I would like to share some remembrances of my friend, who died recently in a car accident.
Brooke and I met in the fall of 2018. We then traveled to Esalen together to take a dance workshop for Thanksgiving week in 2018 and again in 2019. I hoped that we would be “Thanksgiving Buddies” for a long time to come.
Brooke was born and raised in Indiana. She was the youngest of 3 sisters, the baby of her family. She is survived by her two older sisters, their children, her mother (who is not in good health), and her father (who is also ill). She also had a little dog named Ruby that she adored who lives with her father.
Brooke had an adventurous spirit, and she was easy-going as a travel companion. She traveled all over the world. It was kind of a joke between us… whenever anyone mentioned a foreign country, Brooke told a story about visiting that place. She loved the outdoors, the mountains, the ocean, all of nature, and she had a special fondness for Hawaii.
What I liked best about Brooke was her kind heart and genuine compassion for other people. When we went to Esalen, she would often get into long conversations with strangers who would pour out their life story to her over a meal. She listened attentively and with empathy. She was magnetic in that way; people gravitated to her because of her sweetness, her ability to connect, and her radiant smile.
Brooke loved to dance. I am somewhat shy about dancing, and would often stand by the wall, but Brooke would feel the music and let it flow through her body. She was like a whirling dervish, graceful, expressive, expansive, and free. This is how I would like to remember her… moving to the music with her arms open to the sky and her skirt swirling around her.
Brooke and I were in touch throughout the year, but we had our deepest conversations at Esalen in the tubs or in our pajamas (see photo below). She told me a bit about her life: Brooke somehow found her way out to California, and worked for awhile on a farm in Northern California, then moved down to the Bay Area where she worked as a Sex and Relationship Coach. She cared deeply about her work, and wanted to help other people in their journeys around sexual and emotional healing.
Brooke also loved children and dogs. At one point, she had a dog-walking business. She was deeply committed to the San Francisco family that employed her as a nanny and their dog, Millie. She was eager to have child of her own and to surround her child with abundant love.
Brooke sometimes struggled with the fast pace of life in the Bay Area. She fantasized about moving to a farm where she could grow her own food and be closer to the Earth. She also expressed a desire to return to college.
Words that I associate with Brooke: radiant, sweet, kind, innocent, brave, warm, shy, dancer, healer, beautiful.
With love, respect, and gratitude,
Brooke, may you be happy and peaceful
May you be free from suffering and confusion
May you be surrounded with love, light, and compassion
Click on the picture of “Long Time Sun” to hear the song by Snatum Kaur. This song expresses my wishes for Brooke and the journey of her Spirit.
Photos of Brooke:
Here are some photos from our trip to Esalen in 2019:
Here are some photos that Brooke took on that same trip to Esalen. We joked that Brooke took a picture of a brook: