arbitrary stuff that comes to mind: whenever I feel like thinking aloud

Saturday, May 29, 2010

In Memoriam: From Natalie to her Gran

Beulah Maude Vink passed away on Saturday 22 May 2010. She is remembered here by her grandchild and my daughter Natalie: I can think of no better eulogy than this final farewell

To my dear Granny

My earliest memory of you was in the house in Bramley. Mom was there too, we were sitting in the kitchen. You gave me a pink panther, surrounded by a ring of easter eggs. I still have that pink panther. I remember your chocolate cabinet; as a child, I had fantasies about what we might find in its darker corners. Duncs and I spent many happy hours tracing car routes on your living room carpet. At sleepovers, my bed would be on the couch, Duncs below me. It was the perfect vantage point from which to terrorise him. Then at some late hour, you would burst into the room and scold me, and I must say, I enjoyed the ferocious display of attention everytime! And I remember when that room was transformed into Hayley's bedroom, and Blondie picture would shine out at you as you entered; it was a lifetime into which so many things fitted. I have missed you since I've been away so long and now that you have come to the point of leaving us, I cannot be there to say goodbye. But I know that you have the power to go anywhere now, your spirit is free, you can see us all and be absolutely sure that we loved you fiercely, and we wish you be safe on your way, we wish it with all our hearts joined as one.

Dear Granny, thank you for your kindness, generosity and loyalty. You never let me down. And you gave me your unconditional blessing countless times to live my life in my own way, you always encouraged me about that. Here is my prayer for you today, which I would like to dedicate to all beings, and to you especially. Just as all the past buddhas have dedicated, just as all the present buddhas dedicate, and just as all the future buddhas will dedicate, like that I too dedicate:

Sentient beings are limitless as the whole of space.
May they each effortlessly realise the nature of their mind.
And may every single being of the six realms who have been in one life or another my mother or father
Attain all together the ground of primordial perfection.

May you have happiness and the causes of happiness,
May you be free from suffering and the causes of suffering,
May you be free from attachment, aversion and ignorance,
May you never be separated from the three upper realms and the bliss of liberation.

The pictures above come from the covering letter, and in her own words, are 
"the picture of the spring snow ..., it is the view from my window, perhaps she would have liked to see it, she always liked to hear about where I am and I should have sent this picture to her in a letter...Also there is a picture of the shrine offering in my house, I am lighting lamps for 49 days - because according to buddhism the spirit can take up to 49 days to migrate, although it can be less. Offering lights is very helpful because it is like guiding the person so they can see where is a good place to go. For ordinary buddhists its a belief, but for the realised meditators it is a reality, an experience they already know for sure and what they help teach others to know directly. For me I'm just in the realm of the ordinary beings, I trust it so it's my practice for granny and I hope I can help in this way, from where I am. And on Friday I also go to the monastery to offer 45 butter lamps and ask the monks to pray for her. According to our lama here, this is the right day to offer - it is very auspicious in the lunar calendar. Please send my regrets to the family that I am unable to be there. I will be at a monastery on Thursday too and will make many prayers. Each person has their own karma to go through but prayer can help ripen whatever good causes she has, prayer is really beneficial."
My own thoughts go with her too.
Lighting candles at the Tibetan temple in Xining


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