I know I might sound weird, but in many ways I feel more connected to my parents after their passing. I confess that I haven’t visited the cemetery since their passing – I just don’t feel that they’re there. Just today, as I attempted to sort some papers, I found my Mum has preserved a lot of quotes, poems and stories including ones that I’ve written down. Both my parents loved collecting inspiring stories, poems and quotes. I know where I got that from! But more importantly, I find myself conversing with them in my head, hoping they’re happy, asking them to pray for me and sometimes just recalling crazy things. Now with the recent passing of my Uncle, I seem to have a chat with him too. I was wondering if connecting with those who have passed away is normal behaviour.
While it certainly seems like a way of coping with grief, but could there be more?
Connecting With Those
Who Have Passed
Connecting With Those Who Have Passed Away
The day my mother died I wrote in my journal, “A serious misfortune of my life has arrived.” I suffered for more than one year after the passing away of my mother. But one night, in the highlands of Vietnam, I was sleeping in the hut in my hermitage. I dreamed of my mother. I saw myself sitting with her, and we were having a wonderful talk. She looked young and beautiful, her hair flowing down. It was so pleasant to sit there and talk to her as if she had never died. When I woke up it was about two in the morning, and I felt very strongly that I had never lost my mother. The impression that my mother was still with me was very clear. I understood then that the idea of having lost my mother was just an idea. It was obvious in that moment that my mother is always alive in me.
I opened the door and went outside. The entire hillside was bathed in moonlight. It was a hill covered with tea plants, and my hut was set behind the temple halfway up. Walking slowly in the moonlight through the rows of tea plants, I noticed my mother was still with me. She was the moonlight caressing me as she had done so often, very tender, very sweet… wonderful! Each time my feet touched the earth I knew my mother was there with me. I knew this body was not mine but a living continuation of my mother and my father and my grandparents and great-grandparents. Of all my ancestors. Those feet that I saw as “my” feet were actually “our” feet. Together my mother and I were leaving footprints in the damp soil.
From that moment on, the idea that I had lost my mother no longer existed. All I had to do was look at the palm of my hand, feel the breeze on my face or the earth under my feet to remember that my mother is always with me, available at any time.
Do you find yourself connecting with those who have passed away?
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