December 7, 1944. – April 27, 2021
Dear Colleague, This note is to share with you the passing of Richard ‘Dick’ Sims on Tuesday, April 27th. Four days earlier after a feast, he stopped eating and taking fluids. As an ‘essential care giver’ I have been able to visit him every day. On Tuesday, his breathing was more labored, and I had spent the morning with him, sharing songs, poetry and the silence. At about one, I began my weekly call with David Dunn. We have been working on an article called Rituals in the Field: Nepal. During the call, Richard stopped breathing. So gently, so peacefully. David stood in the place of ‘all the saints’ surrounding us. You were all there with us as we sang ‘Journey on, Journey on’.
I have attached the article which features a ritual Richard led in our 2007 Nepal training program. It weaves together the two great movements in our lives: The Institute of Cultural Affairs and the Possible Human/Possible Society work of Dr. Jean Houston. As Jean said, upon hearing of his passing that Richard was an original, a wise thoughtful soul whose laughter and humor came from a deep source of the absurd. I deeply appreciated his partnership over the last 24 years. (Thank you Lyn Mathews Edwards, Mary Laura and Pam for your nudges). He had decided to support women leaders and was an incredible support to myself. He once told me, ‘His mission was to make me laugh every day! I am able to smile. Blessings Be. I swing back and forth from gratitude and grief.
~~ Janet Sanders
Dear Jan, I’m sad to hear the news about Dick and glad to know that he was surrounded by love and memories in his last moment. Thank you for the Rituals in the Field article. With love
Jan, Thank you for sharing the final moments of Richard’s passing. Feel the loving hug I am sending you. The photo catches his soul’s smile and reminds me of weekends at the Creative Community Conferences. I also am reminded of your visit when you were in Florida. May you grieve peacefully as we celebrate this good man with this delightful dry sense of humor. Walk in Peace,
~~ Judi White
Thanks for sharing Dick’s journey “ So gently, so peacefully……in the place of ‘all the saints’ surrounding us.” How hard and also a great gift to be the ‘essential care giver’ of our loved ones and to be present as Dick took his last breath. May the great gift of those 24 years sustain you in gratitude.
~~ Wanda Holcombe
Dear Janet, Fondly remembering my friend with his dry wit from Sparta, Tennessee. I loved the attached Nepal story – Richard invited one of them to stand and become that poet. There was a very long, worrisome pause. I was thinking “Whoa, Richard, what have you done?”With warmth and light for all Dick’s colleagues and friends in Toronto and around the world,
~~ Ken Fisher
May 12, 1972 – Memorial Day – Madison House