"Real happiness is found in the struggles we undergo to realise our goals, in our efforts to move forward." Daisaku Ikeda
Today I am writing a letter to…A deceased person I wish I could talk to:
You were the first person who came to mind, when asked to compile this letter.
In fact you are in my mind almost everyday, as I always include you in my daily prayers while chanting. I love the Buddhist practice because I can remember and connect to you in ways most people just wouldn’t understand.
I guess I picked you because there were always so many things I wanted to talk to you about, things I wanted to ask you! and most of all, so much to say thank you for.
Having you in my life was such a blessing, and my debt of gratitude will never fade from memory. I am assured of that. Not in a negative way, but in the true impact and influence you had over my life and the direction of my future. For without meeting you, and being accepted into your loving world and way of life I am just not sure where I would have ended up. Perhaps I wouldn’t be living this way of life now?
There are so many what ifs, and maybes when I cast thought to someone who has left us in physical form. But if I let go and just believe that all happens for a reason, then I am just left with a heart full of love and acceptance. It’s easier that way.
Your suffering shouldn’t have had to go on for so long, but in true spirit you fought right to the end! You truly showed me the strength and determination you had for living life! Tears well just at the thought of seeing you go through the stages of cancer…
But you know what? I am so glad that I was there for you. Every step of the way, as much as I could – I was there to support you, and learn from you the harsh and yet so beautiful lessons of life, birth, death and all that is in between.
I saw Granddad die of cancer too. But yours was really different. Perhaps worse because I saw you every day and the struggle you undertook to fulfil your duties. But you still did them! It was amazing! YOU are amazing and although I have let you go, and passed on from my grieving I wish we had been able to spend more time together as friends! Gone to listen to music, joined you for dinner and talked about your amazing travels around the world to different co-operatives and trading partners.
I used to love hearing about your stories, and all the things you had done in your life!
I loved the way you were so supportive and really truly believed in me. Somehow through all of my own sickness and trouble you saw something in me…. and gave me such a wonderful opportunity.
Although you were losing your grip on the life you had lead, you were enabling me to live instead! That is something truly miraculous and incredibly humbling.
If it wasn’t for your support, I wouldn’t have started volunteering…. nor would I have had the courage to apply for paid work in your shop. And most of all I wouldn’t have gained the knowledge and confidence to give public presentations to our community on the work we were doing.
I hope if you can still hear and see me, you were proud and OK with how I handled everything at the end. I tried to do my best to keep the shop going, to boost sales, to maintain our staff and volunteers.. I had only just turned 21 then. I remember you were feeling sad that you couldn’t have celebrated that birthday with me. My birthday wish was that you would just get better! Or that somehow I would be able to manage and cope with the extra demands of me now that you were gone..
I felt so helpless and sad when I came to say goodbye at your house. But I knew that I had to visit… as much as I didn’t want to admit that you were no longer going to be there… I had to say goodbye, I had to say thank you and let you know that I loved your dearly. I will always keep you in my heart forever, as the pinnacle of change and inspiration in my life.
Seeing you almost empty shell was, and I must be honest – quite traumatizing. But it was so necessary. And something I really won’t forget. Thank you for acknowledging me… I knew all that you wanted to say was streaming from you soul to me. And it was that night, after I had visited and we entered the new year that you were able to let go..
I am sorry I kept you waiting for so long. I guess I avoided it right up until the last moment because I had to keep it together so I could manage the shop. So that I could support those of our customers who would start to visit and pass their condolences on…
That was the hardest part. Having to be strong in the eyes and faces of the people who mourned you and all that you had given to the hearts and minds of our community. But I did it, I held my composure and did my best. There are always regrets of maybe, I could have done more… I wish I hadn’t of been angry… but it’s all part of the process.
Now that we are far away from that moment, 4 years to be exact….I can safely say how much I love you, respect you and hope that our souls meet again soon.
Thank you for everything Marion! You are such an amazing role model and inspiration. A sheer feat of determination and motivation to stay committed to the things you loved in life! I will forever carry your spirit and strength with me where ever I go.
Many blessings e hoa
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