Love and Death: The Mysteries Latent in the Universe

Today I had one of my crash days, where my body felt completely depleted of energy and I kept sleeping all the time – which makes me wonder if my transition to the next world is imminent.

Even though my blood pressure is normal, I am light-headed and unstable when I walk, and because of sleeping all the time, I also don’t drink enough fluids and thus become dehydrated. For the past two days, I have eaten very little, and am living on energy drinks. 

So, I am wondering what is going on with my physical self. For the past few nights, I’ve felt very depleted, and have not been able to do my regular walking in the building, visiting my friends and saying hi to everyone.

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I’m not afraid to die, I’m just uncomfortable. I keep laying all my affairs in God’s hands, repeating this beautiful Baha’i prayer attributed to Abdu’l-Baha:

O God! Refresh and gladden my spirit. Purify my heart. Illumine my powers. I lay all my affairs in Thy hand. Thou art my Guide and my Refuge. I will no longer be sorrowful and grieved; I will be a happy and joyful being. O God! I will no longer be full of anxiety, nor will I let trouble harass me. I will not dwell on the unpleasant things of life.

O God! Thou art more friend to me than I am to myself. I dedicate myself to Thee, O Lord.

In spite of my weakness, with the help of some people here, I went where I was scheduled to give my bi-monthly talk, and it seemed that the participants enjoyed the discussion, which made me very happy and grateful.

One of the things that makes me so grateful is that I can still communicate with the outside world through social media, which seems to me to be a gift from God. When used positively social media can and does unite humankind, making absolutely evident what Baha’u’llah teaches us, that “The world is but one country, and mankind its citizens.”

Baha’is believe that God has commanded humanity to unite, and the Creator has given us the spiritual and material tools for doing so. From my perspective as someone in a nursing home, we can better build that unity through the means of technology, social media, and a variety of similar tools. I praise and thank God for this gift, without which my mind might have become completely deteriorated.

All of this has helped me understand the benefits of aging and losing one’s health, and even appreciate the issue of my death hanging over my head. I can now see the greatness and loving providence of God in everything. I am glad that I have reached the stage where I can separate the real gold from the fool’s gold, and realize how wonderful it is to gain that understanding.

Today I had another day of feeling very fatigued, but I had an appointment with the eye doctor and I could not cancel it. So, one of my angels traveled from one town to come here to take me to my doctor, then a quick stop in a grocery store, and then back to the nursing home. After leaving the doctor’s office, though, I noticed that my Baha’i ring was no longer on my finger. When I’m dehydrated, my ring becomes very loose. So I hit the panic button. 

I bought my treasured ring a year before I left Iran, and even though I considered myself a staunch atheist at the time, I always had a Baha’i ring on – go figure! I have always loved the Baha’i Faith and Baha’u’llah – it was the Boss who I had a problem with since I held God responsible for all the miseries I had to go through during my first 26 or 27 years of life. 

I really panicked because I cannot part with this ring. It is the sign of my identity. I usually never panic, not ever as far as I can recall, but panic I did. It was as though someone was going to kill me, and I had all sorts of questions about what to do and where to find a replacement ring just like the one I lost? 

Then, meditating on the lost ring, a couple of new understandings came to my mind. I realized that even though the ring is precious to me, because of what it signifies, my attachment to it is irrational, because of my love for it. Baha’u’llah teaches us to:

Cast away that which ye possess, and, on the wings of detachment, soar beyond all created things. Thus biddeth you the Lord of creation, the movement of Whose Pen hath revolutionized the soul of mankind.

Here I was panicked and worried about a piece of replaceable, albeit precious jewelry, and forgetting that I was supposedly laying all my affairs in God’s hands. What hypocrisy I manifest sometimes!

Then I had another understanding or affirmative point – when I thought I had lost the ring in my heart, I was praying so hard that God would bring it back to me. Lo and behold! Within just minutes I found it. I could not have been happier and more grateful to God if I had found a gazillion dollars at that point. I was so happy that I felt drunk with joy, gratitude, and the love of God. Every day I live, I find more joy in loving Him. I am so grateful that at a time of serious physical challenges, I am finding out how loving He is. By the way, I got my second wind and I am wondering if I can sleep tonight because of elation and excitement.

But then I learned that my dear friend who has severe Alzheimer’s passed away in her sleep peacefully. 

For some reason, from the beginning of moving here, our souls met and we had developed a deep and loving friendship. At the beginning, she was quite coherent, and we were able to converse like two normal, intelligent people. Then her dementia progressed, but until the last days of her life we remained friends. Her eyes would light up when I saw her. 

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My love and respect for her continued to increase, and toward the end, I felt a great deal of compassion and a sense of protection. I was so blessed and grateful to our Creator for giving me the opportunity to expand the space in my heart to place and keep her in it. As she grew more restless and her agony became more serious, my ardent prayers for her release from suffering became deeper. When during the next night I went to ask about her condition, I was told that she had transitioned

I was in shock when I learned that she was gone, even though I was praying so hard for her to be where there is no pain and suffering. Now I am going forward and backward, being happy for her and sad for myself because I am missing her. My arms are aching for the joyful, loving feeling of comforting her. I take solace in these words from the Baha’i teachings:

Know thou of a certainty that Love is the secret of God’s holy Dispensation, the manifestation of the All-Merciful, the fountain of spiritual outpourings. Love is heaven’s kindly light, the Holy Spirit’s eternal breath that vivifieth the human soul. Love is the cause of God’s revelation unto man, the vital bond inherent, in accordance with the divine creation, in the realities of things. Love is the one means that ensureth true felicity both in this world and the next. Love is the light that guideth in darkness, the living link that uniteth God with man, that assureth the progress of every illumined soul. Love is the most great law that ruleth this mighty and heavenly cycle, the unique power that bindeth together the divers elements of this material world, the supreme magnetic force that directeth the movements of the spheres in the celestial realms. Love revealeth with unfailing and limitless power the mysteries latent in the universe. Love is the spirit of life unto the adorned body of mankind, the establisher of true civilization in this mortal world, and the shedder of imperishable glory upon every high-aiming race and nation.

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