Her passing was graceful and painless, surrounded by family and those who love her. Darlene’s husband Tony says one moment she was breathing and the next moment she wasn’t.
Family and sangha washed her body, dressed it in priest robes and rakusu, and set the body on a red cloth on a bed a Russian River Zendo. Friends are welcome to come and sit together with Darlene’s body at RRZ for the next day and a half. I am planning to drive up this afternoon.
Although Darlene had been declining for weeks and a there would clearly be no turning back, she was alive until the end, teaching — sometimes silently, sometimes, with a smile, or with a bright word from day to day. Her dying unfolded as she lived and as she taught, body to body, with great joy even as things were falling away.
This is still very fresh for me, and my thoughts are not fully formed. But I am so grateful to have Darlene as a friend, someone in my life. Her way of being fully alive changes me in ways that I hope to understand in time. And I miss her. Darlene was fun to be with. With her, even frivolity was a serious matter, the dharma itself.
Ease and comfort to her family — Tony, Ethan, and Matthew — and to all of us who love and were touched by this great spirit. Darlene is now free to dance and make trouble in the fields of all buddhas and bodhisattvas.
— Hozan Alan Senauke