05 November, 2007

Metta meditation

Dear Uncle Ruud:

This is how I will always remember you: bright, vibrant and full of life.

At this very moment cancer is ravaging your body. Every breath could be your last-- a tragedy for us all but even more so for your new wife and her daughter.

I think about you often these days-- and try to place your imminent passing into the context of a faith that speaks so clearly to me. But it is one thing to read and understand texts on a generic level and yet quite another to absorb them through to the marrow: the pain and indignity and scope of your suffering right now leave me breathless.

There are several sound reasons for you to hang on to those tenuous threads of life, but I can also imagine an ever increasing urge to let go.

I keep thinking about a powerful passage from the Tibetan Book of the Dead:
Remember the clear light, the pure clear light from which everything in the universe comes, to which everything in the universe returns... The bright shining light of your own nature. It is deathless... No matter where or how far you wander, the light is only a split second, a half a breath away...
You were always such a kind, helpful and cheerful person-- I doubt you have any Buddhist leanings, but for what it's worth you have certainly amassed good karma! (Which should please whoever happens to be on guard at your pearly gates when you get there.)

I sincerely hope that the remainder of your transition goes more peacefully.

May you be free from danger. May you be peaceful. May you live and pass with ease.


Greg said...

...and may you be well.

Carol said...

This reminds me so much of being with Mom during her last days and weeks. The best way I can describe it is "transition." (And it's hard work, just like "transition" during birth.) At this point, our role is to do exactly what you're doing -- to embrace with love and to wish the person we love a painless transition to... well, to whatever is beyond what we know.

I love the photo and can only assume that your uncle led a full and happy life. What he's going through is hard work and he's lucky to have your love and support, even if from afar. I believe that the dimensions we know begin to fade as death nears, so your uncle can feel your love.

Hugs to you!


anno said...

Somehow I'm finding in your post a tremendous comfort -- thanks for taking the time to put this perspective into words. Wishing you peace.

Goofball said...

I hope you all find comfort in these difficult moments. Looking at this joyful picture, I am sure you have tons of happy memories to treasure!

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Oh, Betsy, I'm so sorry. And I'd echo what Carol said about the transition. I've lost both my sister and my father to cancer - it's such a horrid, insidious disease. And your uncle looks like he's a charmer!

Africakid said...

"May you be free from danger. May you be peaceful. May you live and pass with ease."

What a beautiful wish for your uncle, or for anyone who's suffering.