I sat by my father’s grave while the sun set.

29 May

I drove down Lincolnway and, at the roundabout that didn’t exist when I lived here, I turned onto Sturdy Road. As soon as I crossed Highway 30, I made the first right turn…into the cemetery. I drove slowly on the gravel path and didn’t know if I’d even find the grave. It proved to be quite easy. As soon as I saw the mound of dirt under the tree, tears welled up in my eyes. I slowed down and parked.

I spent probably half an hour at the grave. At first I stood and walked around it, crying and taking pictures. I got back in the car and blew my nose. I recalled how, on the Buddhist pilgrimage in India, the sangha practiced silent meditation at sunset at several locations, including stupas and the Taj Mahal, which is a tomb. I sat meditating in the car for about ten minutes—my hands clasped in my lap behind the steering wheel, while I mentally counted to five and back. I noticed bird song, and it occurred to me that it would be more pleasant outside the car, where I’d clearly hear the birds and feel the breeze.

I took a small box of tissues with me. I sat cross-legged near the grave, started crying again, but managed to blow my nose and get my emotions under control. I sat cross-legged, placed my hands on my knees, and meditated again. I periodically opened my eyes and took pictures of the sun setting over the grave.


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