In Death As in Life
Our dear friend Yogi-ji, C.M. Yogi, sent me the following email about the death of a dear friend in England who gave great support to his humanitarian activities in Nepal. I include this here because of how sweetly it portrays the Earthly death of one woman, who, in death as well as life added to the spiritual wealth of the world. May we all be remembered in such fine ways as Yogi-ji’s dear friend. Thanks to David Hitchins for describing this to us so well, and to Haa qi from China for his quotation from the Bhagavad Gita.
Do you find you are as touched by this as I am?
One of our very good friends Christine Russell left the world today in England, but left a very unforgettable marks behind her as she was one of the great ladies who helped enormously to establish the HVP schools here in Nepal. Her motherly care for HVP schools will be written in golden letters and her love for HVP family will be treasured for ever.
The following email is written by David ji ,a good friend of
Christine’s. You know friends, I have seen many people talking about
spirituality but only a few people practicing it so deeply and simply.
Therefore, the last journey also of Christine was an ideal.... a good
lesson for all- how to live fully, peacefully and joyfully.....
"There are lives so rounded and crowned by their completed deeds of
love, that death seems to have appeared in the fullness of their prime only to consecrate them for ever" (Caroline Stephen)
From David Hitchins:
Christine died at 8.25 this evening.
She had been experiencing some problems with her vision and
with balance, but until Friday she was essentially the Christine that
we all knew and loved. She was entirely reconciled to the news that
her brain tumour would eventually be fatal, and she made the very
most of all of the days which were left to her. She slept very
little, and used the quiet of the nights for listening to music, very
much centered on J S Bach and other composers of the Baroque period.
At the beginning of last week she expressed a renewed interest in
modern chamber music and I took her some CDs, some of which she was
able to listen to. Towards the end there were only about three hours
in the afternoon when she could meet people or engage in any physical
activity, but in her last few weeks she had been taken to two
concerts and had visited her husband and local woods.
She explained to some of us that life consisted of a number of
stages, and that one could not move into the next stage while leaving
one foot in a previous one. Although she had lost her home, her car,
her possessions, her independence, and Joe, her dog, could no longer
live with her, she simply left these things behind and lived very
fully with what was left to her.
On Friday she had a fall and lost consciousness, and as far as we
know she never recovered it. All the same, her family and close
friends visited her, sat with her and talked to her, hoping that she
could still hear, even if she could no longer communicate.
This afternoon and evening, Fred, Robin and I sat with her. Her dog Joe sat with us quietly, but several times, as we told Christine that we were
all there, Joe licked her hand, so perhaps whether she heard or not,
she felt his presence. Soon after eight o'clock her breathing became
very shallow, and then stopped, peacefully and without any struggle.
Everyone that I am writing to knew Christine in one context or
another; as a teacher, as a GAP and HVP worker, as an
environmentalist, as a bird-watcher, as a committee member at a
retirement home, as a Quaker and all of us as a friend. Few of us, if
any, knew all that she had achieved, and perhaps later some of her
story can be told. She did some remarkable things, and changed many people's lives.
"They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death
cannot kill what never dies. Nor can spirits be divided that love and
live in the same Divine Principle, the root and record of their friendship. If
absence be not death, neither is theirs." (William Penn).
'S/he who sees 'Me' in all,
And sees all in 'Me,'
For s/he I am not lost,
And s/he is not lost for me!'