Note: The dedication of Michael's memorial Disc Golf Basket was held on 10am. Saturday, May 27, 2000 at Bijou Community Park in South Lake Tahoe, California.
Here are some excerpts from Michael's memorial services in Tahoe and London ..
Saturday, February 12, 2000 - South Lake Tahoe, California
An informal memorial service was held at Jeff & Karen Miner's house on Saturday, February 12 in memory of Michael Peter Blatt. About 15-20 attended despite a major snowstorm which had begun the day before. It lasted several hours with many tributes from those who knew him during his Tahoe years. It was very moving. His oldest friends, Alex, Ceryse, Michelle and Jeff were instrumental in pulling it together and everyone appreciated having Michael's guitar there which was played during the service. Everyone brought some food which we all shared afterwards.
Michael spent a lot of time at Jeff's house during his Tahoe years. We all felt he was there with us. The snow was gently falling outside and the house which was warm and comfortable was filled with love. Ceryse had made a makeshift altar for candles, Michael's photos and keepsakes, his record albums, etc. Those who spoke during the service had each all been touched in a specific way by Michael with their own special memories and gifts. All of us there represented a huge cross section of society and we all agreed that Michael had great taste in choosing his friends! - many of whom he had met at the local Unity Church, meditation groups, local health food store, etc. There were also many, many more who couldn't make it, sadly. Donations were given towards a memorial plaque for Michael (see details below). We saved a lot of Michael's writings, some of which will be put on Michael's web page - as well as some old photos of Michael during his time in Heidelberg. Please feel free to add to it (via John Warren) who will pass it on to Jeff Miner. There will be more photos (from both memorials, Michael's time in London with Ann too) yet to be put on the web. A CD compilation of Michael's music and copies will be available in London (also via John Warren/Jan Hogan) and in Tahoe (via Jeff and Michelle). More details to follow later. Warm regards, Audrey Nash
January 24, 2000 - Rosslyn Hill Unitarian Chapel, London NW3
(approx 10 mins walk from where Michael lived - a beautiful and quaint
17th Century Chapel tucked away in between small shops and cafes on a
bustling London road)
The service was wonderful, so moving, so appropriate, so unique to Michael - it lasted 2.5 hours. Approx 35+ attended, mainly split between those who knew him through the Church where he sometimes played his guitar and those who knew him from a Tuesday meditation group. It was so comforting to see so many people touched by Michael and who cared about Michael. The Minister started the service off by addressing the chaotic mix of emotions we were all feeling which helped so much to validate the shock, anger, guilt, profound loss, and relief and to know that on both sides of the Atlantic, the vigil continued.... He quoted what Michael might say if he were there that moment - "What would you like me to say, except to remind you whatever I did or didn't do, this is your inner work...not mine. I am at rest. My pain is over, my gifts whatever you understand them to be are yours to do with them what you wish. By the way did you ever return the book I loaned you. Keep it. I hope you're not upset with me. Would you like me to play something...." He addressed the normality of "I should have said this, or done that - If only I'd called, read the signs, things could have been different - We shall never know and the exercise after a while drains us from the years we have before us to apply our hearts to wisdom.
We went on to sing Universal Spirit which Michael loved and was practicing on his guitar. Michael had given the Minister a book - Siddartha by Hermann Hesse last June. Michael had said it summed up all we need in order to live and proceeded to read the page that Michael had set to memory. He also read the poem, "I am not there" and urged us all to stay centred within our personal worlds.
The Memorial Prayer went as follows:
Next followed a time of sharing where many shared their experiences, anecdotes and memories. Tributes from Jeff and Ceryse were also read and photos were taken to share with his friends in America. There was a lot of emotion, grief, tears and laughs.
In between all the sharing several of Michael's songs were played on tape - it was very moving. It felt like Michael's spiritual home. That feeling was very strong. If Michael were there, he will have seen how much he was respected, loved and remembered dearly and of course, missed. How lessons and gifts had been received by so many - how Michael HAD made a difference.
The entire experience felt so right, so perfect. It felt in an unexplainable way that all was as it should be - Michael is now laid to rest with his family - Michael had touched so many - so many people. He had found the love he had wanted and needed from Ann - his place in the Church will always be his (where he used to sit) and he will always be remembered.
Michael was buried at Waltham Abbey Jewish Cemetary (United Synagogue), Honey Lane, Waltham Cross, Waltham Abbey, Essex EN9 3QT, England on January 21, 2000. Tel: 011-44-1992-714492.
Disc Golf Memorial
To view the plaque, click on the basket.