One year after loss…

Jesus Shrine

Jesus Shrine in honor of Tim
Click on photo to enlarge

This is offered in honor of Timothy Paul Kretzmann, and also as an inspiration for all those who have suffered profound loss.

I share this today because a friend in another community was crying daily over the loss of Swamiji and some other members… She needed encouragement in finding a tangible way to transcend that feeling of loss and grief.

This ceremony, below, could easily be adapted in suitable ways.  It could even be done in a home with a candle, a burning bowl, a photo of the beloved, and some sacred symbol that is dear to your soul. It could be done inside, or on a deck, or in a garden.

August 6

…I wondered how to honor him this day… My beloved, my husband, Timothy… What is the best way?

I lit a votive candle at a special altar in our home and kept it lit all day. I had quiet time, and also some supportive phone talks with friends, and gently relived some memories of when we first met over 38 years ago… I also wrote out some notes on how I would try to move forward, and serve others in new ways, in the name of loving and honoring him, and in gratitude for our life together.

We had a fire and flower ceremony at the special Jesus shrine dedicated to Tim’s soul (where months ago some of his ashes were placed beneath the boulder). I had been doing these sacred fire ceremonies quite frequently at a shrine on my deck, all through this year…So it was fitting to include the family now, and it was helpful to them, and to me.

  1. We traveled to the site, at Ananda Meditation Retreat, and first tended the shrine, and trimmed a bush that was blocking it.
  2. We each wrote a letter to God and to Tim’s soul – to express our love, and also to include a special prayer for ourselves and for the family – especially for Guidance on how to best proceed in our lives in a way that honors God, and this beautiful gift of having shared life with Tim, as Husband and Father.
  3. After a prayer – these letters were offered into the flame, to be released to God, and to Tim’s soul. We sang a very simple chant as this was happening – “God, Christ, Guru.”
  4. We sent quiet blessings to each family member, and for their private prayer intentions, as they offered their letter into the flames.
  5. We then sprinkled the shrine with beautiful rose petals, and then closed with chanting of AUM AUM AUM and AMEN AMEN AMEN

We were choked-up during the ceremony, and my grandson Bodhi’s eyes looked very concerned.  Our hearts were then touched to watch little Bodhi, age 10 months, so sincerely join in those AUMs…

After the closing, the family eventually wandered off to show Bodhi the other statues in the peaceful, forest garden, but I felt a strong urge to stay put… I sat on a bench where I could gaze at the shrine bedecked with flowers, and felt surrounded by love and gentle, comforting blessings… That love lingered for days… And I knew we had found a way meaningful to heart, mind and soul, to address this sacred-yet-sad anniversary.

May all hearts be comforted and blessed.

In Love,

Mary Kretzmann, and family

PS – Please feel free to offer your experiences of sacred remembrance for loved ones in the comment field, below. They may be of help to others… Perhaps in the future I will collect them together in a special booklet.

  • Lisa Powers told me that years ago she had heard that Master said it was very important to honor the one-year anniversary of a soul’s passing, so she offered a kirtan and short mediation at the Crystal Hermitage Chapel for Hassi and her family of four children, at the one year anniversary of the death of Rich Bazan

Laughing Bodhi

If nothing else – be sure to scroll down for the short youtube of “Laughing Bodhi”!

Dear Friends,

This is a personal sharing… It may help others, too.

People often ask how I am doing… What can I say? There is grief, love and joy altogether… and it pushes me, and make me open up to God even more… It almost leaves no choice, for it is such an astonishing gap adjusting to life without Tim here in our lives… One can either shrink from it all, or try to rise into the Infinite Spirit – to reach his love there…

My son, David, sent me a link to this song yesterday… It touches my heart very much right now… My heart sings it continuously to God & Guru and to Tim’s expanded soul…

Your heart as wide as the world… Holding me in your arms’ vast embrace… Only love shining in endless space …All I need is to be with you… All my prayers have been heard… All I want is to rest inside Your heart as wide as the world …I looked away Your beauty too much to bear …Where could I run? Your eyes, I found them everywhere… All I want is to sing to you The song that no one has heard All my life has lead me to A heart as wide as the world Shree Raam Jai Raam Jai Jai Raam

And Bodhi’s laughs and smile helps us all so much…

Love and Blessings to you all,

Mary Kretzmann

Laughing Bodhi





Be Still, My Child (poem)

I wrote this up early yesterday, before hearing about the slain children in Newtown, CT… My heart goes out to those families experiencing such a heart-wrenching and devastating loss.  I post this now in deep empathy for their journey ahead…

My son, David, age 20, has written another exquisite poem regarding the loss of his father (and my husband), Timothy Kretzmann, on August 6, 2012, from cancer. (I mention this because some new members have signed up since then) .

