Sunday, March 11, 2012

Cowgirl All Dressed in White Linen

You would think any seriously practicing Buddhist would have their ojuzu (meditation beads) in their hands at least some time every day, especially if they’re a minister. But during my stay in Texas to take care of my sister, I only took my beads out of my purse twice. The first time was for the improvised memorial service at the request of a temple member (see previous blog entry). The second time was last night – as the two mortuary workers, a young woman and man, carried my sister’s body wrapped in a white sheet from the bedroom to the gurney set up in the hallway.

My brother didn’t want to see it. He had just arrived that afternoon and was able to spend several hours with our sister while she was still conscious.

He went to the front door to hold it open as the two workers wheeled the gurney out of the house. With my hands in gassho (palms together) and the ojuzu around them, I walked behind in the same manner as a minister following the coffin in a funeral recessional.

I wanted to keep my hands in gassho, but before leaving the house, the woman from the mortuary extended her hands to me. I let her take my one hand in hers. “Sorry for your loss,” she said. Then she did the same with my brother.

Namu Amida Butsu. Sorry – loss – ours.


  1. Namu Amitabul. I'm sorry for your loss...

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