soul that at times can only cry and hurt when I think about you. I have been seeking closure, something that eludes me. I didn't get to see you in those final days, couldn't join with others to remember and accept. So far away, in Miami, with no money and my beautiful daughter who needed me, I could only go on with my life and reflect on my own, in the quiet of my own room. It wasn't enough. I am still working through this.

But through all of this, the hurting and the longing and the wishing for things that can not be, I am aware of the great love that this pain comes from. Even for this pain, I thank you. It reminds me that there is great love inside me and all around me. It reminds me that I am alive. And this love gives so much more than pain- you make me a better person, braver, kinder. You solidify my belief in magic. Your life journeys and the knowledge and courage you gained through them have become a part of me. I retell your stories all the time.
I love you and miss you, today and always.
-Julie
Added: July 9, 2008 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Yuka
From: Laos (Former Greenpeace Japan)
I do remember...the days you were in Japan. Jeremy enjoyed food of Japan and 'Onsen' -hot spring-. But, fore sure, always think and work hard for Forests. I learned a lot from you. Now I am in Laos to work for forests, and the work reminds me of you.
Added: June 18, 2008 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: David Halperin
From: Washington DC
I had the privilege of working with Jeremy on an important matter involving Greenpeace, environmental protection, and free speech. Jeremy was smart, funny, creative, and totally committed to justice. It was great to get to know him and hang out with him, and I miss him. His life and his example inspire me. Thanks for keeping this site up and active. Best, David
Added: June 6, 2008 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Shana
Jer, It's been just over 5 months since you've left us. I find myself looking at the sky daily, thinking of you. Not because you're up there, but because it's something I can notice that is always different - rosy, or filled with clouds, or chilled, or outrageously purple... and it's something that I do that reminds me to keep on noticing.

You, and the experience of being by your side as you were dying, left so many intangible life-gifts to those of us among your family and friends. The intensity of the moments that I spent by your side stays with me, and will twinge in my ear or my heart or my mind at unpredictable times... when I look up at the sky big-mindedly, it's a time for me to check in.

I like to do an exercise then that I've grown to love over the years: What am I hearing/tasting/touching/smelling --right now--?
It's also a time I use to remember the sweet nature of my own connection with you; a time to be grateful that this person that so many people treasure -- in so many different ways -- was my beloved brother.

With love,
Shana
Added: April 26, 2008 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Sherry Galloway
From: Albuquerque, NM
Dearest Son,

I walked into my office this morning and, as usual, looked at photos of you. Today is the five month anniversary of your death and, although the tears are not new, the pain is not unfamiliar and the aching emptiness in my heart is a constant companion, I still feel the shock of loss as if it is happening in this moment. You remain bigger than life to me and during the months that I witnessed your physical fading, the increasing fragility of your body, I also felt the power of your spirit and desire to live. Last night I re-read every single entry in this memorial guestbook. Wavering between the incredible pride I felt in how many people's hearts and lives you touched and the agony of my own loss, I cried fresh tears and grieved anew.

Each day I awaken and go to work and move through the motions of my life. There is love and laughter. There are the daily life activities that I can perform on "automatic." Always, always you are there in my thoughts, in my dreams, in my soul and life has different meaning to me. I value the moments with people whom I love more and I value the actuality of my life a little less. I make a point of saying "I love you" more often and I smile at strangers and try to be kinder, less judgemental. And, truth be told, I don't fear dying like I used to. I wish I had that kind of blind faith that would let me believe that there is a heavenly place in which we would reunite in a place of light and beauty. I wish I believed that there was a really good reason why you had to suffer such horrible pain and suffering after a life of such good. just days before you passed you told me that you didn't want to die; that you were scared and all I could do was hold you, love you and let you know that I was scared, too. I don't think I will ever understand or come to accept that there was any sense to your death, not in this life, anyway. I vacillate between sadness, anger and questioning and know that you'd be really pissed at me for just not getting on with my life, but you were the center of that life for most of it and I miss you so very much.

My sweet Jeremy, if there is life after death, I hope and pray that yours is peaceful and painless and if I cannot be thankful for the loss of you, I can be thankful that your body is not longer a "pit of pain," as you called it. I can be thankful for the memory of you and for the time we shared. I'm doing the best I can back here on Earth and I hope you'll forgive me if I cannot quite fill the space you left - the void in the center of me. You are always and forever my son and I always love you like crazy.

