13 November 2005


Yesterday, I helped out at a team building event organized by the temple. Halfway through though, one of the participants had to leave because she received news that her father passed away. I didn't know it until later, and after the event Dad and I went to visit her and pay our respects to the departed. We personally know the lady so it was quite a social visit.

But I can't help wondering how I would cope when it is Dad's turn to go. Would I be calm? Would I freak out and faint? As the only child, I am practically clueless as to formal death rites. As of yet, I haven't figured out how I am going to deal with it emotionally, much less ritually. All I know is that it will happen, except in the circumstance that I would die first.

Death seems to be such a morbid topic, but as a Buddhist I understand and accept it is just another stage of one's journey through samsara. For me, it is the ultimate test of letting go, and I'm not so sure I'm prepared for it yet.

Dad has mentioned (more often than I'm comfortable with) that he prefers to pass away peacefully in his sleep, without all the fuss of deteriorating health and spiraling health care costs. He has come to this conclusion many times, especially when seeing his father in the hospital. My grandfather has been in and out of the hospital a lot of times for a bevy of body malfunctions. The most recent one involves the stomach and digestion. Dad renewed his peaceful death vow after seeing him in that sufferable state.

I hope that he, and everyone else, attain that kind of blissful ending.

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