Michelle was my partner for almost 10 years. It was truly the best 10 years of my life. She was warm and affectionate, intelligent, wise and had a great sense of humor. We would laugh and laugh and then laugh some more! We shared similar values and aspirations, mainly to live in compassion for people, the earth and all that live on it. She was a very compassionate person and a great role model for me in loving people whole heartedly.
In 2004 she changed her name to Kala as this name had come to her in a dream. We were handfasted (married) in 2005 and I felt that I had won the love lottery because we got along so well. We were incredibly compatible and in the ten years that we were together we very seldom quarreled and on the rare occasion when we did, never went to bed angry with each other. She was a wonderful influence on my son River and helped me in home schooling him for many years.
Kala had a real wild streak and those who knew her knew she was up for anything! We have a lengthy list of hilarious stories and crazy things that happened to us. We loved to travel and go camping and hiking. In 2010 we moved to North Carolina with the dream of starting a homestead. We lived in our yurt on our small piece of land and enjoyed life in the forest for a time until she grew ill.
As a young girl she identified herself as a poet and begin a practice of writing that she would keep throughout her life. She left 17 books in digital form and more in written form as well as boxes and boxes of journals. Her poetry is truly first rate. I know I’m not objective about it, but really it is amazing. Read some and you’ll see what I mean. She wrote poetry for 40 years and really mastered the craft.
Around 2007 she started to experience some health issues. They were not serious issues so she attempted to treat them holistically. They grew worse and she was diagnosed with cancer in 2011 and had a large tumor removed from her uterus. We thought it was over, but her symptoms continued and we found out the next year that there was another large tumor that they could not remove. The doctors offered heavy chemo and heavy radiation, but not much hope for good results. They considered her terminal at that point so she attempted to treat herself through holistic methods.
We were very serious about her treatments and she seemed to get better for a time. During this time she had tremendous spiritual growth and epiphanies. She took on another name “Ix’chel” (pronounced e-shell) after the Mayan goddess of medicine to reflect her new growth.
The cancer came back strong in 2014 and she passed away on February 25th, 2015. She died in her sleep. There have been reports of visitations by her spirit from many of her friends since her passing. She is survived by me (John), her stepson River, her parents William and Grace Neve, her sisters Nicole, Cathie and Debbie and her brothers Billy and Steven along with many nieces and nephews and a large network of friends and spiritual family.
Michelle/Kala/Ix’chel, you will be missed by all of us. We love you!
Here’s some more about her in her own words: