Experienced days after the death of Michael Oliver
Introductory notes: We had heard the dome come crashing down from far away in our room in the afternoon. When I learned that my friend Michael Oliver was injured or dead I went with Robert Bruce to see if we could locate him. He was in the old hospital building. There I was very shocked by the state he was in, but he was very animated and talking to Carol and others. Someone said he must be removed to Bangalore due to lack of facilities, but he demurred strongly. I asked him if he wanted me to go with him, he said NO very decidedly. Later it was decided above his head that an ordinary van would carry him to the hospital in B'lore. While leaving the hospital later, I met Andrew arriving and I suggested that if Michael were to be moved, he might consider accompanying him (I was due to leave India within 48 hours, so best I did not go)
Transcript of notes below
(Michael died either en route to Bangalore or afterwards. (about 1 p.m. perhaps)
27/10/90 M(orning) darsan Sai quite unmoved by any tragedy! He was fairly 'distant' and peaceful. No look in my direction. During the 'end' of darsan Sai distributed shirts and lungis to a group of about 25 Indian workers - and gave his red vibuthi basket for distribution of (orange) products. At one point he glanced my way.
Further facts about the accident yesterday emerged. The engineer was to blame for constructing a concrete dome without reinforcements (steel et.) But he had cleared the building by 12.30. A message from Sai told that all work was to stop for 3 days. The Santa Cruz group ignored it - tho' Parvati tried to convince them. They joked and said they had only 1/2 hours' more work to do to complete the entire project. They locked the door from within so as not to be further disturbed. The lady with them was a Mexican (????) not Carol.
Met N. Zealander with brain tumour of 10 years 'vintage' after doctors gave him 3 months. He had hiked to P.N. and was staying here long term again. Etc.
Attended the funeral of Bonnie and _______ (note: Carol) They were burnt on the Chitravati around midday.
(Note: The two US ladies killed were Jean (Mrs. John Brown Hebel) (45) and Mrs. Air Bonnie Lynni Mainaric (43), of San Francisco)
29/10/90 Morn. darsan. Swami went by unconcernedly. We were ready to leave at 10. - but the wrong (smaller) car came. We were delayed by about 30-40 min). When we left, Sai Geetha (note: Sai Baba's elephant) was at the gate and we stopped, gave her a banana etc- Then, just after it, Swami came by in the car - we leapt out and had his waving, smiling darsan as the very last 'goodbye' from Prashanthi.
We were at the Chickaballapur rest stop hotel and were finished with our tea, when a car carrying Andrew, Carol and Emily drew in. We got to hear the 'story' of Michael's last hours and his funeral. The chief facts were:
Michael did suffer terrible pain all the time from the accident until his death. A lady doctor accompanied him, also Andrew in the van. Michael wanted several times to disconnect his oxygen. Eventually he pulled off the bandage around his head - and that is when he probably died. His left leg and foot were uninjured. - Andrew massaged these.
Michael died before reaching Bangalore - but the doctors said, upon arrival at hosp. (after 5 hours journey) that Michael must have been dead from 4 to 7 hours! This was not possible, though. Michael had spoken occasionally until fairly close to Bangalore. His heartbeat went on after removal of the bandage and rebandaging. The Brindavan Seva Dal helped at the funeral and made the ceremony very excellent!
In the eve Reidun and I went to the West End 'Paradise Isle'. Stayed at shabby, inefficient, smelly Cauvery!
Had lunch buffet at the Nelson Room, Windsor Manor Hotel. Exquisite in all way! With Robert and Rita. Went in taxi on some errand with Robert.
Scan of directly recorded notes [by Robert Priddy]
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