Somewhere in the neighborhood of 7:00 am on Friday, June 17th 2022 Brenda Dunne left her physical form behind to conquer whatever challenges await in the next chapter of her story. It was a peaceful conclusion to a life that was nothing less than an amazing fairytale itself, filled with magic, evil stepmothers, princes in need of rescue (and who did their own sharing of rescuing), fierce dragons, animal guides, and quests from archetypal principles that defy photography. It is no exaggeration to say that she was a warrior and a hero, a trailblazer and an oasis, and a dear, dear friend to a great many souls – some of who never even had the chance to meet her in person.
Brenda changed the world. In her work with Bob Jahn, they gave scientific credibility to ideas and phenomena that, despite being essential facets of the human condition, had become ostracized from mainstream science. In doing so they created spaces for people to speak openly about their experiences, and they laid the foundation for new understandings that have begun to revise the way physics describes our universe, understandings that will continue to evolve for many decades to come. It is no wonder that at the end of her life Brenda had an uninterrupted stream of people sharing their concern, love, and appreciation from every corner of the globe. And it is no wonder that this stream has continued since she transitioned out of this particular spatio-temporal description of the world.
Over the last decade or so, Brenda and I (her son, Jeff) spoke of what she would like to happen in the days after such a transition, and here are her two wishes.
More laughter, less sadness. People need to find closure when a loved one is no longer around to answer the phone, but Brenda wanted that closure to come in the form of an opportunity for laughter, rejoicing, and appreciating fond memories.
Towards this end, we are going to be holding not a memorial service, but rather a memorial celebration. It will be held in northern New Jersey on August 18, and will include the ability to join digitally as well. We are currently accepting RSVP’s (with a deadline of July 31) from those planning to attend either virtually or in-person.
If you are interested in joining this celebration, either in person or remotely, please send an email to email@example.com and we will provide you with more specific details and an RSVP link.
Continue to subvert the dominant paradigm. What Brenda and Bob initiated, others must carry on. When they formed the International Consciousness Research Laboratories, it was with the intention of creating a vehicle to drive societal change and the continued maturing of the human species.
Brenda did not want people ending the lives of flowers. She did not want cards made from ex-trees. Instead, she asked that those who wish to offer a gesture of appreciation and/or remembrance do so by making a donation to ICRL so that the organization will have the resources to continue the work that she and Bob began. This organization is her child, and she would like nothing more than for the rest of her (very) extended family to help it flourish.
There is a third wish that Brenda did not make, but that I do. And that is this:
Remember. Remember Brenda. Remember who and what she was (and continues to be), remember what she has done, and remember the path she took in making those things happen. In cycles to come, whether measured in days or years or centuries, let us do what we can to ensure that the impact that Brenda had on our lives, our worldviews, and our spirits… endures.
Towards that end, I ask that you share with me your stories of Brenda. Capture your memories of those wonderful moments, the challenges, the impacts, the synchronicities, the laughter, the magic… write them down and send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. In the months to come I will bring those stories together (and with your permission) into a resource that we can all use to remember the amazing woman who, for too brief of a time, wore the name and the form of Brenda Dunne.
Update: Stories and memories have already started coming in faster than we can respond to them. We will, but it will take some time. In the interim, know that her daughter and son, her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, her brother and in-laws… we are all immeasurably touched and thankful for your heartfelt support and kind wishes!