Impermanence is painful

My adult children lost their Mother this past week, suddenly. She had been out of their lives for a long time in some ways, and I raised them myself since they were 6 and 8 years old. Yet, even though their relationship with their mom was fraught with difficulties, in recent years she was living back in the area and they maintained cautious contact with her, and she was able to spend time with my son’s new daughter in the past year, which is a blessing.

Awareness of impermanence and appreciation of our human potential will give us a sense of urgency that we must use every precious moment.

Dalai Lama

I’m grieving now not so much for the loss of someone that caused me so much harm, and was imperfect in so many ways, but I grieve for the suffering I witness now in my children. I remind myself in each moment that I need to be strong in the face of this change, for my children. I suppose that with the Truth of impermanence so keenly a part of this human life, we do need to be mindful of the preciousness of all beings in this life.

I am thankful for the Dhamma, and see this now as a reminder of the need for me to practice, and to appreciate what needs to be practiced in this life. May my children’s Mother, harmed by the circumstances of her upbringing that brought harm (and love) to others, enjoy a peace now and a beautiful rebirth. May all beings be well and happy.


Sutta references included:

“275. 1. Sorrow, grief and despair are inseparable from ignorance; and
lamentation is found in one who is deluded. So, firstly, when these are established,
ignorance is established. Furthermore, “With the arising of cankers there is the
arising of ignorance” (M I 54) is said, and with the arising of cankers these
things beginning with sorrow come into being. How?
276. Firstly, sorrow about separation from sense desires as object has its arising
in the canker of sense desire, according as it is said:
If, desiring and lusting, his desires elude him,
He suffers as though an arrow had pierced him (Sn 767),
and according as it is said:
“Sorrow springs from sense desires” (Dhammapada 215).
277. And all these come about with the arising of the canker of views, according
as it is said: “In one who [577] possesses [the view] ‘I am materiality,’ ‘my
materiality,’ with the change and transformation of materiality there arise sorrow
and lamentation, pain, grief and despair” (S III 3).
278. And as with the arising of the canker of views, so also with the arising of
the canker of becoming, according as it is said: “Then whatever deities there are,
long-lived, beautiful, blissful, long-resident in grand palaces, when they hear
the Perfect One’s teaching of the Dhamma, they feel fear, anxiety and a sense of
urgency” (S III 85), as in the case of deities harassed by the fear of death on
seeing the five signs.43
279. And as with the arising of the canker of becoming, so also with the canker
of ignorance, according as it is said: “The fool, bhikkhus, experiences pain and
grief here and now in three ways” (M III 163).
Now, these states come about with the arising of cankers, and so when they
are established, they establish the cankers which are the cause of ignorance.
And when the cankers are established, ignorance is also established because it
is present when its condition is present. This, in the first place, is how ignorance,
etc., should be understood to be established by sorrow and so on.”—Vism. XVII

My father passed away last summer. In the last weeks I have known about the death of mothers, fathers, brothers, even a nephew of several of my job mates. Besides that we have to take care of old parents. Indeed it is important to remember the 5 topics of frequent recollection and practice Dhamma according to our possibilities. Metta and Karuna to all sentient beings.