Lynn and her dear, dear brother
The prayer had been written in her favourite purple ink, ready to be inserted into her new Bal Vikas notebook, which her teacher provided the day before her death. The notebook was to be a replacement for one David had lost on the way to Sunday morning Omkar at the centre two weeks previously. (Now I know why David lost the notebook. It was all a part of Baba's design.) At the time, I had marvelled at Lynn. She did not get angry with David. She had simply said, "Well, Mommy, since our centre leader is moving to a new house I shall start a new notebook." I told her how happy I was that she did not get angry with David, "You see now Baba is answering your prayers," I said. She had often asked Baba for help in dealing with, as I told her, very natural feelings of sibling rivalry with her younger brother. But Lynn, ever the perfectionist was upset by her occasional negative feelings toward him, and she had often prayed to Baba for help. That's why I now know that the way Lynn, died was also part of Baba's design: for she fell in the act of hurrying to David's rescue. Thus her last act was a selfless one.
Lynn's favourite Bhajan
Late Saturday we learned that Mr. Vimu Mukunda, distinguished musician from Bangalore and former atomic scientist, just happened to be visiting a friend near Santa Barbara when the news came of Lynn's passing. He wished to play the Veena at Lynn's memorial service.
The morning of Lynn's service, Palm Sunday (one week before Easter), dawned fair and sunny after a brief shower of rain which seemed like a touch of grace. Well do I remember the tangible aura of peace in Lynn's room that day. Later, after the service, friends would remark on it with a sense of awe.
The service was a beautiful one consisting of prayers, readings from the Bible and the Bhagavad-Gita, and Lynn's own poems. And the high point was Mr. Mukunda's Veena solo which he concluded by leading us all in singing Lynn's favorite Bhajan, "Jai Durga, Lakshmi, Saraswati..."
How, grateful I was to Baba for Mr. Mukunda's presence. It was as if our Lord had blessed the event to be one of celebration rather than lament.
After the service, friends who did not know of Baba came up to us with grief in their faces. How could I tell them, and yet our friends in the Baba family understood that our daughter had been blessed in her short life to come to Baba in her heart, to love this Avatar, who had now raised her pure spirit to Him. The tears in my eyes that day were tears of joy and reverence. Only much later would the very human emotions of missing her dear presence occur.
Shortly after Lynn's death a friend and adopted "grandmother" added another bright image to Baba's tapestry ...Three weeks before Lynn's passing, during a special function at our center, we had seen inspiring films of India, and on the way home that night Lynn had asked her, "When do you think I shall go to see Baba? I want to so much." That very night our friend told me, she had a dream in which Baba came to her and said, "In 21 days she will come to me..." At the time, our friend was in very poor health and she thought Baba meant that she was to die in three weeks. Then, after Lynn's death, she suddenly realized that He had actually referred to Lynn in the dream, for it was indeed 21 days after, that Lynn was to fall from the tree.
As our head of center remarked, every one in our Sai family was deeply affected by the love Lynn left behind; a love she had quietly and undemonstratively exhibited as a participant in our worship. Her going made each of us re evaluate ourselves and perceive how vital each individual is to the life of a center.
Lynn and her Gift to her Father
And finally, as a legacy of Lynn's passing, her father who was once an atheist, is now himself on the spiritual path. The poetry of paradox was again clear: We usually consider death a tragic event, and yet in this instance, as a dear friend would say, Lynn's life and death were a beautiful solo in Baba's cosmic symphony. Indeed, Baba sent my husband a vivid dream which pointed out to him that our child had given him the key to a priceless treasure, the awareness of divinity within...Some months later he would say to me, "Lynn's death has been a gift to me...I am now a believer."
I will close with Lynn's own words, composed on a family camping trip:
The golden sun climbs up from behind
a round, green hill.
All the sky is blue, cold and open.
Sai Baba stands on a single rock,
smiling with the glory of dawn .........
And this poem, expressing her yearning which our Minister shared at her memorial service
To Baba, who sits on a golden throne;
Surrounded by snowflakes and frothy sea foam
COME INTO MY HEART
Remove with your touch the tears of my heart
And replace them with a blissful song….."
From the Sanathana Sarathi Archives (March 1979)