In Memory of Michelle Moore Christopherson

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In Memory of Michelle

"We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give."       
                                                                   Winston Churchill 

 Michelle Moore Christopherson
January 20, 1964 - June 26, 2012
July 6, 2013
On June 28th the Moore family and guests gatherd to remember Michelle on the first anniversary of her passage into her new life in the higher realms. Here is the memorial for her published in the Poughkeepsie Journal, paraphrasing her original poem "I'll Be There":

In Loving Memory of

Michelle Moore


On Her 1st

Anniversary in Heaven

Jan. 20, 1964 - June 26, 2012

We’ve seen the starry night,

the hawks, the eagles,

the hummingbirds

the sunsets, the waves,

the dolphins

We carry you in our hearts

And feel your love surround us.

Yes, Michelle, you are there.


Mom & Dad, Glenn & Kathryn,

Gretchen & Jimmie, Lynnette,

Scott, Sean and Brenden

The informal but eloquent service was held in Hyde Park at the Vanderbilt Estates, one of Michelle's favorite places. We gathered at the brige over the stream where Michelle used to meet firends and walk her dog, Kaya, who was in attendance with her partner, Claude. Sisters Gretchen and Lynette read favorite pieces of Michelle's and her three nephews re-read her poem that she wrote for them. This has become the byword among family and friends in the past year, as we have all seen the signals and felt her presence among us. The ceremony ended with her Dad tossing the last box of her ashes over the bridge into the rushing waters. We watched and cheered as the box opened and the ashes made their way merrily down the stream, symbolizing Michelle's entry into the flow of eternal life. And yes, she was there.
 July 13, 2012
I  have been so reluctant to update this page, but of course it must be done. I leave the Churchill quote because it reminded me of Michelle during her lifetime, even with her own difficult situation, giving to the very end.
Michelle touched many, many people including all of you who generously donated during her illness. Donations now may be made in Michelle's memory to Lyall Memorial Federated Church, PO Box 426, Millbrook, NY 12545, phone 845-677-3485 (please indicate "for benefit of Ian Adams") or to Hospice Foundation, Inc., 374 Violet Ave., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.
If you would like to read the lovely obituary her father wrote, it was in the Poughkeepsie Journal, the Norwalk Hour, and the Connecticut Post newspapers on Sunday, July 1st. You may post a message for the family at the website of Burnett and White Funeral Homes, NY (
The memorial service and celebration of life took place on Saturday, July 14th at St. Margaret's Episcopal Church in Straasburg, New York. It was very crowded and very touching, just what Michelle would have wanted. I was honored to be able to speak at the service, along with three of her old freinds from her childhood, growing up in Hyde Park, NY and her three nephews, who read a poem that Michelle wrote for them. The following are a paragraph from the program, and my remarks.
"The ray of sunshine that brightened so many lives has become an even brighter star shining down on us from the heavens. Michelle's boundless energy, spirituality, positive attidtude, and genuine concern for others enabled her to make a difference in the lives of those she touched. She had a deep appreciation of the beauty of music, poetry. flowers, and the natural world of animals, woodlands and waterways. She was a gifted and passionalte healer, filled with a selfless generosity of spirit. Above all, she believed in the power of love, and in sharing that love with us all."
Hello Everyone, I’m Jan Evans.

For me, this is the loss of a dear friend who was also a kindred spirit. We don’t find so many of those in life.

I met Michelle 15 years ago in Norwalk - we were both starting our healing practices at the same time at the Total Life Care Center. I think the first time I actually met her was at a practitioners meeting there, and there was a mixup of some kind that the group of us were talking about, and here’s this little person on the other side of the room muttering “argh, Mercury!”. Part of my work is astrology, so I knew she was referring to Mercury being retrograde. (By the way, today is the first day of  Mercury retrograde. Gretchen and I laughed when I told her that - and we decided it was only fitting.) So Michelle and I began as colleagues, and shared an immediate soul connection, finding that we had common interests even though she was younger than I. Like many people born in the 60’s, Michelle embodied the ideals of that era. As Colleen and Ellen said, she practiced loving-kindness, awareness, and compassion, without judgement or prejudice, and sought harmony wherever she found herself - with large doses of fun, laughter, and music.

