Our Human Experiences Unify and Connect Us
Beyond our Professional Lives and Roles
Regardless of our professions, whether it is software, healing arts, education, retail, or healthcare, death's grief and loss touches all of us. Regardless of our age or status; where, when, or how we were born, each of us will be touched by endings because we love. Through love and loss, these common, undeniable human experiences, we feel our interconnectedness. This teaching story from the Buddha says it much better than I:
The Mustard Seed
Long long ago, a young woman from a wealthy family was happily married to an important man. When her only son was one-year-old, he fell ill and died suddenly. She was struck with grief; she could not bare the death of her only child. Weeping and groaning, she took her son's dead body in her arms and went from house to house begging all the people in the town for news of a way to bring her son back to life. She wanted MEDICINE.
Of course, nobody could help her, but this young woman would not give up. Finally she came across a Buddhist who advised her to go and see the Buddha himself. When she carried the dead child to the Buddha and told Him her sad story, He listened with patience and compassion, and then said to her, "There is only one way to solve your problem. Go and find me four or five mustard seeds from any family in which there has never been a death."
The woman was filled with hope, and set off straight away to find such a household. But very soon she discovered that every family she visited had experienced the death. Once she accepted the fact that death is inevitable, she buried her child and could stop her grieving. She realized that she was not unique-that she had not been singled out by God. She understood that surely as life comes to all of us, so Death comes to us all.