{New Updates} Michal the Girl: how to help.

Via elephant journal
on Nov 26, 2011
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Update: Request for photos of Michal.

Please email your photos of Michal to [email protected] for inclusion in the slideshow that will be projected during the celebration of Michal’s life and music on 12/19 at the Canal Room [NYC]. Two megapixels or better (1600 pixels wide or greater) would be helpful. We’re looking for photos from any part of her life you wish to share.

Show details:



Update: Jay Snyder’s eulogy for his wife & love, Michal Friedman.

Update: via Lynn Friedman:

Dear friends,

There will be a memorial service for Michal Friedman in Halifax on Thursday, December 8th, at 5 PM, at the Shambhala Centre, 1084 Tower Road.

Your love and support continue to blow us away. Thank you all. It will be wonderful to see you and be together for this final goodbye.

No flowers, please – in lieu of these or other gifts, please send donations to thesnydertwins.com


Update: new article: Singer Michal the Girl Dies After Giving Birth to Twins #inwood #wahi #whin #nyc cc @elephantjournal @JoesPubNYC

Click here for photos and to help:


The babies are healthy and peaceful, and Jay and the rest of the family are spending lots of time with them in the hospital. Jay is playing their mom’s music for them.

For those of you who never met her, Michal was a beautiful, talented woman who was thrilled to be pregnant with her first children. Many of you know Michal as a musician, but her greatest dream was to be a mother. For the last seven years, Michal and Jay had been using every possible resource they had to make this dream come true. Michal was widely loved, and in particular has left behind many friends in the Shambhala sangha, the Khyentse sangha, and the music and voice community in New York City where she made her home.

Many people are inspired to offer help for her husband Jay and their children. This generosity is greatly appreciated and would provide tremendous relief. Although there will obviously be needs far into the future, we are trying to help with immediate expenses, which will add up so quickly with twins. Jay needs all the support he can get in order to provide the care that’s needed for Jackson and Reverie. To that end, a website has been created where people can make a donation and send a note which will go directly to Jay.

To access the site, please visit http://thesnydertwins.com/. If people would prefer to donate by mail, checks can be made out to James Snyder and sent to Michal’s sister at the following address: Maitreya Rich, 327 1/2 N. Stanley Ave., Los Angeles, CA 90036.

If you would like to see images and video of Michal The Girl, and/or are inspired to leave a remembrance or aspiration, Elephant Journal has also set up a memoriam page here.

A service will be held at the New York Shambhala Center, this Wednesday, Nov. 30th, at 4pm (118 W 22nd St, 6th floor New York, NY 10011-2416, (212) 675-6544).

Please feel free to circulate this…

Update via Michal’s younger sister, Maitreya:

As most of you know by now, my “little big sister” Michal died Friday night due to complications from a c-section, shortly after delivering healthy twins, Reverie and Jackson. Many people have asked how they can help Michal’s husband Jay and their children. This generosity is greatly appreciated and would provide tremendous relief. Although there will obviously be needs far into the future, we ar…e trying to help with immediate expenses, which will add up so quickly with twins. Jay needs all the support he can get in order to provide the care that’s needed for Jackson and Reverie. To that end, a site has been set up where people can make donations: www.thesnydertwins.com

A service will be held at the New York Shambhala Center on Wednesday, Nov. 30th, at 4pm (118 W 22nd St, 6th floor, New York, NY 10011-2416, (212) 675-6544).

We so much appreciate all of your love and support during this incredibly difficult time.

Update via Michal’s sister Lynn:

Update on Michal Friedman.

Dear Friends,

As most of you already know by now, Michal Friedman passed away last Friday after delivering the two healthy babies that she had wanted more than anything in the world. Your outpouring of support after our first message has been overwhelming, and we thought that we should send you an update.

The babies, Jackson and Reverie, are beautiful, healthy and peaceful. They are still in hospital, but are being visited frequently by family and have spent a lot of time with their dad Jay. He has been playing their mother’s music in their room so they will feel near her.

Most of Michal and Jay’s family members are now in New York making all the practical arrangements and taking care of each other, the babies, and most importantly Jay. There is also a huge circle of emotional support from Jay and Michal’s friends here in the city – providing chauffeur, catering and every kind of other service imaginable. Also, there is the strongly felt presence of everyone’s tears and heartfelt prayers and practice around the world – we appreciate that so much.

The services will be held on Wednesday, November 30th, at 4 PM at the New York Shambhala Centre, located at 118 West 22nd St, 6th floor. We will also be organizing a memorial service in Halifax when we get back, sometime next week.

