The realization that I would never get to laugh with my dear cousin Gu again was instantly heartbreaking, and the aching overflowed. The moments we’ve shared together in our lives came rushing at me. An image of the warm bright smile that was often plastered on his face has been giving me comfort among this storm. That smile would peak right as he would burst out in a bellied laugh. I have many memories of our childhoods together, whether it was a holiday gathering, a Sanibel Island vacation, art camp or army camp, we were always silly and mischievous children together. My fondest and most vivid memories of Gu are the ones made most recently.
We once stopped at Starbucks to use their internet (after Bhag’s GPS took us in most comical circles around the Norfolk airport). While I was checking on my flight, Gu politely stated that he was going to be back momentarily. When he came back, something was different about him. I stared for a minute, and we laughed so hard when I realized that he had just shaved his moustache off in the Starbucks bathroom. Just for fun. This is an excellent portrayal of an aspect of him that I absolutely loved: his sense of spontaneity. For instance, he nonchalantly orders hot chocolate at a restaurant, even though we’re still sweating from the immense heat outside on the walk over.
He was just over one year older than me, but set aside our goofy moments, and I looked up to him as a wise man. Gu’s philosophies of life were so interesting to me and the deepness of his thoughts always amazed me. His talent and knowledge never surprised me, but often comforted me. When there was nothing on the radio he recited from memory Edgar Allen Poe’s poem, The Raven, without missing a beat and with perfect expression of each word, each line. He would recite it in his head at night when he couldn’t fall asleep. While sharing a room at the beach house this summer, we went to the midnight viewing of a film (based around the complexity of the human dream) and when we returned to our beds, rather than dream, we just talked about dreams for hours. Gu is in my dreams and will be in my heart always. I now see him in every color-changing autumn leaf, in every vast field, in each bright moon, and in each brisk wind. His name, Guru, means disperser of darkness. He gives me a reason to smile brilliantly, sing abundantly, and laugh hysterically.
Guru Meher Singh Khalsa 1988-2010