She has not left us

She passed away but she has not left us


This is the text read in the church on the morning of Saturday, February 7, 2015 during the last farewell ceremony: a collection of memories and emotions of those who have remained close to Adriana throughout her last days: her daughters Renata and Paola, the niece Enrica, some former students and colleagues, and friends.

Who was Adriana?

A woman, Adriana, who leaves to us daughters, students, patients, relatives and friends a great cultural , moral and spiritual heritage that goes beyond the individual religious beliefs, a spirituality that embraces all. Adriana possessed a rare gift recognized by all: she could touch everyone in the depths of one’s soul to bring one to ones’ own truth. And in total freedom. She was a special person.

She was a mother of many, a Mother with two biological daughters, Paola and Renata, who leaves many other children. Many recognized her as a guide in their personal and professional life, as one who left an imprint, who sent a boost due to her innovative enthusiasm and energy and the sense of tranquility, which she spontaneously emanated.

Many loved and valued her intellectual vitality, her childlike enthusiasm, her tireless love for her work as an analyst, her eclectic and profound culture, but also her great humility and simplicity. She was the mainstay of many. Many have been able to draw from her wisdom, knowledge and experience of life, that, with her generosity of spirit and simplicity, she made available to everyone, not just to her many students of the Jungian and Sandplay school, but also to the people who lived next door, no difference whatsoever.

Those who have known her for a long time knew that Adriana had a long and beautiful life, but also very complex, with many facets and implications. Always attentive and sensitive to the suffering of others and of humankind, she started as a physician pediatrician going against the mainstream in an era where women were not allowed to do so. She was always inspired by the words of Dante, whom she felt as a spiritual teacher:

Keep up with me and let the people talk!
Be like a solid tower whose brave height
Remains unmoved by all the winds that blow.
[Purgatory V, 13-15]

“I felt that those words gave me courage. Disappointed by our medicine, which did not take into account the suffering of the soul, I met C.G. Jung and I dealt with him the problems I had already faced with Dante.”

In this life Adriana was a whole person with a great heart, a deep integrity in intellect and soul. Witnesses are all the people from near and far who came to give her a final farewell. Now she is together with the Lord.

I here read a friend’s greeting: “Adriana has gone the other way, but she does not leave us. Inextinguishable remains the immense wealth of thought and heart that she has donated to all of us. Every teaching is still alive together with her warmth, kindness, passion for life. With my deepest gratitude I send you my prayer, my song, music, dance, sure to make you happy. “

We all feel a deep gratitude towards her, for being what she has been, for having received many gifts from her. Each of us, today, bears in one’s own heart a small part of her. In this earthly life, we will miss a great point of reference. In an era of spiritual and human poverty and moral void, she has represented for many a flame, a light that gave a meaning and indicated a direction. We will miss her very much as a friend, as a guide, as a mother, as a representative of an era and a witness to a culture that is changing.

We like to imagine her as a vigorous and mighty oak, with deep roots in the ground and a lush foliage that rises into the sky. Unfortunately this ancient oak had to fight the many storms of illness and had to surrender to nature. We like to remember her sitting in her armchair while reading or thinking… With love, respect, affection, we bid farewell to you Adriana, with a deep emotion in our hearts.

However, there have been moments of great sadness and disillusionment for the injustices, wars, terrible things in the world in which we live, as if she felt within herself all the pain of the world. “How can I be happy in a world like this?”. She read the news in the newspapers. “Those poor people, those poor kids, those poor animals, how badly we treat Nature! I feel useless, my work is useless!”

It was not easy to answer. “Mom, you do your best for the people who have been entrusted to you. For the other … Pray”. She nodded, lowered her eyes and remained silent sitting in her armchair. To prayer, Adriana turned so often in difficult moments of her life or when faced with complex cases, asking the help of the Lord.

Mom has taught us many things. But four are more important: the love of life in all its forms, human, animal, natural, cosmic; respect for the mystery; the importance of humility; the meaning of sacrifice.

To those who turned to her, she sometimes read a poem, or made them listen together with her to some piece of classical music, or gave a guardian angel, to remain as an companion in life and a testimony of her love. Among the many poems read with her, today we remember one of Diego Valeri, a sweet angel:

“Ognuno è solo con la sua vita
come sarà con la sua morte.
Ma l’angelo dolce schiude le porte
d’un tocco delle tenere dita.
Tacito entra nella prigione
dove l’anima, sola, siede
fiso guarda e sorride lieve.
Beata è l’anima, col suo amore.”

Bon voyage Adriana, Bon voyage Mom with your Angel.

Messages of condolence from all over the world

One of the last images of Adriana Mazzarella

One of the last images of Adriana Mazzarella

On February 7, 2015 Rose Napoliello, member and teacher dell’AISPT (Italian Association for Sandplay Therapy), Italian representative at the ISST (International Association of Sandplay Therapy), announced promptly to foreign colleagues the news of the death of Adriana:

Unfortunately I have some sad news for you: Dr. Adriana Mazzarella passed away yesterday afternoon. For all of us it is a great loss. Adriana was a special personality, of great value personal and professional. Passionate follower of Jung, student of Dora Kalff, was one of the founding members of AISPT and has contributed to make known and spread the Sandplay in Italy and worldwide. We hope that the seeds, that during her life with tenacity and love for her work as a therapist and teacher has planted, will bear abundant fruit in the future.

