With each experience of death and grief, I remember that this is all so fleeting. To love with my whole heart means risking, means knowing that the very same heart will break when death comes again, knowing that death does and will come.
Your daddy has been doing a lot of Buddhist study in the last 6 months or so. I'm fascinated with the idea of the differences between conventional reality vs. ultimate reality. In conventional reality, there is birth and death, you are here or you are not, there is dead or alive, there is being or non-being. But in ultimate reality, you see that Being IS Non-Being. There is no difference. You see that being alive means you are dying every moment with thousands of cells ending and you are being born with thousands of cells starting every moment, too. In ultimate reality, I can't just point to the ashes of your remains and say, "That is my son," because you are more than that -- and you are not that at all either.
Haven't exactly made sense of it all in a way that translates yet. But when I began hearing the dharma talks about how time is made up of non-time elements -- or death is made up of non-death elements -- or being is made of non-being elements...something in me just sang. Took me back to Tao translation Mitchell did where he talked about how we use clay to make a pot to hold something precious, but it is actually the space inside that holds what is precious.
Something in there about my heart being made of muscle, tissue, blood, body, matter, but it is the space that opened after death broke my heart -- that is the space where I hold you two boys -- and now, Erin, too. This is the space where I choose what I will carry forward of each of you. This is where you continue, even in the present moment.
“If you look deeply into the palm of your hand, you will see your parents and all generations of your ancestors. All of them are alive in this moment. Each is present in your body. You are the continuation of each of these people.”~Thich Nhat Hanh
Can't send enough love to really say how much I love you both...please hold Erin's hand and give big hugs to her and to Unkie, too.