From David, thank you for sharing these with us. They are lovely.
Part of my announcement to the faculty:
“…Maria began working with us back in the Exetor days around 2000. She was one of three in a small firm in London, one of which was in my graduate program in the U.S. The people she touched over the past 15 years were changed in some way by knowing her. Susan and I spent time with her and her family over the years and I am glad they have each other to deal with her loss. Both the girls are living at home so they can be near and hold close to each other.
I loved her sense of humor and that sly look she would get when she was just waiting for you to catch on to what she was really saying. She loved life, loved her family, and loved her work. She began her own practice, The Ulead group a few years ago and was gaining momentum when the original diagnosis was given. From there is has been a struggle but she was always positive and looking to the next time together. In her last email to me she spoke of getting together the next time we are in London and go to a new cafe on the river. Perhaps we will do that with Andrey and the girls and in a fine Bulgarian tradition…drink heavily in her honor!!
Maria leaves behind husband and life partner Andrey as well as two grown daughters, Denny and Evvy. Her family is outstanding and I find some comfort in that. She leaves a big hole in our U.K./Europe team and will be sorely missed.”
What follows are the responses from various faculty members with others who sent short condolences as well. Laurence sent a longer letter which she has probably already shared. David Agran, David Marvin, Wendy Webb (Zeke’s wife), and Nancy Campbell all sent their sympathy and wishes.
I learnt so much from her and, as you know, did most of my programmes with her after she brought me into the Incite family. She always so generous with her time and I so admired her skills. Participants loved her. As you say, this is a huge gap in the European Team as well as a good friend and colleague. I can’t imagine her not being around for future programmes. I always think of her mantra when I always doing programmes – What’s helpful for the participants? (Rather than what we “experts” think will work).
Last time I saw Maria, it was 2 months ago. We were discussing one of her own programs, that we were planning to run together in a few weeks. I could tell, she was not as fit as I knew her, nevertheless she was very positive and determined to be active at work. She was so determined to live, that I gave up any “doubts” I had about her health situation. I thought she will recover soon and be back in action.
Maria has been a very generous and wise friend. She has been always supportive. Although very experienced and with an extraordinary coaching talent, she was always very humble. She would treat people with respect and honesty. The way she was interacting with participants has been very inspiring to me. I learned a lot from Maria. I am very sad that she won’t be there in our next program. I ‘ll miss her greatly.
Her death reminds me one more time to live & love more fully. Maria I will miss you a lot. May your soul rest in heaven.
Such sad, sad news! To Maria and her wonderful smile and fantastic perspective.
I have known Maria for a very long while, from the 90s. My love and respect have always been there for her and for me she was a very special person: Intelligent, caring, humble, funny, always wanting to help and learn. I really hope that the strong family they had together, her husband and girls will be able to support each other.
I know we have to celebrate her life, and there are many reasons for this, but I just feel very sad right now. I wish Maria all the best and am sending her a lot of love to wherever we find ourselves when our life ends here.
Thanks for the email – such sad, sad news. I am in complete shock – it seems like only yesterday we were all working together and benefitting from Maria’s amazing serenity, wisdom and fun. I didn’t know she was quite so ill – I think she was a very proud and dignified lady so can’t begin to imagine what she must have been going through to try to keep it all together. Thanks to you, David for introducing me to her. I not only enjoyed working with her but benefited hugely from her sense of perspective and insight.
I just came from a Buddhist conference/teaching event, one filled with the typical focus on the transient nature of our existence, to hear this incredibly sad news. Maria was the absolute embodiment of love, care and compassion and our world is lessened by her passing. All we can do is let the warmth and generosity she gave to us live onward through our interactions with others.
I join all of you in mourning our loss and pray for her family as they deal with their more personal loss.