Many of you have asked if there is a way to send financial support for Jay and the babies – we are working on setting that up, and will let you know when we have finalized those details.

Love to you all,

The Friedmans

Music by Michal:

The world seems awfully fragile, this morning.

I just heard the worst and most heartbreaking news imaginable about one of my friends, a sangha sister. Please pray/pray for her and her family.

Sorry, all, I didn’t want to put the news out there for those who hadn’t heard from the family, first. Seems that most know, now, having seen sangha-announce or heard from a loved one.

Here’s the note from Lynn, her sister. Please hold the family in your thoughts today—even if you didn’t know Michal—this one deserves all the love of the greater community that you can offer.

Lynn Friedman
Subject: Unspeakably Sad News Dear friends,

We are so sorry to have to tell you that our beautiful sister, aunt and daughter, Michal F, lost her life tonight in New York City, due to complications from a Caesarian section, after giving birth to two beautiful, healthy twin babies.

Needless to say, we are in shock. Please send your love and support to her, her husband Jay, and her babies Jackson and Reverie. We haven’t organized plans for services, etc. – we will send more details when we know.

We know that so many of you knew and loved Michal – and we appreciate our precious connection with all of you.

Yours in endless heartbreak,

The Friedmans (Lynn, Wendy, Maitreya, Ken and Julia McKaig)

“Michal the Girl.” (her albums are available for sale, she’s amazing, proceeds will help her new family immensely).

Please practice/pray for her and her family.

Last night at 3 am (I was up late, working) my inbox received one of the least-welcome emails in my life: Michal, a beautiful in-and-out, happy newlywed (she was married last year) had just given birth to two healthy babies…and completely unexpectedly passed away in childbirth. This news is enough to make anyone who knew and loved her physically sick with heartbreak.

I’m not sure what to say, but I’ve practiced for her a bit and spent some time remembering her and will continue to do so and the family would very much appreciate it I’m sure if you do the same (or if you pray, wonderful).

If you’d like to share a heart-warming prayer or thought or memory of her, please do so below and help her wonderful family think of her love and life and not this horrible sadness.



Let us wake up: learn to appreciate and live each moment fully. Buddhist teaching “Death comes without warning.” (warning: mute if you like at first, first video auto-plays)

Buddhist teaching: The Four Reminders, via Frank Berliner.




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74 Responses to “{New Updates} Michal the Girl: how to help.”

  1. Ember says:

    There is a light that shines beyond all things on earth, beyond us all, beyond the heavens, beyond the highest, the very highest heavens. This is the light that shines in our hearts. – Chandogya Upanishad

  2. Ken Green says:

    So very shocking and sad …

    Inhale, exhale
    Forward, back
    Living, dying:
    Arrows, let flown each to
    Meet midway and slice
    The void in aimless flight

    Thus I return to the
    -Gesshu Soko, died January 10, 1696

  3. Zack says:

    bless you

  4. Barbara says:

    blessing for her to be self realized as she passes and wishes for the sorrow of those who love her to be soothed and healed.

  5. Crisann says:

    Sending prayers for comfort, courage and love to the family. Blessings.

  6. Ember says:

    Very nice Ken.

  7. Andréa Balt says:

    "And were an epitaph to be my story,
    I'd have one ready for my own.
    I would have written of me on my stone.
    I had a lover's quarrel with the world."

    (Robert Frost)

    Sorry for your tragic loss.

  8. Robert Scott says:

    Love, peace, and the powerful formless presence with genuine heart of sadness to Michal, family, and all relations

  9. Mark Keller says:

    Lynn, Wendy, Maitreya, Ken – I am so so sorry for your loss. Love, Mark Keller

  10. Sue McDonald says:

    My heart goes out to her family and dear friends. May they each find peace in the face of this challenge. For Michal, it is my hope that in transforming she finds her home. Namaste'
    In mourning for this loss of light on the physical plane,

  11. I can't think of any words — mine or otherwise — that do justice to the enormity of a loss like this. My tonglen this week will be for the Friedman family.

    A life cut short like this is such a powerful, painful reminder of the reality of impermanence. Peace and love to her family during this time of huge heartbreaking loss.


  12. Laura says:

    My condolences to her family as they grieve. My hope as they remember Michal with happiness and joy.

  13. Mark Nowakowski says:

    Dear Ken, Wendy, Lynn, Julia, Maitreya, Jay, Jackson, Reverie, and all the family and friends that Michal touched,

    I had the great good fortune to know Michal—a little bit. When I first moved to Halifax, someone told me that she was a very good hair stylist. And she was. I went to see her at Thumpers (I think) somewhere down near Granville, and she cut my hair there a number of times. I felt so cared for and relaxed, and we would talk about just anything, even though we didn't know each other much, except through the connections of her fabulous family.

