You could think I was lying or exaggerating as I tell you about Hope’s perfectness. Her rosebud lips and her golden hair. But I am not.
She was a perfectly beautiful newborn grandaughter held in my arms with the heavy truth that she would never take her first breath.
That first essential breath required to allow the unfolding of her life into ours in the usual, expected way of generations rolling on.
Hope’s heart stopped beating one night just before she was due to be born.
If you have held death this closely (or when you do) you can imagine the deep, tender heart space that opened up to envelop my daughter and her husband at the birth of their first child. The story of the Buddha, Kisa Gotami and the mustard seed I had heard many times before it became, as it would, my family’s story.
Recently 6 years after that day I held Hope in my arms, I opened my bag of Buddhas on the anniversary of her death and knew immediately which Buddha I would choose to bury under the soil at the memorial garden.
A beautiful small Kuan Yin, the bodhisattva of compassion.
Surrounded in pink, given to me by the friend who introduced me to Buddhism.
We are a fortunate family as Hope’s presence and memory continues to weave threads of connection and love amongst us.
We all soften and reach out to each other when she is in our consciousness.
She reminds us to not take life or each other for granted.
Sometime death and grief can disconnect and damage but with Hope it’s been the opposite.
In my daughter’s hand Kuan Yin donated by Akashamani.