VAYA CON DIOS SHANKARA
(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,