My friend died today.
It was a long time coming. Too long. MSA is horrible enemy. He will be missed.
Sal and I went to the house. Friends and family were there. No one really knew what to do except mill about and talk a bit about him. All of it good, of course. Which is just as well since there was nothing much left to do. Not really. He was gone.
I have been in the presence of the deceased before and was always struck by the utter absence of the real person despite the body being present. This time was different. It felt as if he was still there. Somewhat, anyway.
My friend was quite spiritually inclined. You know, meditation, lots of reading, some groups, eating lentils……no booze or anything…..body-as-a-temple? And, if one had to choose a ‘category’ of spiritualism, it would be Buddhism. Or Buddhist-like. Kinda. He definitely had a Zen thing going on most of his life. In fact, he was the embodiment of the theme from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance (Robt. M. Pirsig). Even his motorcycle showed it.
Buddhists believe the spirit lingers for four days. It did feel a bit like that………..
But, for our more earthly and prosaic purposes, he was gone and so, after awhile, we left.
Others were coming in as we were going out. And sadly, his widow had to deal with that. As if she didn’t have enough to deal with already. Even sympathy can be hard to deal with.
And, really, there is nothing to say. Death comes to us all. And we all know it. And it came to him this morning robbing MSA of yet another ghastly endurance test. In this case, death is a respite. And that’s the way I am going to look at it.