It is the nature of human experience to be separated from those we love. This week, our beloved friend, an inscrutable orange tiger cat, Ralph, died at the age of 18, fighting to the end. Ralph had several years of bad health to the extent we used to call him “Dead Cat Walking.” Six months ago, after his first stroke, the vet told us that he was basically on home hospice care—but he not only didn’t die, he recovered. Time and time again this cat fought his way back from health issues that we thought he could not survive. This week, though, the indomitable, unsinkable Ralph could not fight his way past a body that had no more to give him. His absence leaves a void in our family.
A dhamma friend, Lee, who writes the blog A Clear and Present Mind, wrote about Buddhist prayers and practices for those deceased. Lee’s blog is written from the perspective of the Tibetan tradition. As we’re short of rituals in Theravada Buddhism, I thought I would point you to Lee’s blog for this information: http://clearemptymind.com/2011/02/09/buddhist-prayers-and-practices-for-deceased/.
On all spiritual paths, dealing with loss is challenging. No matter what path we travel, prayers and heartfelt wishes for the living and the dead are good practice. Rest in peace, my old friend.