It started when Tom told us Lenny had died. Lenny who so many of us, who passed through India, knew well as a somewhat India eccentric, often alone, unusual, kind hearted almost always smiling or laughing, man who spoke to all. Originally American Lenny lived and studied in Varanasi. A few days after posting of Lenny’s death Tom heard that Lenny still alive, and living in a nursing home in America. He had to tell us all it was a mistake and so took on the mantel of keeping us informed of Lenny’s whereabouts and as it happens, deteriorating health. He invited us to write to Lenny. I wrote, but failed to send the letter until the day he died. Oh my terrible procrastination. The rest is below, including a very touching tribute from Vijay, my friend in Sattal.
To Lenny Mock, C/O Medicalodges-Gardner, 223 Bedford Street, Gardner, KS 66030 USA.
Tom Riddle has linked us all into your life again, and for that I am grateful for he forwarded your news from Kansas to your friends in Sattal. Although I think I last saw you in Sarnath – Sattal Sarnath same same.
‘I just worry that i am somehow not authentic’ you said, laughing, at the same time as serious, and I remember this as that feeling resonated with me then too. We never know where our words may land.
So chocolate milk with every meal, good friends who remind you of Sattal, a nurse from India, with whom you can converse in Hindi, and meditation daily, – this does sound like you have died and gone to heaven.
You miss the freedom of wandering the Sattal hills. Me too. I haven’t been back to India now for over 10 years. Instead I have settled in my birth country, England, and in East Anglia. I bought a small wood, and here I meditate, run Forest School for kids and chop wood, re-introducing the coppice cycle. Those days in India, though are strong, and are frequent visitors to my minds eye. I remember once coming up to see your pad in BHU, and being impressed with you being a student there, at this prestigious university. What were you studying? Sanskrit? I can see your face in the room of meditators, I can see your walk along the street of Sarnath.
I never married or had children, but instead have two beloved dogs, both boarder collies and campervan within which I travel, always east, a dream to drive to India one day.
Take care Lenny – love to you,
From Tom Riddle:
I received this this morning at 6:30 AM, April 24, here in Ohio. It was sent three hours ago by Lenny’s cousin. I’ll write a little more at the bottom.– TR
Wanted all of you to know that Leonard (known to many of you as Lenny) passed away peacefully at 11:55 PM on Tuesday, April 23, 2019, at the Olathe Hospice House, Olathe, Kansas, USA.
At this time cremation is planned with burial of his ashes in the family plot at Mount Moriah Cemetery in Kansas City, MO. I will let you know as soon as possible when additional arrangements are made.
Lenny lived a blessed life and had many friends all over the world as well as relatives in the Kansas City area who will miss his quiet ways.
Cheryl Haines (one of his first cousins)
14815 S. Locust St.
Olathe, KS 66062-2619 USA
I’m still processing this, but I can say a few things.
I first made contact with Lenny’s cousin a few months ago by telephoning a number that I thought might be connected to him. It was Lenny’s cousin, Cheryl. She and I immediately, in a way, understood each other in that we both have some kind of down-to-earth American midwestern roots. Plus she shares some of Lenny’s openness.
She visited him every day over the last few weeks and read the messages that people have written to him.
Her last message was on Sunday,
Thank you, Tom, for the messages received today. I will read them to Lenny tomorrow.
His condition hasn’t really changed much in the last few days. He’s still receiving pain meds and calming medication and they “reposition” him every three-four hours. Seems like the waiting is the only thing to do. Takes patience. –Cheryl
My first thoughts are that Lenny, probably much more than most of us, led the life that he wanted to lead. To me, it always seemed that Lenny did things very naturally with amazing humility. I would never of have had the courage to live as simply, as trusting, as he did. He also had a wonderful lightness of being that comes from not taking yourself too seriously. It’s a great teaching for us all.
If you have a note or some thoughts, you can send them to me and I’ll pass them onto Lenny’s cousin or you can just share them with me.
I’ll write Cheryl just now and tomorrow I’ll pass on any thoughts that you have.
— Tom Riddle
Lenny’s long-time friend in Sattal, Vijay, wrote the touching message below which he has given me permission to share. — Tom Riddle
Wed, Apr 24, 8:00 AM (1 day ago)
layi hayaat aaye qaaza le chali chale
na apni khushi aaye na apni khushi chale
Life brought me here and I came, when death took me away, I went away with it
Neither did I come of my own will, nor will I go of my own accord.
Thank you Tom for keeping us updated on Lenny’s final lap on this planet. The innocent sparkle in his eyes reflected pureness of his soul and lightness of his being.
His spirit never left Sattal ever since he left the valley 2013. Lenny Da was our mascot of Love and Peace. He shall be remembered as the coolest loving person we came across. Along with myriads Happy memories of him can describe endlessly, I also have many pictures of Lenny Da..
He lived in Peace.. He will Rest peacefully..
And will be our inspiration… Forever ❤️