Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Accepting Death

Death is not as morbid as some of us might think.

As a Buddhist, I reflect on death. We talk about death quite often, we even have a reflection on death and one of the three important teachings: Dukkha, Anicca, Anatta, the element of impermanence (Anicca) is reminding us humans to reflect on the impermanence in life, with life, it starts with birth, and it will surely end in death. Death is inevitable!

As Christians and other Creator-God-theological teachings will say, God gives us life and He shall take it back and we return to Him one day. I took catechism classes for six years (shorter than my own mom who went to church all the way till she was 19, she is also a Buddhist, we mother and daughter became Buddhists in 1993) and I remember the teachings. Going to church before classes on a weekly basis and praying "Our Father" the first thing before classes, making the cross sign and then end it with "Glory Be" at the end of the day before school ends. In between we gave thanks to the Lord for the food we are about to receive and then one more prayer of thanks for the food we savoured during break/recess. It is a good discipline, a discipline to be Thankful for what we have.

My mother-in-law has been warded for more than two weeks now. Her spirits are high, and she is battling cancer. No details on that but here is something worth sharing:

This morning I talked to my MIL and she said she is okay in accepting death. She knows about her own body condition.

She even said: I have no regrets. I feel blessed already. If my time is here, I am ready to go.

I stayed the night with her and saw her sleeping peacefully... as per my tweet at @suetiong. I worried for awhile then I meditated and calmed down. This woman has gone through a lot, she is a survivor even without cancer. How can a small thing like cancer hold her back? That's when I muster enough courage to ask her the next morning when we both woke up and having breakfast and she calmly replied to all my "what if" questions. It is as if she has been expecting this talk and we both acted very naturally. It felt like a sacred moment.

Then she shot me this question: Tell me, did doctor say I am dying?

I replied without missing a beat spontaneously: Mommy, everyone will die one day, it is just a matter of time. Doctor did not say you are dying, nor did she say you are not dying. With cancer, which you know already you have, it is extremely hard to say, it can be big or small, dangerous or otherwise very fast. If doctor says you are dying and you did not die, then she would be lying, if the doctor says you are not dying and you died, then we would be saying she is lying, so it is not black and white.

She kept quiet and nodded, saying it made sense.

Then we joked and talked about light-hearted matters and recalling her past happy memories.

When we were going for radiotherapy, she in wheel chair and me beside her, she told me this: "Sue, thank Goodness for you. Having you around (since the beginning) ease my fears and I am not scared when you are around."

That's enough thanks, I don't hope for anything, only a peaceful mind for her till the end. I will love her all the way till the end and beyond.

I have truly accepted the truth, and I am thankful for each passing moment, each minute that we have together, quality time. She as my mother-in-law and me as her daughter-in-law, a special bond no one can take away from us.

Love, Sue

1 comment:

the garden angel said...

that was beautiful. thank you so much for sharing


lisa :)