Friday, October 25, 2013

In search of the Beloved

This feeling is so familiar. Searching for Chester ... though I know he is gone. Yet the mind cannot process that someone who was here, is now somewhere else. Where, exactly?

It was hardest when my Mom died. My mind endlessly wondered, where was Mom? Why can't I call her anymore? What about one last hug? Why is that one small request, even that, denied me? Maybe she was still here but somewhere I couldn't see, around the bend, the stranger who reminded me of her, just beyond my reach .... I remember looking out the window at our swing in the dark, cold evenings after she died, and hoping she wasn't somewhere out there, all alone. Was she in her garage at home (that home that used to be mine, too), smoking and reading, where she had been so often in life? I remember Dad joking that he always just thought of Mom as being "out in the garage" after she died. I'm sure it was a comfort to him.

Dad liked to find a convenient answer, to try to step aside from the suffering. All that suffering. I wish I had asked for more tips from him! I know he said, "Never look back, just keep moving forward." Very wise advice.

Whereas my approach is usually to dive in, till I am way over my head and drowning. Whenever I take on that load, again, it seems every time that it will kill me. How can I survive this much pain?

In the meantime, the mind seeks a rational answer. It never stops searching for the Beloved we have lost. It insists that someone who was alive could not now be dead. It's impossible!

In dreams, those who have died return to visit. Or maybe it is again our minds conjuring them up, bringing them back to that comforting physical form that we have so much trouble letting go of.

Buddhists speak of impermanence, constant change, the river flowing. But yet death seems like a big STOP sign. It seems to be simply the END. Could it be that our minds are missing something, that our perception is wrong? Where does my faith fit into this mystery?

So, when do I get to see Mom again and Dad, and Dwaine's parents, and my other relations who have died, and dear sweet Sandy, the best dog ever, and Honey, Backpack, Joy, Smokey, Bert the bird and Bert Jr., all those other pets from childhood, and the most recent, our young dearest kitten, Chester? When? Well, that's too long to bear. Says my rational mind. Thank God that it is often wrong.

Maybe this separation that seems so final, forever, is the actual illusion. Imagine if that is true, and our mind is deluded. The Kingdom of Heaven, here on earth! But how could that be? The mind is ever suspicious.

Funny, how laughter and crying are two halves of a whole and you cannot have one without the other. So I embrace this suffering, I rock it gently in my arms and let it flow out of me, so I can laugh again.

"The paths of the body are long, but the path of the spirit is short." I think this is an African quote from Nancy Farmer, "A Girl Named Disaster," a lovely book I need to re-read. But I couldn't dig up this quote from the Internet, so I am not sure. Here is a link to the author's website.

Thanks, this helped me and took away some of the pain.

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