Friday, May 1, 2015

To Live or Leave : A Friend Struck Down!

Last Monday, April 27, 2015, a dear friend (not just to me but to dozens) was struck down in what can only be called a freakish accident. He's alive though he might just easily have not survived. At present he remains in a coma.

It was a glorious day, that day......warm Spring sunshine and blue skies. Having come from work and back back to his home in the Ananda Community in Lynnwood, he evidently decided to go for a stroll up to a nearby grocery store. He walked with his roommate and Godson. The street along which they walked is a busy arterial. Cars speed past between 35 and 40 miles per hour (my guess).

A woman driving by, perhaps with her car windows down to enjoy the beautiful day, was suddenly distracted by some paper flying around in the back seat where her child sat. Turning to deal with it, she lost control of the car. It went over the curb and glanced my friend a blow sending him crashing to the cement sidewalk. As the car speed towards them, his Godson was alerted by a strange sound and had the reflexes to jump to the side and was unharmed. But our friend was smashed to the ground, hurt, bleeding and unconscious. He remains so four days later, though we are hopeful his brain will gradually but steadily regain functionality. To what extent, however, no one can say.

This is at least the basic story as we understand it. I think many people, including myself, have been present at sudden death or injury. It's a psychic shock to one's nervous system, just as much as a physical injury causes the body to go into a state of shock.

Seeing someone in the hospital, more or less unconscious, badly bruised and his body struggling to live is a strange experience. He might be able to hear familiar sounds or voices and there are some movements of hands and feet, though difficult to say whether wholly automatic or responsive. The many who are visiting with him and staying overnight sing, talk, joke, read, meditate and hold his hand and offer loving touch: these things are both natural and are, we are told, helpful to his recovery by stimulating sensory nerve channels to the brain (an explanation of mine clearly lacking proper medical jargon).

Being as he and we, and all his friends, are "yogis," actively on the spiritual path and practicing meditation, there's no lack of reports from every side of various individuals' respective opinions, feelings, and intuitive insights into where "he's at" and what's going on for him and his soul.

One reports that she thinks he's really enjoying all the cool medical equipment he's hooked up to. (Really?) Another says he's come to her in meditation to say good-bye. Another says the Masters are holding him and giving him a choice to leave or stay. Yet others say his life force is strong and he's going to recover.

I don't discount any of these things. But, let's face it, no one can prove any of it at this time. My personal orientation and commitment is to a blend of hope supported by objectivity.

I happen to be, on paper, the one with the power of attorney to make medical decisions for our friend. In fact, I seem to have the least to say and the fewest opinions on the matter. I am looking for signs, from any source, including my friends' intuitions, but certainly from concrete medical evidence of his condition and his responses.

His medical directive states his reluctance to be on extended life support or terminally unconscious. I doubt that is going to be the case and I am cautiously optimistic I will not have to make any such decision. And, if I did, I would consult his brother and our many friends such that we would be in this together. I just happen to be a name on a piece of paper. So far as "I" am concerned, Divine Mother will have to show her will. I certainly will not shirk any responsibility but I am all too confident after a lifetime of attempting to live by faith, that the Divine Will will show itself (with sufficient clarity that I can read the "words").

Nonetheless, how can I not at contemplate the worst case of having to make a "fatal" decision: either to remove support and see him leave his body (maybe); or, continue support and see him recover so incompletely as to be unrecognizable and have no life at all. Or, recover sufficiently to have a life well worth living! For now, I am willing to wait and see, and, to imagine this decision point will not occur.

It's curious to me because both my friend in his directive and most people I know, including myself, would, when merely contemplating the decision abstractly, vote NOT to stay in our body if we are useless or unconscious. But my strong suspicion is that if any one of us were actually in such a condition, we'd most likely take the risk to live in the hope that we can recover sufficient functionality and consciousness to have a life of meaning and purpose.

Life, you see, HAS to be the choice unless the circumstances are starkly clear and the chances of meaningful life extremely poor. Life IS the choice God through the cosmos has declared. Despite death and destruction vying constantly for supremacy, life goes on. Life reappears. Life survives even in the midst of death. The flowers and buds of Spring always appear after the winter of death.

I see no other choice than hope. Life is always a risk: for each and every one of us. From day to day. That very Monday, the most heart-touching photo of our friend and "son" was taken. Perhaps even within the hour of his "accident." We can never know the hour of our karmic summons. We live as though we are immortal because we ARE immortal in spirit.

But living is the right choice. I don't say that this is ALWAYS the choice. I say, simply, that life and living are the natural and the super-natural "law" of creation.

What, then, is the karma here? Consider the incredible odds that it would take to be out walking on that street passing that exact spot where a car suddenly jumps the curb to strike one down in a nearly fatal blow? One thing we yogis can know for sure is that this was no "accident." Whatever the karmic cause, this was no coincidence. It is too strange.

What this signals for devotees is a sign of grace: an opportunity for spiritual growth. For our friend, well, yes, though time will tell. It is incorrect to think that this tragic incident is BAD karma. No, it can only be an opportunity to work off karma or even to rise above karma. For the rest of us, his friends, this is an opportunity to come together, to give, to pray, and to share.

I cannot now, nor will at this time, say "I am grateful for this happening to our friend." But I believe that the time may come when I, and others, will be able to say this. Better yet, I do hope and pray that the time will come when he, our friend, can say this. But for now, we must do our part and not concern ourselves unnecessarily about the outcome, whether for him or for us. We must unite in Spirit, for in Spirit we are One and, for the time being, Spirit is the only connection it seems we still have with our friend.

May the Light of Truth, Wisdom, and Love shine through the darkness of uncertainty and the seeming appearance of unconsciousness.