Akashamani – an Order Member from Port Fairy Australia

“This is a Victorian mourning brooch brought for me by my husband shortly after my adult son had died. I had touched a deep well of grief. 

I remember going up to the Triratna retreat centre in Sydney ( Vijayaloka) and talking to a wise friend about how this tragic event might be explored as a basis of practice and growth. After his death I had a strong vision of my son on the Wheel of Life. I saw him through all the stages- newborn, toddler, teenager, young father.
And in that instant I knew this cycle of life was nothing special…it was so ordinary. I also saw that I was not alone and shared this story with so many other people. It was both an extremely painful and simultaneously rich journey at times.
The desire to never forget what I learnt during that time was very strong.
I wonder if I would have joined the Order had I not had to make sense of that deep suffering. I wish that it had not happened that way..but it did.
I think it now enables me to connect with empathy and understanding with others in similar situations. The brooch has the baby hair of my three children in it.”