September 6, 2009, Poona: We are deeply sad to inform you that our dear friend and companion and stalwart in Beloved Baba’s love, Erico, has returned to Baba’s embrace at 11:30 a.m. on September 6th in Sahyadri Hospital in Poona. He passed away in the ICU with a close companion by his side.
On September 5th Erico’s neurological condition took a turn for the worse. Although his previous CT scans demonstrated significant damage, Erico’s neurosurgeon was hopeful it had not translated deep into the brain. However, yesterday’s CT scan revealed this was not the case. Instead of improvement, the scan showed the damage had progressed to the brain stem which controls the automatic functions of breathing, circulation and heart function. The brain stem was so extensively impaired it could no longer sustain Erico’s life. Heather was in close contact with Erico’s neurosurgeon and she was fully aware that Erico’s situation had deteriorated and that his passing was imminent.
Avatar Meher Baba ki Jai!
Dear Erico’s body was brought to Meherabad and on 7 Sep 2009 morning was taken to Samadhi and then to cremation ground where he was cremated in the presence of Mandli, Trustees of AMBPPCT & several Baba lovers.
Peter Booth writes from Meherabad through Email —
. . . What this is for dear Erico, or what Baba has done through this I don’t think any one knows or can imagine–but for all of us it is a great loss. As I’m sure you know Erico had a brilliant, insightful mind and this coupled with his gregarious, inquisitive nature meant that Erico knew a wealth of information about virtually every person who came into Baba’s contact, and every aspect of Baba’s life and work; he knew Baba’s writing inside out, thousands of stories directly told to him by the mandali, some of which they told to no one else; their own personal struggles of being with Baba, their problems with one another and on and on.
Countless times when I would bump into Erico in Meherabad a conversation would begin on a seeming insignificant thread and end much later in a vast realm where he had been able to help reveal some unique facet of the Avatar’s personality or working from his insights
into things he had gleaned from countless sources–most of which had been personally told to him. I know that a lot of what he heard from Padri is written down in the book he was writing about him. A lot of the rest, however, is lost, but more importantly, the personality
that was a living treasure house of so much of the Avatar’s spirit–who so willingly shared this with everyone–is also gone.
I’ve come across two things from Baba’s words that I’ve found comforting– “Unprecedented suffering leads to unprecedented spiritual growth” and a section out of Lord Meher where Baba says he gives great suffering only to His dearest ones as it is a golden spiritual treasure.
I have been working on some translations of Hafiz, and in the course of this I came across a couplet that Erico loved. He placed it in the beginning of his book on Padri as he felt it expressed the essence of Padri’s relationship with Baba. The couplet expresses the nature of the Perfect Master or Avatar, whose sole ambition is to free others by giving them God-realization. I think it also expresses the spirit
of Erico life:
“I am the slave of the
of that One
who under the blue firmament
is free of everything that
accepts the color of attachment”