November 26, 2002
I called my sisters at work today. One of their departments is having a Thanksgiving luncheon, so they're going comatose over deep fried turkey and pumpkin pie, all that good stuff.
We're Buddhist, although I don't really practice much of anything. So one of my sisters tells me that she found our mother weeping this morning. During the night she awoke to the sound of crying and smelled the distinct scent of a medicinal ointment that our grandmother always seemed to be using. She kept waking up our father, who couldn't hear or smell anything.
Our mother believes that it was our grandmother's spirit telling her goodbye, because she is about to be reborn as some other person and have this whole new life. So the spiritual ties are now severed. Our grandfather passed away first, but our mother hasn't ever gotten a sense that this has happened for him yet. Apparently there's no timeline for when someone is reborn, but she likes to think his spirit was waiting to be rejoined by our grandmother's. Or maybe it's because he was rather a shit in his last life that he's having to wait his sweet time before being reborn.
So our mother is very sad and very weepy because she feels that she's lost her mother now for good, as though she's died a second death, even though what it means is rebirth. Now that I think of it, I remember our cousin once telling her father that she wished their spirits would always be reborn as father and daughter, she loved him so. My mother isn't some religious wacko; if she says she heard crying and smelled that scent, I believe her. And so I can't help but feel sad about it too, because my mom is sad. I hope for my grandmother to have a better life, because she deserves it.