My dad passed away tonite. The last thing he said to me was that he was grateful for so much: his home, his wife and dogs, having me, so many experiences. He only lived until 70 but he said “that’s a lot longer than many have, I’ve had a such a good life, I can’t complain.” He passed quickly without fear or pain, with family there.
This changed me and everything I previously thought about spirituality. I have been reflecting on faith and people dying, and it’s rare at the end that people talk about “what will happen next” hope that “they” will continue- e.g. god, heaven, hells, a savior, transmigration, 72 Virgins for martyrs in Islam, in Mormonism they believe that you get your own planet etc. All of these human made promissory or punishment stories seem to fall away in the rawness and reality of our finiteness. I’m not saying that there’s no continuity or “spiritual reality,” I’m just saying that what we have right here, right now is so much, and it’s really hard to prove what will happen when we pass.
What I have seen is this… people value LOVE. Who loved them and how they loved others. We feel regret for holding resentment for loved ones over petty, prideful conflicts and not forgiving. This gratitude seems to be the essence of real spiritual evolution and awakening. For me, it’s the difference between a life filled with frustration, entitlement vs. well, nothing short of the beginning of enlightenment.
Today, in memory of my dear and gentle father, I will love much better, and I will try to clean up any hurtful karma with burned bridges, so that when I pass, the memory of me as in imprint in this world and to my child will hopefully be one of kindness, some meaning. I’m going to call a few friends and family who I have lost touch with or walked away from and tell them I still care. That’s how we “continue” or live forever, the imprint of the lives we touched, (like in “It’s a Wonderful Life) and may that from now on, be of some benefit, or at least, authenticity.
Seven Delights | Khenpo Tsültrim Gyamtso Rinpoche | Teachings and Activities
So very kind of everyone to wish him well, one Dharma friend one said to me ‘your tears are love.’
“When it’s time to leave this body, this illusionary tangle,
Don’t cause yourself anxiety and grief;
The thing that you should train in and clear up for yourself—
There’s no such thing as dying to be done.
It’s just clear light, the mother, and child clear light uniting;
When mind forsakes the body, sheer delight!” KTGR
Dawn Boiani is the owner of Sakura Designs, and she makes yoga meditation beads in Boulder CO., and has now only the memory of her father and is learning… gratitude.