Monday, 11 November 2013
Good Night, Sweet Prince
There is a lovely man who was a member of our community, I've known him for years. He used to make me laugh, ask really good questions in teachings and he always had a ready smile and a compliment for everyone. He was British but his parents went out to India so he grew up there and then came back to Britain in his teens. There were a bunch of girls that he used to hang around with at school ('beautiful girls, they were, beautiful') but he never thought any of them would be interested in him because he was only about 5'4. One day one of them kissed him and eventually they went on to get married and have three children. He was an engineer for most of his life, you could tell by the types of questions he asked. He started teaching Buddhist meditation around the same time that I did, so maybe about six years ago, and he had to stop because of his health about two years ago. His teachings were precise, funny and very heartfelt. All the kids are grown up now and have their own kids, and they and his wife is now mourning his loss. He had two battles with cancer, one many years ago before I knew him ('the chemotherapy played havoc with my hormones, I can really sympathise with women's time of the month, I can tell you!'). The cancer returned again and I watched him deal with it with acceptance for his own situation and with compassion for his family who were suffering so much on his behalf. He got on with his life and continued to care for those around him in whatever ways possible. He was a real inspiration to me - I can only hope I take life with as much grace and joy. After three years of treatments, he finally went into a hospice last Tuesday night, and he died peacefully on Sunday morning. I didn't see him very often, I didn't know him that well, but I will miss him and his sparkly smile. Good night Frank, I hope flights of angles sang you to your rest.