Thoughts on the death of a friend

ZEN master Bernie Glassman wrote touchingly of his life after the sudden death of his wife, Jishu.
He grieved, felt the pain of separation and “bore witness” to the ongoing spirit of his wife.
“I do the things she would have loved. I greet the dawn coming over the mountains, watch the hummingbirds and prune the lilac bushes.
“Each time I think of the smile on her face had she been here to do these things.
“Instead I do them, bearing witness to her presence and her absence.”
TO know that time is a gift, says writer Dorothy Bass, is to know that the basic rhythms and inevitable passing are beyond our control.
Once that is accepted, we realise that the achievement of wealth, power and prestige are just empty consolation prizes for those who have lost sight of the main quest.
As Henry Thoreau said: “Time is but the stream I go a-fishing in. I drink at it, but while I drink, I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is.
“Its thin currents slip away, but eternity remains. I would drink deeper and fish in the sky whose bottom is pebbly with stars.”

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