In the third and final part, Svagito organises the transport of Meera’s body and hears a first report from the police investigation.
Thursday, February 23, 2017
Again I spent the night awake, images of the accident always in front of my eyes. I left a candle burning. I was wearing Meera’s chain with the Osho marble pendant, which I have been wearing since. Even though my energy and nervous system were in a state of high alert, my body had rested somewhat. All I wanted to do today was to see Meera’s body, spend more time with her and get her some flowers, which I had not been able to do so far.
Without breakfast I checked out early and asked for instructions where to change money. I was told to be careful in that part of town, as it was not a safe area. I also wanted to find a flower shop.
It was again a puzzle to locate the bank in the shopping mall. I parked the car and wandered around without finding it and finally asked in a small shop. The shop keeper was very kind and walked me to the bank and also told me where I could find a flower shop. With some money in my pocket I got back in the car, and eventually found the small flower shop and bought all the roses they had and some tea lights as well.
The next challenge was to get back to the funeral company. I had memorized the direct way from the hotel, but after having driven around and around so many times it was hard to figure out which way to go, even with my good sense of direction. In this small town everything looked the same.
When I finally managed to get there, with all my roses, I told the staff I wanted to be with Meera undisturbed for some hours. They took her body out of the cooler and prepared a small space in the garage where I could sit with her. I placed all the flowers around her body, lit the tea lights and played Osho songs from my iPad. Finally alone with her and undisturbed… except for the sound of the generator that turned on every few minutes making a loud noise.
I felt Meera’s presence very strongly. She was smiling at me and telling me that she was in a good space and that I should not worry about her. I saw her looking at me with so much love and care. She was concerned about me, but I promised her that I would be okay. I talked with her about so many things and also asked Osho’s guidance. In between I had again those strong guilt attacks. I sometimes danced and sometimes sat silently, and accompanied the Osho songs with my own shaky voice.
The atmosphere in the room was undescribable as if a huge space had opened up where there was no past and future. There was so much love and silence and sacredness. I only ever experienced this when Osho left his body.
Some hours passed in no time. The undertaker returned and reminded me of the many things that still needed to be done. I had to return to the practical world and again had to leave Meera’s body. Some more paperwork and signatures, and we also had to decide about the coffin. It was already late afternoon and I had to pick up Chetana from the airport. I told the undertaker I would return the following day, to sort out everything and to pay him.
The drive to Durban airport was about 200 km, which luckily were mostly on the highway. I was driving fast, over the limit, and was stopped by the police. I paid a fine and they let me go. Once in a while I had to stop to adjust the front spoiler which had also been damaged, probably when I drove too fast over a speed-breaker. It was no longer firmly attached and made a loud noise.
This time I had no problems with finding the airport and arrived on time to pick up Chetana, who landed on an evening flight from Mallorca.
We hugged and cried and hugged and cried.
It was my first meeting with a friend since Meera left, which felt like an eternity ago, even though only 2 ½ days had passed. I was careful not to tell the whole story too many times; I still needed to function in this world. Although it had been decided that Meera’s body was going to Japan, so many things needed still to be arranged. I was glad that a friend had come and that all the local paperwork was now completed.
At the airport I changed a big amount of money, also to pay for the undertaker, and then we drove off looking in a neighbouring small town for the hotel that the manager in Sodwana Bay had arranged for me. We found the hotel, but there was no reservation and it was full. I phoned the manager; he told me the correct hotel was a different one, a guest house actually. Again it took a long time to find it; it was a very simple place. We were both quite exhausted, Chetana from her long journey and me from being continuously on too much adrenaline. When we arrived, there was an urgent message for me from a police investigator who had been trying to get hold of me for two days. I phoned the number and told him he could meet me the following day in Richards Bay, in the hotel where I had stayed the previous night and where I also made a reservation now for two rooms, one for Chetana and one for me.
I opened Facebook, read each one of the many messages that had come in and posted this:
Thank you for all your hundreds of messages. Each time I read about your love for Meera it helps me to cry. I am so immensely grateful for your love for Meera and for me. I feel like one half of me has departed.
