Saturday, August 8, 2009

I lost a Dear Friend and the world lost a Soulful Teacher- Mike Occhi, Dec.17, 1963-July 30, 2009

DEATH is a dialogue between
The spirit and the dust.
“Dissolve,” says Death.
The Spirit, “Sir,I have another trust.”
Death doubts it, argues from the ground
The Spirit turns away,
Just laying off, for evidence.
An overcoat of clay

Emily Dickinson

Although Emily Dickinson died in the mid 1800's she left poetry and teachings that are her legacy, and hence continues to inspire and change people's worlds by her words. My dear friend Michael Occhi was an English teacher inspired by Emily's soulful prose. He too has passed and left admirers and students in his wake, raw with grief yet inspired by his example and teachings. Mike led a life lived with compassion and kindness for others. Mike's genuine regard for all living things was a conviction. It was surrounded by his heart, not by piousness, but by an unpretentious self assurance that his way (genuine compassion) was the only way for him to live.

Mike's soul picked him to lead such a life of giving and compassion. His Soul and God got lucky, for he fulfilled a great deal on his path and fulfilled so much of his life's purpose. Teaching High School English in Central Falls for fourteen years was a big part of his dharma, and many, many lives can attest to it's worthiness. Mike is now helping God with even greater work, but even within the circumstances of his tragic death Mike continues to teach. And for all of us that are so fortunate to have known him, we can learn from his Grace to walk to the beat of our own drum, and to fulfill our dharma.


A teacher is a person who can inspire someone else to be interested in a subject. Someone who is enthusiastic about something; to impart the knowledge of; to give intelligence concerning; to inculcate as true or important; to exhibit impressively; to direct, as an instructor; to manage, as a preceptor; to guide the studies of. Teaching is one of God’s highest callings for His children ... ask God it might be you !

Mike dwelled with peace in his heart, awareness in his mind and grace in his deeds.

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

I am just now reading this entry-I forgot what an amzing writer you are. Thank you so much for articulating these thoughts about Occhi so beautifully. I miss him so much and feel the shock and sadness of his passing so acutely everday-your blog entry helped. Love ya,LINZ