When the diagnosis came, Judith turned inward to God, and there felt His presence more powerfully, more sweetly than ever before — that it was God in the birds, in the trees, in herself, even in the disease that would take her life. All was God. All was joy. She asked her friends to join her, during the time remaining to her, in praying — not for healing, but that she make as much spiritual progress as possible, that moment by moment she turn to God in gratitude, especially “when things are not as I would like them to be, because that means I am being given the opportunity to learn what is in my soul’s best interest.”
Some years before, a long-time fellow devotee, meditating just before taking final vows in Swamiji’s newly founded Nayaswami Order, went into a deep state, there to feel himself lifted by divine grace into the light, and to feel everyone with whom he was connected rising with him. The vow he would take entered his soul: “For I have no goal in life but to know Thee, and to serve as Thy channel of blessing to all mankind.” For Judith too, her last months became her final vow of self-offering to God, an interior pilgrimage lovingly shared with all who walked the path with her: surrender to God’s will, thankfulness for His guidance, joy in feeling His presence.
Even when her dark night of the soul came — dizziness, nausea, pain, exhaustion — she knew that God was testing her faith in Him: “Do you still believe in Me,” she inwardly heard Him asking, “when you can’t feel, see, touch, or hear me? Do you still believe I am there even though you do not feel My presence?” The darkness vanished in her joyful realization that just behind the troubles of body and mind, just behind His seeming absence, lay something wonderful beyond anything she had known: “There would be God and me and joy once more.”
Those who were her caregivers would come to give, would go away filled to overflowing — feeling that it was they who had been given to. The circle was complete, each playing a part in a continuous upward spiral of giving and receiving — rising, expanding till giving and receiving were indistinguishable, a simple sharing in divine love and joy.
Some weeks before her passing came a Kriya ceremony Judith longed to attend. Too weak to make the journey, she honored the event meditating in her little room in a group home. Except for a sliver of light under her door, the house was dark and silent. Then came a quiet knock at her door. Standing there was a young monk clad in full yellow habit, to her eyes glowing like a gentle sun in the dark hallway. In one hand he held a large bag of rose petals; in the other, a container of the sacred Babaji drink. The monk, unfamiliar with the house, had been groping his way for some time through narrow hallways, looking for her room, feeling like the wandering devotee in Swamiji’s Festival of Light: searching “through dim corridors of waking consciousness, to emerge at last into infinite light, into perfect joy.” With a radiant smile of gratitude, she received the offerings from the Kriya ceremony, from God and Guru to their child. Over and over, she spoke these words: “I am so happy. Thank you so much. You don’t know what this means to me.”
Alone again, Judith sat at her altar, facing two 24-inch statues, one of Master, one of Jesus: “I like to sit with one hand holding Master’s, the other holding Jesus’ hand. I put my Babaji drink on one side and the rose petals on the other, meditated briefly, then drank the Babaji drink, asking him to bless me. I took a handful of rose petals and showered them over Master, another handful over Jesus, a third handful over myself, all the while singing the Rose Song. I felt a thousand blessings in each petal. I kept on, with increasing joy, until the three of us were covered with petals!”
As her soul drew her more and more inward, Judith withdrew from outward social interaction. Even so, when the monks offered to do a kirtan in her room, she welcomed their coming. Entering the room, the young men saw shining through that fragile body the effulgence of a soul at peace. Over her head where she rested leaning back in bed was a large photograph of Master’s Last Smile. In Master’s smile was no pity, only joy, ever-increasing, a waterfall of grace pouring down on and into his beloved child. All during the kirtan, Judith’s smile grew and grew, her eyes turned upward to Master above, receiving his blessing and sharing what she received with those who had come. The last rays of the setting sun slanted through the window and illuminated her face — Spirit and Nature dancing together.
An aura of astral beauty surrounded her passing. The day before, showers of sparkling hail, soft, light, gentle, friendly little pellets, fell from the sky, catching shafts of sunlight, creating innumerable tiny prisms radiating rainbow lights — the air washed pristinely clean, all nature rejoicing. Early the next morning, one friend awoke praying: “Divine Mother, hold our beloved sister in Your arms, lift her into Your light, free her soul in Your love.” That day the magical showers of tiny soft hail came again. In death as in life Master’s child acted as his channel of light, shining through a smile that merged into his smile, her giving heart mirrored in Mother Nature’s sympathetic expression of beauty and grace descending to touch this blessed soul ascending.
In divine friendship,