It was supposed to be a wonderful, eventful day. We were going to visit the temple complex of Pashupatinath, the lord of the Animals!
We were up at 6.00 Peter checked the e-mils on our small poooooter – and found the sad news:
Konni, his very best long time school friend had died of cancer.
We were devastated.
OK, we had been a little worried about him: Earlier in the year, on his annual visit to his mom in Germany, Peter had spend a couple of days with Konni, hiking, relaxing at his cottage in the country side, making delicious food, celebrating a big birthday get together…..
But since then nobody had heard from him – Neither Peter, nor the other close classmates. E- mails, phone calls and letters were unanswered.
We knew, Kony was a heavy smoker; the only one in the group of friends…
…. On more than one occasion he had stated, that he KNEW, that at some point lung cancer would catch up with him.
But in spring there was no hint – in early summer, just a little “stomach trouble”
It had been his wish – not to involve his friends – and his sister obliged…..
Still we were upset and distraught…..
Even worse, we could not grieve – right now!
We were in Nepal, with a group of fellow seekers and there was a program to be followed.
We talked to Bhola, if he could help us, have a small ritual for Konni – and to help us feel a little better.
“Later today” was the answer.
Later that day, after our visit at Pashupatinath we went over to the ghats, the cremation site by the Bagmati River.
Across the River there were several rituals in progress.
2 pyres had almost burned out, one celebration of last respect was just getting under way. The body was laid out on the stacked wood which then was lit.
A sacred Cow nearby. Touch its tail……
Further on a youth was searching for valuables and ? bones? In the river.
Bhola explained the cremation rites and rituals.
A guide brought a puja, a little leaf dish with flowers and a candle. It was for Peter and me to offer to the River for Konni. I sank all my sadness, my lost sisterly love and my grief into the delicate Beauty in my hands.
Bola spoke a prayer.
When it was time to go down to the River, I sensed a heart-felt pain in one of our student friends and asked her, to also come down with us, as I could feel, that she too had suffered a recent loss.
Then we descended to steps to the water’s edge and Peter gave the puja to the River.
Blessed Journey to you, Konni.
I sang a home going chant…….
There were tears….
Blessed journey ……..