Peace and Blessings of God and all the illuminated souls be with Halim Welch. May his journey be one of unity with the Beloved.
I haven’t seen Halim in many years, but I have many fond memories of him during Murshid Sam’s lifetime and in the years following. He offered service to Murshid genuinely and steadily when many of us hadn’t yet lisen to really embodying the ideal of service. My most vivid memory of Halim is from the time that Murshid Sam fell down the stairs at the Mentorgarden in the middle of the night in an accident that would lead to his passing on a few weeks later. Halim had come in from Marin for the meeting the previous night to help with music I believe and was sleeping as a guest in the front room. My room was light across from the bathroom at the head of the stairs. At about 2 am I was awoken by an ominous sounding thud; I can still remember the feeling of being paralyzed by that sound, and I lay there for a moment in shock. Then I heard Halim rushing from the front room to reach Murshid where he lay on the landing below. That was so Murshid-like, to follow the impulse of compassion in the moment and not be crippled by fear. I joined him a few seconds later and we began the process of dealing with this staggering new situation.
My prayers are with Halim now and with all who knew him, those who could come to this memorial service and those who could not.
It was my first Sufi Camp (and first real Sufi experience) in 1975, and Halim was the camp (as well as the SIRS business) manager. I had been living in Mendocino County but planning on moving to the Bay Area in the Fall. At one of the evening meetings, Halim announced that he needed a roommate in his house in San Francisco beginning in September. Not only did he guide my way into living in The City; more important, he guided my way into the Ruhaniat family. I was only in the house for about 3-4 months, but we were close friends, brothers and confidants for the rest of his life. His lasting gift to me was his laugh — a guffaw, really — which I unconsciously picked up. It has become my guffaw. I miss him still.
As a young woman, I was painfully shy. Attending Sufi camps in the early years, I was coming from the midwest and knew no one and didn’t really know how to connect with anyone. Halim noticed me and spoke directly and easily to me, sharing with me whatever was the truth of the moment. Somehow his ease made me feel ease. I probably only spoke with him two or three times but his manner to this day is a fond memory.