I try to do my best and find out how to deal with everything in the way she would have loved it. It seems legally impossible to bring her body back to India, maybe her ashes. After sitting with her I was feeling that she would like to be cremated in Japan. So I am trying this now.
Whenever I am able to I will answer you all individually, but I am too overwhelmed right now. I want to share with all of you whatever Meera has left on this shore of her incredible energy and love and paintings, so it can enrich everyone’s life. I have never met a more generous and giving person with so much love for people. And I can read from your messages that you also felt her totality in everything and her joy and love.
I can’t find any other words right now.
I felt that she is in a very good space, full of light and smiles. Please celebrate her leaving with hugs and dances and laughter.
I write again.
And later I posted:
What an explosion of love all around! Thank you, thank you, thank you.
This was Meera’s speciality, to bring people together. She was a master in touching people’s hearts. Now she gave us her last gift, bringing us all together in love. What a way she had!
These are some of our last photos together!
Friday, February 24, 2017
Early in the morning, I left with Chetana and drove the 200 km back to Richards Bay. I was again thinking that it was maybe not a good idea to delay the cremation for so long by taking Meera’s body all the way to Japan.
When we arrived at the funeral company I asked the undertaker how long it would take to arrange a cremation in South Africa. He looked at me in bewilderment as if I was crazy. Now that he had arranged everything, all the papers and the transport to Japan… I could see that he was proud that he had managed to organise – he knew some people at the airport – that her body could travel the very next day! And now I was asking this? I told him that it was just a question. Anyway, there was a weekend coming up and it would have also taken some time.
Chetana wanted to see Meera’s body – I no longer had the feeling that I needed to see her body. I had already said good-bye to her the day before, but anyway visited her again together with Chetana. Something was different this time. I felt Meera was no longer close to her body. It was now only an empty shell. My beloved had left and was spreading her energy into the universe.
I paid the undertaker who told me that all was arranged and that Meera’s body would travel with us the next evening on the same flight to Dubai.
It was late afternoon when we finally reached the hotel. The police investigator was already waiting for us. He was very kind and questioned me about what happened before and during the accident. He was upset with the other policemen who should have informed him immediately and had not properly secured all the evidence. He should have been the one to be contacted in case of any dive-related accidents.
Also he could not say anything about what might have happened to Meera. I showed him her dive computer and her GoPro dive camera. His wife, who had come with him, tried to extract the data from the camera, but did not manage for some reason. They took all the items with them and he said he would return again the next morning.
More Facebook posts:
The one thing that eases my pain slightly is to feel the love that everyone has for my beloved Meera and the love she provoked in all of us. It may take me years to get over this loss and I do not know right now if I ever will manage. But now it is this moment. I read all your messages over and over again, so inexpressibly beautiful as if for a moment we all became one.
She always said to me, ’Take care of me!’ To feel that in her last moment I was an utter failure to do so is very painful. I was with her and still not close enough to save her life. What a blow to my ego and a lesson from existence that we are just a small drop in the ocean and have nothing in our hands. Ultimately it is existence that takes care of us.
I can fill a whole book with stories about her and our almost 25 years of life together and I know you too have many stories to tell. Gladly I will listen to some of them and maybe collect them, if you want to share.
But right now I have to keep reminding myself that it is important to not only feel my loss and what is no more possible, but also to be aware what is good for her and would help her on this unknown journey we are all going to take one day – a reminder to also live the joy, totality, trust, compassion and spontaneous expression she embodied.
I feel her very much around everywhere and keep talking to her and she is always smiling her unique Meera smile – just the way she did when she was in the body.
Thank your for listening to my personal sharing.
Saturday, February 25, 2017 – Last day in South Africa
In the morning Chetana helped me to pack Meera’s suitcase properly and put some order into all her things. I threw away almost all the dive items.
As promised, the investigator returned together with his wife. We found a quiet room in the hotel to sit down and he said he had to tell me something that he had found out. Although he was not supposed to tell me, he felt he should let me know. My heart immediately started pounding; I called Chetana to come down and hold my hand.
