A Contemplative Life = Saying Farewell to my beloved Friend

Charley Pappas August 12, 1947 – September 13, 2022

“Charley would want you to celebrate his life and continue to carry his message in the world.” These words I shared with one of the many devoted friends who feel devastated by the passing of our “bigger than life” friend. He had a strong faith in causes and people, whom he passionately supported.

Charles Pappas passed on September 13, 2022 in Alta Bates Hospital in Berkeley California with friends present in his room and on the phone. He had a peaceful passing.

In his own words, here is a little autobiographical information I’d like to share with you, dear readers.

“I am a senior disabled 48 year Berkeley California resident and home owner. For most of the last 20 years I have been a medical cannabis patient, activist and proponent both in Berkeley and San Francisco.
A decisive move to California before my thirtieth birthday, and after a spinal cord injury left me wheelchair bound for life. I found some relief from powerful muscle spasms with marijuana.
My neighbor was the renowned National Institute of Health cannabis researcher Dr. Tod Mikuriya, to whom I offered my accessible home for his patient interviews and recommendations once a week.
There I became acquainted with many patients needing and receiving relief from different uses of cannabis. A most appropriate use included true vapor inhalation, which Dr. Tod asked me to demonstrate after his patient examinations. Before turning my wholehearted efforts to medical cannabis advocacy, I began to freelance edit for Regent Press in Berkeley, who then published my ten poetry books and two children’s books.” ~ Charley


After my TBI in 2008, Charley was one of the few people who acknowledged my changed brain, when I was working virtually for him doing typing and editing, losing patience and being irritable, “Oh yeah.” he’d say in a matter-of- fact voice, “You’re a head case.”

But through all the ups and downs, disagreements and struggles to have some understanding between us, I learned a most precious lesson from Charley. His constant generous support and consistent caring about me taught me about loving friendship. He gave to me and to many people what he had to give. Faithful and true he shared his love. He was generous, magnanimous and very demanding. He wanted people to evolve to be their best. He was an idealist.

With Charley I learned that to receive loving kindness, was part of a circle of returns. The kindness and love I could give was a bond that built loving relationships. What was broken in me slowly was renewed by caring about my friend and listening to him. My lesson is while there is not enough love in our world, with Kindness, Love, and Friendship we can change our attitudes and change the world “One person at a time.” Living our truth.

From: Charles Pappas
Subject: 2 years beyond the mast... composed 4/14, fyi
Date: March 17, 2016


If late in the day and game
     ironically, eleven thirty yet not midnight,
I look backward reviewing, yet still finding the present inequities
     searching the course forward more determined
              ready or getting there to right wrongs, change the world, once more...

Wherefore, wherefore the strength, necessary and called for in near desperation
      to begin the task with allies of like mind, heart, spirit
               and meet the forces of conflict negativity injustice
                      against our mutual humanity, and especially future souls to arrive?

 I say - everywhere in front, that direction, waiting to be here now…
        when together we are now enough to challenge
                  then grow further and even more to stop the casualties, end the war…
                           if said before certainly the realization, and here now stands the truth
                                at last, when our peace love and flower power rise ascend to rule!

The only certain way ahead, must be taken and any less, forsaken –
     in a forest of righteousness path to glory, will surely be no doubt what ends this story
           how growth, faith, resolve all together - conceive, plan, or destined, evolve
              then answers and questions posed last, ending in obstacles over finally passed
                 we are omnipresent being free, all places, faces everyone each everything  able to be… and become.   

Bearing the fruits of Earth Peoples' mutual, shared, deployed, empowerment persevering winning, 
          to victory, beyond beyond and beyond!

I pay tribute to Charley Pappas. Let his strength of purpose be remembered as an anthem for the future.

This is a link to a more recent post about Charley.

Charley was the oldest living quadriplegic in the world. He lived a rich and full life, which embodied the expression “Never give up.” He was one of my friends who faithfully followed this blog.


Thanks for stopping by my kitchen

Wherever you find yourself, be there.


Water Lily CKatt 2022

About kunstkitchen

Visual artist and writer hunting words, languages, visions, and insight in my kitchen - connecting Art (Kunst) and culture and slow food cooking. Classically trained artist. Paint and draw with traditional materials. Live in the Northland where it's six months of winter. Appreciate the little things in life. Sharing food and art experiences and the lessons that my talented and generous friends have given me.
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10 Responses to A Contemplative Life = Saying Farewell to my beloved Friend

  1. You have honored him, beautifully with your tribute. He seems like he was very special indeed. May he rest now in peace.

  2. mydangblog says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss. He sounds like an amazing friend and advocate. It’s thanks to people like him that marijuana is now considered a legitimate medical treatment.

  3. dawnkinster says:

    This is beautiful. It sounds like he was too. And your deep friendship. Sending you hugs.

  4. leggypeggy says:

    A beautiful tribute to Charley. My condolences.

  5. anne leueen says:

    This is a wonderful tribute to your friend. He was a warrior spirit who could not be kept down by a body that did not work. At least that is what I see in the photos!💕

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