Here are some of the messages of condolence arrived in the following days to Rosa:

– Cara Rosy, ti ringrazio molto per aver mandato questa informazione, che ho ricevuto anche da parecchi amici di Adriana. Qui sono molto toccati da questa perdita. Era una stella splendida di luce, piena di coraggio e amore. Spero che la sua luce ci accompagnerà per il futuro. Cercherò nella notte quella nuova stella nel cielo per ricordare con gratitudine tutto quel che mi ha dato, la sua ispirazione e il suo sostegno. Cari saluti, Martin
[Martin Kalff, Svizzera, membro fondatore e didatta della ISST, figlio di Dora Kalff]

– Dear Rosa, our condolences at the loss of another of our important members and pioneers. Please pass on our recognition and sincere condolences. Warm regards, Alex
[Alexander Esterhuyzen, Hong Kong, Presidente del Consiglio Direttivo della ISST]

– Dear Rosa, I am sorry of Dr. Mazzarella’s passing. I met her only one time, but she left a lasting impression of tremendous vibrancy and enthusiasm for life. My thoughts and heartfelt wishes for comfort are with you and the Italian Sandplay community during this time. Betty
[Betty C. Jackson, USA, membro del Consiglio Direttivo della ISST]

– Dear Rosa, on behalf of the Taiwanese Society for Sandplay Therapy (TSST), I would like to express our sadness and condolences in regard to the passing away of Dr. Adriana Mazzarella. Shi was so special to you all in AISPT and of course to the ISST. I am sorry about your loss and pray that peace be with you all and be with her family members. Best and warm regards, Grace Hong
[Grace Hong, Taiwan, membro del Consiglio Direttivo della ISST]

– Dear Rosa, such sad news about Adriana. The Dutch Sandplay Society offers condolences. We hope the space she left behind will be filled by her spirit and ongoing contribution to many. Shi was a source of inspiration. For yourself it is a personal loss as well and we hope there will be comfort for you from the sandplay community in Italy and elsewhere.Warmest regards, Jellemieke
[Jellemieke Hees-Stauthamer, Paesi Bassi, membro del Consiglio Direttivo della ISST]

– Dear Rosa, I am very sorry for your great loss. I have deep respect for the passion, understanding and humanity of AISPT members, and surely the work of Dr. Mazzarella will be carried on and “bear fruit”, as you say. With warm regards, Lenore
[Lenore Steinhardt, Israele, membro del Consiglio Direttivo della ISST]

– Dear Rosa, my sadness for you and all the AISPT members. I remember a presentation Adriana Mazzarella spoke of food appearing in the tray as showing the girl was feeling nurtured; she surely nurtured all of us and particularly you in Italy who received her passionate training and presence. I also remember her sunging opera at a restaurant in Venezia where all of us were gathered. I am sorry for your loss and ours. Warmly, Maria
[Maria Ellen Chiaia, USA, membro del Consiglio Direttivo della ISST]

– Dear Rosa, I am very touched by your sad message. I heard a presentation of Adriana Mazzarella at the first Sandplay Congress that I attended in Einsiedeln 20 years ago. I think that her enthusiasm and her professionality contributed a lot to my decision to learn Sandplay. Sharing your thankfulness for her dedication to Sandplay, I send my sincere condolences to AISPT. Maria
[Maria Kendler, Svizzera, membro del Consiglio Direttivo della ISST]

– Rosa, so sorry to hear this news. Adriana was very special and I had the pleasure of her company at many congresses. I hope you are keeping well because you had such a wonderful connection with Adriana. Regards, Sylvia
[Sylvia Simony-Elmer, Canada, membro del Consiglio Direttivo della ISST]

– Dear Rosa, I remember studying with Dr. Mazzarella at Dora’s. I remember her incredible smile. I very happy face. She was very helpful to me in understanding the case that I was presenting. I am sorry for your loss and that of AISPT and also know that she is continuing to contribute in spirit. Fondly, Trudy
[Trudy Rankin, USA, membro del Consiglio Direttivo della ISST]

– Dear Rosa, I am very sorry for the delay in mailing to you, but I hadn’t received your initial email. On behalf of BISS I would like to express my most sincere condolences about Adriana Mazzarella’s death. I had a pleasure of seeing her in Ittingen and she charmed me with her spirit and smile. Although I have never met her personally, I have often heard about her with a great deal of fondness and respect from other sandplayers more senior to me. I am sure that her love and contribution to sandplay will stay with all of us. Warmly, Valeria
[Valeria Grishko, Regno Unito, membro del Consiglio Direttivo della ISST]

– Dear Dr. Rosa Napoliello. Thank you for telling me about the sad news of Dr. Adriana Mazzarella. Please let me offer my sincere condolence on her passing away. I am deeply grateful for her long lasting contribution to sandplay therapy by planting the seeds during her life. Yasunobu Okada, JAST
[Yasunobu Okada, Giappone, membro del Consiglio Direttivo della ISST]

– Cara Rosy, che tristissima notizia! Grazie mille per dirmela, ma mi lascia davvero con un cuore doloroso, molto pensierosa, ma anche grata per aver conosciuto questa unica donna Adriana! Per favore fammi sapere quando fate la commemorazione, se mai possibile verrò. Ruth
[Ruth Ammann, Svizzera, psicoterapeuta]

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *