Monthly Archives: February 2014

Poem written after the Celebration of Life for Nina and Eduardo

 The ceremony for Eduardo and Nina was full of the loving thoughts of friends, details about their lives given from many perspectives, a few tears but even more laughter from remembering the good times.  It was only on the road home that the contrasts in the peaceful happy setting I saw around me and the events of a week before hit me.  The first lines of this poem ran over and over again through my thoughts and I had to pull over by the side of the road and write this poem.  Part of me wonders if it is exploitative to write about this sad event, but I’ve found that many of my writer friends who were friends of Nina and Eduardo have been driven to do the same.  It is as though I no longer know how to think about things unless I do so through my writing or my art.  Somehow, the only way to process a hard truth of life is to make use of it creatively and to try to create a message that makes sense even though the deed never will.

After the Ceremony: Driving Home

The streets are filled

With ice cream and cerveza

and the wildly patterned legs

of senoritas.

It is a day

of sunlight and red flowers

and fuschia flowers and blue.

A slight wind

 strums the swaying branches

of the palms,

but no other sounds

compete with the passing hum

of oncoming traffic streaming

 from the city to our shores,

 seeking safety, quiet,

the gentle lap of water against willow,

hypnotic bobbing of the pelicans

between the undulating liria––

a lazy day away

from the cares of urban life.

I pull to the side of the road to watch

 these visitors to our world.

 Have they not heard or

have they just forgotten

the breaking glass,

the knife, the club,

the red screams

slicing the midnight air?

The ones who were the screamers

 are very quiet now––

part of the calmness

of this afternoon.

Their darkness

is dispersed by sunlight.

Yet all of their fear and pain––

the terror of their leaving––

now gone from them,

is kept like a souvenir

within the hearts of friends

whose turn it is to remember

for a while what we, too,

had forgotten.

Our happy world

lies like a blanket

over a bed made messy

by pain and loss.

It is the world’s bed,

and deny it as we will,

we all have lain in it

and will again.

                                                                              –Judy Dykstra-Brown      February 24, 2014

A Celebration of Life for Nina Discombe and Eduardo Kular

A Celebration of Life for Nina Discombe and Eduardo Kular will be held on Monday, February 24, beginning with coffee served at 10 a.m. in the Oasis Cloud Café and followed by a community healing/guided meditation from 10:30-10:45 in the garden. The guided meditation is for those in the community who wish to focus on how to cope with grief and loss of dear friends who were killed violently. Beginning at 11 a.m. will be readings from Nina’s work and personal sharing of memories of both Nina and Eduardo. You are invited to participate in this celebration with your own special memories of Nina and Eduardo.

The location is the Oasis Cloud at Calle San Luis #330, Riberas del Pilar.

Directions from Ajijic: Take the Carretera toward Chapala. Turn right on San Diego, which is the first street after Mirasol, and then take the first left on San Luis. The Oasis Cloud is one and a half blocks down San Luis on the right at #330.

Directions from Chapala: Take the Carretera toward Ajijic. Turn left on San Mateo, which is next to the 7 Eleven, and then take the first right onto San Luis. The Oasis Cloud is one and a half blocks down San Luis on your left at #330.

Those who wish to bring flowers, photos or special objects for the altar are encouraged to do so shortly before 10 a.m. We are asking friends who want to contribute cookies, scones or pastries for the coffee hour to contact Patricia Hemingway at ( to tell her what you are bringing and the quantity. Please bring them before 10 a.m., or arrange to give them to Patricia ahead of time. Patricia is also looking for a few coffee makers to use for making the coffee and hot water for tea. She will need the coffee makers by Sunday, the 23rd. (You can take them home with you after the ceremony.)

If you would like to share a memory or anecdote about Nina or Eduardo or have any questions, please contact Judy Dykstra-Brown at ( If you are unable to attend the event and wish us to present your thoughts, we would be glad to.

We have no idea how many people will attend this event. The Oasis Cloud has 50 chairs, but if you want to assure seating for yourself, it is best to bring a folding chair. It might also be smart to carpool as parking is limited.

