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On Monday, September 5th, my brother was released from this world.

All of us were gathered around him: his 4 children, both of the women that he married in the course of his 44 years, my mother and myself. We held him in our love, with our hands, around our hearts.

We sang. We prayed. We bathed his beloved body in rose water as is the Baha’i custom, and we wrapped him in the silk shroud.

Dana, my beautiful, beloved, big brother has gone.



The boy who jumped from waterfalls, who rolled around hills, who swung rattlesnakes by their tale.


The boy who felt closer to me than my own life breath as I was a baby, the one who held my hand and pushed me down the mountain in the big wheel.


IMG_6167Who twirled with me under the old oak trees.


The kid who climbed coconut trees like he walked on land, who lived off of mangos in the summer with me as he built our river-floating bamboo rafts. Who was my buddy as we combed the reefs, played hide and seek in the bush, romped the streets on our bikes.

meriah-nichols-4My best friend.

My back.

meriah-nichols-1-5My brother.




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  1. I am in tears. All I can do is hold you in my thoughts. To paraphrase Henry James’s “Portrait of a Lady,” Dana did not have a long life, but he had a beautiful one. May his memory be a blessing for us.

  2. I’m so sad for you and your family.
    Our thoughts are with you all. ?

  3. annemarie jones says:

    Much love to you and your family. xxx

  4. John Marchand says:

    I’m so sorry, Meriah. I lost my brother not long ago. I send a hug.

  5. I am so sorry for your loss, he sounds like such a wonderful man. My heart goes out to you and your family.

  6. I’m so very sorry Meriah. I know how important Dana was to you as you were growing up and how much you loved him. Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures. Sending lots of love and hugs. xo

  7. Elly Finzer says:

    Sending love and light. I am so sorry. ?

  8. Don’t have words Meriah – So very sorry…

  9. I’m so sorry to read of your loss. He will be beautifully remembered in your and your family’s hearts. Sending you love and sympathies.

  10. Sweet Meriah , I’m so sorry. Big hugs and tender loving care are your mission for a while. xoxoxo

  11. Sara Roushan Allen says:

    I am in a puddle of tears and grief and share in your loss. I am so sorry for the sorrow & grief you, his family, his children, his dear mother and everyone he touched are experiencing right now. Thank you for sharing your writings, thoughts, feelings & experiences with all of us that you have never met but who knew & loved your brother. It makes it all very personal & is a wonderful tribute to Dana’s earthly life. Someday I will be able to rejoice & celebrate his journey. Someday I will smile & laugh, sing & dance & drum him over the ‘rainbow bridge’. But today, I grieve with my Baha’i family & friends.

  12. Jo Egan-Small says:

    I’m so sorry for your loss Meriah.

  13. Lisa Brooks says:

    Thank you for sharing your photos, words, & pain with us. I’m picturing all of us, your extended family, spiritually holding hands around the world and surrounding you and your biological family with our love & caring. You are not alone.

  14. Oh Meriah. There is nothing helpful to say. I lost a son at age 18. Grieving for, and with, you.

  15. I am just so sad for you all. This is so wrong that his life should end in this way. But he certainly left his mark on this world and was cherished. I just don’t know what to say other than I hope one day you will smile and not cry when you think of him and the pain will be replaced by smiles . I hope the beautiful memories will sustain you. Much love to you and all Dana held dear. Xxx

  16. Mary Jordan says:

    So much love from here for those of you who are left feeling less because he helped make up the sum of you. My love and thoughts are with you x

  17. I have so loved your writing and your pictures. Much of your brother is still in you. I’m so sorry for your terrible loss.

  18. It is so sad to read your message that comes from your heart. There is no word that would ease your pain. We all leave this world, but we are lucky if we leave good memories behind. he was an amazing guy. I can’t forget his smiles and enthusiasm to learn and grow spiritually and becoming the wonderful man he turned out to be. Again I’m so sorry my dear. Lots of prayers to help you and your family in this very hard time.

  19. Tara Bruckert says:

    Beautiful tribute to Dana! You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  20. I am so sorry you and your family have had to suffer through the loss of your beloved brother. I know how feeble that sounds, we have been through that painful journey as well, tomorrow is the eighth anniversary of our son’s death at age 23. We love and miss him always but we have learned to put the pain aside as we live on day to day and yes, even experience happiness again. It takes some time.

  21. Much Love and Prayer, Meriah & Family <3 <3 <3

  22. Barbara Browning says:

    I just saw this beautiful tribute to Dana. He was one of the brightest lights I’ve known, and still can’t believe he’s gone. My condolences. ~Barbara

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