- 83 years old
- Date of birth: Jan 5, 1932
- Place of birth:
New Rochelle, New York, United States
- Date of passing: Feb 2, 2015
- Place of passing:
Santa Fe, New Mexico, United States
|Betty touched the lives of so many people with her unique and generous spirit. She had a true love for the written word. Let us share some together, here, for her.|
Betty J. Kronsky died on February 2, 2015 at a gracious age of 83. She grew up in New Rochelle, New York. Betty took her undergraduate degree in English Literature at Vassar College, going on to graduate studies at the University of Wisconsin. Not caring for the cloistered world of academia, Betty changed course to pursue a career in psychotherapy so she could engage more with people. After receiving her Masters in Social Work from Yale University she set up practice in New York City, then moving to Santa Fe in 1986 continued her work.
Betty was an avid student of Milton Erickson MD and she had a deep understanding of the principles of Gestalt Therapy. Betty was proud of her work in both fields of study.
Buddhist thought and practice blossomed in Betty's life in 1973 when she first met Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche. In later years, Betty wrote her spiritual memoir recounting the story of her encounters with her three great root Buddhist teachers, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, Dudjom Rinpoche, and Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche. These relationships transformed her life. Her travels and studies in Buddhism provided her grand adventures and personal insight.
Betty's profound response to beauty led to her love of the arts, from classical music to opera to dance and literature, she admired them all. After retiring from private practice, Betty picked up the thread of her earlier interests, completing a Master of Arts degree in writing from Bennington College with an emphasis in poetry.
Betty was a painter, poet, flower arranger, and writer. One could not step into Betty's house without being filled with the sense of richness of her aesthetic eye.
Betty also kept up on world events and cared deeply about justice and personal responsibility.
Betty was a gracious host; she loved the company of her friends and family. Eclectic in her friendships, Betty's circle included young and old, famous and humble. Living much of her life in New York City, Betty made a small town sense of community out of all of her relationships.
Throughout her life, Betty reached out for what the world had to offer getting the good out of her time here. Betty's generosity of spirit and openness to life showed us how we might live a rich and conscious life, had we the spiritual courage she possessed.
"I love and miss you every day, Betty -- mother, teacher, friend. Your soul mixes into mine like the compost in my garden: fertilizing, refreshing, eventually indistinguishable. Thank you, dear."
"I met Betty at the New School in NYC in the early eighties. I was a student in her class called, FREEING THE CREATIVE PROCESS USING GESTALT TECHNIQUES. I felt drawn to her and began working with her privately as a patient. I have so many memories of her. Then she moved to New Mexico and became invisible but we stayed in touch by mail over many years. I always wanted to go out and see her. She is a part of me and a part of my life."
"My dear, the feeling of missing you is a live thing, a welcome pain that comes when the you of you flashes through me. How did you know to set it up so I'd have the most perfect reminders of you integrated into my every day so that enjoying a butter dish or marveling at a color becomes an embrace of you? My second mother, my older sister, my championer and advisor, my dear love. Miraculously your teachings go on though you're not here."
"Dear Betty - I hope you are comfortable. What are you reading? If I were in Santa Fe we'd have a gathering with music to celebrate your birthday."
"(from Stephanie in NYC)
my dear betty,
thank you for all of it! you were always leading in the search for the meaningful no matter where it was, and you did this with with enthusiasm and a good sense of humor especially about yourself, and for me personally you were always interested and eager, regardless of what was happening in your life, to listen to what was on my mind. and this would have been tedious for any other person since i so did repeat myself. yet you always had something healing and appropriate to say and urged me to remember to be good to myself.
and i will most miss our special bond, since you, being 10 years older, were, my "mentor" even if that title made you a bit uncomfortable. i replied on you to tell me how it was for such a long (remember, you were playing a recorder on the lawn of Music Inn in the late 50s?) and i will try and remember. (it is just sometimes difficult to be on one's own)
thank you dear betty!
"Betty sought enlightenment of any kind. She loved people, was attentive to what they said, and remembered and thought about it, so she created a sensitive and caring relationship with each person in her circle. Her delight in nature and beauty was evident in all our travels and long walks through the Santa Fe hills, and in Indian Country where we first traveled in 1980, and many times after she moved to Santa Fe. She could be exasperatingly forgetful of small items - I think her mind ran on a higher plane. She would send small gifts and news that helped keep me attached to the SW, an area I had grown to love, and I often visited her so we could explore further together. She will be irreplaceable as an encouraging friend, auntie, and jazz fan."
Betty knew me since before I was sentient. All these sixty-one years, she remained loyal and steadfast and interested – a willing witness to my life. She put me on her annual round. She accompanied me to the monks’ prayers in the Berkeley hills at 6 a.m. during my Catholic phase: “I’ve always loved the Lord’s Prayer – doesn’t it just say it all.”
In her own seeking, there was discipline and duty and hope. Joy came in smaller packages: a signature lipstick color, the blousy rose in the rain, a young boy’s shy laugh, the poet’s perfect line, Iago’s exquisite dance of vicious, the notes trilling just so. Grief she knew but didn’t allow herself to dwell in.
Mistress of moments, she knew how to pause. And listen. Our last visit was my first to her. Lunches and dinners and opera and my uneasy chatter.
“Let’s just be still together,” she said. So we sat on the outside chairs while the world grew dark and the birds’ twilight song was part of the pine-cedar scent. Her lavender scarf fluttered in the ancient breeze.
Oh, she was eager. And tried all her life for peace."
"for betty, 2/2/15
a singular walk, more of a skipping than a limp.
a heart and mind, both quick and keen and open.
a piano players hands, strong and delicate.
beautiful map of wrinkles and lifelines, an atlas of experience.
a joy of sharing beauty: books, art, nature.
intrepid traveler! such interest in people, places. a sponge of life.
constant presence, generous spirit, thoughtful, honest and true.
may your next journey be gentle, kind and interesting.
you will always help.
i love you betty kronsky, a true fairy godmother."
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