It is incredibly painful to lose someone we love–there are so many ways we cope, deny, and suffer. I’d like to say not to worry, all will be well, and it will, but the journey through loss is difficult and unpredictable. In my unpublished biography , the teenager, Yasunari Kawabata has no-one left, and is watching his grandfather dying. It is excruciating. His granddad wants the best for him, and yet he denies him too. What is that about?
Scroll down to discover what Monk says.
Excerpt from Samurai to Sushi, biography of Yasunari Kawabata (Japanese literary genius)
Soon, the old man completely lost his short-term memory. Yasunari wanted to run away, but he did not. He pitied Grandfather’s constant talk about things from the past. Some seemed nonsensical to Yasunari, like the secret bank-seal that Grandfather insisted Yasunari use for banking. In Japan, a bank-seal along with a signature was needed to get money out of an account. They had no money. Perhaps, Yasunari thought sadly, Grandfather says this nonsense because he wants me to have good finances. He did not argue with Grandfather, even though there was no such a seal and never had been one.
Grandfather talked constantly about wealth, making Omiyo laugh. She did not take the old man seriously. “You have a grandson. Now that is real wealth. This boy is your hope.”
“How will you manage, Yasunari,” Grandfather fretted one day. “I will buy you some land.” After a few moments, he said, “It is not right for you to go to live with relatives.” Then a few moments later he got more cheerful. “You must go and talk to the Temple monks. They will help you.”
Yasunari groaned. “They will call us the madmen of our village,” he said. There was no way he was going to go to monks for help. Yet, he wanted to do something. He needed to do something. Not just for himself. He wanted to honor Grandfather, and so he accurately recorded his Grandfather’s last words.
“Namu Amida, Namu Amida,” Grandfather chanted.
Blood drained from Yasunari’s face.
“Namu Amida, Namu Amida,” Grandfather continued with the words used at the time of death.
Yasunari knew that by saying these words, Grandfather wanted to be welcomed by Amitābha into heaven.
“Don’t worry,” Omiyo said. “He’s just worried because I didn’t get in touch with the monk for him. I lied to him and told him the monk wasn’t there.”
“He deserved to know the truth!” Yasunari scolded her for deceiving Grandfather.
Grandfather turned his back on Yasunari. That night Grandfather called out for Omiyo. He did not call for Yasunari.
Monk asks, what really matters? “I lost the love of my life. She was so beautiful. I wanted nothing more than to make her happy. It was not to be. I had no choice but to let her go. Looking back now that I am an old man, I see that I could have made many other choices, but I do not regret becoming a follower of Amida Buddha, eventually taking the vows and becoming a monastic.”
Monk continues, “never give up hope, and know you are more than your body. You will be re-united in the Pure Land with all those who went on before you. Bow to the holy. Pray and meditate to center your mind, no matter your religious tradition, and you will understand more and more…Be still…”
Buddha Amitabha Song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtOlT-VvmsI&list=PL4B0F290CEFA4FDC8
Jesus Prayer – Иисусова молитва: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHP4Z84a_WY
Sufi Music with quotes from Rumi: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CoY6ChsMxnA