Three weeks ago, Alison and I decided to sell the house I have lived in for nearly 31 years, which needless to say involved a great deal of de-cluttering,selling most of our furniture and letting go of STUFF, which no doubt in our newly found lightened, if not enlightened but homeless state, will allow us the freedom the explore more.
It is as if I have to let go of the past to make room for the future.
As I applied this principle of making room on my computer's C Drive, I came across the piece below that I wrote on the occasion of the tragic death of two infant boys.
LIFE AND IMPERMANENCE
All life is impermanent. We are all children of the Earth, and, at some time, she will take us back again. We are continually rising from Mother Earth, being nurtured by her, and then returning to her. Plants are born, live for a period of time, and then return to the Earth and in doing so, they nurture our gardens. We humans are unique in our knowledge of our own immortality, and our ability to deal with our own passing through reason. We also have choices about and some sense of what we leave behind.
Today we are here to reflect on the passing of two souls who did not yet have the awareness of the meaning of life. We are also here to comfort two parents and in some way all of us, who have the ability to reflect on the imponderable question of “why”.
Leslie and Susan from their meeting and deciding to share their lives, from their determined plans to have a family, from their earliest knowledge of life having been formed, from the moment of knowing there were two fertilized eggs, to the surprise of anticipating two tiny males, with each passing week watching them grow, planning for their care, the myriad of details, its hard to conceive of two beings more anticipated by two parents than whose passing we are here to observe today…alas, they are no more.
We are grieving with Leslie and Susan… for what might have been: the hands they longed to touch, the faces they longed to kiss. Their arms hold no small lives; their hearts are filled with sadness. We are all confounded by the overwhelming sense of loss of never seeing the world through four eyes and two inquiring minds, to not knowing what they might have looked like, what they might have thought and what legacy they might have left behind.
Our rational minds crave order. We have a tendency to think that life is a linear progression, where we go from A to B to C and so on, and if don’t get to B we can't get to C. Events like this, tell us that order can be an illusion. If we think carefully about our own lives, we know that the pattern of our past is often serendipitous and accidental as when fertilization formed the miracle of two lives; and the mystery of why they are no more. We don't know why.
Perhaps our challenge in life is not to know precisely where we are going, but to prepare ourselves so when those wonderful moments of serendipity occur or when we are confronted with mysterious painful ones, such as the passings we are observing today, at times like these we can listen to our hearts and know what it is we need to do. So in remembering the loss of two tiny souls, let us reflect on the joys, the excitement, the anticipation, let us remember how their possibility fertilized our imaginations and hope that their memory will yet take us to a higher plane, where our hearts can roam free and where we can listen to the little voices inside all of us. Life is impermanent; memories live for ever.
September 23, 2003