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  • Matt Balogh

How Nonna Died


Hundreds of people who did not know my mother came to her funeral. They came not to mourn, nor out of curiosity. They came to honour the passing on of a Satsangi who died at the feet of the Master. Millions pray that this would be how they too will die. My mother was chosen to have Baba Ji to see her on her way, the greatest honour that any Satsangi can have. They told me that this was the death of a saint.

This is that story. And I'm afraid this is a long story, covering much more than the circumstances of my mother's death, but embellished by a great deal of true detail about my own, spiritual experience getting to the Dera, and what happened when I got there. But you must clearly understand this: my mother wanted me to have this surreal experience. She wanted me take this experience back. If you want to know what MY experience was, read on.

Having set up in business on my own just five months previous, and with ailing fortunes, I had been calling into question the existence of God. Indeed, on my daily jogs, I would think to myself, if there is a God, then please give me a sign. So it is fitting that that sign came, while I was jogging. It might seem strange that having your mother taken away from you would be interpreted as a sign from God that he does indeed exist. But reserve your judgement for the full story, and you too will understand how powerfully His presence was but upon me.

This is the story of Margot's passing onto to the next world. It is not her story, it is mine, for that is the only story I know. Only Margot knows her own story, but I have tried to fill in some of my own gaps with the accounts of others, as you'll soon discover. It is an extraordinary and beautiful story, that I don't fully understand. But it goes something like this:

Mom was desperate to again visit the Dera, the home of Radha Soami, India. I discovered from her letters that she originally wrote to ask for permission to come during the autumn session, in November of 1997. However, at this time she couldn't get a private room, so she settled on coming in the spring session, which is in February.

Somehow I wonder if she knew what was going to happen. When Mom was last in Australia, a doctor recommended that she had a barium meal to check for a potential stomach ulcer. But she declined, saying that she would rather not know. So from this it would seem that she long suspected that she had an ulcer. Indeed, when she travelled to the Dera in Punjab, she carried one large suitcase, and a smaller one. The small suitcase was almost half full of medications of many different types. Apart from a few other items, its major other contents was cigarettes - no surprise!

But mom was also making plans. Before she left, she posted a letter to me, detailing the arguments for selling her house in Poggio. She was keen to start tying up the loose ends in her wordly life.

Mom had also been asking me to come to Dera with her... indeed she suggested I come on this occasion. In the end she got her way. And in many ways, it would seem that this was her plan all along. The arrangements following her death in a remote area of the Punjab turned out to be far easier to organise there than they would have been in Rome, or even Sydney, as you'll discover from this extraordinary story. Read the full story.

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