(5 March 1929 – 28 February 2019)
Jole was born in Benghazi, Libya, which had been occupied by Italy since 1911. Her father, a General in the Italian army, was stationed there with his entire family. In the forties, during WW 2, her family escaped to Italy as the situation for Italian people became too dangerous. She lived with her mother and siblings in Rome, and married at a young age. She gave birth to her son in 1950, who thirty years later became Swami Gyan Anatto. She separated from her husband shortly after Anatto’s birth but continued to live in Rome. With her second husband, Eddy from Holland, she later moved to northern Italy. In 1969 they had a daughter, Romina.
After Anatto and I got together in the winter of 1985, I met her for the first time in Italy and we immediately took a liking to each other. Jole was always very caring and we could call her house also our home when we were not travelling around elsewhere. Always an active woman, she cared for friends and neighbours, maintained her garden and grew a successful vegetable patch. After Anatto took sannyas, she was always interested in hearing about Osho.
When Anatto and I moved again to Pune in 1987, Jole visited us there. We did not want to ask her about taking sannyas, but Purna, who was our neighbour then, boldly addressed the issue and I remember how Jole glowed when she came from darshan wearing the mala. She visited Pune and us once more but didn’t get to see Osho then as his body was unwell at the time.
When we left Pune in January 1991, we of course went to ‘la mamma’ first, and to the home she provided lovingly for us. We moved to Bali half a year later, and from then on she came to visit us on the island frequently. She enjoyed learning about the Balinese culture and liked the people and the tropical countryside.
When she visited Bali for the last time in 2011, neither she or we knew she was slowly succumbing to Alzheimer’s. When it became clear she needed help, Jole was admitted to a care facility where she remained until she died. She had no longer been ‘present’ for many years.
From all the many things in her life that she shared with me, I know it was a hard life with many difficult situations and problematic decisions to make. She was devoted to Anatto and Romina; her children were all who she mainly cared about at all times.
Farewell, beloved Jole, and thank you for the many kindnesses you have bestowed on me, and the many laughs we shared.
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