Sunday, July 5, 2015

To My Dear Friends ~ About My Ben

Benjamin Lee Silver

My dear, dear friends~ 
Ben is on the next journey of his eternal life. 

My appreciation to you all is boundless...unending...without words. 

Your daimoku has helped to free him from his torment, and even though he is not here in physical form anymore he will live on. 

My dear friend Kate told me the Gosho says we can't change another person's karma while they are alive, but once they have transitioned we can~ 
Our daimoku for him right now will change his karma...will free him from his constraints in this life, and launch him into his next one with renewed vigor, energy, creativity and happiness. 
I'm chanting for Ben to revitalize, to be reborn into a home with a Gohonzon, and to pick up right where he left off with his poetry, his songwriting, his artistry, his strength of character, his amazing athleticism, and his perfect comic timing. And in his next life he won't be thwarted by the fundamental darkness he confronted in this one. He will be free from mental illness, and able to take his life in any direction he chooses.  

I know in my heart that he feels better, freer, no longer in such deep, deep pain.
And I will continue, with every breath of my life, to use my life as an inspiration to everyone that this practice works, and that we call can turn any poison into medicine. 

I know that we all wanted this story to end differently. We wanted Ben to get better. But after almost three years of struggle and pain...Ben made his own choice. 

Please, please do not be discouraged. His life may be over on earth right now, but his story goes on and his legacy is growing and growing. There is more, much more to come. 

It is my determination, my deep determination, for Ben's life to encourage and inspire...and I will turn poison into medicine. 

Right now I am surrounding myself with love. The doors of my apartment are open and there has been a steady stream of wonderful and dear friends and family in my living room and on my patio. We've laughed, we've cried and we've hugged. 

We are planning his life celebration for Sunday, July 12th at the American Legion Hall in Downers Grove, Illinois. USA.We will do morning Gongyo at 10 and have an inspiring meeting. At 1:00 we will have a life celebration with people sharing stories about our boy. All of you are welcome to come to Chicago and be with us. 

My heart is so full of love for you. 
If you wish to communicate with me please email or through mail to Jamie Lee Silver at 17w702 Butterfield #104, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181


  1. I also pray that he get good life full of joy & happiness for himself and all the families in which he is reborn.

  2. I m French and I ve been chanting for 5 years. Your blog is so inspiring. I really needed that this morning because my dad passed away a long time ago(he was alcoholic) and I ve never asked how I could help him. Your story is really inspiring. Thank you so much. i will chant for Ben

  3. My heart felt prayers for ben who was a budha n will be in next,also deep appreciation fr u n ur determination lots of love

  4. My deepest condolences, but as you said he has moved onto his next journey. My father past away last week, but he too was in pain cancer with dementia as if he was a little child. I know he has gone to a better place just as your son Ben.

  5. So sorry to hear this jamie. May god give his soul the rest it deserves after such a tough battle from such a long time. My prayers are with you.

  6. You are such an inspiration, Jamie. I truly admire you.

  7. So deeply sorry Jamie for the loss of your dear son. You and he remain in my prayers. Thank you for sharing about Ben and for teaching me about Nichiren/SGI Buddhism.

  8. My sentiments Jamie,yes like you said ben is on the next journey of his eternal life..
    Will dedicate todays daimoko sp to Ben,
    A Big Hug to you Jamie.

  9. Dear Jamie Lee Silver,
    It is perfect that I find you today--not sure why, but sure.
    They say "I am sorry for your loss" and it is true. I sat with my sweet Vernon as he let go and let go..and drifted away to the place he had longed for for years.That was over six years ago, and I miss his physical presence hugely, yet converse with him frequently.

    In my eulogy for my husband, I said that we are ever unfolding, saying goodbye to the child as we become adult, saying goodbye to one experience for another. Your Ben said goodbye to this experience in deference to another. You are left in this physical realm, as am I. Then we, too, will let go. In that, I find peace. May you find peace, as well. Kate

  10. Dear Jamie, thank you for sharing Ben with us. I do have a dear friend whose son is struggling and dealing with mental issues. I will share this story with her. I've been chanting for both their family and yours and I will continue to chant for you both. My condolences. NMRK

  11. I am so sorry Jamie. You wrote beautiful words about your beautiful son. Hugs to you.
    from Meg Saunders Macdonald, OPRFHS '78

  12. Another beautiful statement, Jamie. My heart is with you every minute.

  13. Hello,

    My condolences to you and the family.

