In the morning of 28 May, our dear and long-term sister Myriam Francoise Marie Noelle Isaac left her body at the age of 76 due to cancer at her house in Sincerity, surrounded by her children.
Myriam, who was born in France but carried the Swiss nationality, arrived in 1970 at Aspiration at the age of 27 with her little son Pascal, now Gopal. She’s one of those olden-days stalwarts of Auroville who has been always here, working in the background, totally dedicated to the Mother, in a quiet, modest and steady way. Starting off in Aspiration, she worked as a nurse with Dr Sen at the Auroville Health Center that was just starting off. She also was active as Auroville’s midwife and delivered many of our babies at home to be later joined by Hilde. At the same time, she was actively involved in Fraternity’s activities with the villagers living there. By 1977 Myriam was living at the Matrimandir workers’ camp, where she gave birth to little Prema. Three years later Kartik was born. Throughout the eighties she continued her involvement in various village related activities, participated in the community meetings and decisions of that time, and was one of the first ones to work in the Free Store at Bharat Nivas, where she also was active in the then Auroville Community Kitchen there.
Myriam took over the boutique from Claude while it was still at Bharat Nivas and then, since the very onset of the Visitors’ Centre in 1991, she maintained the new Auroville Boutique at the VC from where most of us will remember her. Due to her conscientious and capable management, and deeply concerned care for her staff, she soon became executive, while also functioning as one of the trustees of Artisana Trust.
Having remained at the viewing room for several days, Myriam’s remains were buried at Auroville’s burial grounds in the afternoon of Friday 31 May, with many old-timer friends, acquaintances and family members attending the quiet, serene and very Aurovilian moment of farewell.
Thank you, dear Myriam, for having actually continually lived and worked with us during all those years. Your unobtrusive, soft spoken and sweet manner will not be forgotten, and our prayers accompany you on the way to the Light.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to Gopal, Prema and Kartik, and little grandson Liam.
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Bhaga recalls about Myriam:
When I arrived in Auroville, India, on August 4th 1972, I was already reading the books of Sri Aurobindo and the Mother and practising their Integral Yoga, but I knew absolutely nothing of their personal lives – not even that the year 1972 was a big year, the year of Sri Aurobindo’s Birthday Centenary, to be celebrated in many places all over the planet and by many eminent people everywhere besides the disciples.
I soon fell with fever, though, and found myself in one of the Ashram’s Nursing Homes in Pondicherry, ‘Treasure Nursing Home’, a small one, not far from the main Ashram building where the Mother, still alive then, was residing.
In the same Nursing Home another Aurovilian lady happened to be right then also taken care of, who had befriended me from the beginning: Myriam.
On the 15th of August, it is her who told me that there would be a ‘Darshan’, that is, a special moment when the Mother would come out on the balcony of her room so that the crowd that had gathered in the streets down below would be able to see her, and so, to benefit directly from her physical presence and the spiritual inner condition she would be in, if one was able to open oneself inwardly to it.
At the given time, my friend took me with her to a tiny balcony in our Nursing Home, and pointed at a silhouette that had just come out, hardly visible in the distance, on another, bigger balcony: there the Mother stood, and from where we were we also remained standing, but transfixed, our mind suddenly gone silent, our heart beating harder, immobile there with our eyes on that form far away, while time too stood still.
Then the silhouette started moving again and slowly retreated back inside, and within moments, in the street down below her balcony the whole crowd, which like the two of us had spontaneously also fallen absolutely silent during the Darshan, came back to normal life and noise again, although some special softness lingered for long in the atmosphere and within the two of us in the Nursing-Home.
This was my first Darshan, the Darshan given by the Mother for this extraordinary occasion, the Centenary of Sri Aurobindo. At that time I was a total iconoclast, and without any notion that a Darshan could be highly beneficial for you, so on my own I would probably have missed the whole thing. I like to think that Sri Aurobindo himself, from the non-physical dimensions, wanted me not to miss that exceptional moment, and arranged everything, even my illness and that of my friend, so that I would have that so special First Darshan, and with it the inner gifts he wanted to give me, and that are still within me, helping me in every moment of my life.
(Extract from an article posted on my blog for August 15th 2011 –
the year I started it, Bhaga)