Letting the Media Replace the Heart

I wrote this on Facebook in response to a friend who thanked me for telling what she called the “true story”:  “I’ve posted some untrue info as well, but then the next day it turned “true” again. We all want to know and yet after awhile it becomes an obsession and we get so caught up in the soundbites that we forget what they are really about. Guess this is our world in microcosm. We need to remember that it all started because we lost two friends. I know there are those much closer to Edward and Nina than I was. I knew her for many years and was in three different writing groups with her where I heard her read her writing, which is sometimes the best way to get to know someone. Edward contacted me to ask if I’d like him to read and comment on my grief book before it went to the printer even though we were just friendly acquaintances. I think it would have been hard for someone even closer to do what I’ve been doing. No one else did and that’s why I have. Somehow, I got caught up in the middle. At any rate, for all of their even closer friends, I hope the hype stops and we turn to more comforting matters. As soon as I have official word from the venue, I’ll post information about the memorial. If you want to do true tribute to Nina, buy her book. That would have made her so happy.”  You can find her book, “The Leprous Veil of Love” on Amazon. She also has stories in a women’s anthology “Agave Marias” which is available in Mexico and online with secondhand book dealers. (This information was requested by someone who read this blog.)

More News on the “Capture”, Nina and Edward

I heard a few hours ago that the second brother had in fact not yet been captured.  This was told me by the lawyer hired by Nina’s family and told to her by the Attorney General of the state of Jalisco.  The announcement of the capture seemed so official, but looks like this case is going to twist and turn.

Another suspect in Nina and Edward’s deaths is caught.

It has been confirmed that the man they were still pursuing as a suspect in Nina and Edward’s deaths has been apprehended and is now in jail.  A memorial is in the works and I’ll post details when I know them.

Nina Discombe and Edward Kular’s Deaths

I am so relieved to report that one of the men responsible for my friends’ death has been apprehended and is in jail.  They are presently in pursuit of his brother, who reportedly assisted in the robbery and murder. The American Consul has assured us that our region of Lake Chapala is not on the “Do Not Travel” list and that they consider this to be an isolated incident and not of danger to travelers and residents.  The chief of police assured us that this was a robbery, not a revenge killing, and that Nina and Edward’s deaths were swift and that they did not suffer unduly. The robbers were unaware of their presence in the house and when they discovered their presence, they killed them out of fear of being recognized and caught. We are all so sad about the death of our friends but also anxious that people not panic over this horrible act which echoes so many other violent actions in the world. The poem that I published in my last blog seems to be all the more true at this point.  Nina was a happy person who loved Mexico.  She would be the last to want people to live in fear.  I saw Edward a few days before his death and we had a discussion about his family’s fears about his return to Mexico, given his health issues.  One of the last comments that passed between us was our agreement that it does no good to live in fear–that we must live the lives we want to live for as long as we can.  Edward lived up to this declaration.

Upon the Violent Death of a Friend

Upon the Violent Death of a Friend


Bar every window.

Avoid the Dark.

The dart is coming.

You’re on the mark.

Chain up your gateways.

Bar the door.

Whatever evil finds you,

There is always more.

In your life’s highway,

avoid the skids.

Don’t talk to strangers.

Lock up your kids.

Darkness advances

by ticks and tocks.

Take no chances.

Recheck the locks.


Don’t take airplanes

or cars or ships.

Keep what’s private

behind your lips.

Buy a gun and

keep it cocked.

If you knew who’s watching,

you would be shocked.

Lock your bedroom

when you retire.

Life’s a minefield.

Don’t trip the wire.

Wrap your kids in

cotton wool.

Don’t dare  send them

out to school.

Mind the playgrounds.

Avoid the street.


is more discrete.

Train your dogs to

attack and kill

whomever enters

against your will.

Limit friends to

a very few.

New ones just might

target you.

Build your walls up

both high and wide.

Then just fester

alone, inside.