Haight began reading the Teaching of Adi Da in 1973. She became a formal
devotee in 1980. A member of the Adidam Mate Moce (death and dying) Guild, Eileen
presently lives and serves in the devotee community in Trinidad, California.
this story begins, Eileen's husband Joe had been suffering for nine years from Alzheimer's disease.
The following story is from Eileen's book, Alzheimer's Caregivers: The Choice
of Love, which you can obtain here.
died at 4:55 p.m., November 7th, 2003, in the most peaceful and easeful manner.
I received a call one morning from the nursing home, telling
me that Joe was failing rapidly and that I should come. Adi Da was informed immediately,
and I requested His Blessings for Joe.
I had moved away from
our ranch and was now living in a ladies’ household near The
Mountain Of Attention Sanctuary in Lake County (California). My friend
and housemate, Ellen, went with me. When we arrived, Joe seemed to be having trouble
breathing and was being given oxygen.
The nursing staff moved
Joe's roommate to another room to give us privacy. We started preparing. After
straightening up the room, we placed flowers and a picture of Beloved Adi Da on
the table at the foot of his bed. We placed a CD player on the side table and
inserted a CD of a peaceful devotional chant.
That first afternoon
and night, Ellen and I took turns reading Adi Da's Teaching aloud to Joe, meditating,
and performing the Laying on of Hands. We also took turns resting and sleeping,
so that we could serve Joe continuously throughout the night.
next day his daughter Jeanne arrived. Before Joe entered the nursing home, I thought
Jeanne and I had agreed on Joe's funeral arrangements, that there would be no
embalming, that the body would be undisturbed for three days at the funeral home
before he was cremated, and that I would be able to have a three-day vigil. Now
she was having second thoughts, especially about the three-day vigil. She seemed
very upset and concerned about the plans. I understood that people express their
grief in different ways that the Adidam approach to serving the dying was unknown
to her, and I could see I hadn't really explained our approach to her fully. I
also understood that this needed to be resolved, as my relationship with her was
very dear to me. Through my using the Devotional
Prayer of Changes, this occurred Gracefully. In the meantime, Ellen went
home and Helen Kate, Roy, and many other family members came and went.
took four days for Joe to die. When I remembered that Joe’s process was in Adi
Da's sphere, not mine, I decided to give up my plans, have trust and faith, and
surrender the process to Him.
I noticed that when Jeanne sat
next to Joe and held his hand, he smiled the first smile we had seen since Ellen
and I arrived. She had only visited Joe once or twice in the nursing home; now
she and her husband and her grown children were having a reunion, and even though
Joe could not speak, I knew this was exactly what he needed before he could peacefully
leave this world.
Then Carol, Joe's daughter-in-law, arrived
and as it turned out, she became a catalyst to help Jeanne and I come to a happy
agreement about Joe's final arrangements.
A one-time practicing
doctor, Carol had given up her practice due to an allergy to surgical gloves.
She now had a TV show where she answered medical questions and interviewed people
who were contributing to better health. When she arrived, she basically started
interviewing me about Adidam. Jeanne was sitting there listening. At last, I had
an opportunity to talk to both of them about Adi Da and Adidam. Carol asked questions
about the Teaching, the community, the founder, and our way of life. She asked
about our practices regarding marriage, sex, and the care of children.
about the ritual you perform at death?" she asked.
As I answered
her questions, I felt Adi Da's Presence. I was so completely happy. I thought
of all the years I had been involved in the Teaching and had tried to interest
my children and stepchildren in this Teaching, which was and is the most important
aspect of my life. I felt this opportunity to talk to Jeanne and Carol was indeed
As a result, Jeanne came to understand why it was
important to me to follow Adi Da's Wisdom and Instructions about death and dying.
We came to a happy agreement, compromising on one or two issues. We had previously
and still agreed that Joe's ashes would be buried in the family plot in Redlands
and that Jeanne would plan a memorial ceremony there for family and friends in
* * *
Joe died on Friday, Jeanne left on an errand. The doctor came in to check on Joe.
"It won't be long now", he said. I closed the curtains around the bed and performed
on of Hands from Joe's feet to his head, which is suggested in Adi Da's
book Easy Death. While I did
this I chanted a chant called "Surrender the Body into the Life-Current."
breath became soft, smooth, and easy. Then he just stopped breathing. I waited
a while to see if he would start breathing again, but he didn't, so I checked
his pulse. There was none. Then there was a soft gurgling sound. I stood there
a few more moments looking at his face — and suddenly his head disappeared in
light . . . and all I could see was this bright light. Then the whole body was
only light and the room was only light.
"I am hallucinating",
I said to myself. Then the body reappeared.
Then, as if Adi
Da was saying "Do you doubt me?", the head disappeared again into light . . .
and the whole body . . . and the whole room. I felt Adi Da's Spiritual Presence,
and I also felt that Joe was gone. I felt the vigil had occurred and that the
Blessing had been more than perfect.
* * *
the nurse in charge was called to confirm Joe's death, I had two hours alone with
the body to meditate. Jeanne returned, and the funeral home driver arrived and
took the body to the funeral home, where it would be undisturbed for three days.
We were welcome to sit with the body as much as we desired.
was dark when Jeanne and I left the nursing home. She pointed up to the sky at
the full moon and said, "Isn't it beautiful?"
"Yes, more than
beautiful!" I agreed. She had no idea that the full moon was a sacred symbol.
For me, it is a reminder of the Bright, the Divine Source of all beings.
through Joe's illness, I felt informed and Blessed by Adi Da Samraj — through
His written word, through the community of His devotees, and through His very
Person and the Relationship He offers to me and everyone. Because of my Beloved
Adi Da Samraj, being Joe's caretaker had become an enjoyment rather than an ordeal.
saw that Joe, too, was given profound Help and Blessing. Month by month, over
the nine years of the Alzheimer's disease process, I saw Joe transformed from
a fearful, angry person at the beginning of his illness to a calm, peaceful, and
even humorous person who peacefully transitioned out of this realm into the Divine
Embrace of the "Bright" Spiritual Presence of Adi Da Samraj.
Da Instructed us, Guided us, and Healed our breaking hearts.