Mom
Added: April 25, 2008 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Nina Katchadourian
From: Brooklyn, NY
I woke up thinking about Jeremy today, and wanted to connect to others who knew him, so I came to this page. I am pasting below the thoughts I wrote to share at the Living Wake that I couldn't come to in CA in November.

---

I met when Jeremy was my student in a video class at UCSD when I was a grad student and he was an undergrad. I was really only about three years older than him, so he felt more like my peer. I remember him really well from the early days of the class, sitting in the back with his long hair and . He made a huge impression on me: he was a conscientious student, he spoke up in class, he had intelligent feedback on other students’ work, he worked great in groups with other people, he was pleasant, and on top of that he was absolutely beautiful. I developed a staggering crush on him, and it was not the most exemplary TA behavior imaginable! When the final exam rolled around I must have graded and re-graded his test five or six times over, combing it to find just even ONE error—he seemed to have a perfect test, but I was so worried my Crush Goggles were skewing my grading that I couldn’t be sure. In truth, there WERE no faults on the exam, and he earned an A+ in the class.

After the class ended, I actually did get to know him, and a real friendship blossomed. There are so many Jeremy adventure stories I could share—communing with the rocks and ocotillo cactuses in Joshua Tree National Park, watching otters off the cliffs of Big Sur, exploring San Diego’s Vietnamese food shops and learning how to make summer rolls from scratch, taking a Tai-Chi class with a wonderful old instructor who kept repeating to us to “Lelax, lelax, lelax!” as we tried to suppress the fit of giggles at his enthusiastic instructions. We went to LA once and explored a strange area of Long Beach, piled high with scrap metal and crushed cars, which turned out to be like a miniature village of dwellings and people and even live chickens wandering around. Jeremy has always been a fantastic explorer and excellent travel companion: curious, friendly, assertive, respectful. I know we can all think of so many ways these traits are manifest and the way they have led to such rich experiences in his professional and personal life too.

My friendship with Jeremy has always felt like a great privilege. I feel so lucky to be his friend. It’s become a reference point for how fantastic it can feel to spend time with someone. I was explaining to a friend once that being around Jeremy just made me feel BETTER, no matter how good I was already feeling. There is a calming effect, something very profound for me about being in the vicinity of his soul. It feels like eating food that really nourishes you. I wish so much I could be there today instead of in rainy New York to say all of this in person, but I am thinking about you all there, a room full of people who will GET what I am writing here, and I can picture Jeremy, with Bethleigh near him, and I can feel his sweet gentleness, which always fills and warms any room like a spiritual space heater, every where we find him.

Nina Katchadourian
Brooklyn
11.10.07
Added: April 13, 2008 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Xu Yao
From: China
Wind and rain escorted Spring's departure,
Flying snow welcomes Spring's return.
On the ice-clad rock rising high and sheer
A flower blooms sweet and fair.

Sweet and fair, you crave not Spring for yourself alone,
To be the harbinger of Spring you are content.
When the mountain flowers are in full bloom
You will smile mingling in their midst.
Added: March 26, 2008 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Toni Gallo
From: DC
My dearest Jeremy,

I have thought about you every day since I last saw you on November 23, 2007. I just want you to know that you have had a profound effect on me, not just as your aunt, but as a member of the community. I have been inspired by your environmental activism and because of you, I am trying to be a better, more conservation oriented member of the human community. It is difficult to know that I won't see you again. When I think of your mom, dad, Bethleigh, Tom, Laura, and the rest of your family and large network of loving friends, my heart aches for them as well. Though not a spiritual person, I like to think that you live on and that you are always here with me. Thank you so much for having been in my life. I will always have the most profound love and respect for you.

Toni
Added: March 3, 2008 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: Lani
From: Seattle
Today, I outlive my big brother. My day is filled with sadness, haunted by questions about the meaning of Jeremy's death and the meaning of my own life.

I miss you, Jeremy. I love you so much. I hope that through my life, I can carry on some of the goodness you brought to your own.
Added: February 20, 2008 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  
Submitted by Comments:
Name: carolyn
From: Martinez, Ca
I didn't know this young man, I read his obituary in the Contra Costa Times and something pulled me to look at his website. What a marvelous life he led. A life should be judged by how well it was lived, I believe his friends would ssay that he achieved that highest goal. Peace to him and his family.
Added: February 6, 2008 Delete this entry  Reply to entry  View IP address  

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