Symbols of the world's religions


Dagmar Lai (Paris)

The most important thing in Anita's life was Meher Baba. Her meeting him during her youth certainly changed her life, and several months spent with him — in Italy and in France — became her most important memory. She had a lovely closeness to him and had the gift to make him laugh. Her greatest happiness was to be able to speak again and again of her memories.

When Anita loved someone, she was adorable, very warm, a real heart companion. When she did not like someone, she was entirely sincere and said what she thought. I had the good fortune to be loved by her, and I loved her, too. She was my first contact with the Baba family, and her warm greeting — without knowing me in the beginning — completely enchanted me.

Our friendship lasted for 22 years, and in difficult or painful moments of my life, she sustained me with her love. She was, for instance, the first person, outside of my family, to visit my daughter Laura, located at that time in a specialized nursery. She had, moreover, a very special relationship with Laura. They had long conversations together: Laura spoke to her of her real worries, and Anita gave her advice that Laura listened to.

The death of Roger was a deep wound for Anita, and it took her a long time to get over it. For awhile, she did not mention Baba. Then, little by little she saw that Baba had not abandoned her, and her life took on again another dimension. When she spoke again of Baba, it was with deepened love and understanding.

She told of when, one day Baba asked her, 'Anita, if I asked you to go about completely nude, would you do it?' And she replied, 'With your help, Baba.' And I think this is what it was, the deep realization at the end of her life: that Baba had — already at that time in her life — prepared her to be completely naked, that is to say, alone without Roger, and that Baba's help for her was there.

I was not there when, on one more occasion, she was hospitalized in the fall of 97, but she told me afterwards, that at that time she was certain she was dying, and that this experience had removed all fear of death. She wished only not to return to the hospital and not to die alone. This wish was granted, as she died in her bed without suffering, in the presence of her dear friend Anne.

I think she was able to leave in peace to rejoin her beloved Roger and her beloved Meher Baba.

Translated by Don E. Stevens (Copyright 98-03/28)

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