Monday, December 29, 2008

Haridwar 14 December 08, Second Anniversary of Mike's Death

We arrived in Delhi around midnight Friday night 12 December. On 13 December we planned a trip to Haridwar so I could put some of Mike's ashes in the Ganges River there, on the second anniversary of his death. It meant a lot to me, needless to say, and everyone there, Krishna, Raju, and our friend Sushil, were all for it and made it happen.

We did not get very good pictures of this experience. It was an emotional day. Gopal and I were able to have a good discussion about Mike and how I can hold him in my heart and look at his death.
En route to Haridwar
Haridwar is located where the Ganges leaves the Himalaya and is one of the holiest Hindu cities.
(The woman in the distance is me, dressed in a saree appropriate for the occasion and blue for Mike. I'd like to think he would like that.)
Raju is standing next to the van. The van was a terrible ride.

Haridwar ghat

It is said that if you completely immerse yourself in the Ganges, all your sins are washed away.
Here Sushil and Krishna are helping me submerse myself. (The water was extremely cold and moving frighteningly fast. It was shocking and overwhelming.)
There was a young swami there to walk me through the ritual. Here we are saying mantras over handfuls of flowers as we release them to the river.
There is no picture of Mike's ashes going into the river. They had to remind me that this is a joyous celebration and not heartbreaking.

This one was for Carlos Nasol, my daughter Suzie's father-in-law, who died a year ago.
The flowers for Mike and Carlos came in a "boat" of banana leaf filled with marigolds and a few roses, as well as a small clay saucer holding a burning wick.
Sushil, Carolyn, Krishna, and Raju, having dried off.

Ganga statue, the river mother


Raju, as our flat tire was being fixed on the way home.
Our return trip was long and hard. The roads are horrible, and I honestly don't think this little van had any suspension. To make a very long story shorter, we had two flat tires on the way home and ran out of gas twice!! Every time I sit somewhere where my butt hurts, I refer to it as "Haridwar butt."
Love this guy, Raju, but hate this vehicle.
The entire day was memorable, and I am so grateful I had the chance to put Mike's ashes in the Ganges River. I would like to do it again, maybe at Rishikesh.

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