June 24, 2007 Link Amma's Grace

Dearest Friends and Family,

I’m sure everybody wants to know the details… so here goes.

Annika had been recently bringing up huge wads of clear yellow mucus. The relaxant had stopped her cough. She was clearly conscious, but too weak to respond. Occasionally she was able to speak small words, tried to communicate… We called people near Amma on the tour, and were able to get the message to Amma.

We were trying to get Annika to drink some carrot juice – she had had nothing to eat or drink for the past 9 hours, as she had been sleeping. When we put a tiny bit of juice in the back of her mouth, she would swallow, so this is how we were proceeding.

We were trying to get her to spit out some mucus which was there in her mouth, unsuccessfully. Her body was so weak that she had to be held up, with support for her head. I was on one side of the bed, and Mom was on the other. It was late at night, and mom’s friend Sarah who had been visiting was in the kitchen, cleaning up before going to her house.

We heard some rattling in her lungs, and thought that she was coughing up something, and perhaps it was stuck in her mouth. I guess now that it was the death rattle.

Mom and I tried to tilt her head foreward to get out whatever it was at the back of her mouth, and she went limp, falling onto her own lap. We lifted her back, very concerned now, and she kind of sat up, and was not breathing – was gone.

We were now shouting her name, rubbing her chest, trying to bring her back to conciousness. I felt for her pulse, but there was none. Then I knew theoretically that she was gone. Hearing our shouts, Aunt Sarah came running…

I called 911 on my cell phone, and got the Highway Patrol! It said to say “one” if this was an emergency call, which I did. Then I got “All of our operators are busy. Please be ready to tell the operator the nature of the emergency, your location, …” Then it started ringing, and ringing, and ringing… It rang for about 90 seconds before I got fed up and hung up. Then I called everybody I knew who was with Amma, to tell Amma that Anni had died. Priya took a phone to Amma’s room, but the door was shut.

Aunt Sarah was trying to reach 911 on her cell phone too, and was having the same problem. Meantime I ran and woke up the neighbours to see if they had a land phone, but they didn’t. They gave me the number for the Fire Department, but by that time Aunt Sarah had managed to contact the emergency personnel. Those people instructed us to get the body off the bed onto the floor and do CPR and Artificial Respiration, and guided us through it. We got the body onto the floor, and Aunt Sarah pushed air into Anni’s lungs as instructed. A huge fountain of foul smelling liquid came rushing out of Anni’s mouth. This happened a few times. I took the phone and relayed instructions to Aunt Sarah and Mom, who were doing the procedures. We knew it was helpless, but the lady on the other end of the phone had us keep on. Finally the paramedics came.

We moved away from the body. They attached several pads to Anni’s chest and abdomen, and connected up a ECG machine. There was nothing. One of them asked if we had a DNR – Do Not Resuscitate – order signed by Anni, which we did. Mom had to get up and give it to them.

It was Amma’s grace that we had that order. Had we not had it, they would have been required by law to intubate her – put her body on a breathing machine, IV drip, and try to jumpstart her heart.

The Police were also there. They needed to know a doctor who would be able to sign the death certificate, so I gave Dr Dave (a doctor who we met at the ashram) a call. He had come to see Anni just 3 days before, and had given us some medicine which relaxed her skeletal muscles, and helped her sleep. He also gave us the prescription for the oxygen and hospital bed. Amazingly, even at 2 am, he took the call. I gave the phone to the police officer, and they worked out the details of the paper work.

Incidentally, government offices are closed on Saturday and Sunday, so we all have to wait till Monday morning for Dr Dave, the County Coroner, and the Deer Creek Funeral Home to sort out the papers. Hopefully that will be finished by noon, and the cremation will be done at 1pm. The crematorium is in a place called Rose Lawn, in Livermore, California.
We feel that she accepted death, as she accepted all the suffering, but that she wanted to stay with us all. Her body was just too weak and perhaps damaged from the suffering for her to be able to do so. She felt accepted all the suffering, all the pain, as Amma’s will, and never resisted.

God bless our little Angel…


No Responses to “How…”

  • Divya says:

    Om Namah Sivaya

    Dear Kamala and Link,

    I can only begin to imagine the depth of your sorrow at losing Annika. Kamala, you did everything a mother could have done, and far more. And Lincoln, you have been so strong and such a loving brother. I feel very honored for having known Annika and her sweet, smiling nature.

    At Amritapuri, I was always amazed at how well you all lived together in such a tiny space, and always welcoming people and cats and pigeons, parrots, and chipmunks, and every sort of creature that was injured or hungry. Your flat was an outpouring of songs for Amma, creativity, and millions of seva projects.

    I felt moved to chip in a little to Anni’s fund to help pay for the cremation and towards you and Lincoln seeing Amma on the East Coast. I’m hoping others might feel moved to do so, too. I pray for your peace of mind and for the strength to move forward. And that your path might be lightened.

    In Amma,

  • Divya says:

    Kamala and Link,

    Do you want people to attend the cremation? Can we know Annika’s full name if we need to call to confirm the time?

    I Googled Roselawn and got this–is it correct?

    Roselawn Cemetery & Crmtrm
    1240 N Livermore Ave, Livermore, CA
    (510) 581-1206

    In Amma,

  • Divya says:

    Kamala and Link,

    Another message from me—I would like to come but I don’t think I can. It is a long distance for me to go for the shape I’m in, and then the next day I fly to Europe for surgery.

    In Amma,

  • Aishwarya says:

    Om NAmah Shivaya
    May Anni rest in Amma’s lap..

  • Sathya says:

    Dearest Kamala and Link,

    May she rest in Her Divine arms forever.

    My condolences and love to you both.

    You are amazing.

    – sathya

  • Janani says:

    I was writing home to our sisters and brothers in the ashram, telling them about your time with us in San Ramon, and about Anni’s beautiful darshans, and the tears came to me again. I know you grieve at losing Anni, and yet, how blessed that she had those beautiful times all her lie=fe, and then too near the end, in San Ramon. May Mother stay close in your hearts, Kamala and Link–you have been a perfect loving support for Anni; now let Amma cradle you both.


  • aum says:

    With tears in eyes
    With love of the heart

    Offering prayers to AMMA
    To blissfully transcend Anni

    Into Her realms of Ectacy
    Where there is no more death


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