The month of June offers the opportunity for us to celebrate the fathers in our lives. I, too, consider this, but through a deeply personal lens. For me, June also marks the passing of the love of my life and father to my children: my husband, Stephan Weiss.
Stephan was an extraordinary father and grandfather and losing him to lung cancer eleven years ago has left an absence within our family; we all loved him unconditionally and cherish our memories. In celebration of Stephan as a wonderful father figure, our children and grandchildren have shared some of their favorite stories and precious memories; I invite you to read them here.
Stephan was my love, my rock, my inspiration, my world. We were partners in all things, from family to business. Stephan’s spirit is infused in every thing I do – then, now, forever. Even though Stephan didn’t live to see the Urban Zen Foundation come to life, he was a major contributor to its creation. Stephan’s art studio is now the Urban Zen Center I feel his presence there to this day. Being Stephan’s loved one during his battle with cancer was an experience that has forever changed my life – it inspired the Urban Zen Integrative Therapy Program and my commitment to bringing care back into healthcare. When I consider patient care, Stephan is my standard; I think about the comforts he needed, the support that was so necessary for him and the healing modalities that made his end-of-life experience one of love and compassion. My recent trip to the Farber Center embodied everything that I believe is necessary in healthcare today and exactly the kind of care I would’ve wanted for Stephan.
It was Stephan who taught me how to “connect the dots,” a life philosophy he weaved into his painting and sculpting. At first, I didn’t understand the importance of connecting dots, and now I’m obsessed with it. Health care. Education. Culture. Commerce. Lifestyle. Nutrition. Mind, body and spirit. Past, present and future… these are the connections I now live by. You can’t address one without affecting the other. It’s all inter-connected, and that’s the beauty of what we’re doing at Urban Zen.
My love of Stephan and my love of sharing his life story with others is something that I will continue to cultivate. In the coming months I will be releasing Stephan’s memoir, launching an exhibition in his honor and hosting the 2nd Annual Stephan Weiss Apple Awards. Keep visiting the Urban Zen website to learn more about all of these happenings.
To each and every one of you, I wish you a beautiful month – one that is filled with great love, sincere compassion and a synchronistic connecting of the dots.
To Stephan, my love for you remains as it always has been: the stuff of legends.