Saturday, October 10, 2015

90: truth, goodness, and beauty

Today was my mother in laws memorial.

I was in some degree of denial as we drove down the 5 for an hour to get to the Buddhist Temple for Loc’s funeral. We dressed light and summery because it was so hot. I did not want to get disapproval from the relatives for not doing something right, but it was too hot to do any better, 99 degrees in these parts.

I will preface the story by saying that having little kids is a lot of work, I get nothing done each day other than caring for them, and caring somewhat for myself. I have 18 months of paperwork cluttering my office, as nothing has been put in order since the baby came, but alas, you do what you have to do. I was indeed prepared to organize and host the event and get all the food and such. Instead, I was treated like royalty, yet again. Being treated like royalty has been a reoccurring theme this year and I am getting used to it and inviting more.

What happened was that there is a Buddhist monk in the family, and his congregation kindly and generously hosted and handled every detail of the whole affair. Everyone at the temple welcomed and embraced the generations of Loc’s massive extended family. The place was packed and there was enough healthy delicious vegetarian food to feed an army. The ceremony was gorgeous, and included an abundant alter teeming with offerings. We recited passages that were mind blowing, that I will have to tell you about tomorrow, but that ended with bringing it all back to truth, goodness and beauty. And by the way, we were dressed perfectly. No one wore black. Everyone was in white or colors. No one cried. They all came with warmth and love. The eulogies were so heartfelt and filled me in on so many details of the life of the woman who gave birth to my husband and changed my life.

I felt inspired and changed by the practice and sharing of Buddhist philosophy, as one woman said how beautiful my kids were and noted that it is a great time and a lot of work. When I replied that it was challenging, she replied back that it was an opportunity to expand my heart and love even more, that it was a gift. BAM, keep me on course by changing my perspective.

The affair was brilliant, generous, enlightening, and miraculous, a gift I never expected, but I fully embraced. It was the perfect send off for Loc and her long rich life, and I can only hope my funeral is as lovely and perfect. Once again, the gifts that come with death surprised me beyond my wildest.

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