As I sat alone the other evening after I heard that my cousin had passed away, I reflected on friendship, how we all rely to a certain extent on others. Some is through what we have now, and some what we had in our past. With me I tend to get confused to a certain extent with the two. Let me explain.
When I heard of my cousin, I immediately thought of days gone by. I am 62 and have not had a lot to do with him since I was in my 20s. I did see him a couple of times ten years ago when my daughter was living close to him in London. Therefore, why such a sense of loss, I miss him, but how can I miss someone now that I have not seen for over ten years and no real relationship for 40 years.
This is not about me being cold, I am soft to be honest. That is part of the reason. On reflection, I thought of several things. I am human and have feeing’s so hearing he’s passed away will hurt. The thought of his family’s pain will make me sad.
To a certain extent some of the pain I think is due to remembering him when we were young, so is it partly my own vulnerability that upsets me? The realization that I am Older, the lost memories of my childhood that comes rushing back. Sitting in an upstairs room with him and his older brother as they excitedly talked of a new soldier they had seen; both had asked for it for Christmas. It was an action man. Playing monopoly, their frustration of the 3- or 4-year-old who was playing with them.
All that hurts and is partly due to missing him and I believe it partly due to me missing me. My childhood, dreams, excitement, so many people that have gone that I now long to talk to.
Then I remember the teachings and so much of what the Buddha teaches in the 4 noble truths is within that thought process. Longing for the past unable to let go. The fear of, getting ill, growing old and dying. But can I let go? I do not believe I can, I can try to live by the 8 fold path, follow the teachings. Ultimately, I will fail, due to my bombu nature and the fact that I am a foolish being with all the emotions that brings with it. So, I will turn to Amida, I will chant Namo Amida Bu, and hope that will support me in my sadder moments.