A MOTHER'S LAST YEARS IN VRINDAVAN

Many Vraja-vasis, devotees, and parents of devotees have already benefitted from Bhaktivedanta Hospice’s services. At the hospice opening, Srila Prabhupada’s disciple Nirguna Devi Dasi spoke about her mother’s last two years in Vrindavan. She and her parents had first met Srila Prabhupada in 1971 in Calcutta, and in 1975 she was initiated in Vrindavan, during the opening of the Krishna-Balaram Temple. By the time she brought her mother to Vrindavan in the summer of 2008, her mother had been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for about five years and had been bedridden for the last three. She had requested that she never be taken to a hospital. When a flat became available in the MVT complex, Nirguna moved there with her mother.

Dr. Syamavallabha and Dr. Anantasimha came regularly to see her, and they always answered my calls promptly, Nirguna said. In addition to seeing to my mother, they also helped me to cope psychologically and emotionally, as it was so hard to see my mother starve to death, which was the reality of the situation. They arranged everything we needed to keep her as comfortable as possible – an air mattress, a device for administering measured amounts of pain medication, an oxygen cylinder, and medicines that we were sometimes unable to obtain, even after trying many places in Delhi.

A few days before Gaura Purnima, my mother stopped taking even water. Dr. Anantasimha expertly outlined all that was about to occur and helped me prepare myself. Dr. Syamavallabha was also advising me on the phone, telling me to be strong and let her go. Finally, she went very peacefully and gracefully – one day after Gaura Purnima, in the midst of devotees singing Krishna’s names.

Thanks to Bhaktivedanta Hospice, my mother had state-of-the-art care at home – and in sacred Vrindavan. The hospice staff was always most helpful, coming regularly to give injections and replace catheters. In short, Bhaktivedanta Hospice was God-sent, or Krishna-sent, in every sense of the word. My brothers too were both moved by and extremely grateful for this selfless service. Through the hospice’s sincere care for my mother, they saw the true Vrindavan spirit of service. The role of the hospice and of Giriraja Swami in my mother’s exemplary departure onward from Vrindavan cannot be acknowledged enough. Bhaktivedanta Hospice is performing a service of utmost value. Their support for dying devotees, given with loving care, allows devotees to make their transition from this life in a dignified and peaceful way, in remembrance of Krishna. Surely this service is most pleasing to Srila Prabhupada, who instilled in us the value of living and dying in Krishna’s land.

(Source http://btg.krishna.com/bhaktivedanta-hospice-aid-journey-home)