The investigator said that he had found out that Meera’s air cylinder was closed. She had no air to breathe. He had checked Meera’s camera and the reason why we were unable to read the data the day before was that there was too much data to transfer to the computer. Meera must have taken some photos at the beach and had forgotten to switch off her camera. The camera was running and recording all the time what was going on.
From the recording he could see that, when Meera was under water, there were no air bubbles escaping from her mouth piece. He concluded that there was no air coming from the tank. Someone must have turned it off by mistake on the boat. Because we swam down so quickly after jumping into the water, Meera had not realised that there was no air coming from the tank. There must have been still a little air in the hose for the first few breaths, but when she became aware that something was wrong, she was already about three metres under water. And for some reason she became unconscious very soon. Whether she managed to reach the surface or not he could not tell. To this day it remains unclear what exactly happened in those critical seconds and why Meera was unable to reach the surface in time from only three meters depth.
On hearing this I almost fainted. I could hardly get up. I dashed up to my room, sent Chetana away, and screamed and beat the cushions. They had killed her! I kept going for some time, while Chetana was getting more and more worried about me.
I eventually came down and the investigator was still there with his wife and their computer, writing reports and looking at data. He asked me to leave both our dive computers with him (Meera’s and mine) and also kept the camera chips as evidence. He told me all this would be returned to me after the investigation was completed and that I would be contacted by the police – something that to this day has yet to happen!
It was already past our check-out time; the investigator had asked the hotel to let us stay so that he could interview me as long as needed. He was very kind and sensitive.
My mind was going round in circles. What should I have done differently? How could I have saved Meera’s life? I remembered exactly the moment on the boat when I had the impulse to check the air supply again and how I saw the guy from the boat turning the valve on Meera’s tank. Why did I not double-check? All went so fast. And what if I had stayed close to her instead of diving down so fast to follow the dive guide? On and on it went in my head – there were times I wanted to hit my head against a wall. Why did it not happen to me? There were, of course, no answers.
Finally we had to leave for Durban to catch our evening flight to Dubai. Chetana would be on the same plane, and then from Dubai she would fly back to Mallorca while I continued to Tokyo.
During the car ride I asked Chetana if she had ever deliberately crashed a car. She looked at me with big eyes and said, “No!” I said, “Neither have I,” and “How about doing something that we have never done before?”
We never went as far as actually doing this ‘something’, but on the highway to Durban we had to stop a few times because the front spoiler had started to twist itself around the front axle. We literally just made it to the car rental place where the car stopped dead in front of it. We couldn’t have moved a single metre more.
On the way to the terminal building we saw an African street singer playing on his guitar. This was the first African live music I heard on our whole trip and I remembered how Meera was so eager to see more of African dancing. I said to Meera: “This is for you!” I stopped and danced for Meera next to the street musician who was so happy that a foreign tourist would dance to his rhythm.
I was leaving South Africa with the body of my beloved Meera in the hold while I was in the passenger cabin. I lay down in my seat as if dead – something of me had really died. The only sign of life was my unstoppable tears running down my cheeks, tears that would become my daily companions for the next few months.
On the occasion of Meera’s birthday, today May 24, there will be an Art Festival and Exhibition in Diessen am Ammersee, Germany (May 25–27, 2018 – 10 am to 9.30 pm)
Svagito is a therapist, teacher and training leader and uses various therapeutic modalities, such as Family Constellation, Male-Female Energywork, Pulsation, Trauma Healing and others. He has been Meera’s partner for 25 years and sometimes together and sometimes alone they have been travelling extensively every year visiting many countries. Together they had homes in Munich, Poona and Japan. www.family-constellation.net
Meera – 21st February 2017 – tribute page
Meera Art Festival and Exhibition – Painting exhibition and events on creativity and self-expression in Diessen am Ammersee
Dancing into the Unknown: Osho Painting and Art Therapy – review of Meera’s posthumously published book, that includes many testimonies from students and assistants
Celebrating Meera’s Legacy