Journal

Journal entry by Marie Groh

going through a few boxes with tons of photos and I found these in an an envelope.  She was so accomplished and so pretty.

The text of the note:

"Dear Miki, 

    Thank you for the sparkling presentation in the NY Post about the clinic. I am grateful for those --- especially from one so gifted and special. 

   We thought you might enjoy a picture to remind you of the occasion.

Please stay in touch.

Warmest Regards,
Jim

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Journal entry by Marie Groh

"Birth is a beginning and death a destination; / But life is a journey. / A going, a growing from stage to stage: / From childhood to maturity and youth to old age. / From innocence to awareness and ignorance to knowing; / From foolishness to discretion and then perhaps, to wisdom.” 

ON TUESDAY MARCH 31, 2020 our DEAR Miki was laid to rest. Emphasis on rest.  Having been Miki's close friend in the final two years of her life, I saw this brave woman deal with physical issues that would have made a football player buckle under. And yet she rarely complained.  Through all the annoyances and the brutal pains, whether from paper thin skin caused by decades of steroids, skin that would rip or slash or bruise under the slightest assault, to issues with her Crohn's disease, her lungs, nasal surgery, eye issues...there was ALWAYS something, and yet, the overarching trait of "Lois" Meriam E. (Miki) Felsenburg was JOY - along with, smiles, zest, excitement, anticipation, curiosity and supreme KINDNESS and PATIENCE.  A willingness to deal with all of her medical issues and not let it slow her down.  

It is extremely difficult to write these words today.  I keep waiting for that day when my grief turns a corner. The one where you move from intense pain and sorrow to an acceptance and some easing of pain.  But the hole this tiny little woman has left in my heart feels as big as the universe right now.

I am SO incredibly grateful to everyone who has ever visited this site and typed words of encouragement, love, admiration to, and after her death, FOR her.  Because your words helped me immensely as I've said before.  

Wow Beverly...we NAILED the day!  We were so worried about picking a day that was cold or wet or snowy (all conditions that were happening randomly during the past week.  But Tuesday proved to e a day that was worthy of Miki.  Sunshine, warmth, clear BLUE skies with BIG PUFFY WHITE clouds.  Perfect temperature.  And I was so happy to see Patti Tussey there when I arrived. Patti had been a long time regular bridge partner to Miki and it's their partnership that was the catalyst for my friendship with Miki.  So THANK YOU Patti!  And another regular bridge partner of Miki's Lynn Stuart was there as well.  A special thank you from me to Lynn FOR Miki. Last year, when Miki was unceremoniously eliminated from her community Seder and heartbroken because of it, Lynn amazingly stepped up to help me create a very last minute and somewhat comical Seder for Miki at Lynn's home. It was a surprise that we unveiled when she arrived.  The whole evening was about and FOR her.  She told us it was "the nicest thing anyone ever did for me".  Lynn was also a social friend to both of us, sharing meals and walks on multiple occasions.

The big surprise was seeing a young woman there who was obviously there for the service. I asked her who she was. She told me her name was Paige Ogel and that she'd been a student of Miki's at Wake Forest in North Carolina. I told her I was very grateful she was there and that it would have made Miki so happy to know that she'd come. She told me she wouldn't have missed it for anything.  

When she learned who I was, she thanked me for the posts on this site. Telling me she read (and for some posts RE-read) every one of them and often copied them and sent them to her ex classmates.  She told us during the service that the kids loved Miki and nicknamed her Felsi.  Her tribute to Miki during the "ceremony" was heartfelt and touching. 

And of course Beverly and I were there to see help give our friend the best send off we could muster in this unbelievably trying time on planet earth. And though there were FIVE of us, and the "LAW" called for only 4, because we were so good at keep our distance, the Cemetery Director, Ludja, allowed all of us, including Paige to circle Miki's gravesite.  

We had nothing planned and no officiate so we went around the circle and Patti started reading a prayer, and then Paige spoke of her memories of law school and "Felsi", Lynn spoke of her frienship with Miki, Beverly chose to have her own private moment of silence and when it came to me, I kind of fell apart.  The reality really hit me hard that I was actually never going to see Miki again, and that I had no more chances to be a better friend to her.  I told her I was so sorry for that and I promised her I would NEVER forget her. 

After we had all spoken they asked us to leave because they couldn't place her in the ground with us at the gravesite. So we "left" (pretended to) and then when the burial crew came back, we walked back to watch from the road as the lowered her into the ground. Thankfully, Beverly had the presence of mind to get a few photos of her beautiful flowers on the gravesite.  

Next, Beverly, Lynn and I drove to Wonderland Lake and walked around a place Miki loved and talked and smiled and nodded to others who were enjoying the day in the sun yet keeping responsible social distancing.  After the walk, the 3 of us went to Miki's apartment where we looked at some of Miki's things and Lynn and I each took a few things that were important to us.  

