linda died this past sunday morning, and her memorial service is later today. nina's memorial service was last saturday. services in memory of glen and don were only a few weeks ago. soon ted's cancer will take him away. all around friends are dying, and, when one reaches a certain age, these losses are all too frequent and inevitable.
this morning i thought of carl, linda's husband, and of his deep feelings of grief. i thought, too, of thich nhat hanh's idea of "interbeing." we are all one, the same. carl's grief is my own grief, linda's and nina's and glen's and don's deaths are my own death. ted's suffering as cancer slowly destroys his bones is my own suffering. decay, disease, death are all part of life. without them, there is no life. we suffer and die, the earth is replenished. we live on through those whose lives we touched, and i believe we are reborn to experience life anew/a new life. one of these days my end will come and i will (or will not) have confirmation of the truth of rebirth.
that confirmation is not what is important. what is important is that we recognize that we all suffer, that our experience of life may differ in the details but suffering is common to all of us. the oppressor and the oppressed suffer, the well and the sick suffer, the rich and the poor suffer. joy and suffering are two sides of the same coin, as are life and death.
may we each celebrate the great cycle that binds us all together, that makes us one. may we see clearly, letting go of the need to assert our own specialness, our own individualism, and may we recognize "the tie that binds." shalom