April 5, 1957 – July 18, 2012
Eulogy by Ron Greenstein, July 20, 2012
I will miss my dear first cousin, Cheryl Kuperman. We first met in Montreal when my family drove up one summer from Bronx, NY. Cheryl’s mother, Miriam, was the younger sister of my mother, Ethel. The single image that sticks in my mind is a very cute, little two-year-old Cheryl standing up in her crib chatting away. The most memorable comment being: “No touchit me.”
Our paths crossed next many years later. Through our mutual cousin, Marilyn, we were put in touch with one another. Cheryl wrote to me first in a letter that described the circumstances and influences of her life. As Cheryl had been quite open and honest with me, I thought it was appropriate that I tell her in my letter of the most important facet of my life, my adult-lifelong connection to my spiritual master, Meher Baba. Instead of saying much about this, I enclosed a commemorative pamphlet that contained photos and writing by and about Meher Baba’s life and message of love and truth. Her response to reading the pamphlet was to ask if I would send her a book. She said that reading the pamphlet made her feel relaxed.
The book I sent happened to arrive in the mail just as she was leaving her apartment. She decided to take it along with her to court where she was embroiled in a legal suit involving the custody of Norman and Joshua. I can only imagine the heaviness of the burden she bore sitting in that courtroom awaiting what would unfold. That huge weight on her caused her to lay her face upon the unwrapped book that lay in her lap. In that moment she experienced a lifting off her of that burden with all of its trepidation and worry, and it being replaced by a profound sense of peace and an authoritative assurance that she need not worry.
Cheryl read that book, and from that time forward she and I shared a spiritual companionship. This was done through writing and many telephone conversations.
It was great privilege for me to observe my dear cousin in her worldly roles as wife, sister, mother, and friend, even though it was from several thousand miles away, except for the three visits I made over the years. She was a courageous and responsible advocate for her family, friends and herself. She was thoughtful and generous.
I am not sure in my 64 years if I have ever witnessed such a profound transformation in a person that I knew more than the one I, and I am sure others, too, saw in Cheryl’s attitudes toward life. You might say, in short, that she went from victim to hero.
Cheryl opened herself to the challenges and lessons that life offered her, and, I believe, matured more in her short life than many souls do in several lives. Surely the inner changes she welcomed must have, in my way of thinking, been inspiring to those who knew her.
I know Cheryl wanted to heal and live longer so she could be and share with her loved ones. Of course life does not grant our every wish as we would want it to. My personal faith, though, is that one always will receive what they long for from the depths of their heart. How and when that comes about may be revealed or it may remain one of life’s many mysteries. As the saying goes, “God works in mysterious ways.”
Dear Cheryl, the burden of your bodily afflictions have been lifted. My prayer is that, through the same attitudes you came to embrace and practice during your life, you are now enjoying your transition experience.