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As many of you already know, Laura's brother died on December 9th of a sudden and massive heart attack. He was only 53 years old and left behind his wife and 19 year old daughter, two siblings (Laura & Keith) and his parents (Ray & Jane). And as this New Year has come upon us so quickly, I find myself thinking of Craig's death only a few weeks ago. Laura described Craig's death as feeling like there is now a hole in the fabric of her family. As though some thread got pulled and now there is a tear in the Divine cloth that will need to re-knit itself with only two siblings instead of three. And at the same time, the fabric would continue to hold and reflect and include Craig; the family would echo his presence and each of them as individuals would continue to shimmer with their own kind of "Craig-ness." Laura has known Craig her whole life; he was her big brother. He had a direct impact on who she turned out to be. Craig's impact will continue to be felt forever by his little sister.
Indra's Net in the Buddhist tradition speaks about each one of us being a shimmering pearl at the intersection of a great weave of gossamer strands. The vertical strands of time and the horizontal strands of space. Each of us shimmering pearls sparkling at other pearls; one a reflection of the other, nothing separate in their shining, a reflection of each other and the threads and a reflection of the reflection in space and time without end. A weave of consciousness arising. I find myself wondering what happens when one of us dies? Does the shimmering of our pearl simply take a new colour, more opaque, less distinct, and shining ever brighter? As the threads grow in time and space, there is infinite room for all that is arising. How is it that these pearls, no longer part of this human earth plane, go on? Do they join the vast Net as the vertical threads weave in time? Craig's pearl shining in harmony with infinity.
And as his consciousness shines and joins a wider, ever growing Net, does some part re-join the human plane for another trip on the Karmic Wheel? Ever turning. More karma to take care of; not done yet.
It has been three years in a row that we have met Christmas time with death. My father on Christmas Eve two years ago. Laura's young niece, Korie, last year. Craig this year. Some people have felt sad for us experiencing so much death at the end of each of the last three years. And yes, I would like to have a Christmas in our three year old home without death's fingers on our lives. Still, in some weird way, it feels sacred to have had the last three Decembers that we have had. What is more holy than touching intimately the fact that we are born and we die? We have a finite number of days. Impermanence. These deaths in our families have let us contact our fragility each year.
I guess what I find holy is that I am still walking on this earth. Part of the human face of Indra's Net. Shimmering at you. Right now. As you shimmer back at me. May you be deeply well.
© Joanne Hunt