Beliefnet
Beginner's Heart

goodbye2I’m not good at goodbye. Nor farewell, nor see ya later. Nor any kind of leave-taking. HATE them. Too many moves as a kid. Too many folks I’ll never see again.

Buddhism is the ultimate goodbye belief. You know: the whole everything is transient thing? How everything passes? And you do realise: ‘pass’ is just a euphemism for IT DIES.

Sheesh. Talk about ending up in your discomfort zone.

Yesterday it was my elder son, DIL, & grandson. Today it’s my younger son. Every day it seems like there are farewells to be said. Sometimes just goodnight. Sometimes far more permanent.

We didn’t think so at the time, but when my mother died, it took an entire day. She’d had Alzheimer’s, so we knew she was dying for a while. But the actual process took a bit. Which during the hours, seemed like hell. But now? How lucky we were to be able to say goodbye. To sing to her, to hold her, to let her go. goodbye3

Putting my sons, DIL, and grandson on planes is nothing like even the little death that is sleep and nightmare. But these days, life seems far shorter than it did even a decade ago. Anything can happen in uncertain times, it feels like.

That’s the upside of a goodbye faith: everything is very precious. Because you KNOW it will pass — die a natural death, and change into something else. The seasons — those signposts of life for so many religious festivals — remind us of this: spring’s growth is burgeoning summer is autumn flame is the bare twisted branches of winter.

And saying goodbye remains my hardest task.

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