My father's death has hit me quite hard today. It has been a struggle. I am not sure how long grief takes. I still seem to be processing it and finding it hard to concentrate on much. It is hard to get anything done.
Perhaps it is because it will be his funeral next week. I feel this sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach, part of me doesn't want to go. But there will be family there, so that will be good, and I want to be there for them. Perhaps my Dad's consciousness will be there also in some form. He might be watching us all and listening to what we say. I want to be there for him too.
I keep remembering a story, I can't remember for the life of me where I heard this, or what sutta it is from. But there's a story where one of the Buddha's lay disciples was very sick with a horrible illness and he was struggling with pain and contemplating suicide. The Buddha went to see him and kept encouraging him to live. It was said that his presence brought comfort to the disciple and he felt at peace. But eventually the Buddha had to go and travel somewhere, as a Buddha has to keep their word when it comes to honouring invitations they have accepted.
When the Buddha left, the pain of the illness came back and the lay disciple committed suicide. When the Buddha heard about this he went back to the village to attend the funeral. And afterwards he stayed in the village with the relatives and offered them comfort and support while they grieved.
It is a side of the Buddha one doesn't often hear about, but it moved me.