It seems that life follows a certain pattern. There was a time in my life when everyone was getting married. There were weddings to attend every couple of months. Then people started having babies. Some couples split, others didn’t. And in between all this, some people died. Now, it seems, that there are more people dying.
My uncle, Geoff, died yesterday while undergoing an operation. I didn’t know Geoff that well, we were never close and I feel for my cousins and my aunt who have to go through this.
In May this year, I attended the memorial service held for a friend named Hiro, who I knew through the SGI. He died of pneumonia in Japan.
I believe in reincarnation, but that still doesn’t take away grief. Grief, I have learned, is a process that is ongoing. We grieve for ourselves. When I spoke to my aunt yesterday, I realize how great the void is in those left behind.
I know that Uncle Geoff was unwell for quite a long time. I also know from my cousins that he was talking about being too tired to carry on and that he wanted to go “home, to my mountain.” For Geoff, dying was something he wanted. For his family, having him around was what they wanted.
It brings to mind my father’s passing. He too was ill for a long time. My thoughts have remained unchanged: even though it’s sad that Dad’s not here and I miss him, I know that he is no longer in pain. In fact, it hurt more to see him weak and in pain than the grief of losing him. At the time of his death, though, the shock of losing him was too strong to see it that way.
Goodbye, Uncle Geoff. Rest well.