Life is uncertain but death is certain

In the midst of sorrow…I started reading this book “Why Worry? How To Live Without Fear & Worry” by K. Sri Dhammananda. An unexpected incident occured in my family during CNY. None of us saw it coming. We did not expect him to go, instead we had hope that he will recover. However, the worst happened. My beloved uncle passed away on last Thursday. As long as I do not think about it, it is alright but whenever I think about him, tears start to fill up my eyes. I am close to him, besides he is staying next door. Of course I did not spend much time talking with him ever since I left high school. Whenever I were back at KT, I spent most time at home, instead of going over to his house. Even so, it still hurts to know that I won’t be able to talk to him anymore. He is different…in many ways. I used to ask advices from him. He has supernatural power…even until today, I cannot say I do not believe it. But now he is gone…I guess we all really need lots of time to get over it. The last time I saw him, he was in the hospital. He just had an operation, fortunately it was successful though the doctor said it was risky as he was weak to undergo an operation. I visited him a few times in the hospital but he did not talk much. My guess is he was too weak. He spent most of the time sleeping as he said he was tired. It shocked us all when we received the news that he was in a critical situation. He fell asleep and his heart just stopped beating. The doctor could not save him. When I finally reached KT, he was already been placed in a coffin. He looked peaceful, as if he was sleeping. I was being told, if I had anything on my mind or any wishes, tell him there and then as his soul was nearby and he would be able to hear me. All I could say is…I was speeceless, my mind was blank. I did not know where and how to begin. However, I realised that when I started talking to him, I kept on wondering would he suddenly open his eyes and look back at me. Deep down inside, I know he will rest in peace. He has been a very kind and helpful person, surely he has gone to a place where he deserved to be. Yet, I could not help myself from blaming him for leaving us without any signs. A few days before he died, I dreamt about him. I was not sure what it means. In my dream, my eyes hurt, so I went into the bathroom to take out my lens. As I did so, I saw that my lens were red in colour. It frightened me, therefore I went out of the bathroom to get a new pair of lens. When I wanted to go back, I realised that he was ready to go into the bathroom too. So I told him that I would like to go in for a while. He did not say anything, just nodded his head. So I went in to wear my lens. I wanted to brush my teeth too, but then I saw him through the mirror that he was already waiting by the bathroom door, with a towel hanging over his shoulder. Therefore, I went out and let him use. I do not remember seeing him entering the toilet but when I reached another bathroom, it was occupied. The next night, I dreamt about him again. This time I do not recall seeing him, but I bumped into my cousin’s cousin on the stairs and I asked if the toilet is occupied. He said he just had a shower and is heading back to Kuantan but my uncle wants to use it. That is all I could remember. I only told others about these dreams during the funeral. I was told that dreaming of someone going into the bathroom is a bad sign and my uncle did not speak as he was already too weak. After he passed away, we all hope that in some ways, he might appear in our dreams. There are so many questions unanswered. I myself think that he was not ready to go. Otherwise, “someone” has came and invited him to go. It sounds supertitious, but I do hope he is in heaven. During the funeral, many relatives came. It was like a sad gathering. Initially we planned to bury him but in Chinese tradition, we need to find a good location and the perfect day and time to bury him. None of us is capable of that since he is gone, therefore his children decided on cremation and scatter the ashes in the sea. Finally, we let him decides by throwing coins. He agreed during the first 3 throws and when we kept on throwing to recomfirm, he started to laugh. Lastly, we decided to temporarily keep his ashes in the temple he was cremated. So we all went to KB for the cremation as this service is not available at KT. It hurts to go through the whole process…it really hurts. Therefore, I read this book. It helps in certain ways but the pain and sorrow are still there. It is hard to bear the loss of people whom we love because of our attachment to them. When we develop attachment, we also must be prepared to pay the price of sorrow when seperation takes place. As the Buddha once said “those who have a hundred things beloved, they have a hundred of sorrows. He who has nothing beloved, has no sorrow. Such persons are free from sorrow”. This incident lead me to this question – What is life? Nothing seems important anymore when in the end we still die and leave our lives.

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