Becky at The Economics of Happiness Conference, March 2012
Tribute to Becky
by Catherine Porter
Article by Becky on Ladakh
in ISEC Newsletter 2004
Rainforest Action Network Tribute
"Becky joined our program in Ladakh when she was twenty-three, and we lived together for many years. She was like a daughter to me. We shared our lives and our confidences; we played, we cooked, we hiked, we worked intensely, we argued, we rubbed each other’s feet. I will miss her incredible vitality (I have never known anyone with such sparkling energy) and her sharp questioning mind. She was beautiful and strong, a musician, a dancer; she was unusually able to be emotionally open and vulnerable. She was magnetic.
I can’t believe that this brightness in our lives has faded forever. Her death is not only a personal loss, but a loss for the world."
Helena Norberg-Hodge, Director of ISEC
"The world has lost a beautiful human being. Irrepressibly upbeat, brilliant, witty, irreverent and passionate, Becky lit up our lives. Her death is tragic, unbelievable, but the pain is lessened by the joy she gave us in her all-too-short life. Thank you, Becky, for all those happy times. I will not forget you."
John Page, Program Director
"Becky had an unrivaled ability to engage enthusiastically with the world: she was not only smart, she was fun. She visited our small farm about 10 years ago, and remains the only person who has ever played fiddle for our goats. (As I remember, the goats responded with polite, somewhat confused, curiosity.) Not surprisingly, my son Ezra, then 5, was absolutely captivated by Becky. After she left he produced a long series of drawings, each with the caption, 'I LOV BEKY'. We all did."
Steve Gorelick, US Program Director
"I met Becky when I started working for ISEC in 1999. What started out as a working relationship quickly became friendship and then kinship. As coordinators of each of our projects in a small organization, we constantly brainstormed, inspired and supported each other. I just loved working with Becky. We also shared the same house whilst living in England, spare time and many important moments. When I became pregnant, Becky was the first to know. Her excitement was second only to mine and I had to swear her to secrecy so she wouldn't spill the beans before I had the chance to tell my partner, Alex, who was away. Becky was a witness at our wedding and my close support during pregnancy. Every day during the lunch break, Becky would drive to town to buy a roastbeef sandwich, to fulfill my craving for red meat. When Karim was born, Becky became his admiring auntie and he her greatest fan - crawling up the stairs to watch her playing the fiddle.
We shared a worldview and vision and a liking for food and walks, but differentiated on parties and music. She was the sister I didn't have. She was also the only friend to come and visit me when I moved to live in the mountains in Mexico, where she spent three weeks reading about coal mining and preparing for her new life with RAN.
I have never met anyone that enjoyed life so much as Becky - she was really and truly happy about herself and her life - and that is my only consolation in this tragedy – at 39 she has lived more and better than most of us will do in long life.
I love you Becky."
Anja Lyngbaek, Europe Program Coordinator
"Becky and I became friends when I began working at ISEC in England in 2000. I remember well those early days of intimate girly chats, walks on the beach and the moor, conspiring to change the world through theatre, cooperatives and all other manner of creative and usually kooky avenues. Years later, when I moved to the Bay Area, I cherished again the moments we were able to snatch out of busy schedules and appreciated her drawing me in to her local circles of friends and contacts. She was and always will be one of my greatest role models: unbelievably fearless, intelligent, an excellent speaker and writer, hilarious, deeply emotional, caring, ambitious and wildly fun. She was probably the most confident person I know, yet totally without a competitive edge, instead always including, encouraging and complimenting those around her. As beautiful as she is in all of the photos online today, none come close to capturing her gorgeous radiance in real life.
To see her stride into such happiness, both professionally and personally, in recent years is now a great comfort. But there was so much more to do, to say. The world indeed has lost a tremendous hero. The fact that she was such a uniquely wonderful human being makes her loss even harder to bear. Her inspiration will go on in me and so many others."
Kristen Steele, US Program Coordinator
At times like this I feel almost lost for words. How can one adequately express the depth of shock and grief at your passing? How can one find any understanding of what happened – you being whisked away by a giant wave, when you were working so hard to protect the planet’s environment. Perhaps your guiding spirit was needed in another realm?
You had all the lovely qualities that others have already expressed – you were a very shining star.
Wherever you are, I hope you know that we will always love you, for the special person you are.
Carole Powell, UK Administrator, 2000 - 2008