|the Shrine at Stan's memorial service|
People walked toward the Buddha with gifts of flowers and incense, offerings to lay upon the shrine. I closed my eyes and deepened my breath. When I opened them, I found that a flower had been lain at my feet. An Order member had seen my sadness, and, when taking his offering to the Buddha, decided to give the flower to me, instead.
His gift of the Buddha’s flower meant the world to me. It meant that my sorrow was witnessed and accepted. It meant that my grief could be held and responded to and met by others.
I am blessed by the compassion and presence of my friends in the sangha, my spiritual home. My heart is soothed by the simple gifts they bring to me—an invitation to share a walk together, a conversation and a cup of tea, a thoughtful card in memory of my husband, the Buddha’s flower, lain at my feet. These simple gifts bring me strength and hope and the courage I need to face another day without him.
|members of my sangha and me, on retreat, 2014.|