    Along the way, I got to see and hear her perform, as you can see above, such a powerful force of nature: Michal the Girl.

    This is so heart breaking. My heart and thoughts and prayers go out to Michal, and all of you Friedmans, such incredibly genuine good people. And especially to Jay and your two new babies, you are blessed, even in the midst of this tragedy. Always hold the spirit of Michal in your heart and never give up.
    Love, Mark

  14. janet lyons says:

    I feel so very sad about this. I send love to the family, and will be dedicating merit to Michal.

  15. elephantjournal says:

    Natasha D Waylon, I'm so very sorry. ~My love goes out to her luminosity as it passes into the bardo. My condolence and compassion extends to her family and friends…all whom loved this woman…all whom are suffering with the pain of such a hard and confused loss. Death is certainly difficult to understand. Sometimes I think it's impossible to comprehend, ~feeling the pain is sometimes so very overwhelming. Surrendering into the reality of such a sudden end is never easy. May everyone find strength of some kind within themselves while experiencing their individual grief. ♥

    Sue M Sending prayers for her family and loved ones. ♥

    Denise C ♥…..

    Michelle K Lopez My heart & prayers go out to her family.

    Lauren H I am so sorry to hear of this heartbreak….

  16. Beth Patterson says:

    My heart is heavy as I contemplate this tragic loss. Michal and I were fellow travelers on the path and in the crazy world of the music business. We stayed in touch after I left NYC and I was so happy that she joined me when I returned last year to celebrate my birthday. Michal was so full of life, love and light. As I dedicate my practice to her and her dear family, her love and light will remain in my heart. Om Mani Padme Hum

  17. L E Palmer says:

    Michal…Know that my heart is reaching out to your husband, family and friends who you danced with in this life. I feel your love immense. The plans, the dreams, so sorry. Deep profound joy and sadness.

  18. Kate Crisp says:

    I first met Michal at Buddhist Seminary. I remember many days sitting round "downtown" talking about our various adventures, hijinks and struggles that summer. I was struck by her deep warmth, tender heart, openness, sparkle and spunk. Plus she was funny as hell and always utterly stylish and gorgeous. I still can't quite comprehend this happened, just a few days ago…there she was on Facebook wishing everyone well on thanksgiving and looking so happy. Such a tragedy that this dear person is gone way too soon.

  19. JimWilton says:

    Dying in childbirth is giving your life so another can live — it is the essense of what it means to be a mother. It is so sad.

  20. Dearbhla says:

    So unspeakably tragic. May she rest in perpetual peace.

  21. barry says:

    I had the wonderful experience of playing in one of Michal's bands in Halifax. Her voice, her spirit, her presence was – and is – irreplaceable. God bless you, Michal – I was always in awe of you. And my prayers and warmest thoughts to her family.

  22. Connie says:

    This made me cry, so sweet and true.

  23. Laura says:

    This is really very tragic. My condolences go to her family. I had the pleasure of meeting her and her husband at a covention six years ago. She and I didn't talk much but I could tell that she was a very sweet person and a devoted partner. May she rest in peace. God bless her.

  24. Steve Seely says:

    Michal, Michal, you left us the legacy of your music, we can listen to your voice even as we feel the intense sadness, the juxtaposition of your here and not here. My deep condolences to your husband and new ones, who now carry your life, and to all your family who you left behind too soon.


  25. Tiff Randol says:

    A group of Michal's friends will be doing a concert on December 19 from 6-7pm in honor of her at Rockwood Music Hall Stage 1 in New York City. We will be taking donations to go towards the babies. We hope you can come and contribute.

  26. Christine says:

    My prayers to the family, from one life came two, but I believe that it will be alright and the children will grow up healthy and happy, especially if the love that is being given right now is any indication.

    God Bless you all.

