Memorial Service for Robert Gonzales

Remembering Robert Gonzales as playful inspiration, embodied compassion, still presence and one of the great teachers in my life.

Robert initiated my understanding that compassionate Nonviolent Communication (NVC) and the living quality of presence was not only possible, it could also foster and enhance peace and connection within a community.

I attended the 2013 NVC Intensive International Training (IIT) in Queensland, Australia. Robert was guiding a large group session. Everyone was sitting in a circle when a woman, with some irritation, challenged something he had said. Robert’s response embodied self responsibility, self empathy, living compassion and loving kindness.

When another participant asked him what he had done in the moment of response, Robert acknowledged that he had taken the time to breath and connect to ‘little Bobby’ before or, knowing Robert, it may have even been while connecting to the needs of the person who spoke and the group. He shared what unfolded as if in slow motion – the feelings, sensations, the awareness of needs, the nuances – as if time had stood still. I feel deeply moved recalling the awakening that stirred within me all those years ago – a tangible sense of wonder and relief.

After Robert’s death, I joined one of the online gatherings honouring Robert’s life. Unbeknownst to me, it was the day of Robert’s cremation. As we were sitting, at the time of the cremation, listening to some music with the photograph of Robert on the screen, tears of gratitude rolled down my cheeks and my young grandson came into my lap and asked me who the man was. Without hesitation I said, ‘Robert is the man who made your grandma kind and compassionate’. For this, and again with tears flowing down my cheeks, and a big smile in my heart, I will be forever grateful for Robert’s presence in my life.


An invitation from Robert’s family and friends.

Dear Family, Friends, and Community Members,

You are warmly invited to gather with us on 22-January-2022 (23rd in Asia) for an online Celebration of Life event to honor and celebrate the life of our dear husband, father, grandfather, brother, teacher, and friend, Robert Gonzales (1949-2021).

There will be inspirations, photos, music, and sharing from some of his family and close friends. Together we will celebrate and mourn our beloved Robert’s life and death. In place of a Guest Book, we are asking everyone to register by filling out this form:   Once you submit the form, you will receive instructions for how to join the event.

We will gather for 60-90 minutes on Saturday, 22-Jan-2022 (North America / Europe), which is Sunday, 23-Jan-2022 (Asia / Australia). Find your start time here: 

~Please arrive 10 minutes ahead of time, so you can settle in and make sure the technology works well.

~ During the service, there will be a simultaneous translation of the service into German, French, and Japanese.

~ With care for the families wishes, this Memorial Service will be recorded and made available to them only.

~ During the official Service, the chat and the unmute option will be disabled for participants (you may still chat with one of the hosts if you need technical support).

~ We anticipate there will be many people attending the Memorial and some will wish to also share and connect with others present. To support this, once the formal portion of the Memorial is complete, the room will remain open and breakout rooms available . You are welcome to stay on and share memories, celebrations, and mournings with others.

It feels very precious to gather in memory of Robert at this time of tenderness, loss, grief, and transition for us all. Please feel very warmly invited to join us in honor of Robert’s life, his presence and teachings that continue to live on in each of us.


Robert’s Family and Friends