    We all will pray so as Ben gets a beautiful next life of his choice.
    I have been visiting your blog from past few months and they have been very inspiring.


  14. Dear Jamie, I am going to support you and pray for dear ben to be reborn in a house with the gohozon and continue his journey where he left off in this life. He must be healthy both physically and mentally and enjoy fruitful life..regards

  15. Dear Jamie,

    You are such an incredible and encouraging Buddha. Please know that Im chanting for Ben, for YOU and your family. I have been reading your blog every day for some time now and you have been so supporting to my practice, even at the most difficult doubting moments. I know we have never met, but I feel like I know you. Not only I relate to you thru Ben's story (since my brother suffers from a mental illness) but I feel that your journey in this practice has been of constant dialogue, which I believe is what we (SGI) ultimately want. You have opened up and invited everyone to share with you, to get to know you and to fight with you. I live in nyc and won't be able to attend Ben's life celebration, but please know that Im chanting for him.

    Im sending you a heart full of love!


  16. You are a very strong mother! Your blogs are great source of encouragement. & at this point you are concerned about others., you are actually a Buddha.

  17. Dear Jamie,
    I"m so so sorry to hear about Ben. I;m sure he will be reborn in a Kosen Rufu home.Your story is just like mine as I too have a daughter ,now 18 with autism , and you really inspired and encouraged me each day...You still do. U are so strong .i hope we get your strength.A big HUG to you.

  18. Dearest Jamie,

    I have followed your blog for some time now from Rome, Italy. Your life and wisdom have inspired and encouraged me, and I have shared your struggles. My heart broke as I read this post, as much as I know that Ben is now free and will undoubtedly shed this painful illness from his karma. I believe that Ben chose you as his marvelous Buddha mother in this life, that he had and still has a great mission and that the greatness of his legacy will be revealed to us all in time. Still, the common mortal in me shed tears and my heart aches for you. Please know how much I am chanting for you and your family. Nichiren said that the real significance of all of Shakyamuni's enlightenment and teachings lay in his living as a true human being. You, my dear, are a superb human being. I bow to you and to your Buddha Ben.



  19. My deepest heartfelt condolences. May your son's eternal life be all that you envision it to be, and may your heart be filled with all the peace, love and comfort that you need. Light and Love. <3
    I have appreciated reading your blog which I found not very long ago. You are appreciated very much. <3

  20. Dearest Jamie,

    Your blog has inspired and encouraged me many times, I have shared your joys and struggles from Rome, Italy. I had really hoped Ben could get through this, and my heart aches for your loss. Still, like you, I have no doubt Ben is now free from this illness and that his life mission was to chose a marvelous Buddha mother like you and go through this. His legacy will undoubtedly become bigger and even clearer to us in the future. Thank you and Ben for sharing your lives with us. Nichiren said that the true significance of all of Shakyamuni's teachings lay in his example as a superb human being. Thank you for your great humanity. I bow to Buddha Jamie and Buddha Ben and will continue to hold your family in my heart and daimoku. Come and visit me in Rome one day!

    All my love,


  21. I am so sorry for your loss. You are strong and am inspiration for many. Hugs!

  22. Hats off to you Jamie. prayers to Ben..

  23. Jamie... Ben will be very proud of you.. and he will reborn very soon in a good happy family with Gohonzon

  24. So sorry to hear about ur loss. Your blog inspires me always when iam down. Pl take care. You r a strong woman. Chanting for you n Ben

  25. You do not walk down this path alone. Perhaps theses quotes may be of comfort to you ~

    “Just when I was wondering what sort of karmic bonds from the past this was due to, and when I least expected it, you sent your most precious husband as your messenger all the way here. Is it a dream or an illusion? Even though I cannot see you, I am certain that your heart is here. If you find that you miss me, always look at the sun that rises [in the morning] and the moon that rises in the evening. Whatever the time, I will be reflected in the sun and the moon. And in our next life, let us meet in the pure land of Eagle Peak. Nam-myoho-renge-kyo.” Nichiren Letter to the Lay Nun of Kō

    "Perhaps they are not stars,
    But rather openings in Heaven
    Where the love of our lost ones
    Pours through and shines down upon us
    To let us know they are happy."
    – Inuit proverb

  26. My heartfelt condolences . RIP ..Ben

  27. My dear, dear friends, I just read all your messages to this post again, today. My heart is overflowing with gratitude to all you loving Buddhas. Thank you. Thank you, thank you!