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Sudden death of a good friend

Hi everyone! :)

I would like to know if any of you guys have gone through the sudden (like accidents) death of a good friend/family member and what is the best way to deal with it (both psychologic and buddhist way) and let the person go. Thank you!


  • You can do some practice like meditation and think of that relationship. A lot of people believe in 'dedicating merit' which you could do for this friend. People will practice because of the moon cycle or eclipse or whatever. Similarly you could practice at the passing of a person.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran
    edited April 2015

    Such wonderful responses, I love them all. <3

    I lost my 18-year-old half-brother to a car accident 4 days before my 14th birthday. When we were first told by the Father of our church and a policeman who came to our door, I was in just was a numb feeling totally. After a while (a day or two?) I remember being in my room reading the bible (which didn't make a whole lot of sense), but I couldn't help but wonder why God didn't take me instead - I would've gladly volunteered.

    I guess because I was so young, it wasn't hard to get over because I had things to do and life to live. For modern western culture, we often feel awkward but we go through the motions of going to the services, etc. and not really take time to examine and observe what we're going through and how we really feel about it.

  • @karasti t certain levels of feeling, grief and joy start to run together in interesting ways...

    Indeed, the beauty of the practice is that we could somehow sense both sides of the coin. This wisdom arising from regular practice brings us to a life that is less attached to anything the world could offer.

  • Hi guys, thank you for all the kind responses and time taken to share your thoughts!

    I started this topic mainly because my best friend has lost her best friend a couple years ago, and it still strikes her from time to time and, having no particular experience with human death, I am not sure how I could help, especially from a non-buddhist point of view.

    Anyhow, reading all comments I can see that it is something we should not run away from, but yes allow it to be preferentially in a nonjudgmental way.

    Thank you again, friends!
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    Those lightning strikes get less and less over time. I still think about the people, the better I knew them the more I think of them. Sometimes daily. But it doesn't bring the pain of losing them anymore most of the time.

  • SarahTSarahT Time ... space ... joy South Coast, UK Veteran
    edited April 2015

    Thanks for this, @dantepw. I am currently grieving the loss of my dog. Not the same but ...

    I find it helpful to watch something else die as I give it time to let go. Sometimes it's a bunch of flowers. This time, I lit a lavender candle in a glass by a group of pictures of her and let it keep burning until it went out. My H then put the pictures up on the wall for me where I can see them from my bed. I've also composed a playlist of music that reflects my feelings about her (based on All of Me by John Legend which leapt out at me when I heard it on the radio - she really did give all of herself to me) and now have a picture of her looking stoic as my cat sits firmly in her way in her bed as my desktop. Makes me smile as I remember how long suffering she always was with the other animals that shared her home over the years, even though she had full lurcher instincts if she saw a squirrel/fox/rabbit or other non-pet animal and did struggle with jealousy if I gave attention elsewhere.

    It's still hard going downstairs or out into the garden without her there but I am practising and even managed to get the grass cut this evening. Little steps.

    Hugs, hugs, hugs - Sarah

  • Hi @sarah !

    I have experienced the loss of my dog as well last year. It was a lab, very kind and compassionate dog. I knew it was suffering a LOT so we had to make the right decisions. I strongly believe he is a much happier being wherever he is right now and thankful for our wonderful relationship, just like yours!

    Be aware it does pass, though. All the suffering vanishes away and eventually becomes pure happiness of letting go. The suffering is just part of our social conditions, not actually our nature, I personally believe. :)

    I hope you have a gorgeous, full of joy and peace weekend, Sarah.

    With metta,

    D. :)
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