I offer the poem here in empathy to others who may also be grieving such a loss, and as a window into the soul process when a family loses such a precious being… It compels us all to move closer to God and the Source of all Love, for it is now much too painful to stay away…

Blessings to all,

Mary Kretzmann

Be Still, My Child

by David Timothy Kretzmann

Oh how I miss you
I wake but the dream is not lifted
This weight cannot be shifted
My slumber haunts me
With images that could have been
But not in this new reality
My conscience forces me to ask
How could it happen this way
Why were you taken away
Everyone watching, powerless
As you move from this world to the next
Yet your eyes showed no fear
How could you not be scared?
I weep for a future without you there
And when I reach all despair
In the darkened moments
When sorrow abounds
And I tremble with regret
I listen for your voice
Anxious for you alone
Desperate to bring you back
And when my hope is lost
Inside grows this feeling
Your thoughts seep into my being
To bring me where I belong
Your voice that was there all along

“Be still, my child
Weep not for my body
Love is the timeless vessel with which we are connected
Fear not the future, for I am with you
Cry not for my presence, for I am here
Cling not to doubt, for I have traveled the Path you tread
Inside you will find what you seek
Adventurous joy and joyous adventure
Drift not to angst, you will see me again
Eternity’s pole will guide you
Our true home lies not in this world
Travel forward, my child
Worry not for the trials ahead
For you are a part of me
And I of you
Look inside and you will see
A glimmer of the world that is to be
This is life’s journey
Ever patient, ever courageous, ever joyful
Time is but a mirage of separation
I cannot forget you
Just as you cannot forget me
Yet your journey here remains
Learn that which you need to learn
And when you are ready
When your time is near
Let there be no fear
This dream will be lifted
With open arms, I will be waiting
To say Well done, my son
You are home now
Come! let me show you
Together, we will be free.”

Father, In Heaven

Dear Ones,

Our son, David, age 20, wrote this poem for his late father, Timothy Kretzmann. David’s college chaplain suggested that he should write as part of healing the profound grief of losing such a wonderful Dad, too soon for all of us – but in God’s ever perfect time anyway…

People often ask me how I am doing, and how the 3 kids are doing…It is a difficult question to answer – so I simply say, “It’s up and down…but it forces us to grow in ways we would have never demanded of ourselves…”

I was deeply moved by this poem for it echoed many similar feelings in myself. I share it here with David’s permission.


Mary Kretzmann

For my Heavenly Father

By David Timothy Kretzmann

It’s all right in front me
But why am I unable to see
Before it’s too late for me to tell you
That all of my respect is due
My appreciation is all I have to give
For helping me learn how to live
But now these are dreams
A third of your life is all it seems
Before you’re taken from this world for another
Leaving us to take care of our mother

What am I supposed to do?
Without you here there’s everything I cannot ask you
Did it have to be this way?
With this loss comes my way
And I cannot let you be but a distant memory
Though your transformation set me free
How can I honor you?
What on earth can I do?
How can I be me without you?
I have to trust this feeling
That when I move on
I will be there kneeling
With you at the pearly gates
Reminiscing about our journeys
Free of the shackles and weights
The confirmation of our teachings
The paths that we crossed
Even the one that led to our loss
I knew it was for something
I never could grasp it
Without you nothing fit
What could I do but have faith
That death’s ending is life’s beginning
With the Path we are striving
If only to witness your smile one more time
To hug you and tell you I love you
That everything I did I did for you
You were my motivation
My inspiration in its purest form
How all I wanted was you to be physically there
Without you it felt like I was going nowhere
But how it was all worth it
To be here and sit with you for a moment
Did I do well?
Growing out of my shell
Your example was my guide
Your memory comforted the ride
Away went my fear
When I felt you near
Dissolved my fear of death
For with my last breath
I will see you again with full vision
Be at peace with the Higher decision
Embrace the flash before my eyes
Celebrate the joy in our lives
And provide comfort for those approaching
With their lessons still awaiting
With them I will be
As you were with me
From a place unknown
Which I have only now been fully shown
Sitting with my beloved father
For you are my father
My Heavenly Father

Newsletter: October 312 Dwapara

October 312 Dwapara


Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry Newsletter


Grandson: Bodhi Timothy Lewis

Blessings in the midst of sorrow…

Happy News: This summer, while you were praying for Tim, many of you were also praying for our daughter, Krishnabai, who was pregnant  with our first grandchild.

Krishnabi and Cullen Lewis are very happy to announce the birth of  their beautiful son:

Bodhi Timothy Lewis

10 pounds 10 oz!

Thank you for all your prayers.

Bodhi Timothy Lewis – born September 22, 2012

Photo: Having a laugh with Nanna.

Above: Me with Bodhi, 2 and a half weeks old

3 days old

May today there be peace within. May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith. May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content knowing you are a child of God. Let this presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of you who choose to claim it.

St. Therese of Lisieux

September Newsletter

Please see the September newsletter, below.

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God bless you.


Mary Kretzmann

Ananda Healing Prayer Ministry

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