A love letter to David: When I had the honor of witnessing someone’s final breath

When I met David, I didn’t know it at the time, he was already sick. He did this thing he was known for. He looked at me with all of him present. He took everyone he met in. He locked eyes with us. Meeting him was a memorable moment. Sometimes you don’t know or remember when was that first time that you met a dear friend. This wasn’t the case with David. I probably met him 4 years before his last breath, and when I met him it was as though an other worldly experience was also there in the room. David was more then 30 years my senior. I was in my late twenties, he was in his sixties.

But there was a thing said at his funeral I’ll never forget by his wife who spoke. She said: when you meet David you know it, he locks eyeballs with you.

There was another thing he did too. I think he did this more as he got closer to his own transition but I can’t be sure. He would ask everyone he knows without exception: How can I love you more? This is a spin off from one of Hafiz’s famous poems (1). Hafiz being a Persian Sufi mystic.

I used to tell David that ACIM makes more sense to Jews and Muslims then it does to Christians. It’s so monotheistic and non-dualistic. See he was a Jewish Courser and I a Muslim Courser. I’ve had plenty of Jewish and Isreali friends, it wasn’t abnormal for me. The politics of nations I don’t guilt individuals for generally. We might disagree on politics if we spoke but a part of me always understood people don’t often hear the whole picture, and governments don’t want their people to know it.

What was different with David was that him and I actually shared a faith and a similar background. We were Coursers who came from the ‘other traditions’. Not the Christian ones. My comment to David is also a reason I write these posts. Muslims and Jews understand the idea of Oneness shared in the Course better then the trinity idea of most of Christianity. To us the trinity simply looks like a three headed God and it doesn’t quite compute.

I shared that comment to help him heal his own relationship with his own tradition. He wasn’t going to have everyone sit shiva after his death but that choice changed in the end. I like to think it was due to my words. He could still love himself and his tradition of birth, even if it didn’t logically make sense. The self hate, the disapproval, the ‘reasoning mind’ is the problem. All that talk is still ego. I gently nudged and gave permission. Love yourself the way you are, where ever you come from. God adores all of you, you don’t have to slice yourself up to be accepted in His Eyes.

David’s death was beautiful. I think he died right at 7am. We took turns as a community in the end being at his side because the expenses medically were too much. The day before I could tell he couldn’t die with so many people attached to him, so invisibly and energetically everyone started to leave. That morning his daughter left. In the evening if was just me and another friend I didn’t know. She sat the night by him. I couldn’t help but sleep but my dreams were so vivid of him and heaven all night. The air felt so holly. The following day as we waited for the funeral home to come collect his body, the atmosphere in the room was crisp.

A month before I called him from my other country of origin, not knowing I would be the one there for his death, he confided with me that he knew the Course was true, but he still had fear. I said I understand, I feel the same.

I had returned just in time

A few days before his death I remember him smiling and saying: dying isn’t too bad! I had no idea! Something in him had shifted. He seemed to be enjoying his death bed and it left anyone who witnessed him speechless. he gave me the gift of teaching me that even if we don’t realize enlightenment this life time, when a Courser dies, their death is good. That was one of the holiest days of my life –except when there is no order of difficulty in miracles of course o:). The peaceful atmosphere, I didn’t want to leave . . . His modeling truly priceless.