Friday, September 27, 2013

The Last Post
September 27, 2013
We're grateful to have had time with Suvanna to say what needed to be said.

We said our final goodbye to her today.  
Lots of love to the San Francisco Buddhist Community and all who knew our sister.
Kathy, Paulette, and Laura

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Dear Friends,

We are planning to come together to help each other say good bye to our dear friend, sister, mentor, and woman extraordinaire, Suvarnaprabha.

Please join us

Friday, Sept. 27th  from 1 - 3pm at

Fernwood Cemetery
301 Tennessee Valley Road, Mill Valley, CA 94941
Tel 415-383-7100
(Walking shoes will be helpful as we are walking to her plot up a hill. Leave your Jimmy Choo's behind is what we're saying!)

If you would like to bring a flower to place on her grave, please do.

The Buddhist Center doors will be open to welcome all of you who would like to gather after the service.
San Francisco Buddhist Center
37 Bartlett, Street, San Francisco, CA 94110

Lots of love,
Kathy, Paulette, Laura, Julie, Padmatara

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dear friends of Suvarnaprabha,
Suvarnaprabha died at home, with her sisters, Julie, and Padmatara right by her. She was conscious right up through yesterday.  Our hearts go out to all those who are grieving. 
The Center is commencing a 24 hour program of collective practice to support Suvarnaprabha and her community of friends and family in this transition.
TOMORROW, Sep. 25, starting at 6:30 in the morning we will begin an hourly cycle of practice that will end with our sangha night class that runs 7:00-9:00pm
You can arrive at the beginning of each hour of practice, in the morning 6:30am, 7:30, 8:30 , and so on through the day up to beginning at 5:30pm. We'll end with sangha night together from 7-9:00pm and a final transference of merits.
We will practice straight through the day and imagine people joining us in places near and far. 
As there is more news of memorial arrangements we will let you know. Suvarnaprabha has been and is now, beyond description.
With love,
Padmatara and Viveka
After a couple of days of being wide awake and commenting on everything she saw, Suvarnaprabha became much quieter yesterday afternoon, and more sleepy, and now this morning she is hardly communicating at all. She is very weak and can't swallow food.
Laura arrives back tonight, so the four sisters will be together for a little while.
Thank you all for your comments, emails and other communications of support for Suvarnaprabha and those around her. It's good to know you are there.
love, Padmatara

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Things were different again this morning - wide awake and talking a lot. Thought I'd share a snippet as best I can.
- Padmatara

I had crazy dreams, not creepy ones, crazy - I was dreaming - I was at the seaside - but I wasn’t sure if the musicians were real. Ivor Cutler. I’m not sure whether - I suppose it doesn’t matter where they’re coming from or going at this point. 

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Summer Retreat Sunset
Suvarnaprabha seems more and more in her own world, commenting on things that we can't see (though I wish we could).  It is increasingly hard for her to communicate. She seems curious and surprised, but not particularly worried by this. She needs a lot more help as time goes on, mostly from her gentle sisters, and she accepts it now with grace and humor (mostly).
Some people at the Buddhist Center will be organizing meditation and chanting at various times in the next few days - I'll post the information here.
Take care of yourselves and each other.

Friday, September 20, 2013

No literary depth here - just an update:
Things are changing fast for Suvarnaprabha. She has asked not to have visitors for a while - she loves to see her friends but it is very tiring. She seems to be doing what the books tell us she will, going more inward. She sometimes sees things - they call it visioning and it's pretty common - and what she sees is quite lovely - beautiful trees on the ceiling, a bridge with her and her friends looking down at her - that kind of thing. She can still talk beautifully but it is hard for her to think and speak about anything that isn't happening right now. It is very important for her to get this blog published, but it's unlikely she will contribute much more herself. Candradasa and Vidyadevi are working on it.
The hospice nurse visited yesterday, and some of you know or guessed this already, but it seems the difficulty speaking and thinking is not the result of taking morphine, but is just the disease progressing, fatigue, and the natural dying process.
She is surrounded by family and, as has been said many times, more love than it's possible to imagine. She knows you all love her and she loves you back.
Between us Kathy, Paulette, Laura and I will try to keep this blog up-to-date.
All the best to you.

PS She has very little appetite too, just a bite or two of food now and then.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

How much life?

Changes in the last week or two such that I'm not sure where to begin. On monday Mary Jo suggested i take more morphine and ibuprofen for pain and coughing, more regularly rather than 'as needed'. By medical standards it's still "not that much."

So I did. Result has been no pain in my hip bones and knees, and less coughing. And dozing in and out of sleep all day. I'd resolve to finish my paperwork each day this week, but I simply haven't had the mental ability. Laura - bless her cotton socks - was helping. 

Part of the cause of all the sleeping, too, is that typing on my laptop in bed is so un-ergonomic that it was causing new pain in my side, the way I'd prop up on one side for hours typing with one hand. So then I didn't want to get out my laptop, which weighs hundreds of pounds (and is usually 100 miles away!) Using the phone is usually pretty handy but you can't do everything on a phone. 

But my point was, doing computer stuff also keeps me occupied with what I feel I need to do. I did make a one-day-at-a-time vow against my inane computer/phone game, which I've kept to for ten or so days so far. 

I wish I could explain the states I've been in. My body has been so at peace it doesn't want to move, especially since moving often evokes a coughing fit. And a soup of swirling images. A sound byte will merge into something visual, to a memory flash from yesterday, to something that that might happen tomorrow, to a scene from a t.v. show I haven't seen in a month. With my eyes closed I'll see an image of somewhere I went in Spain, realize I'm lying in bed thinking of thinking of what to do next, then wake up (an exaggeration), wonder is it a time to take a pill?, yes it is, then I doze off, wake up two hours later with the pill still in my hand...

I tried dictating this once before but, lost it due to different devices overwriting each other. Both Kathy and Paulette are coming to visit this month. It's hard for me to think. A lot of times I am looking at something, not really looking at anything.

A couple of weeks ago several people came over with some great lunches! I updated my food tab if you are thinking about that - simple things that are easy for me to digest. I seem to be winding down on that though, perhaps because I am so occupied with maintaining my body - deal with pain, or other issues that arise, coughing, aches, etc.  Talking can also be a strain because it makes me cough more.

Yesterday I was talking to Danamaya and counted four times that I forgot the second half of a sentence, (Thankfully I can always find it again, so far).

Helen is dropping by some muffins.  I may be seeing Misha tomorrow.

OK, I better write the rest in another post!