After posting this I will be adding photos to the gallery from Tuesday and a couple of others that ended up with me from Miki's "stash"  

Peace and Gratitude to all of you.

 

P.S.  I can't believe there isn't a picture of me or Beverly from the service.  You will have to trust that we were both there!

 

Journal entry by Marie Groh

Heavy day.  Laying my friend to rest. With her DEAR friend Beverly and DEAR friend Lynn Stuart at her graveside with me. Then, we three will walk together around Wonderland Lake. A walk that Miki introduced me to and one that she loved. I will take some photos and post later. 

A few minutes ago, a robin flew to the tree just outside of my door.  First robin sighting for me and I got such a sense of Miki being suddenly freed from the pain of a body that betrayed her and challenged her for close to 5 decades. Here's to you my precious little friend. I hope today your spirit is soaring and laughing and relishing being with the love of your life forevermore. Until we meet again. I love you. 

Journal entry by Marie Groh

day nine.  So much harder.  Shock wearing off. PAIN setting in...hoping for comfortably numb soon.  

This video popped up on my facebook page today...magically.  Miki and I both LOVED Pink Floyd and I was HOPING to take her this year to see the AMAZING Pink Floyd cover band, AUSSIE PINK FLOYD.  This is a song we listened to on multiple occasions in her car and sang to at the top of our lungs with me playing air guitar EXPERTLY!  

I hope you'll watch it. And try to imagine me and Miki driving in her oh so sensible Subaru singing at the top of our lungs, head banging and me on air guitar. SUCH a fun and still sad memory for me. But the music is quite astounding which is why their album Dark Side of The Moon set records for most YEARS on Billboard top 100 chart.!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t92tBncphq4

I'm adding this link as well for Miki - it's the same group with their cover of GREAT GIG IN THE SKY from Dark Side of the Moon:

The words at the beginning: Well, I'm not frightened of dying. Anytime will do, I don't mind. Why SHOULD I be frightened of dying? There's no reason for it. we've  got to go SOMEtime...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GvfRNIaTn4M

So...sitting here in a Pink Floyd Youtube loop...Shine on you Crazy Diamond now. Will visit Miki's grave after the burial and have this song blasting in my head on headphones and will TRY not to sing at the top of my lungs: "remember when you were young?  You Shone Like The SUN!!! SHINE ON YOU CRAZY DIAMOND!"  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EF5AxVNMQc4

Journal entry by Marie Groh

Hello friends.

Missing Miki terribly - moreso since Beverly and I selected her final resting place yesterday. It's a lovely spot with a GORGEOUS UP CLOSE view of her beloved Flat Irons.  

New COVID-19 regulations have changed drastically in a week when we were told that there was no limit to the number of graveside attendees as long as we maintained our 6 feet of distance.  Then that quickly became NO MORE THAN 10 plus required cemetery staff.  When we arrived yesterday we were informed the new regs said no more than 6.  And when we left we learned that the regulation just changed to no more than 4.  Given that Beverly and I are going to be 2 of the 4 you can imagine that it would be impossible to invite just two more.  So Beverly came up with the idea of anyone who wants to see her interred can drive to the site and park on the road, roll your window down and watch from your car.

We decided, since there will be virtually nobody there to hear it, we will not have anyone officiating. For one reason, Miki had no real attachment to religion. She did observe many Jewish cultural traditions but she was not a religious person...spiritual yes, religious no.

We thought it would be odd for such a small intimate gathering to have a person speaking for her and never having even met her. So it will be basically Beverly and I, and the remains of our Miki. I think we will have a moment of silence to tell her how much we love her in our own way, in our silent thoughts, and anyone who chooses to watch from cars can do the same.

Beverly and I know how people feel about Miki and how people are mourning her in their own way in the midst of this most treacherous of times.  We do not EXPECT anyone to come to the burial but welcome anyone who wants to do the car park thing as described above.

The burial is scheduled for Tuesday March 31st, the original date we were asked to close all businesses through but now know it will be MUCH longer before businesses re-open.  

The exact info:

Green Mountain Cemetery 

290 20th Street
Boulder, CO

(303) 444-5695

Tuesday, 3/31/2020

1pm

Garden of Gethsemane
Space 93 A 1

At this time I am unsure as to how to direct you to the spot but there are likely signs pointing to the various gardens.  Once you are on the right "garden" road you should see us there.  And again...no pressure at all. We understand the fear and anxiety most people are dealing with now AND we are all asked to observe STAY HOME orders that started at 8 a.m. today.

Miki knew how you all felt and if she didn't she certainly does now if there is anything beyond the flesh.  