Speaking of being born in the 60’s, when I was lamenting that I had written her year of birth as 1064 in the e-mail about her passage, one of you very kindly said, “That’s all right, she was an old soul.” It’s been my experience that those who left earlier in life than we think is fair or right, were not without problems, but they all had big hearts, they didn’t hold back from expressing their love or caring for others. Everyone who knew Michelle saw and felt these things - that she was an advanced soul, young at heart, small in body, large in spirit.

Michelle’s business was much more than a massage practice, as her loyal clients will tell you. Conscientious and responsible, she brought a high level of professionalism to her work, always bringing her “A game” to each session - and remarkably, working when she could even during her illness. She was one of the best natural networkers I’ve ever seen - meeting and greeting people with that genuine friendliness and outgoing personality, and was always helping me and others with our businesses as well. She was generous with the information she imparted from her wealth of knowledge, and with her time and money, sometimes to her own detriment - but of course, on the spiritual level that’s a strength, not a weakness.
Michelle had a way of providing immediate helpfulness - wherever she saw or heard a need, she would try to fulfill it. What might have sounded like worry or unsolicited advice was genuine concern for others’welfare, another sign of an evolved person. As Colleen said, she believed in Jesus, and tried to live by the Golden Rule. That’s why she always asked about our families and lives, and why she shared with us about hers. And that’s what all those ‘suggestions’ were really about. As Lynnette so beautifully put it in her tribute on the (Burnett and White) website, where she said in part, “...I keep waiting for the phone to ring so that you can remind me to put on my sunscreen, to make sure the boys have jackets, to close the windows of my car in case it rains. I miss rolling my eyes and saying, "Yes, Michelle" and laughing with you about your loving intention.”
I, too, with Colleen and Ellen and I’m sure many of you, have been waiting for the phone to ring, to hear that loving intention again.

Michelle faced this passage with such grace, still solicitous, still helping us solve our problems even given what she herself was dealing with. Not that she wasn’t frightened or sad, but she did believe in the continuity of life and of consciousness, a belief we shared. I don’t pretend to know exactly where Michelle is living now, but I do know that she is alive and recognizable, not only as the Michelle we knew - but as the expanded self she is in Spirit - shining and exuberant and wise.

As I was writing this, I kept asking her what she wanted me to tell you, and I think it was that she is here with us today, she still wants to comfort all of us, to make sure we know that she is fine - and she wants us to talk to her, to communicate with us.

So I will say farewell for now to my friend, and close with this piece by Canon Henry Scott-Holland, no doubt familiar to many of you, but it conveys it so well:
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I and you are you
Whatever we were to each other
That we are still
Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way you always used
Put no difference into your tone
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow
Laugh as we always laughed
At the little jokes we always enjoyed together
Play, smile, think of me, pray for me
Let my name be ever the household word that it always was
Let it be spoken without effort
Without the ghost of a shadow in it
Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolute unbroken continuity
What is death but a negligible accident?
Why should I be out of mind just
Because I am out of sight?
I am waiting for you for an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner
All is well.
Nothing is past; nothing is lost
One brief moment and all will be as it was before
How we shall laugh at the trouble of parting when we meet again!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

And this is another quote I ran into that I didn't include yesterday, but I know Michelle would have liked it  It's from a book by Patrick Swayze, the star of her favorite movie, "Dirty Dancing". She would have liked the way he refers to animals as loved ones, too..

"When those you love die, the best you can do is honor their spirit for as long as you live. You make a commitment that you're going to take whatever that person or animal was trying to teach you, and you make it true in your own life. It's a positive way to keep their spirit alive in this world, by keeping it alive in yourself."



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