I want to share some events of a spiritual nature with you that give me great comfort about Radhika's passing. Being a Hindu, she firmly believed that we live in this world to learn certain lessons so that our spirit can advance. She also believed that death is just an intermediate stage and that we get reborn in another form so that our spirit can continue to grow and have new experiences. All this is beautifully expressed in the verses Mukund read from the Gita which I shared with you in my last post. In the last few months Radhika also told me on a number of occasions that she felt that life as a woman was hard but rewarding (giving birth to Mira), so in her next life she wanted to take some time off and come back as a big fat male sea lion. As such, her plan was to spend the days lazing in the sun at La Jolla's childrens pool, where we could come to visit whenever we wanted to see her.
The healing started for me when her childhood friend Kalika told me after Radhika's passing that one of her spiritual guides had said to her even before the last round of chemo that Radhika had finished all her lessons for this life and was ready to move on to her next life. Also Radhika's mentor Ruth told me that she knew Radhika's spirit was not dwelling on this past life anymore and was roaming freely.
All this brings me to yesterdays events. After dropping Mira off at school and bidding farewell to Radhu and Venki, the house felt quiet as I waited for Ruth. Ruth is very calm and spiritual, and I was happy that she was going to accompany me and Radhika on this final journey for Radhika's empty shell. I should mention at this stage that Radhika was an organ donor, and even though all her organ's had been ravaged by the cancer and were unsuitable, her corneas were accepted for donation. It makes me happy to think that her beautiful eyes continue to live and that their sparkle brings joy to somebody else.
At 9AM Ruth and I discussed the plan for the day and then we went to Vista for the cremation of Radhika's body which started at 9:45. We placed flowers, 2 coins, some rice and a piece of sacred wood on her paper coffin which symbolized joy, prosperity, nourishment and spirituality. It felt very peaceful as the conveyor moved her body into the machine and the burners started without any sound. The plan was to return after 12 to pick up the remains and spread them in a beautiful place that was meaningful to her which meant the ocean either off the coast of Encinitas (a city she loved in this life) or La Jolla (where she wants to spend her next life).
So we went back home to google for Kayak rental places, since Radhika loved kayaking on the few occasions when we tried it. Since the ashes were part of this life we first tried calling in Encinitas, but our calls where either not returned or came up empty. Also Ruth was a bit worried about going out 500 yards from the coast line (as required by the law) since neither of us had ever done any real ocean kayaking. Curiously enough the first place we called in La Jolla said that this wasn't a problem as long as one went out on a calm day like today. After lunch we received a phone call from the crematorium that the remains were ready, so we went in Ruths car to pick them up, and then drove straight along Palomar airport road to the ocean, a drive Radhika and I have done many times. We then went straight south along the coastal highway 101 to Encinitas were we stopped at the meditation gardens so that she could see the ocean off of Encinitas for the last time in this life and we also lingered a bit at one of the koi ponds. We continued our journey on the 101, Radhika's and my favorite road on this planet, until we reached La Jolla.
We easily got to the kayak rental place by 2:30, and Ruth and I set off in a double kayak straight from the launch area. The ocean was beautiful, with no waves, sunny sky, nobody around us anywhere and only the slightest breeze: a gorgeous day for kayaking! Ruth and I really enjoyed it and we hardly got wet. After paddling out for a while Ruth said that she saw something in the water, maybe a dolphin. Upon closer inspection it turned out to be a single seal or sea lion. I knew that we were in the exact right place, and that Radhika was indeed ready to move on. After I gave her a short eulogy to thank her for all the good she did in this life for me and the people around her I dispersed her ashes. We enjoyed the beautiful location for another short while and by 3:30 we returned the kayak. The kayak rental place refused any form of payment, but at least I was able to tip them.
After that Ruth dropped me off at home, so that I could go and pick up Mira in order to take her for gymnastics with her friend Cassidy. I chatted with Cassidy's parents Chris and Cindy for the whole 90 minute class, and at the end it struck me how peaceful my day had been. I only teared up once when telling Ruth a story that was particularly gut wrenching for me, but I never shed a tear. Somehow I felt elated and happy for Radhika that she had moved on and was ready to embrace her next life with open arms, just like she had embraced this life with us over all these years.