Gurudeva always advocated that his members nurture their elders at home and not turn them out to nursing homes or leave them to die in hospitals.
Here is a remarkable, true story about one of the loved ones, a member of the family of Kulapati Easan Katir. Santosha was almost 100 in dog years and had had a wonderful life. This story happened two days ago.
“Santosha wasn’t eating, so Raja took him to a clinic on Friday, the day you sent the keynote. The vet diagnosed kidney failure, and treated him during the weekend. Santosha’s kidneys didn’t respond, and the vet said there was nothing more they could do and suggested euthanasia. Sundari and I objected, as he looked so sad in the clinic cage with all the tubes hooked up to him. He should at least have a chance to die at home. We decided to bring him home. He was very happy to come home and be with all the family for his final three days. He went for little walks, drank lots of water, and was content. We played music for him.
“He was at the Sivamani’s house (Raja’s mother ) the last day, and Venita relates this series of events:
“In the middle of the night Santosha went to the shrine room and lay very still for a long time prostrating right in front of the altar. Then about 4:30 am he went to the bedroom and brought Venita to the shrine room. Next he went back and brought Raja. Then he brought Rama. He went to Raja’s mother’s bedroom and brought her. When all were assembled he did pradakshina (walking) around the assembled group three times. Then he slowly did pradakshina around Venita.three times. He looked very purposeful, he was moving slowly. He seemed to be saying “thank you, goodbye, namaste”. Then he left the shrine room and went to a quiet corner. Later in the morning, with three big exhalations, he departed.
“Santosha was alway a cheerful, loyal friend, always forgiving and living in the moment. We will miss him.”