On the morning of December 22, 2015, our Vajra Sister Beata Debarge died in the palliative care unit of the Hospital in Figeac, France.
Beata was born in 1958 in Poland. Her mother died when she was 16 years old, and when Beata reached the age of 18, she was hospitalized and stayed in a coma for 21 days. Just when the doctors had decided her case was hopeless, she woke up. She studied Spanish in Warsaw. In 1981 she married a French man and got French nationality. She wanted to flee the Communist regime in Poland and went to live in France. Her father died one year after that and she was not allowed by the regime to attend his funeral.
Until 1986 Beata lived in Paris and continued her studies of Spanish and commercial subjects. After that, she started her own business and was quite successful. In 1989, after a serious illness and the breakup of her marriage, Beata moved to London and stayed there until 1992. She traveled to India, and met Chögyal Namkhai Norbu in Nepal. She went to Russia, Italy and France to follow and study the Dzogchen teachings. In the meantime, she also developed her business, buying jewels and textiles in India to sell them in France. After this commercial undertaking ended badly, she was hired to lead a French perfum firm in Russia. She worked in what she called her ‘super-job’ until 2003. She liked this job, but it was very stressful and she suffered a vicious attack in Moscow by the police.
From 2003 to 2011, Beata went to live in Margarita, where she bought a house and tried to start a new life in the Community. Amely Becker told me that she felt inspired by the pioneering spirit and the enthusiasm Beata radiated; she was brave and competent. Yet many of her projects went wrong and she ended up being the victim of a bloody attack in her house, where she almost died.
In 2011, Beata came back to France, but work and relations were not going well, and so she decided to move to Tenerife. Also there, things were difficult. In 2012 she moved back to France (Dordogne), and began an online clothing shop. In 2014, she was diagnosed with an advanced stage of cancer, and undertook several naturopathic ways of healing herself, and continued working. “I feel alive when I work”, she used to say.
Beata loved living in natural places surrounded by dogs, so she decided to live in the south of France, not in a crowded city such as Paris. She was very fond of the dogs of her neighbors who accompanied her in her daily walks when she got sick. One of these dogs stayed beside her bed and kept her good company when she felt weak and lonely during the last period of her life.
Laura Yoffe from Argentina told me: “We used to talk periodically by skype until she went into the intensive care unit at the beginning of December before she passed away. In the last talk she said to me that she felt very happy – she even laughed when she expressed her gratitude towards the Dzogchen Sangha for sending her very nice emails and messages through Facebook . She also told me that she felt very moved as Vajra Brothers and Sisters sent her money to help her when she could not work any more and when some others visited her at the distant place in the southern part of France.”
In March 2015, I came into contact with Beata via Norbunet. I tried to help her with hypnosis to alleviate the pain, and we talked and practiced every day together via Skype. In May I visited her for one week (I drank all her best wines!), and we have continued to practice together every day until the 8th of December, when she went for her final days into palliative care and was not able to communicate any more. I feel honored to have been in her company during these nine months. She was brave, sharp as a razor and not easy with people. I also appreciated her sense of humor, a little bit on the dark side…
Beata told me she had only one regret: not having practiced more…noted! Learn from her!
My beloved sister, thank you for sharing these last months of your life with me. What we did together was inspiring and beautiful. Have a good journey. I am sure you will!