August 28, 2007
Nothing can really help us prepare for dying – ours as well as those of our love ones. During the two night’s wake of my mother’s funeral, it was hard to keep a stable mind. In those few days my mind was dulled out with all that was going on around me.
There was the dead body in the coffin with its attending props and happenings. There were the people who came to pay their last respect, to talk, to laugh, to query etc…. Of course we were being watched and judged by all the eyes present as to the manner we were fulfilling our filial duties.
When we have to bury our parent, even when we can hardly keep a clear mind, nonetheless, at a deeper level, we can only trust our own understanding. This is the emotional consciousness we have gain from our parents, seeing how they went about doing things, sorting what was truly important and what was not, in their life.
But my mother’s ways of seeing things are her own and I look at things a little differently. What was for sure, to me, was that she had become the sounds of the chanting, drumming, talking, laughing and crying; she had also taken on as the smells of dead body, the burning incenses, candles and the fading flowers; finally, looking around, she appeared to have taken on the appearances of everyone and everything in the surroundings. Was it my hallucination?
This intuition that I was doing what I thought was most appropriate, at that time, for my mother, was all I had, to keep me going. But how long can I be sure of keeping this inner knowledge? What other resources will I need to help me to live and to die?