Becoming Buddhist

Attempting to Live a More Mindful Life

Small Things


Just a short one, today.

The family friend I mentioned months ago died last week. I watched the last of his videos, one where he launches the wooden boat he had spent the last year building with his kids. His face in the video is gaunt with rictus. He looks terrible. His kids—just teenagers, heartbreaking—look drawn and terrified. But the boat moves beautifully in the Portland harbor.

He died a few weeks after the launch.

Meditating, the night after he died, I couldn’t find him anywhere. I hope that means he’s already sailed off to wherever it is we go; I don’t want spirits hanging around, after all, and why would he come to find me? But I have felt in the past two years a deep connection to this man that I don’t even really know, I think because from afar, I watched him die. And I watched him die with incredible grace. He furthered my practice in that I realized along the way that, as Pema says, no matter what we do, we still have to face old age and death. He made me realize that if I want to live this life I have to really live it. Experience it, be present with it, breathe through it. And so in that way, I wanted to find him and send him off.

Meditating the night after he died, I said this:

Jonathan, I send you lovingkindness, safe passage, and gratitude for your grace.

And I send your children and your family love and white light to continue living.

Hard, though.


Author: becomingbuddhist

I am a writer, teacher, and mother living in Northern California. Recently I decided to try an experiment in living more mindfully. This blog is my testimonial.

4 thoughts on “Small Things

  1. This post brings tears to my eyes. I’m sorry for your loss, although it sounds like your friend left a wonderful grace and gift in the universe that will never go away. xo.

  2. Short is perfect for this one. How poignant and perfect – and heartbreaking.

    Hard, though.


    Be well~

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