Hello, my friends and family.
Today has been raw and quiet, as I've wandered our empty home and done small things. I've cooked, cleaned, cried, contemplated, refilled votives, done laundry. I emptied Nancy's enormous prescription tray. Somehow I can look at all the reminders of her life, like her dozens of pairs of shoes, and feel happy, sad, present. But the reminders of her illness are much harder, like a dirty kitchen counter, I want to scrub them away.
I've been reaching into my own buddhist practices, looking for bridging between Nancy and the divine, and just received exactly the email I was longing for. From a friend and zen priest, Reverend Valerie Szymanski:
Here is Tara's Meditation for the Dead (a 49 day prayer) that you chant daily. I will be doing the same. At the end of 49 days I will close the period with a Memorial Service for Nancy.
From Tara's heart rainbow, light shines forth throughout the six realms and the bardo,
enveloping the deceased one, Nancy Jones, wherever she is,
purifying her karma, and infusing her with Tara's radiant blessing.
Her form becomes brilliant spheres of light and dissolve into Tara's heart-mind,
a realm beyond the cycles of suffering, a realm of absolute purity and bliss.
Meditate in this way during the 49 days after death, dedicating the merit of your practice to the deceased.
Tonight I begin 49 days of mourning and practice, with this prayer at 7pm PST. Please join me as you feel moved to. I am not intending to continue sending updates each day, but it feels like I have more to share. Speaking of sharing, if you have photos of Nancy, I would greatly appreciate copies. I would like to build an on-line photo album for all of us.