  27. Valerie Lorig says:

    Wendy, Ken, Sarah, Lynn, Maitreya, Jay, Julia, Jackson, Reverie, all your family and friends

    Fresh and beautiful presence
    Hearts are breaking
    Precious babies
    May peace find you and your family now
    May your children carry your sparkle
    May this poignant song of sorrow
    And sweet spirit
    Shine ever so brightly


  28. Michael Cerveris says:

    I, like everyone who's life was better for knowing Michal, am devastated and sending prayers and deepest love to Jay, the babies and all Michal's wide circle of friends and family. And I offer these words for what solace they might be:

    Death is nothing at all
    I have only slipped away into the next room
    I am I, and you are you.
    Whatever we were to each other
    That we still are.
    Call me by my old familiar name
    Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
    Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
    Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes
    We enjoyed together.
    Play, smile, think of me, pray for me,
    Let my name be ever the household word that
    It always was.
    Let it be spoken without effort,
    Without the trace of a shadow on it.
    Life means all that it ever meant
    It is the same as it ever was
    There is absolutely unbroken continuity.
    Why should I be out of mind because I am
    Out of sight? I am but waiting for you
    For an interval
    Somewhere very near
    Just around the corner .
    All is well.
    Canon Henry Scott Holland (1847-1918)

  29. Wendy Stackhouse says:

    My favorite memory of Michal is from Christmas of 2000 when our families came together for a wedding. My daughter was almost 2 and worshipped Michal on sight. She followed Michal everywhere and called for her if she could not see her. Michal was incredibly patient and loving and made a forever friend of my little girl. She was a precious gift to all of us. We will miss her always but the light of her soul remains and sustains.

  30. Rachel says:

    I can't say there's one specific memory of Michal that stands out, just a collection of lovely, shining, happy moments. She put everyone around her at ease. I worked with her for a few years, I went to several of her shows, she cut my hair countless times. Her quick smile and bright eyes could light up a room. My heart is breaking for Jay and their babies. Dear Michal, shanti, shanti, shanti.

  31. elephantjournal says:

    This is great! Some of us have been wondering how to help. Is there a way to help from afar? ~ Waylon

  32. elephantjournal says:

    Oh thank you for that one.

  33. Chris says:

    I met Michal years ago in the burgeoning Halifax rock scene. She was always kind and cheerful, a real bright light, and a true talent. I'll miss her. Her loving kindness will live on in her twins, her family, all her many friends, everyone she touched in her too-brief life.

  34. Janice M says:

    Such a shock to learn of Michal's passing.
    Every time I make tea with fresh ginger, I remember Michal and the pot of yummy tea she prepared for us that day at her apartment in Halifax.
    My deepest condolences to her family and loved ones.

  35. Lesa Reisdorf says:

    This message brought me to tears. I do not know Michal or her family. And until today I had never even heard her music. A former coworker posted this on his wall. I work with all teen moms and their babies everyday in a school specifically for that purpose. I will tell of this great tragedy tomorrow at school and impress upon them the fragility of life and privilege that has been bestowed upon them and their babies. In deepest sympathy to your family.
    Lesa Reisdorf
    School Age Parenting Program Madison, WI

  36. Joe McGinty says:

    I could always count on Michal The Girl to “knock it out of the park” at Loser’s Lounge, ever since she started singing at the show over ten years ago.
    A total professional, she was always prepared, needed little rehearsal and was full of positive energy and good vibes at the shows. She was well loved by fellow performers and audience alike. I am so saddened by her loss. Deepest condolences to Jay and her family.

  37. Brett says:

    I didn't know Michal, though I chatted with her briefly a few times when she performed at Loser's Lounge here in NYC. She seemed a lovely person in my brief interactions with her, and so very talented. My thought and prayers go out to all who knew her and loved her. May you be comforted by the many precious memories you no doubt have of her.

  38. Wendy Ip says:

    I always looked forward to seeing Michal both on stage and backstage at the Loser's Lounge shows we sang in together over the past decade. Her performances never failed to impress and inspire me, and she was a joy to get to know off stage. I remember vividly all of our conversations about relationships, family, the music business, Canada and more. She was down to earth, genuine – so full of heart and soul. Like all who had the good fortune of knowing her, I was shocked and deeply saddened by the news of her passing. I have not stopped thinking about her since. My deepest condolences to her family.

  39. joanna says:

    My deepest most heartfelt condolences to Michal's family and close friends and her two precious babies. She was a fellow Loser and I have three favorite memories of her, among the many good times we spent backstage:

    I remember walking towards the Knitting Factory from the subway and ran into Michal on her way there too. I think we were going to do the Smiths v. Cure show. She was dressed in her go-to goth/"slutty rock girl" (her words!) outfit (PVC black shiny mini skirt) and made fun of herself for doing so. I didn't feel as silly anymore having come down from Washington Heights with a black teardrop drawn on my face. It was nice to see a friendly face so far south.

    I remember her jaw-dropping killer performance of "I Want You Back" at the Jackson 5 show. She sounded so much like little Michael it was uncanny. We were all floored.

