Monday, May 31, 2010

Condolences on unexpected loss

We at TMFree offer our sincerest condolences to the family of Fred and Janet Swartz on the recent loss of their grown son.

Fred Swartz has been a fixture in Fairfield Iowa for several decades. As a CPA and good friend, Fred helped many Fairfield families through the financial vicissitudes experienced by many TMers. Fred was the kind CPA who helped my (ex)husband and me through an Iowa bankruptcy many years ago, and helped us through several failed business ventures while we lived in Fairfield. Fred is known to all for his kind consideration, and realistic financial guidance.

Janet has been a community force of support, generously providing social support and volunteer efforts within the community.

One of my Fairfield friends said, "Fred held my hand through uncountable number of financial challenges. Janet was also the giving community member. They are rock solid members of our core community, a good caring family."

John Knapp attended TM Teacher Training with Fred.
We were young parents together, our children born in Fairfield.

Their grown son, Daniel Isaac Swartz, took his own life on May 25, 2010.

The value of community is heightened at times of tragedy. Daniel's memorial service is today, as posted in the Fairfield Ledger.
As painful mourning and self questioning ensues, we send our deepest condolences and support.

For those who knew the Swartz family, you may send cards or donations to a memorial fund, per Fairfield Ledger's obituary, linked below.

The Fairfield Ledger, May 28, 2010, online obituary for Daniel Issac Swartz

7 comments:

LaughingGull said...

Thanks Gina for posting this announcement here at TMF. I've been following the news of this at the FFL and BATGAP Yahoo groups. When it happened last week, I "Googled" the name, and found a podcast that Daniel had done for the MUM website while a senior there. It stayed up for a couple of days then was removed a few days ago. Its removal could have been at the request of the family or maybe it was out of embarrassment by the TMO for the suicide...I strongly suspect the latter. My condolences to the family.

Anyone interested in reading Daniel's rather prolific commentary (400+ comments) at the BATGAP Yahoo group, use the following link:
http://preview.tinyurl.com/35fjfwv.
His last comment was #4077 dated 04/23/10 so you can put that number in the "message #" search box and then work backwards from there. Or put his identity "diswartz2" in the other search box...all of his comments, as well as comments referencing his, will appear so you can work from his earliest to his latest. He had some rather interesting conversations going, none of which seemed to indicate his thoughts of suicide. However, I'm surprised that no one noticed when suddenly he stopped posting for the approximately four weeks between 4/23 and his suicide last week. I mean, here was a prolific writer who would sometimes make 5-6 posts per day, then he suddenly stops, and not one person in the group writes: "Hey Daniel, are you out there?" I'm not trying to lay a guilt trip on the group...just curious as to why no one noticed the absence of such an important contributor.

Thanks again Gina.

LaughingGull said...

Perhaps the following link to BATGAP will work better:
http://tinyurl.com/35fjfwv

Sudarsha said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Be-g3DqZg98

It's not the best of recordings, and words are unimportant, but the sound, the feeling expresses so much. I am sorry for Daniel's family, his friends, the TM and other community at large. We do not know, at this point, what brought this about. Perhaps some insurmountable dissonance, some despair. I think it best that those who Daniel remember the Daniel they knew.

Karina said...

Mere words are so inadequate to ease the grief that parents feel at the loss of their child, yet I too feel moved to offer my condolences. Loss of one's child is the hardest loss of all, and especially by suicide.

Recently, there seem to be so many deaths of family and friends in the loose knit TM and ex-TM circles, that sometimes I think we should also have an "In Memory Of..." website, both for the TBers and us TM-free types. We may not agree on the worth of MMY, the TMO, or even TM yet we still feel the connection with one another.

Sudarsha said...

I suspect the family requested the photo removed from MUM website, but I don't know. Another website for Maharishi elementary schools still has a promotional childhood photo of a young girl, fully TM educated, who later died needlessly as a teen. Daniel, born and raised in FF, attended Maharishi schools from preschool through University. He was a regular member of the local satsang group for the enlightened of FF. He believed he was an avatar (incarnation of god). Some other community members agreed. At his memorial service, speakers addressed that he was too pure to continue life in this crass material world, so his advanced soul freed himself from this real. (Over the years, I've heard other such comments made at FF services for youth). Daniel's FF girlfriend reputedly is currently in communication with him, the disincarnate avatar. His parents are coping from their spiritual perspective. Like many families in FF, I love the Swartz family. IMHO, this is a sad tragedy resulting from the extremes of fantasy-spiritual mindset, without accessing other forms of mental health. This opinion will (once again) make me unpopular with TM family and loved ones. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion.
g

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

"At his memorial service, speakers addressed that Daniel was too pure to continue life in this crass material world, so his advanced soul freed himself from this plane of existence. (Over the years, I've heard other such comments made at FF services for youth)."

These kind of comments sadden me so much. And they are quite abundant in that community. The intention behind them I presume is good, but what is the result? Are we all who remain living despite deep disappointment and pain - more impure? Is the Fairfield community, or so called heaven on earth, the impure place? Is the accounting profession dirty business? Is his girlfriend disgraceful? What exactly was so unbearably impure in his environment?

I feel for his family with all my heart. For their loss. On many levels.

John M. Knapp, LMSW said...

"At his memorial service, speakers addressed that Daniel was too pure to continue life in this crass material world, so his advanced soul freed himself from this plane of existence. (Over the years, I've heard other such comments made at FF services for youth)."

It sounds to me like a call to the other young people in the community, who consider themselves pure, to free themselves as well...

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