We have no grave marker as yet and will be placing the order soon. But since it takes several months to receive them we are going to put that off until after the burial is behind us.  

Apparently there is a tradition of unveiling the grave marker on the one year anniversary of the death.  I am hoping that the corona tragedy is behind us and the world has somewhat righted itself back to a semblance of normality.  If that is the case, I would love to have a ceremony/celebration of life for my dear precious friend Miriam E. (MIKI) Felsenburg that is as fabulous as this mighty little person who occupied such a fragile body with more bravery than anyone could have been expected to and with almost no complaints.  A woman who loved so deeply and so fully - and any who were recipients of that love can attest to that fact.  For me, she came into my life when I DESPERATELY needed her and didn't know it. I did EVERYTHING to discourage her even telling her what a TERRIBLE friend I would make and she should look for someone much more suitable than I.  Still she persisted. And persisted. First sending emails asking if I liked this song or that genre of music or old movies or Thai food, or or or and next suggesting we play bridge together sometime and then somehow getting me to open up and share things with her...share my pain.  And then when my world was turned upside down in November of 2018 she was ALL in for me.  So much so that I began calling her mom, and then LOIS. She asked why Lois and I sent her a video clip from the cartoon family guy in which the baby (stewie) attempting to get the attention of his mother in the most annoying way, by continuously calling her name LOIS LOIS LOIS. She thought it was HILARIOUS and from that day forward I called her Lois or Mom.  And every night she would text GNK (good night Kid) and I would reply Good Night Lois.  After she died, I kissed her forehead and I said "you were the best mother I ever had."  And that was the truth.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arbgB6REBmU

Journal entry by Marie Groh

Hello everyone. 

Burial update from Sarah the attorney handling Miki's final affairs.

No burial can occur for a MINIMUM of 2 weeks and likely as long as 4. Probate, death certs and a dozen other reasons Sarah told me that I suddenly can't recall.

I will try to go to Green Mountain in the next day or so to pick out a plot for Miki.  I'm really trying to self isolate but some things simply need to be done in person.

As more details occur I will update you. But for now, expect nothing more for at least 2 weeks.  

 

Journal entry by Marie Groh

This memory popped up on my Facebook page today. From one year ago today. I re-shared it because A: it's funny (it was shown on the ELLEN show where she explained it was sent by a viewer whose young son made the card for his father's birthday. 

Here's what I wrote on Facebook today "My dearest friend Miki. This post made you LOL when I first put it on FB. We talked about how amazing the mind of a child is and how they were often more (accidentally) funny than some of the most brilliant comedic minds. This popped up in my facebook memories. I am going to attempt to share it to your Caring Bridge page today as well. All of us in mourning for you could use a little childish, innocent humor right now. Missing you like crazy you sweet little thing. "

Journal entry by Marie Groh

It's looking as though we will be able to arrange Miki's green burial for Tuesday or Wednesday at Green Mountain Cemetery in Boulder.
 
We're constrained in what we can do. No reception because no mingling especially with food and beverage and close contact. So we are planning for a graveside burial and they are suggesting that it be shorter than longer.  We won't have anyone officiating but will ask anyone who wants to say something to please do so. We are asked to be very strict about the 6 feet of separation so we will be standing, but if you think you might want to come, AND you will require a chair, please let me know (you can send me an email if you want to do it in a more private setting - grohmarie@gmail.com).  
 
Also, if you think you CAN make the burial please let me know that too, either here in a comment or by email. 
 
I don't have a time yet but the weather is calling for sunny on Tuesday and Wednesday which is why we are honing in on those dates.  If your answer will depend on the time, I should know that soon.  
 
Funerals are very trying in any situation.  And with a pandemic environment and rules it's even more trying.  Miki will not be getting the "send off" she deserves based on the life she lead, the things she did for others, and the influence she had in so many lives. As someone quoted here the famous Beatles song ending "And in the end, the love you take, is equal to the love you make."   Miki undoubtedly had a LOT of love to carry with her.  I wish we could show the world how much she was loved. I heard that in the Jewish culture there is a tradition of celebration of a life a year after the death. Perhaps next year at this time the world will be normalized and we can , perhaps, celebrate her life SO well lived.

Journal entry by Miki Felsenburg

I am so sorry to have to start another Caringbridge, but I do. I found out on Thursday that I have pancreatic cancer. I won’t have definitive news for 10 days. Next Friday, at 8 pm (yes 8 pm) I’ll have two more MRI studies. Then on the following Tuesday, 1/28, is when I’ll get the news. I’m hoping the pancreas is re-sectable, and the cancer can be removed. There’s a 20-30 percent chance of that. That would be the greatest news. But we will see. I probably won’t have anything to post until 1/28. Feeling good now.
Miki’s Story

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