    I remember her critiquing my outfit for the Dolly Parton show as being a little too plain. Then I put a scarf on my head to approximate a housewife from the 70s and she approved. 🙂

    Sending love and metta to her husband and little babies.

  40. Kerri Walsh says:

    I don't remember how old we were when we met, but most of my early childhood was shared with her and her wonderful family. We had many adventures together. I remember spending the night with her and waking up on Saturday mornings to watch The Jackson Five and Scoobie Doo cartoons. I remember her Dad, Kenny making her giggle. I always loved watching them together because you could see how much they loved each other. It was like this with her Mom too. I am so fortunate that I was able to reconnect with my dear friend last year and meet her husband, Jay. She was still the same bright loving spirit that I knew as a girl. My son, Danny who is 21 got to meet her and Jay and he said to me later, "Wow! I really liked your friend, Michal. I thought this dinner would be boring, but I had a great time! What cool people." My heart is aching with sadness over my friend's death. I am just so glad I got to be her friend.

  41. Steve ODonnell says:

    We met shortly after 9/11 while doing benefits for the First Responders down on Murray Street. She was a supremely nice person-sweet, real, talented, funny and nice. My deepest condolences go out to the Friedman family and her husband Jay.

  42. Amy Miles says:

    I always loved hearing Michal sing. She had that kind of "real deal" voice that comes around so rarely. She and I shared a love of Kate Bush and she blew me away with a Kate cover at Rockwood one night. She was a fun and joyful spirit. Loved hanging backstage at Loser's wit her. She was a true blue sweet thing. She will be missed by many.

  43. Pete Royce Peterson says:

    Michal…a sweet, peaceful person, with a hurricane-force voice.

    She would knock me out every time I saw her perform. I couldn't believe my ears when she sang I Want You Back for The Jacksons Losers Lounge. Sounded just like Michael the boy!

    Such a special talent. Such a beautiful human being. You live on in our hearts, angel.

  44. Risa Neuwirth says:

    I had the great pleasure of getting to know Michal and working with her when she voiced the character Annalise in the first season of "Speed Racer: The Next Generation." In the few months we worked on that series, I was struck by her amazing energy, her talent, and a sparkling warmth that is all too rare. I was thrilled to learn that she was pregnant with twins, and looking so radiantly happy with Jay…and I am saddened beyond words by her premature and tragic passing. Thank you to her family for posting photographs of Jackson and Reverie, they are beautiful… My heartfelt condolences to Jay and to all of Michal's family.

  45. Dave Foster says:

    I met Michal, like many, through singing in the Losers Lounge. We also lived in the same neighborhood in Brooklyn. At some point I expressed a desperate need for someone to babysit our two little boys and she enthusiastically offered her services…it was watching her with Reuben and Jude that I instantly saw that besides her immense vocal talents, she was a natural with children. For a few months, while she wasn’t too busy w/ her other gigs, we’d make sure to reserve her babysitting services so our boys could see their friend “Mikey”. I was SO thrilled for her and her husband when I saw her a few months back and she told me the news they were expecting twins. So last week I was stunned to hear the news of her passing…so sorry for her family…especially her husband and for her children. The Foster family will miss you, Mikey, but we will always remember you.

  46. Dianne says:

    This chant helps the departed one a safe passage onto her next journey.
    So Sad, so tragic. I knew Michal, many years back. May Peace be with the family.
    OM SHANTI , Om Peace,

    Om trayambakam yajaamahe sugandhim pushtivardhanam
    Urvaarukamiva bandhanaan mrityor muksheeya maamritaat.

  47. Nicki Dayley says:

    Dear Lynn, Wendy, Ken, Julia and family,
    I just found out tonight and am so so very sorry for your loss. I will do tonglen for Michal and for all of you and hold you in my heart and prayers. I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful sister, daughter, aunt, wife, new mother. Such a shock!!
    Sending love and prayers for all,
    Nicki Dayley

  48. Nicki Dayley says:

    Dear Maitreya,
    Everything I said above was meant for you as well….of course…Nicki

  49. Betsy Kachmar says:

    On behalf of Jay and his family – old & new – thank you so much for your outpouring of love & support. Everyone has been touched deeply by the joy, sorrow, anger, beauty, pain, love, injustice, of this new birth/tragic death. This site will be a place we can come together to provide support for Jay, Reverie, Jackson and each other. Betsy Kachmar (one of Jay's sisters).

  50. […] and/or are inspired to leave a remembrance or aspiration, you can do so at Elephant Journal, here. This entry was posted in notes. Bookmark the permalink. ← Change of […]