Our friend and community member, Allegra Themmen-Pigott passed over on Sunday. Allegra exemplified courage in her battle with Pancreatic Cancer but also presence. It was a privilege to be her teacher and friend this past year. She taught me and continues to teach through me, the value of compassion and learning to love one’s life. She was an opera singer, she loved chanting. We chanted in class, in her family room and ultimately in her bedroom. I can hear her voice carrying me in Om Mani Padme Hum. Sometimes she laughed between padmes and hums, with my off key or off tempo attempts to stay with her. I told her, ‘Allegra, I can not sing and you want me to chant with you?’ to which she simply said, ‘then practice’. Mostly, I hear Allegra proclaim, ‘I love my life!’. She was near her passing when she spoke those words through tears of joy. Fully aware that the worst thing of her life was happening, her truth – loving her life, is something we can all do in some simple way now. Today. Love your life. There is a way, every day. If that is a challenge, Allegra would tell you, ’then practice’.
Her book, Life in the Key of Allegra, is available here. An Audible version, read and recorded by her identical twin, Tania, is int he works and will be available soon.