Sadly, this is one of the longest running ideas in my blog drafts folders. It’s sat there through two Guru Purnima holidays. At one time there was even a few paragraphs written.
My intention was to write about the beautiful spiritual traditions of the Himalayas and pay homage to my guru. I spent a beautiful Guru Purnima with the family this year at the Meditation Center in Minneapolis, complete with puja and all. This year once again I found this post staring at me from my drafts folder. I just couldn’t seem to write it. This month of August found me with two other failed posts, half or mostly written that just weren’t going where I wanted them to. I have something that needs saying that has been pushing all other creative juices aside.
I’ve been working remotely from NOLA this week. Because this is experimental, I found myself working harder than I would if I were actually in the office, juggling too many calls and meetings well past traditional end of the work day. When that end time finally arrived, we tried to spend some time in the city.
Thursday, while out with a friend from our House, we received sad news. Papa Edgard Jean-Louis (Papa Edgard) had passed away from our visible world. Papa Edgard was our Guru. He taught so many of us our connection to Vodou, initiated many of those in our House and shared his wonderful presence of spirit (and the spirits) with us all. He had Presence. I’m happy to have met him.
While his passing was not a complete surprise at his age of 90, it was certainly felt as a blow to all of us who loved him. We feel a connection through him to the ancestors beyond; one which will now be experienced in a different way. Papa Edgard can be felt in the members of my House today, his presence lives on in NOLA and in the peristyle. The loss however is a shock and not easy to come to terms with the complex series of emotions one feels in such a situation.
It seems unbelievable that one could survive the earthquake in Haiti this year, to fall at this point. Our Papa was a strong man whose time had come. He will be remembered, honored in our House, and will live on as those special souls in our life should.
I have lost a guru, one of many in my life. Those special people who guide us along our spiritual paths and leave such an imprint upon us that we are changed forever. Someone that through direct and indirect action has altered the course of my life.
Next Guru Purnima, I will be honoring the gurus in my life, those among the living and those no longer in this world. I will remember my Papa, light a candle and say his name. He’ll be there with me, as I can still feel him today. He’ll be honored and remembered.