The Passing of a Friend of Krishna
Posted July 2, 2009
Although not so many people reading Chakra may know of this devotee, I wanted to honor her by writing about her after her recent passing on. Any prayers and good thoughts sent her way would be appreciated.
Her name was Sara, and she was my neighbor about five years ago. We met in our parking lot, and became friends right away. From that day forward we shared meals, laughs, and neighborly talks. When she found out I was practicing Krishna Consciousness, she laughingly told me her stories about taking books and then feeling obligated to give donations at the airport to some sankirtana devotees. When her health was good, she used to come to the Sunday Feast occasionally, and we'd share spiritual talks at home. When Sara found out about the Sastra Dana and book distribution programs she was eager to get involved, and I still remember when she excitedly told me about the first book she distributed on the bus to a lady who had been wanting to learn about reincarnation.
Sara was a really giving person and friend. Sometimes when she cooked something vegetarian she would leave some by my door, and also sometimes left me flowers and little gifts by my door. Every time I would visit her she would give a compliment and some jokes. Even though she went through tough times, her mood was lighthearted and jovial. She was also adventurous. One year, I had booked a field trip to visit the cow protection farm near New Vrindavana, but ended up with an extra ticket. Sara decided to come along even though it was last minute, and we spent Krishna Janmastami out in New Vrindavana and went to the Harvest Workshop at Balabhadra's farm. For years to come Sara spoke fondly of this trip. Seeing the cows face to face and learning about gardening was life changing for the both of us. When we returned to Los Angeles she worked to get us both involved in a garden project that her friend had been working on up north. She really loved that trip and was so grateful to Mother Chayadevi, Laxmi, and Balabhadra Prabhu for their warm hospitality.
I moved away from our apartment complex a few years ago, and upon my return two years later I found out that Sara's health had taken a turn for the worse. For the past 2-3 years Sara experienced one health crisis after another. Despite the fears and suffering she went through she always had a smile to share and an open door for me at her home.
During the past year, a devotee from the LA temple was hired by her apartment manager to do gardening work at her apartment courtyard. He was there to give her lots of friendly spiritual support and she really appreciated his company. It seems that Krishna somehow or other kept her in touch with Him. I did not get to the hospital in time to say good bye, but pray she is ok and that she left her body without too much suffering.
Her passing reminded me that our time here with each other is short. Recently I had not visited her because when I would be driving by her apartment building I would think - I have other things to do, and there is always tomorrow. But tomorrow never came and now it's too late to say good bye.
Sara kept a small picture of Lord Jagannatha on her mantlepiece in the living room. She had colored it in herself, and she always called Him "Smiley" affectionately. May Lord Jaganatha (Smiley) always be the object of her vision.
Although most people reading this do not know her personally, any prayers or good thoughts sent out to her spirit would be greatly appreciated. She was (is) a sweet soul, and despite her struggles in this life, I pray her destination is a happy one.