The Body Also Illumines by Zhong Fen li Bao yu Di

Posted by on April 11, 2017

 

Parents of Zhong Fen li Bao yu Di

This morning, I am remembering being with each of my parents when they were dying, including the moment that each died.

 

My mother died in a hospital bed in her living room. I had started to give her morphine orally to treat her pain. She soon closed her eyes and began to breathe quietly, rhythmically. Her limbs grew cold as her system began to shut down….her torso became quite warm as the blood flowed to her primary organs to try to keep her alive. I was on the phone talking to Andrea on New Year’s Eve when my dad called to me from the living room to say he thought Mom had stopped breathing. I hung up the phone and went to her bedside. She was indeed gone. I choose the word “gone” purposely because that was my reaction at the time. I quite clearly remember having no reaction to the body that lay before me. The notion or belief that this thin, worn out old body was my mother never occurred to me. My mother was gone.

 

Just before Thanksgiving my father got the news that he was filled with cancer. I flew to Florida to be with him. I spent a wonderful few days with him prior to his death on Thanksgiving morning. When I woke up that morning, he lay in a deep sleep breathing quietly, rhythmically as my mother had done. My instinct was to sit next to him with his wife, Pat. We did so for several hours. His breathing became more shallow. I got on the bed next to him and kissed him on the forehead as he took his final breath. I then stood next to the bed and looked at the body. It was not simply still…it was lifeless. He too was gone.

 

It has been years since each died and I reflect deeply these days on whether I can feel the eternal. Looking back, I realize now that I felt the eternal when each of my parents died. They had left their bodies…vanished…were gone. I could also see or feel without doubt, without thinking, that they were never their bodies …..and that they continued on in a way that my thinking could not understand and that my words could not describe.

 

Zhong Fen li Bao yu Di

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