Saturday, November 03, 2007


(the following is a letter i posted on the Sweat listserve today.)

Hello dear friends,

I have told many of you the story of my last communication to Shankara, just a couple of hours before his passage. I will tell it again here because it filled me with joy when it happened.

On Thursday night i went to Allan S's for a sweat. Sitting in my car in front of his house, i decided to call up to Colorado to see if i could speak to Shankara. A sweet woman by the name of Luna answered the phone, told me that he had had a very rough day, and had been deeply sedated to facilitate his rest. She said he was unresponsive even though lights were on and music was playing pretty loudly (indeed, i could hear Krishna Das singing in the background). She said she was just being present with him for the evening, she was not a nurse at the hospice.

I asked her if she would tell him that i had called, and was going to sweat and pray for him. She was happy to hear that. Then she added, "I will hold the phone up to his ear and you can tell him yourself!"

So i waited a moment and then said loud and clear, "Shankara, this is Taza, and i'm at Allan's, and we are sweating tonight and will be making lots of prayers for you, holding you in the Light and surrounding you with our Love. We love you so much, dear brother."

Luna took the phone back and said, "I really think he got that--his breathing changed as soon as you started talking to him. It got very calm and peaceful."

As you may know, hearing is one of the last functions that leaves a body in transition. I spoke into Shankara's ear a mere 2 hours before his "flight" and am so happy to have been able to let him know how much he is loved.

The Sweat was quite fine with many prayers and much gratitude for Shankara's presence in our lives; his example of how to be a gentle warrior. I especially remember the connection he cultivated with my son, and with many of our Family's children, as a kindly uncle or grandfather figure.

I delight in many sweet memories of Shankara. And i definitely felt his joy and presence at the fabulous "Desa Rae Birthday Bash" last night at Old Town Artisans. What a wonderful wake for our friend and brother!

Blessings to all,


At 11/3/07, 12:50 PM, Blogger kath said...

What a beautiful man! Those eyes...
It won't be long before he is able to be with you in spirit..transitions, even the best of them, are hard.

I am so very glad that you were able to speak to your friend, and that he knew that you would be lighting the path for his journey..
good friends are blessings.. always..
sending hugs

At 11/4/07, 1:10 AM, Blogger Michelle said...

How very beautiful,


At 11/5/07, 2:07 AM, Blogger alan said...

Good scarce in this world!

I am glad you found each other!


At 11/9/07, 3:12 PM, Blogger TaraDharma said...

a beautiful farewell to what sounds like a beautiful life...i hope someone can be there for me like you were there for him. what a sweet send-off.

At 11/11/07, 2:28 PM, Blogger Laloofah said...

This is indeed a beautiful story, and I too am glad you were able to express all that love, comfort and peacefulness to him ~ not just at the threshold of his crossing, but throughout your friendship, I'm sure!

And Shankara's observation that "dying is like taking off a tight shoe" is pithy and brilliant. :-)

Peace to you, dear Taza!

At 11/22/07, 8:00 AM, Blogger Cootera said...

Hey Taz... just dropping by to wish you a happy day of giving thanks for those in your life who have led you to growth and love. Hugs.


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