Memorial Poem


Today we gather at graveside for Janene Martha Murray, one born different, and lovingly pray.
One who loves her for all of eternity and perhaps knew her best has something to say:

Janene Martha Murray was born January 13, 1959, yet left this earthly plane on a Monday.
It was on May 14, 2007, that her spirit flew out of weary worn out body, as she passed away.

At age 48, a two-spirited Cherokee Indian, African & French-English woman declared it a good day to die:
The day of a Harlem party where a Huge Victory she helped create across 14 years was finally won—flying by.

She then flew to her favorite place, a beach—soaking in the salty mist, ocean view, and warm sun.
Janene then flew to many other favorite places and played free of body and pain, having fun.

Days later she watched just some of those who loved her dearly hover, as her cold body lay in casket in plain view.
She heard us take turns, sharing stories and memories of her antics, until we were all through.

She was so happy that the BIG GUY she loved was there to touch her hand, recording a final touch.
She was so happy others were there, too: one like a mother, a best friend & former partner she loved ever so much.

Her heart began to heal from anger & bitterness, as all shared a common love for her for that short while.
In her spirit she began to feel more joy and love, resurrecting an old familiar sweet taste that made her smile.

Today, we can assist Janene by fully letting her go, and not holding on anymore.
We can pray for her success in passing tests she must prepare for in a new realm on a distant shore.

Pray for her success in these new tests, and hold in mind images of her past successes—and there are many to name.
May our collective prayers and vision of her past successes allow her to manifest new victories--like
those ever so sweet she savored across her life’s game.

First, see Janene babysitting her 4 younger siblings, being a virtual hero during times that were quite hard.
See her learning how to pitch a softball with her father as coach, training his future star in the backyard.

Once age 16, see her driving her Mom to work at various nursing homes late at night.
See what her Mom saw: the child destined to rise high with a sharp wit and keen intellect most bright.

See Janene’s performance as a New Jersey state champion in field hockey, tasting sweet Victory!
See her in perfect shape with the endurance to run long and hard across green fields, making championship history!


See Janene giving perfect unrehearsed spontaneous speeches in the huge high school auditorium,
as the President of her senior Class in 1977.
See her as a hugely popular class clown dearly loved at Willingboro High School by her school brethren.

See her at Princeton University playing varsity Field Hockey and Softball, especially when she pitched yet
another perfect no-hitter game.
See her confidence and sweet poise when featured in the Princeton University newspaper
and everyone on campus saw her picture and knew her name.

See her graduating from Princeton University with the Class of 1982, and how her partner, father,
mother, siblings, and neighbors beamed with pride and glee.
See her living in Harlem, working in Manhattan and on Wall Street, getting better jobs ever two years—
climbing higher and higher fulfilling a great destiny.

See her rising from First Investors, to Phoenix Mutual, to Cigna, AIG, and to CNA on the 26th Floor of
Two World Trade Center, across a decade of great success.
See her being honored as the “First Account Executive Acquisitor for 1992 at CNA,” as the
most successful insurance underwriter in a year when she was the very best!

See her surviving the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing, even being so bold as to go back upstairs to get her coat.
See her making over $70,000 that year and traveling to beaches all over the world, where
she loved to boogey board or just float.

See her barbecuing with her family in Willingboro, or with her many adopted families in Philadelphia,
Florida, Queens, Long Island, and Staten Island, too.
See her being the life of the party, making everyone laugh, and even creating families after work in bars—
as places she also intimately knew.

See her on Jones Beach, and those in Ixtapa, Cancun, Jamaica, Puerto Rico; and, in May 1994 in Aruba—where
she gazed upon incredible stars with her lover at night.
See her tanned and looking beautiful, muscular, shapely and full of color, sometimes even beat red, but shining so bright!

See her being the best Aunt Nee Nee, best daughter, best sister, best employee, best supporter, best comedienne,
best party-girl, and the very best wife.
See her being the best cook, best athlete, best leader, best driver, best coach, best social coordinator,
and best friend anyone could ever have across the decades of any life.

Seeing all this, then pray that Janene Martha Murray remembers the times that she was truly loved and
deeply admired for being impeccable, the very best.
Then, pray that she quickly forgives herself for the times she gave up, gave in, or gave us grief—
pardoning her self, as we must, for all the rest.

Pray that she places in proper perspective the triple discrimination she faced across all of her life and the anger
and bitterness that boiled and eventually spoiled things, rising from her core.
Pray that she can let it all go, forgive herself and others, so that none of it spoils her path anymore.

For, it is time for her to look forward, pass new tests, and be found ready for another earthly go round.
Perhaps, in coming years Janene will embody again, and her soul mates may again be magically found.

Pray for Janene, holding in mind all the images of the best in her that you saw and now can celebrate.
In her memory, share your true self with others, not the mask, include ALL in your circle, and to the different
only love and acceptance emanate.

These are the values Janene lived that made her a special sacred human being worthy of great honor as she is laid to rest today.
Celebrate one two-spirited Cherokee Indian, African, French-English woman who was stared at all her life
for being different in some way.

As a living tribute to the memory of Janene Martha Murray work to create a world where the different are loved
for who they are without having to wear a mask.
Work to make the way sweet for the different who are in danger of turning bitter, as a social justice
movement I ask you to embrace as a personal task.

Until we create such a world, we may witness the nation’s very best and brightest—just like Janene—become
angry, bitter and even mean.
Until we take a stand, we collude in creating a world that discriminates against those who are different, just like Janene.

Thus, I ask that you take a stand, and love ALL, especially the different, doing so in her memory, today.
Finally, I ask that for Janene Martha Murray, one born different, lovingly pray!

Eternal Love from Just One of Your Beloved Soul Mates on Behalf of a Multitude of Loved Ones
Professor Barbara C. Wallace, Ph.D. May 21, 2007